Return To Palmerston Street – Beswick

Having traced a lengthy history of the shortish Palmerston Street – I returned to take a snapshot of the current state of affairs.

So much has gone an Art Museum, Lads Club, churches, homes, schools, industry and pubs – much of this now indistinct scrubland, fenced and walled, neither use nor ornament, save as an unofficial wildlife garden for feather, fowl and flower.

There  are small groups of more recent housing developments with the promise of more on the way, though this as ever is contentious – the story of conflicted interests betwixt and between developer, local authority and the would be affordable homes and their occupants.

The council says – Manchester’s Affordable Housing Programme will ensure more than 2,200 homes by March 2021 through a £250m programme funded through a variety of sources including Homes England grant funding, Council borrowing and land or property sales and Registered Providers. The Council is also backing the programme through the release of suitable council-owned land.

Which seems barely adequate to meet the needs of those on lower incomes.

The Guardian says – Of the 61 big residential developments granted planning permission by Manchester city council’s planning committee in 2016 and 2017, not one of the 14,667 planned flats or houses met the government’s definition of affordable, being neither for social rent nor offered at 80% of the market rate.

Manchester has changed, constantly changed – often overlooking the needs of its citizens to the north and east of the city. The areas crippled by recession, deindustrialisation and demolition have yet to see the benefits of the city’s recent regeneration.

What was once a community overflowing with rough and tumble, hustle and bustle, now seems to have become a contested area for match day parking and non-existent urban renewal.

Let’s take a look down Palmerston Street.

P1280052

P1280053

P1280060

 

P1280063

P1280064

P1280082

P1280093

P1280096

P1280097

P1280098

 

P1280103

P1280104

P1280106

P1280108

P1280110

P1280112

P1280114

P1280115

P1280118

P1280119

P1280121

P1280123

P1280127

Palmerston Street – Beswick Manchester

To begin at the beginning – some years ago I traced the route of the River Medlock, I chanced upon a forlorn pub called The River, all alone, desolate and boarded up, presiding over an area that I assumed, would once have supplied ample trade to a busy boozer.

I returned last week in search of some rhyme or reason, for such a seemingly sad and untimely decline.

So here we are back at in Manchester 1813, the seeds of the Industrial Revolution sewn in adjacent Ancoats, the fields of Beswick still sewn with seeds, the trace of Palmerston Street nought but a rural track.

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 15.25.02

Sited on land between Great Ancoats Street and Every Street was Ancoats Hall, a post-medieval country house built in 1609 by Oswald Mosley, a member of the family who were Lords of the Manor of Manchester. The old timber-framed hall, built in the early 17th century, and demolished in the 1820s was replaced replaced by a brick building in the early neo-Gothic style.

1-P1100618

This would become the Manchester Art Museum, and here the worst excesses Victorian Capitalism were moderated by philanthropy and social reform.

When the Art Museum opened, its rooms, variously dedicated to painting, sculpture, architecture and domestic arts, together attempted to provide a chronological narrative of art, with detailed notes, labels and accompanying pamphlets and, not infrequently, personal guidance, all underlining a sense of historical development.

m08910-ancoats-old-hall-manchester-archives-photo-by-anderton

Housing and industry in the area begins to expand, railways, tramways, homes and roads are clearly defined around the winds of the river.

1870

In 1918 the museum was taken over by the city, it closed in 1953 and its contents were absorbed into the collection of Manchester City Art Gallery, as the State increasingly took responsibility for the cultural well being of the common folk.

ancoatshall-1964

The building was finally demolished in the 1960’s – just as the area, by now a dense warren of back to back terraces, was to see further change.

map

Along the way was the the River Inn, seen here with a fine Groves and Whitnall’s faience tiled frontage.

webmedia-4.php

The street also offered rest, relaxation and refreshment through the Church, Pineapple and Palmerston pubs, as recored here on the Pubs of Manchester blog.

Church Palmerston

Pineapple Palmerston St

webmedia.php copy

The River seen here in the 1970’s struggled on until 2007.

webmedia-2

Further along we find the Ardwick Lads Club, further evidence of the forces of social reform, that sadly failed to survive the forces of the free market and the consequent Tory cuts in public spending and wilful Council land-banking.

The Ardwick Lads’ and Mens’ Club, now the Ardwick Youth Centre, opened in 1897 and is believed to be Britain’s oldest purpose-built youth club still in use [and was until earlier in 2012]. Designed by architects W & G Higginbottom, the club, when opened, featured a large gymnasium with viewing gallery – where the 1933 All England Amateur Gymnastics Championships were held – three fives courts, a billiard room and two skittle alleys (later converted to shooting galleries). Boxing, cycling, cricket, swimming and badminton were also organised. At its peak between the two world wars, Ardwick was the Manchester area’s largest club, with 2,000 members.

