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The Ballad of Gorse Hall

Songs were sung about the stabbing of George Harry Storrs when it was news. Nowadays, it is remembered in "The Ballad of Gorse Hall," composed by Graham White­ head and sung by a folk group that performs in and around Stalybridge:

The photo shows the police searching the area around the quarry pits around Hunters Towers at the time of the murder and a far cry from the scene above.

On November the first, the year nineteen-o-nine

I was still a young lad then and serving my time

When I heard the bell ringing, around about nine.

From the house on the hill, Gorse Hall.

Mr George Harry Storrs, a man of renown,

And highly respected in Stalybridge Town,

From fifteen knife wounds had been cruelly brought down.

In the house on the hill, Gorse Hall.

Captain Bates and his men to the murder scene went,

And the bloodhounds were quickly put onto the scent.

But noone could find where the murderer went.

From the house on the hill, Gorse Hall.

For many days after, there was not a trace.

Though four people bore witness to seeing his face.

The servants, Mrs Storrs and Miss Lindley, the niece -

They were present that night at Gorse Hall.

And then a warrant went out to arrest,

Cornelius Howard of no fixed address.

Some sort of relative, nevertheless

Of the man who was killed at Gorse Hall.

All of the witnesses said it was him,

And all the stories he gave the police were so slim.

That they were quite sure of convicting him

of the murder that night at Gorse Hall.

Until from Huddersfield town they came -

Two men who said Howard was with them that day.

From the Ring o' Bells Tavern he'd not been away

And could not have been at Gorse Hall.

For just twenty minutes the jury was out.

Not guilty, they found him to great cheers and shouts.

Once more the police force did set about.

To capture the man from Gorse Hall

Next they arrested a man named Mark Wilde,

Likewise acquitted after his trial.

Though once more the witnesses said he'd the style

of the man was who there at Gorse Hall.

The only comfort the noose ever gave.

Was to Worrall, the coachman, who took his own life.

Not proving his guilt but only his grief,

At his master's cruel death in Gorse Hall

Graham Whitehead.

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