April 1979 work begins.
Opening on March 2nd 1982.
No more cold damp shelters, no more cavernous and grimy public conveniences, no more chips and shop.
Bye bus station.
Your days are numbered, work has begun at the temporary site on Heaton Lane.
You are to be demolished, no more in, no more out.
I have tracked your history and slow decline.
You are to become a transport interchange.
So here’s a record of your lost chippy, closed lavatories, control centre, relocated information office, slowly ticking clock, soon to tick no longer.
Say hello and wave goodbye to RS McColl’s kiosk.
So so long my draughty, cold, deserted old pal.
This is the journey made by Comrade Yuri Gagarin 12th July 1961 – as detailed in my previous post.
This is that same journey by bike and my observations of 19th August 2019.
Original Terminal Building LC Howitt and SG Besant Roberts 1962
Shadow Moss Road
St Andrews Church – JCG Prestwich and Son 1960
St Luke The Physician – Taylor and Young 1938-9
Church of the Latter Day Saints – TP Bennet and Son 1964
St Ambrose Reynolds & Scott 1956
Barlow Moor Road
Upper Chorlton Road
Imperial Picture Theatre – W.H. Matley 1914
I had wrongly assumed for months that this was the AUFW Offices it wasn’t – it’s two doors down, the other side of the Imperial.
The stonework above the door is a clue, thanks awfully to my observant comrades – July 12th 2020.
The 59th anniversary of Yuri’s visit.
Monday 3rd August 2015 one finds oneself wide wake in the Rydeview Hotel.
Faced with a breakfast best described as indescribable.
I arose and departed, not angry but hungry.
Made my way to the corner of Southsea Common, where once we drank – Tim Rushton and I were often to be found in The Wheelbarrow together.
A boozer no longer, now named for the city’s long gone famous son.
How bad a pub is this? I walk past it to get to my local. Most nights there are six people max in the bar, all huddled around the bar itself, backs to the door. – this often includes the landlord and landlady. They have live music there once in a while and you can’t get served by the one bloke behind the bar – the landlord and landlady never help out, they don’t seem to give a toss.
Beers crap, not worth a visit.
It was never like that in our day.
Visiting our former abode on Shaftesbury Road – where I once dwelt along with Tim, Catherine, Liz and Trish.
Yet more Stymie Bold Italic.
Back to the front for a peer at the pier.
Clarence Pier is an amusement pier located next to Southsea Hoverport. Unlike most seaside piers in the UK, the pier does not extend very far out to sea and instead goes along the coast.
The pier was originally constructed and opened in 1861 by the Prince and Princess of Wales and boasted a regular ferry service to the Isle of Wight. It was damaged by air raids during World War II and was reopened in its current form on 1 June 1961 after being rebuilt by local architects AE Cogswell & Sons and R Lewis Reynish.
Low cloud grey skies and drizzle.
This sizeable two bedroom apartment situated on the seventh floor of the ever popular Fastnet House is offered with no onward chain and the option of a new 999 year lease as well as a share of the freehold. With panoramic views over The Solent towards the Isle Of Wight and Spinnaker Tower, situated in a central location and close to all amenities, this lovely apartment offers luxury living for any prospective buyer. With lift access, the apartment comprises; entrance hallway, a large lounge diner with box bay window boasting stunning sea views across the city and The Solent, master bedroom with built in wardrobes and sea views over The Solent, a spacious second bedroom, fitted kitchen with breakfast bar and a recently updated modern shower room.
On The Market £365,000
We are fully stocked with house coal, smokeless coal, kindling and fire lighters, fire grates, companion sets and fire tools.
Christmas lights have also arrived.
Coal Exchange – Peter and Dawn welcome you to their traditional pub in the heart of Emsworth adjacent to the public car park in South Street and close to the harbour.
Lillywhite Bros Ltd is a family run business established over 60 years ago in Emsworth, which is ideally located between Portsmouth and Chichester. It is currently run by brothers Paul and Mike who continue to keep up with modern techniques and equipment, as well as maintaining their traditional values and high standard of customer service.
Next thing you know I’m in Pagham, having become very lost somewhere between there and here, asking for directions from the newsagents and buying a bottle of Oasis.
The newsagent was mildly amused by lack of map, sense and/or sensibility.
I spent many happy hours here in my youth playing the slots with The King.
We would stay here in Tamarisk with my Aunty Alice and Uncle Arthur and Smudge the cat, an idyllic railway carriage shack two rows back from the pebbled seashore.
We would enjoy a shandy at the King’s Beach with Lydia, Wendy and David.
All gone it seems.
On to Bognor a B&B and a brew – a brief glimpse into my luxury lifestyle.
I’ll take an overcast Monday evening stroll along the prom, where I chanced to meet two landlocked Chinese lads, gazing amazed at the sea – they were on a course in Chichester learning our own particular, peculiar ways.
There was no-one else around.
