THE DATE was August 1, 1908, when this card, showing the interior of St Mary’s Church, was posted in Prestwich.

The nave of the church consists of five bays and the two arcades are of pointed arches on octagonal piers.

The flat-panelled ceiling still retains some 16th-century timber and the Derby Crest of Eagle and Child hanged from the 18th-century candelabra.

Since the parish church was completed in about 1530, there have been many additions and alterations.

In 1650, when Oliver Cromwell ruled England, the old font was removed and a new one, which cost £3 10d, was installed 12 years later.

In 1731, the south chantry chapel was rebuilt by the Lever family of Alkrington Hall. Five years on, Sir Thomas Gray Egerton built a gallery in the north chantry chapel, the Wilton Chapel.

Also in 1736, officials decided to appoint a ‘bobber’ for the parish. George Grimshaw, of Rooden Lane, took the role and was paid 13 shillings a year. The church also provided him with a new coat every other year “for his trouble and pains in wakening sleepers in the church, whipping out dogs, keeping children quiet and orderly and keeping the pulpit and church walls clean”. He carried a stick with a bob on the end of it.