Covent Garden – Stockport

Walk up Hillgate from the centre of Stockport, pass the former Cobden’s, Gladstone, Peter Carlson Furniture, following a former coaching road of former lives, shops, pubs, clubs and factories. This was historically a vibrant area, a crazy mixed up mixed economy, getting by by any means.

Walk a little further, to your right is a small plateau, it leads across to the civic area,  behind the Town Hall, it is known as Covent Garden.

London Square, Massey Street and Banbury Street, once a cluster of terraced houses, never the wealthiest of areas, but typical of the town’s industrial past. The homes growing up around small pockets of industry – foundries, hat making and glove manufacture.


There was a graveyard there, belonging to the Mount Tabor Chapel, which was situated nearby on Wellington Road, a soot blackened, imperious classical facade.


The chapel is no longer standing, and little remains of the graveyard, the foreground shows the site, soon to become a children’s playground for the new flats.


The Imperial Club survived into the 60s playing host to local beat groups, and a significant venue on the local soul scene.


The streets no longer ring with the the ringing guitars of Johnny Darano and the Strollers


The Fairhurst designed flats were a breath of fresh air for the area, slim Crittall metal windows, concrete and brick structure, light and clean living for a new era. Social housing for a new era of social justice, postwar optimism written all over the facades.

Contrasting with the poorly built, stock brick, stolid terraces that they replaced, here was a little of the Modernist Movement for the masses.


Some years ago when I first photographed the area, here were residents, happy to share their thoughts and feelings, at home in their homes. A settled community, whose homes were soon to be central to a masterplan, the very word sends shivers down you spine.

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A redevelopment zone, around Hopes Carr and Covent Garden, saw the flats tinned up, prior to demolition. Homes, though clearly fit for purpose standing empty.

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Several years on, and they are still standing empty.

Save for a handful of protection by occupation tenants, living in a Camelot empty property.

“Our people combine entrepreneurial spirit and a deep understanding of specialist vacant property management with the highest standards of client care. Innovative internationally and well-known locally, Camelot design made-to-measure advice for you.”

“Camelot, located no where in particular, can be anywhere”

A pay to enter theme park with a limited future.

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And so heartbreak at Impasse Pass, another stalled urban redevelopment, awaiting capital in a public private partnership.

Until the next time.

Walk a little further, take a peek, blink and it all may have disappeared.

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10 thoughts on “Covent Garden – Stockport

  1. I lived in those flats and enjoyed the community spirit, typical Stockport Council messing everything up again, they have absolutly nothing wrong with them. I as a matter of fact bought mine on the right to buy scheme, as I was happy there.


    1. The Imperial club was the former Mount Tabor, the one on Wellington Road South was a more recent building and had no graveyard.


  2. I was born in the lounge of no 35 and grew up there. I think it’s so sad to leave them like they are. Why not do them up and let people live in them as we are so short of affordable housing. I for one would be pleased to move back.


    1. Hey, I have been in no 35 before. I explore abandoned buildings and I have been to all rooms. Sorry to say that it is all trashed up with everything thrown around. All doors smashed open and before it got demolished homeless people lived in a few of the flats.


    2. Some rose tinted glasses going on here. ‘Still perfectly good houses’ that are visibly falling apart and that clearly nobody wants to live in. Nostalgia is great, but it doesn’t stop the damp on the walls.


      1. The flats having been refurbished were homes that the residents were largely happy to live in. They were social housing, of which there was and is a shortage in the Borough. Historically they were of real interest as a fine exemplar of European style post-war architecture. They were demolished at a cost to both the environment and the community which they housed, an additional environmental cost in the new build adds to the carbon debt.


  3. I lived there as a child in the 70s. I used to swing on that same swing frame pictured here. Wow, thanks for sharing these.


  4. Pingback: Stockport Moderne

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