Who can resit the obvious allure of the novelty item?
Or an Art Deco garage fascia.
Fitzleet House was built in the 1960s architects: Donald Harwin & Partners, it consists of seventy four flats, fifteen of them are in a three-storey block next to the main building.
PS&B are pleased to offer this sixth floor flat which is situated conveniently close to the town centre and within close proximity of the sea front. The accommodation is newly refurnbished and is offered unfurnished with south/west facing lounge with small balcony with far reaching views to the sea. Kitchen and bathroom with shower over bath and one double bedroom. Further benefiting from having modern electric heating and double glazing, telephone entry system, lift to all floors, communal sky dish and white goods. With regret no pets and no children – £685 rental is payable calendar monthly in advance.
For many years, a gentleman called Todd Sweeney collected sunshine statistics from the roof of Fitzleet House, which were then forwarded to the Met Office in London to assist with national statistics, and in 1983 one group of Cubs arranged a special tea party on the roof of the building as part of the national tea-making fortnight.
Highlight of the day or any day for that matter the Health Centre.
Paul English Conservative Felpham East – asked about the life span of the building given it was built in the 1960s, describing it as ‘incredibly old’.
Mr Clavell-Bate replied – NHS Property Services say it is structurally sound, it has a life expectancy going forward.
I was looking forward to going forward Wetherspoon’s – ideologically unsound going forward, with hindsight.
Let’s take a last late night stroll along the promenade.
From the early part of the Twentieth Century trams and then buses stopped and started in Mersey Square, affording limited succour, space or shelter for the weary traveller.
View from the Fire Station Tower.
View from the Plaza Steps.
The land where the bus station currently stands was then owned and used by North Western Buses – a rather large and uncultivated plot.
Work began in April 1979 on a brand new bus station, the first stage finally opening on March 2nd 1982.
Slowly emerging from the rough ground – a series of glass and steel boxes worthy of that master of minimalism Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a Neue Nationalgalerie in miniature.
Photographs from Stockport Image Archive
It has stood and withstood the winds of change and perfidious public transport policy, the privatisation of the service, snatched greedily from local authority control.
Passengers have met and parted, whilst buses of every hue and stripe have departed from these draughty boxes.
Photograph from Victory Guy
There are now plans for imminent demolition and rebuilding – shaping a transport hub fit for the Twenty First Century – Space Age forms for a brave new world.
A new £42m transport interchange in Stockport town centre has taken a step forward after the local council agreed key measures to back the project.
April 9th 2017 here is my photographic record of the Bus Station, I’ve been, gone and come back again countless times through the years.
Once there was a river there, formed by the thunder of Irish Sea ice gouging a great glacial valley, bowling along boulders and millstone grit through phyllosilicate clays and sedimentary sandstone.
Then there wasn’t.
The Mersey, formed in Stockport as the Tame and Goyt conjoined, inconveniently filled with industrial grime and mire, then conveniently covered over in 1936.
Creating the thoroughly modern thoroughfare Merseyway.
The giant concrete culvert and bridge leaving the river cowering cautiously below.
Of time and a river – little stands still and the town is whisked briskly into the late Twentieth Century with plans for a pedestrianised precinct.
Completed and opened in 1965 the shopping precinct was concrete poetry in motion, incorporating the surrounding topography and extant architecture with grace and aplomb. Combining retail, restaurants and car parking facilities in a manner that critic Ian Nairn considered to be amongst the finest in the land.
We had travelators, integrated paving, street furniture, and lighting across several levels. A carefully considered whole, combining all that was best in modern design with style, élan and panache – along with Freeman, Hardy and Willis.
A clock tower, an Alan Boyson concrete car park screen and public art.
Would that it was still so, a variety of additions and subtractions have left Merseyway in architectural limbo, concrete legs akimbo across the river below, striding towards the future in a more than somewhat bewildered manner.
Yet we still continue cast our eyes upwards towards a clock that isn’t there, ride a non-existent walkway to the sky, try on an imaginary crop-top in C&A’s Clockhouse.
Photographs Stockport Image Archive
Neither wrought from purest ivory, nor containing some woe begotten, long gone, misplaced Rapunzel, but conceived as a democratic symbol of a new age of concrete, brick and steel.
Frederick Gibberd’s almost triumphal tower interlocks zig-zag diamonds of cast concrete upwards towards a silently clicking clock, at the head of the Chrisp Street Market.
Lewis Mumford wrote of the adjoining Lansbury Estate:
Its design has been based not solely on abstract aesthetic principles, or on the economics of commercial construction, or on the techniques of mass production, but on the social constitution of the community itself, with its diversity of human interests and human needs.
I was privileged to ascend the internal staircase, once open to the public – now reserved for high days, holidays and nosey northern interlopers. Having mildly vertiginous inclinations when so inclined, I gingerly went up in the world and leaned out to take the air and the view.
And this is what I saw.