Hoyd Publishing

Books by Philip Martin Williams & David L. Williams

 Boo & Hiss

A canter through Ashton’s

Pantomime history from the 1800s to 2007

With a foreword by Christopher Biggins


Pantomime is the ultimate in British family entertainment and has been drawing crowds for centuries.


The authors have divided their examination of professional pantomimes staged in Ashton-under-Lyne into two key parts.


The first starts with its earliest introduction with the harlequinades in 1803 and continues to show how Ashton reflected the development of panto, with the establishment of the now expected cross-dressing, political satire, double-entendres, the addition of well-known personalities, and, of course, audience participation, ending with the closure of the once grand Theatre Royal in 1957, which during its 66-year lifespan had built up a reputation as 'the home of pantomime’.


The second section covers the period of the Tameside Theatre/Hippodrome and its 29 pantomimes from 1976 to 2007. Many celebrities, performers, and producers talk about their experiences in Ashton, not just of the shows themselves but also of the planning, staging, and backstage atmosphere.


Book size 7.72 x 10.63 inches

150 pages fully illustrated



Available from Hari - Market Newsagent, Ashton-under-Lyne Market Hall,

Tameside Local Studies Library, Cotton Street, Ashton.

or direct with PayPal payment (see bottom of page).





A History of the Music Halls and Theatres of Ashton-under-Lyne... and some of the shows and people who have appeared in them. 




More Info HERE

Hooray for Jollywood

A few copies still available


To mark the opening 75 years ago of Film Studios Manchester Hoyd Publishing have revised and updated for limited release 'Hooray for Jollywood';

The Life of John E. Blakeley and the Mancunian Film Corporation.


Click HERE for the dedicated website and more information


To Market, To Market

The Story of Ashton-under-Lyne's Ancient Market




This absorbing book by the Williams Brothers was a complete sell-out within eight weeks of its first publication in 1994 – Necessitating a rapid reprint which also subsequently sold out. A further special limited edition published in 1998 continued the trend. Ashton’s Market has always occupied an important place in the day to day life of local society and has provided a focal point for the community even when faced with formidable competition. Entering the new millennium, the market still maintained its status as a major shopping attraction. This updated book continues the story from 1998 up to 2009. The 21st century saw new forms of retailing emerging creating new challenges for local shops and Ashton’s traditional markets. The greatest challenge was to arise in May 2004 when the Ancient Market Hall was destroyed by fire. Read how this event affected the traders many of whom lost their livelihoods – the repercussions felt by the outside market and other businesses and the town itself. The book covers the aftermath of the fire and the rise (and fall) of the Phoenix Market and of the rebuilding and reopening of the ‘new’ market hall. The authors have also taken the opportunity to include additional material to the book’s earlier chapters which were not available for previous publications - Plus the addition of many more photographs and illustrations. ‘To Market, To Market’ traces the history of Ashton’s outdoor and indoor markets from the very beginning near to St Michael’s Square up to present day. It is a volume packed with facts and interesting stories spanning over hundreds of years.

More Info HERE

Price: 10.00 

For ordering details go to bottom of page

The Knight Rides Out

The Myth & Legend of Ashton-under-Lyne's Black Knight

and the Rise and Fall of the Once Popular Black Knight Pageants.

The Knight Rides Out is an absorbing journey back in time to explore and examine part of Ashton's heritage. The various theories and ideas behind the legend of the Black Knight - from pagan rituals to the evil doings of Sir Ralph de Assheton - are all looked at. From the once solemn Riding of the Black Lad with its brutal ending to the alcohol influenced parades of Victorian times. The Knight Rides Out brings these events alive culminating with the splendour and spectacle of the Black Knight Pageants. This book examines all aspects of the legend of Ashton's infamous Black Knight. From early pagan rituals to the association with the Assheton family. Read of Sir Ralph de Assheton's connection, of his evil deeds upon landworkers and townsfolk; and how the townspeople destroyed his effigy every Eastertide. Read of the drunken street parades and of Victorian pub-crawls, all done in the name of the Black Knight, and how from these evolved the famous pageants. Three full chapters are devoted to the grand spectacular pageants. At their peak they rivalled London's Lord Mayor's Show, with over 100,000 people at one time filling the town's streets to witness the splendour. Read of the many characters that took part in the parades. From the regal Cotton and Pageant Queens to those in fancy dress. Illustrated throughout with many photographs
A5 size - approx 130 pages - well illustrated.
Price £5.50  plus £2.00 p&p

For ordering details go to bottom of page.

Bygone Ashton-under-Lyne

Traditional - Historical - Biographical
By Samuel Hill.

Bygone Ashton-under-Lyne appeared for the first time in print over 100 years ago in a series of articles in the then Ashton-under-Lyne Reporter. Its author Samuel Hill was at the time extremely well known in the area. His published works included the popular ‘Bygone Stalybridge’ and several Lancashire dialect poetry books.  As with all his previous works ‘Bygone Ashton-under-Lyne’ was entered into wholeheartedly and from the outset it was his intention to fill the void left by earlier books, while not wanting to present a tiresome catalogue of dates and particulars. He finally produced a history of which all who first studied it a century ago must have felt suitably pleased.  On completion of the serialisation of ‘Bygone Ashton-under-Lyne’ in 1909 it had been the intention to produce the work as a book. However, with the early death of its author the project never reached maturity until 90 years later. In 1999 Hoyd Publications in marking the new millennium published a short print run of ‘Bygone Ashton’ in book form.  In 2009 to mark the centenary of Samuel Hill’s death the book was again made newly available.   Over 185 pages of text with illustrations including several by the author.

Price £5.50  plus £2.00 p&p

For ordering details go to bottom of page.