Semi Detached – Warrington

I was walking back from St Stephen’s Church recently, when I chanced upon a small group of two storey, flat roofed, semi detached social houses.

They were blessed with that post war functionalist brick and concrete chic.

Part of a larger development of homes in the Longford area of the town.

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-15-33-18

An area which is one of the most socially deprived in the country, with more than its fair share of problems, crack and weed would once have been pressing matters for the Borough Highways Department – these days they are more likely to attract the attention of the boys and girls in blue.

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-17-17-47

And to cap it all the area is prone to frequent flooding.

longford-flooding

There are signs of hope as the housing association and council embark on a multi million pound refurbishment of the estate including:

Replacing fencing around bungalows.

On the day of my visit the chill January streets seemed quiet and ordered, and I was enchanted by the mismatched pairs of semis that I encountered.

p1130204

p1130205

p1130206

p1130207

p1130208

p1130209

p1130210

p1130212

p1130213

p1130214

p1130215

p1130216

p1130218

p1130219

p1130220

 

 

Transporter Bridge – Warrington

I set out one morning with a clear intent, to travel.

To travel to see the Warrington Transporter Bridge – of which I had only just become aware. Ignorance in this instance is not bliss, expectation and fulfilment is.

Guided by the detailed instructions on the Transporter Bridge Website I made my way from Bank Quay Station, mildly imperilled yet not impeded by caged walkways, tunnels, bridges, muddy paths and Giant Hogweed!

p1130109

p1130111

p1130164

p1130122

p1130127

Finally catching a glimpse of:

Warrington Transporter Bridge, also known as Bank Quay Transporter Bridge or Crosfield’s Transporter Bridge, across the River Mersey is a structural steel transporter bridge with a span of 200 feet. It is 30 feet wide, and 76 feet above high water level, with an overall length of 339 feet. It was built in 1915 and, although it has been out of use since about 1964, it is still standing. It was designed by William Henry Hunter and built by William Arrol and Co.

bridge_in_use_1951

The bridge in use 1951.

It is till standing today, and was built to despatch finished product from the cement plant that had been built on the peninsula. It was originally used to carry rail vehicles up to 18 tons in weight, and was converted for road vehicles in 1940. In 1953 it was modified to carry loads of up to 30 tons.

The bridge is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building, and because of its poor condition it is on their Heritage at Risk Register. The bridge is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

My thanks to the Friends of the Warrington Transporter Bridge for the historical information and archive image.

Here are my photographs expectations more than fully fulfilled an epic structure and a triumph of engineering, go take a look real soon.

p1130129

p1130133

p1130134

p1130135

p1130136

p1130144

p1130145

p1130148

p1130149

p1130158

p1130166

Modern Housing – Warrington

As I walked out one morning, up and down the A49 out of Warrington town centre, on the way somewhere else entirely, the sun and I chanced to fall on a tight group of streets and courtyards, constraining and containing an intriguing collection of modern homes.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-13-27-22

Competitively priced, well below national averages – the area looks to be getting along.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-13-31-05

Incidence of crime is low to almost non existent.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-13-29-59

So an illuminated set of buildings with little by way of further illumination, I presume them to be corporation built, late Seventies? A visually exciting set of varied, interlocking geometric volumes – a formalist model that seems to function. On a chill day most residents were hopefully tucked up safe and warm somewhere or other, public spaces rested, bereft of life. The window spaces are pinched and mean, not only of the elevation facing the adjacent main road, but also on the inward faces. An economy of means and a resultant paucity of light.

p1130228

p1130230

p1130231

p1130233

p1130234

p1130235

p1130236

p1130237

p1130238

p1130239

p1130240

p1130241

p1130242

p1130243

p1130244

p1130245

p1130246

p1130248

Rochdale – Seven Sisters Flats

Arriving in Rochdale in search of something else entirely, it was impossible to ignore seven prominent, as yet unclad tower blocks, high upon a hill. I was informed by a local resident that they were known locally as the Seven Sisters, though variously identified as Falinge B, College Bank, and Holland Street flats.

js81348360

The area was formerly home to Victorian workers’ dwellings, known as The Paddock – the post-war policy of slum clearance saw them swept away, in readiness for municipal modernity.

js81348349

js81348353

js81348355

Photographs Rochdale Image Archives

Hey presto 1963 and there appears four 21 storey blocks containing 476 dwellings; three 17 storey blocks containing 286 dwellings.

