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.
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.
Photographs Rochdale Image Archives
Hey presto 1963 and there appears four 21 storey blocks containing 476 dwellings; three 17 storey blocks containing 286 dwellings.
Photograph Mancunian 101
Building contractors were Wimpey and the flats were designed by Rochdale’s Borough Surveyor, Mr W H G Mercer and Mr D. Broadbent along with Mr E V Collins, chief architect to contractors George Wimpey and Company.
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.
8 thoughts on “Rochdale – Seven Sisters Flats”
Beautiful photos. Love your blog and am taking inspiration from it for some work here in Sheffield
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Thanks for the compliment Mick, look forward to seeing your Sheffield stuff.
They were/are known as the Seven UGLY Sisters back in the 1970’s/1980’s, seems as though the passage of time (and the construction of the nearby concrete Falinge Flats, which have undergone subsequent cosmetic improvements, built in the early 1970’s) may have cast a rosy glow on these – if the “ugly” has now been dropped!
Wonderful photos. A high quality build by the looks. I have heard that these housing blocks are threatened with demolishion. That would be a very sad day for Rochdale and another sad day for the principles behind these buildings’ initial construction.
My grandparents lived in one of the blocks. I have lots of happy memories of holidays spent there. There’s talk of demolition of some of the blocks, which would be a shame because they’re well built. As they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
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