The Haselhurst Family and the Tragedy at Lymm Bridge
The running of the business had passed to the grandsons and great-grandsons of the original Dewhurst brothers and the company was now quoted on the London Stock Exchange. The family's interests in Lymm became less and less important to them and the younger members of the family moved away. In 1902 George Littleton's stepmother and his wife, Anne Maude died , and he stayed at Oughtrington with his brother. He increasingly retired from public life, although remaining a Justice of the Peace, and died at the age of forty four in 1907. Mary, by this time, had moved from Beechwood and the house, once the hub of the family, was rented out to a local solicitor, Frederick Steele.
It was decided in 1911 that the whole of the Beechwood and Oughtrington Estates should be sold and the sale was put into the hands of a London firm of auctioneers. Nine hundred and fifty six acres ( 1.5 square miles) and the associated properties, returning an annual rental of £4,401.15s, a sum which reflected the extent of the Dewhursts' estates were purchased by Sir William Lever. He proposed to build a model