5995650872_2ed2d9ab80_b

Photograph Mancunian 101

Building contractors were Wimpey and the flats were designed by Rochdale ’s Borough Surveyor, Mr W H G Mercer and Mr E V Collins who worked with George Wimpey and Company’s chief architect D. Broadbent.

Many thanks to the Tower Block project for the facts.

On Friday October 1 1965 the Minister of Housing and Local Government, Richard Crossman, officially opened the first of the College Bank flats – Underwood.

So go take a look ride the rail or tram, get on your bike, walk a while and abide, take a frenzied dance around with the Seven Sisters.

p1040789-copy

p1040787-copy

p1040785-copy

p1040788-copy

p1040797-copy

p1040795-copy

p1040794-copy

p1040793-copy

p1040792-copy

p1040786-copy

p1040800-copy

p1040801-copy

p1040791-copy

p1040796-copy

p1040798-copy

p1040799-copy

Bus Station and Precinct – Hanley

Once upon a time almost everywhere there was a bus station and a shopping precinct.

Built in the Sixties from concrete and optimism.

1977

1966

3486113d382cc041b8faab0020a4876e

west_precinct

postcard

Once upon a time almost everywhere there wasn’t a bus station and a shopping precinct.

Partially demolished, partially rebuilt, replaced by a new kind of optimism.

_47490547_shopping_centre_wide

Peopled with a new kind of people.

_47494176_02b

Where will the old type of people go?

dsc_0011-copy

Over a number of years I visited the site and recorded its sad demise, heartlessly tinned-up, unloved, windswept and almost devoid of hope.

No more tea and toast in Tony’s Café.

No more nothing.

No more.

dsc_0243-copy

dsc_0084-copy

dsc_0006-copy

dsc_0067-copy

dsc_0068-copy

dsc_0071-copy

dsc_0072-copy

dsc_0224-copy

dsc_0075-copy

dsc_0077-copy

dsc_0078-copy

dsc_0214-copy

dsc_0216-copy

dsc_0220-copy

dsc_0221-copy

dsc_0233-copy

Pifco – Manchester

It began with a ray gun.

Following a thread, a tenuous electrical link that brought me back home, to an all too familiar household name.pifco-copy

A name that has illuminated, vibrated, mixed, measured, massaged, warmed and dried our lives for over one hundred years.

But what does it mean, where does this stuff come from, what’s it all about Pifco?

 

Pifco of Failsworth, also of Pifco House, 87 High Street, Manchester.

1900 Company established by Joseph Webber to sell lighting appliances and accessories.

1902 Public company formed as Provincial Incandescent Fittings Co. Ltd.

1911 The Filani Nigeria Tin Mining Co was incorporated as a public company.

1949 Name changed.

1954 Incorporated Walls Ltd, of River Street Birmingham, as a wholly-owned subsidiary to manufacture medical lamps, kettles and small cookers.

1957 The last of the mining assets were sold.

1957 Filani Nigeria Tin Mining Co changed its name to Pifco Holdings Ltd and acquired all of the issued share capital of Pifco 1961 Manufacturers and distributors of electrical appliances and accessories. 

1970 The Regent Cotton Mill, in Failsworth was purchased by Pifco.

1984 Agreed to acquire Swan Housewares from BSR International, but later the deal collapsed.

1987 Acquired House of Carmen, maker of heated hair rollers; the other important brand was Salton.

1991 Purchased Russell Hobbs Tower.

2001 Salton Group, a US company making domestic appliances, acquired Pifco.

 

So Provincial Incandescent Fittings Co. Ltd.

We salute you, so much joy emanating from Failsworth Manchester, making the world a warmer, drier, brighter, cleaner safer place.

1298897083-27167-0

Always at never less than entirely reasonable prices.

 

pifco

im19390318pp-pifco

dsc09253-600x800

A true friend to the nocturnal cyclist.

im19311211cy-pifco

im19360902cy-pifco

_1

Christmas cheer for all!

28-20147113412_540x360

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-19-17-43

Those little things that lighten the wearisome load of the daily beauty regime.

im19390325pp-pif

 

blog-pifco-004

13_30_01_2426

heat-lamp

pifco-face-sauna

The minor essentials of our everyday electrical lives.

9068043921_1c6682d0cd_b

pifco_fusewire_card_red_white

pifco_insulated_staples_box_standing

The seemingly frivolous rendered material.

3212_l

290809-151

We can all sleep ever so easily abed at night, in the simple knowledge that Pifco is still out there working just for us/you!

Nighty night.

pifco-2071-4-way-extension-reel-with-13a-thermal-fuse-and-25m-cable