POLICE SABRES RETURN!
Any Bridgite over the age of 40 should remember the circle of 'swords' which
adorned the wall of Stalybridge Library from the closure of the Town Hall until Tameside
came into existence.
When the towns amalgamated, many local artifacts were relocated, and the
Stalybridge Police Sabres were removed to Portland Basin and, as far as the town was
But out of sight is not out of mind, and on 11th July, 2008, a very pleasant
ceremony took place in Stalybridge Market Hall when various guests, councillors and
dignitaries were present to welcome them back to their new home - resplendent in
their display case.
The unveiling ceremony was carried out by Councillor Welsh and Charlie
Meredith MBE JP: both of whom gave details of the sabres' history and use in both the Bread
Riots and the Murphy Riots of the 19th Century. Indeed, notches can be seen on some
of the 30 blades. It should be remembered that Stalybridge was at the forefront of the
movement for change, and family members were on both sides of the disputes which
resulted in the Riot Act being called, the arrest of many and their subsequent trials
The District Assembly provided generous hospitality to the many present who
all appreciated the hard work put in behind the scenes to return these symbols both of
the town's past and of the men who struggled for the future.