One lunch-time during the summer of 1923, as I turned into St. Mary’s Gate from Toad Lane on my way to Ormerods (the printers where I was employed) I saw John Sharrocks coming along Cheetham Street, driving his Welsh cob and a light spring cart at a brisk trot. He was carrying a small load of household furniture, for he and his brother Thomas were owners of a light carrying business.
As they passed St. Mary’s vicarage, John was pulling steadily on the reins when the nearside rein snapped close to the bridle. Startled and now uncontrollable, the horse galloped along St. Mary’s Gate and John, who was slightly crippled, dropped off the cart. Sticking to the near-side shaft and somehow keeping his feet, he worked his way along to the horses head and seizing the bridge, managed to bring the animal to a halt at the top of Blackwater Street, narrowly avoiding a tram, which was making the climbing turn out of that street en route for Spotland.
The two brothers later founded the firm of J. and T. Sharrocks Ltd., Haulage contractors, Shawclough.