Pegwell Bay Hoverport

Once, for a very, very  long time indeed there was a shoreline, then sure enough, eventually there was a Hoverport – then there wasn’t.

Opened in 1969 just outside Ramsgate along the Kent coast, Hoverlloyd a Swedish owned company began a cross-channel hovercraft service to Calais.

Along came Prince Philip:

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/prince-philip-opens-hovercraft-at-ramsgate

Can came:

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And went:

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The passengers’ every need was attended to with alacrity and style.

“As a Stewardess your appearance was paramount, a beautician would come in during training to teach us how to apply make up.”

 

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But it simply wasn’t enough.

The life of Christopher Cockerell’s bold British invention, was short and bumpy.

Genevieve Payne, a former stewardess:

“I remember the summer of 1979 as a year of really bad weather and rough seas.”

“I was working on a craft in a force 8, so on this day we were literally hitting the ceiling, passengers were throwing up everywhere.”

“One lady became hysterical I had to slap her to calm her down.”

By the 1980’s Pegwell and the hovercraft were in terminal terminus decline.

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It’s a lot less bother without a hover.

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What prevails is the shoreline, a concrete landing skirt and the slow process of reclamation, as nature decides that the council is quite right to decide to create a nature reserve.

Thanks to and for further information http://www.hoverlloyd.org/index.html

Here it is today:

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Oldham Street – Manchester 2016

Following my previous post of archival images of Oldham Street, I took a walk along its length a week ago, to record what remained of the post war past.

Gone again the blackened façades, exuberant and differentiated signage.

Woolworth’s burnt out long ago, never to return, exit also C&A, don’t forget your coat and hat.

Affleck’s – same name different place.

Yates’s three down none to go, the last all-in is all out.

Three pubs prevail, some serving craft ale to the not so crafty.

Methodist Main Hall is mainly well-used and well, loved.

In low Winter light the upper floors dance in shadow and sun-glow, against a brighter than bright blue sky.

A crazy range of saw-toothed roof tops colliding.

Oldham Street survives.

 

 

 

Gorsey Bank – Stockport #1

Tucked in between the River Mersey and the A560 were some 200 homes.

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Inter-war social housing comprising Gorsey Bank Road, Seacombe Grove, Egremont Grove, and Wirral Crescent, names evoking some not too distant shore, or leafy idyll.

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During a night raid, October 1940, they fell victim to a line of bomb damage from Portwood, Cheadle Heath and Cheadle as a bomber tracked a train on the railway line. 

The photographs were taken by an Air Raid Warden the morning after the bombing. 

The house on the left is No 12, the home of Tom and Louisa Nyland and their children Tom aged 4 and Maureen aged 2. Mrs Nyland received a head wound but no one was killed. The house was rebuilt and the family moved back into the house after the war. 

Patrick Nyland Date : 03/05/2014

Here is Jack Oldham’s fascinating account of his wartime experience on the estate.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/41/a2280241.shtml

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Post war the estate prevails, there are no available accounts of events there, one assumes that little of moment occurred, save people going about the business of living their lives.

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Refurbishment was undertaken during the 1970’s

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There then follows a tale of decline, crime and associated social problems, which concludes with the estate’s demolition in the late 1990’s.

Sheila Bailey, who became a local councillor for the area in 1990, said:

“There were many law-abiding citizens living on the Gorsey Bank estate but, as usual, it was a minority ruining it for the rest.

“A lot of money was spent on the estate in the 1970’s in an attempt to change the culture but the area just deteriorated.”

“Clearing the estate was a long process and a difficult period, but it did reduce anti-social behaviour in the area.”

She added: “No one is particularly sorry to see the back of the Gorsey Bank estate.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/its-the-end-of-an-era-for-boroughs-worst-1028217

My thanks to the Stockport Image Archive

http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/leisureculture/libraries/libraryonline/stockportimagearchive/sia/

 

Oldham Street – Manchester

In the early 18th century, Oldham Street was apparently:

“An ill-kept muddy lane, held in place on one of its sides by wild hedgerows”.

In 1772, a privately owned track which is now known as Oldham Street was given to the public. The road took its name from Adam Oldham rather than from the place name. He was an acquaintance of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, which could account for the Oldham street location of the Methodist Chapel, opened by Wesley in 1781. Central Hall replaced the Chapel in 1885.

