Story of Mossley’s Mayalls told in new book

A NEW book sheds further light on what has become arguably Mossley’s most famous family, one that provided a much-loved comic actor and a blues legend.

The Mayalls of Mossley – Princes of Cotton is a novel based on the true-life stories of brothers John and George.

After unearthing a manuscript as they renovated what was the town hall, author Carol Wilson – who has penned it under the name CB Hawes – had her inspiration.

Husband Philip made the discovery and after a decade’s effort, the story – which starts after their father Samson thinks England is ‘done for’ after experiencing the Peterloo Massacre – is now in print.

Author Carol Wilson pictured with Phillip

And even though it is a novel, much of the fact it is based on can still be seen around Mossley.

Carol said: “We used to live in what people know as the Town Hall.

“My husband was renovating the hall and there were some papers, which were written by the grandson of the older brother, we think his name was Arthur.

“There are a lot of stories about Mossley and the people in the town and their stories that he remembered.

He also recalled his grandfather and his great uncle.

“The family had lots of mills. At one point, John Mayall had more cotton spindles than anyone ese in the world.

“There were seven Mayalls and well over 300,000 spindles. They were an amazing family, I’m in awe of them.”

The Mayalls’ legacy may have spread around the world but it is firmly rooted in Mossley. Rik’s portrait hangs over The Gillery venue, which is in the building erected by great, great grandfather John.

And legendary blues musician John Mayall, who grew up in Macclesfield, Cheshire, and lives in the USA, is also believed to be part of the clan.

“It’s a rags to riches story,” added Carol about the book, which sees Samson secretly set sail for America in search of a better life for his family.

“It’s a novel but a lot of it is based on fact. We’ve done research to make sure everything is right but there’s that fiction element to make it readable, to make it a better story.

“We’ve got romances in. You don’t know sometimes how people met but they make it that bit more interesting.

“It took quite a few years to write as I did it as a hobby really, maybe 10 years or so.

“The idea came soon after I got married and finding the manuscript was a spark and I felt it was a story that needed to be told.

“Arthur Mayall wanted it to be told – I just had to write it!”

Philip said: “He’d hand typed them in a manuscript.”

THE MAYALLS of Mossley – Princes of Cotton has been self-published and is available at the price of £10, plus postage and packaging.

It’s self-published at the moment.

To get your hands on a copy, you can message the Facebook group Mossley Old Photos and Historical Facts at

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