On the 1st of April 1974, local Government had a huge shake up when nine towns – Ashton, Audenshaw, Denton, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Hyde, Longdendale, Mossley and Stalybridge came under the administration of Metropolitan Borough of Tameside and became part of the new Greater Manchester County Council.

The total population at that time was 223,000, and the council planned to employ 9,000 members of staff, comparing it to today 2,798 staff look after a population of

219,000.  On the Sunday before, Stalybridge Mayor, Councillor Arthur Dugdale, led a procession of the departing council from the Town Hall to the Parish Church, on a lovely spring day.  The Ashton Mayor, Alderman Ernest Jones, wrote a farewell message of appreciation for the service given over the years to the people of the town. 

The first Mayor of Tameside was Councillor James Eason of Ashton and his wife Lena, Mayoress, were presented with a Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth II, for Tameside to be a borough, it was printed on vellum with a large seal attached to it by red and yellow silk cord. The deputy Mayor was Councillor John Porter of Stalybridge, with his wife Lily as deputy Mayoress.

Each of the towns had a central information centre to help with the changes on the day of opening. This was to help with the changes to rent, rent books, house repairs and an assortment of other queries, which were all passed onto the relevant Tameside departments. An eight-page civic newspaper was published along with an information brochure to help people with the change. A trendy T-shaped symbol was chosen to identify the district with a colour scheme of Kingfisher blue and brown. The new Tameside Administrative Complex in Ashton did not open until 1981.

Jill Morris