The area around Oldham Street became more affluent, with warehouses and shops, many of whose merchants lived within their shop premises. This is described by Isabella Varley, Mrs. Linnaeus Banks, a resident of Oldham Street, in her book The Manchester Man.

One Oldham Street shopowner mentioned by a number of writers is Abel Heywood, who spearheaded the mass distribution of books, supplying the whole country not only with penny novels, but also with educational books and political pamphlets. Heywood went on to become Mayor of Manchester.

The general well to do, mix of hustle and bustle, pubs, warehousing, grand stores, smaller specialist shops and services continued into the 1970’s. Woolworths, C&A, Affleck and Browns, Cantors, Dobbins attracted a steady flow of happy shoppers, I loved the mongrel nature of the mixed use architecture.

The focus if the city centre then slipped away to the newly built Arndale and pedestrianised Market Street.

Oldham Street awaited a new sense of place and purpose.

With thanks to http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/448/archives_and_local_history/326/historical_photographs_of_manchester

 

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Market Street – Manchester 2016

Following my previous post on Market Street, using archive material from the 60s and 70s, I was prompted to record the current state of the street.

To the east is the Arndale, I chose to concentrate on the western elevation and the extant facades that chart a story from Victorian to Moderne – with a little rebuild, pastiche and grandiose Classicism in between.

See what you think, the sooty deposits have long been sandblasted away, much of the previous exciting noise and clutter, of above eye level signage ceases to shout, from just below the rooftops.

It’s a cleaner, leaner and possibly meaner world.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchesters-market-street-named-sixth-9421149

It always pays to look up – just don’t inadvertently bump into things.

Market Street – Manchester

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City streets are by their nature subject to movement and change, things literally come and go – in milliseconds, days and decades. People and places are shaped by the forces of function and fashion, economics and history.

Before the Arndale,  pre-pedestrianisation, Market Street, from the Fifties until the Seventies, was one of Manchester’s key arterial, retail thoroughfares. Mixing mixed traffic, shops, cafés and restaurants, bars, cinemas, offices and administration.

The architectural skyline, had the raggedy silhouette, of a century of build and rebuild.

Lower your eyes, there’s Classical, Gothic, Baroque, local Rococo, Deco, Moderne and Modern – that’s right Madam no two the same, four for a pound, get it while you can.

Lower still, things are still never still, a riot of colour in black and white Vitrolite.

Neon abounds, the names are never changed to protect the innocent.

Local traders are slowly replaced by national and international multinationals.

You have nothing to lose but but your chain-store now.

 

 

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Henry Cohen came to Manchester around 1880. In 1910 he opened a men’s clothing outlet at the corner of Market Street called the Smart Outfitting Company. Having turned down a chance to join Marks and Spencer, he eventually built his department store in Market Street which opened in 1923. Henry’s Stores was redeveloped in the early 60’s acquiring an extension and a unifying Modernist façade, the site and store was acquired by BHS in the mid 60’s.

Rylands Building is a Grade II listed building in the building was originally built as a warehouse by the Rylands textile company which was founded by John Rylands. The building was designed by the eminent Manchester architects, Fairhursts, in an Art Deco style. It is clad in Portland stone and features a decorative corner tower and eclectic ‘zig zag’ window lintels.

Following a fire, in 1957, which totally destroyed the premises of Paulden’s Department Store, in All Saints, the company acquired the Rylands warehouse building and converted it to a store. This was then a direct rival to the Lewis’s store, on the opposite side of Market Street. In 1973 Debenhams, the owner of Pauldens rebranded the store in their name. Since that time it has remained Debenhams.

Marks and Spencers and Burton’s both undertook extensive Modernist building in the early 60’s on on the Corporation Street site, neither have survived. The Chelsea Girl steel frontageUCP Restaurant beloved of the Manchester Modernists, Kardomah Café and countless other landmarks are long gone. Lewis’s has become Primark.

The double indignity of the Arndale and a bomb have changed things forever.

Nothing stands still – this is Market Street.

With thanks to http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

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Chelsea Girl

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Liverpool – The New Penny Farthing

89 Roe St – tucked into the side of the sprawling St John’s Centre car park and a cosily withdrawn corner of the Royal Court Theatre.

The New Penny Farthing.

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A name which instantly evokes arcane loose change and strange bicycles.

Each time as I pass I’m drawn in, yet never enter.

Amazed by the array of ever changing signage, happy hours abound.

It’s a happy house, we’re happy here.

A dark drinking den awaits within, the daytime drinker abides, imbibing.

Stay new.

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