Mossley recently made a rare appearance on the national news when #Police swooped on the town after it was alleged that two teenagers had attempted to purchase materials which could have been used to make explosives. But the town showed its true colours by refusing to pander to the gossip and rumour which inevitably follows an event such as this.
As is often the case, the inhabitants once more proved themselves fair and independent in the face of adversity. Because Mossley is not just another town. It has a strong sense of community which gets on with stuff against all the odds.
Take, for example, the recent battle to save the market ground from the clutches of developers, who were snooping around, encouraged by Tameside Council, who were, so they said, looking for ways to raise funds toward their ever shrinking budgets. The population got together in their hundreds to plan a way to stop this. They got their own theme song, a Facebook page was set up, and a flash mob made its appearance on the steps of the borough council offices in nearby Ashton-under-Lyne one Saturday afternoon. This was planned with military precision and both the public and nearby stallholders roared their approval before they dispersed, before some out of breath and somewhat embarrassed looking security men arrived.
This victory of the people of Mossley over the forces of bureaucracy was recently celebrated by a yarn storming event, where the market ground was covered in neat woollen garments, even the trees got a make over. (See photo)
Tameside council conceded defeat, but are now attempting to turn it into a Pay and Display Car Park. Needless to say, the people have not taken lightly to this, and the people have once more clubbed together to create yet another campaign group to try and reverse this (it has to be said that the Pay and Display machines are already in place, but some have been glued up). And so, on the same day as the yarn storming, a demonstration took place with dozens taking to the streets led by pall bearers with a coffin, and the words "RIP Democracy" on the side.
Mossley is also becoming a hub for local art and creativity. Old textile mills are being turned into artists' studios and centres where you can learn a musical instrument or attend dance classes. The Whit Friday walk of witness still thrives in this town too, in spite of the police refusing to marshal it, and in spite of yet more bureaucracy trying to get its tentacles around the event. Yes, there are serious issues around this town, it recently lost one of its three parish churches, along with one of its nursing homes. And there has in recent years been a flood of graffiti on many of its public buildings and landmarks.