Monday, 11 August 2014

Mark Addy: a tribute

Portrait from Manchester Faces and Places
Portrait by Annie Lord (1890)
Salford Museum & Art Gallery

Medals Given to Mark Addy

Albert Medal for Lifesaving
First Class
presented 1879
Royal Humane Society
 Bronze Medal
presented in 1877

Illustrated London News (v.73) 16 Nov 1878:474

Hundred of Salford Humane Society
Gold Medal
presented 1876
Hundred of Salford Humane Society
Silver Medal

Source: The Shipwrecked Mariner v.26 (1879) 89

Mark Anthony Addy (1838-1890),  known as 'The Salford Hero', is famous for saving over 50 people from drowning in the River Irwell.  Our sources are strangely silent about his family. He appears to have married Jane Loveock (probably Lovelock) of Salford in 1860, at the age of 22. They had five children: Mary Jane, Joseph, Elizabeth, Ada and Mark.  The following article from the Salford Reporter (1976) tells his story. 

To enlarge: right click on images, open in new window and
click on image.

Swimming by A. Sinclair and W. Henry (1893) 172-175

Manchester Evening News 30 Aug 1972
Drawing of the Stage Buildings on the bank of the River Irwell
Addy was born in no. 2.

The Memorial to Mark Addy in Weaste Cemetery

Photo credit: Edward Smith

Sacred To The Memory OF
Mark Addy
The Salford Hero
Who Died 9th June 1890
In the 52nd Year Of His Age
He Saved More Than 50 Persons From Drowning In
The River Irwell For Which He Received
Amongst Other Rewards
The Albert Medal (1st Class) From H.M. The Queen
Life’s Work Well Done
Life’s Race Well Run
Life’s Victory Won:
He Rest in Peace.
Erected by Public Subscription

On the rear of the monument

Memorial Committee
The Mayor Salford Councillor B. Robinson, J.P.
Vice Chairman
The Revd G.W. Petherick, BA

(followed by names of the Committee)

The Addy Memorial is a Grade II Listed monument within Weaste Cemetery.  It is 4.56m high, with a base of 1.07m square, and constructed of Peterhead granite. On the shaft of the obelisk is an oval bronze plaque showing a portrait of Mark Addy.  Other bronze plaques, depicting scenes of Addy's life, adorned the base of the monument. These are now missing.  A lifebuoy entwined with rope, which surrounds his initials, is  

Photo credit: Granpic

depicted above the inscription.  James Hilton, a Manchester sculptor, was commissioned to make the monument. [1]  The memorial was unveiled in May 1891, with a thousand people in attendance.  Sadly, the monument is reported to be in poor condition, having been neglected and vandalized over the years.

Consequent to Addy's death, a memorial fund (Mark Addy Memorial Committee) was established, which raised some £275. The monument itself cost £120. The remainder was used to commission Annie Lord's portrait of Addy (shown above), and to fund a silver cup, a swimming trophy presented to Salford boys at Regent Road Baths.   This trophy and Mark Addy’s medals are in the Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

New Zealand Herald, Vol. XXVIII, Issue 8616, 11 July 1891, Page 1

The Builder 19 July 1890: 54

A Touch of Humour

"Only last week the Gazette announced the fact that the Queen had conferred the Albert medal upon Mark Addy (who had previously received every other medal from different societies for his singular bravery), he having saved no less than 39 lives from drowning. We now note that on Christmas day he rescued another woman from the river Irwell, and in making public the fact of Mark Addy's courageous conduct we would suggest that he receive a substantial recognition, in fact an Addyquate reward."   Cited in Fun v.29 (8 Jan 1879) 13

Greengate Baths

Mark Addy learned to swim at the Greengate Baths (aka Collier Street Baths). Though the structure is a Grade II Listed Building, it is in very poor condition. Part of the building was demolished in the late twentieth century to make way for Trinity Way.   The Baths were designed by local architect, Thomas Worthington, and were built on the site of the Salford Union Workhouse, which was demolished in 1853. 

Photo credit: romanian1

Greengate (Collier Street) Baths

"As one of the earliest surviving examples of this building type in the country, the Italianate Greengate Baths are of national importance ... The way in which they were planned became the standard for later establishments. Halls for the pools (first and second class, male only) and wash house were placed side by side at the rear, and other accommodation ranged along the front. Pools were provided with galleries where slipper baths were installed, and changing cabins, known as dressing boxes, opened on to the pool side below."[3
"The Manchester and Salford Baths and Laudries Co., formed in 1854, commissioned Worthington to design three public baths. This is the only one left, and one of the earliest surviving purpose-built public baths in the country. A powerful rhythmic Italianate facade. The interior has been altered [it was used as a warehouse], but surviving original roofs are supported by laminated timber trusses on cast iron brackets." [4] 
Laminated timber trusses on cast iron brackets
Photo credit: Damon

It cost the Manchester and Salford Baths and Laundries Company £6,763 to build the Greengate Baths, which opened in 1856. It was the area's first public bathing establishment, and its popularity helped to initiate what was to become the 'Golden Age' [2] of public bath construction.  Most of the public baths had laundries attached to them, and were designed to service working-class areas, whose houses seldom boasted any indoor plumbing beyond a cold water tap.  By the 1880s, public baths were recognized as an integral part of public health.  

Source: Bradshaw's Illustrated Guideto Manchester (1857) 38-39

Mark Addy Bridge

Photo credit: David Dixon

Photo credit: Niels Boon

The Woden Street Footbridge (see gazetteer) was built in 1873  It spans the River Irwell, joining Salford to Manchester, and is located at the end of Woden Street (Ordsall). It is known locally as Mark Addy Bridge, because of its proximity to Everard Street, where Addy lived and was the licensee of the Old Boathouse Inn.
After Mark Addy married, he moved from Manchester to Salford, and became the landlord (from 1868 until his death) of the Old Boathouse Inn (Everard Street), which was close to the river.

On 25 Sep 1885, the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser reported that Mark Addy and his son, Joseph, were involved in a court case involving a betting scandal.


The Herald of Peace and International Arbitration
1 July 1890: 94

Of Interest

Salford Online Article
Public Monument and Sculpture Association
Orders and Medals
Everyday Heroism
Boy's Own Paper (1903)
Annals of Manchester
A Brief History of the Baths Department of the City of Salford



[1] James Hilton was born in Lockwood, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire about 1838. He moved to Manchester around 1862, and established a firm in 1867 in the town centre, but later moved near to Manchester Southern Cemetery. Hilton died in about 1908, but his firm still survives.
[2] See Greater Manchester's Public Swimming Pools: A Pictorial Guide by JC Mather (2013)
[3] Victoria Baths (Manchester) Conservation Plan (2004) 14
[4] [Pevsner] Buildings of England. Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East (2004) 626

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