44551888

On the 10th September 2012 an application for prior notification of proposed demolition was submitted on behalf of Manchester City Council to Manchester Planning, for the demolition of Ardwick Lads’ Club  of 100 Palmerston Street , citing that there was “no use” for the building in respect to its historic place within the community as providing a refuge and sporting provision to the young of Ancoats.

At the top turn of the street stood St Mary’s – the so called Lowry church.

marys

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 14.43.17

Used as a location for the film adaptation of Stan Barstow’s A Kind Of Loving

st mary's

nr003658-54_1

The homes and industry attendant schools and pubs were soon to become history, all that you see here is more or less gone. Slum clearance, the post-war will to move communities away from the dense factory smoke, poor housing stock and towards a bright shiny future elsewhere.

Whole histories have subsequently been subsumed beneath the encroachment of buddleia, bramble, birch and willow.

hillkirk

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 14.44.39

webmedia-3.php

webmedia-1.php

webmedia-2.php

webmedia-6.php

webmedia-7.php

webmedia.php

The land now stands largely unused and overgrown, awaiting who knows what, but that’s another tale for another day.

Archive images from the Manchester Local Image Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

On The Waterfront – Llandudno

A welwyd eisoes.

I’ve been here before, as have others before me.

The town of Llandudno developed from Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements over many hundreds of years on the slopes of the limestone headland, known to seafarers as the Great Orme and to landsmen as the Creuddyn Peninsula.

Some years later.

In 1848, Owen Williams, an architect and surveyor from Liverpool, presented landowner Lord Mostyn with plans to develop the marshlands behind Llandudno Bay as a holiday resort. These were enthusiastically pursued by Lord Mostyn. The influence of the Mostyn Estate and its agents over the years was paramount in the development of Llandudno, especially after the appointment of George Felton as surveyor and architect in 1857.

4358C48B00000578-0-image-m-113_1503056487584

The edge of the bay is marked by concrete steps and a broad promenade, edging a pebbled beach which arcs from Orme to Orme.

Walk with me now and mark the remarkable shelters, paddling pools and bandstand screens, along with the smattering of people that people the promenade.

P1270521

P1270522

P1270445

P1270447

P1270448

P1270449

P1270450

P1270453

P1270456

P1270458 1

P1270460 1

P1270461

P1270463

P1270465

P1270466

P1270467

P1270469

P1270470

P1270471

P1270473

P1270476

P1270477

P1270481

P1270482

P1270484

P1270485

Underpass – Scarborough

I’ve been here before.

In and out of the underpass from shore to mighty sea.

I’ve come back again, fascinated by the barely illuminated utilitarian infrastructure that seems so rarely used, alone in world of my own.

Take a closer walk and look with me.

The light at the end the tunnel is another tunnel.

P1260862

P1260863

P1260864

P1260865

P1260866

P1260867

P1260868

P1260869

P1260870

P1260871

P1260872

P1260873

P1260874

P1260875

P1260877

 

P1260879

P1260880

P1260881

P1260885

P1260890

P1260951 copy

Underpass – Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes synonymous with something or other, the town where everything is an off centre out of town centre, where anything was new once.

A broad grid of boulevards, sunken super-highways and an extended series of balletic roundabouts swirls the cars around.

Beneath this merry carbon hungry dance, we find the cyclist and pedestrian, the self propelled underclass passing through the underpass.

During my eight hour non-stop walking tour I encountered several – here they are, home to the homeless – others somewhat desolate and deserted, grass between the paving stones, the occasional casual tag and discarded can.

P1260103

P1260104

P1260129

P1260179

P1260180

P1260181

P1260207

P1260232

P1260234

P1260263

P1260264

P1260394

P1260395

P1260396

P1260397

P1260405

P1260406

Taylor Street Gorton – The Pineapple

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 17.33.47

To begin at the beginning or thereabouts, Taylor Street was at the heart of Gorton to the east of Manchester city centre.

webmedia-1.php

webmedia-2.php

webmedia-3.php

webmedia-6.php

webmedia-7.php

webmedia-8.php

webmedia-9.php

webmedia-10.php

webmedia.php

A typical street of tightly packed brick terraces, dotted with shops, pubs, people and industry. I worked there as van lad for Mother’s Pride bread back in the 70s and saw those shops, pubs, people and industry slowly disappear.

Beyer Peacock whose immense shed dominated the northern end of the street, simply ceased to be, as steam gave way to diesel.

As full employment gave way to a date with the dole.

Adsega opening on nearby Cross Street heralded the arrival of the super fast, self-service supermarket, and sounded the death knell of the cosy corner cupboard.

398912_3820026268527_1203084936_n

The local pub was The Bessemer – its name forging an unbreakable link with the surrounding steel industry, that eventually broke.

webmedia-5.php

To the left of the pub is the Bishop Greer High School construction site  – the first of the new build that would later dominate the area, along with wide open spaces where shops, pubs, people and industry once were.

12932970_10154152981641600_8757469207112330278_n

webmedia.php copy

webmedia-1.php copy

When the school eventually shut its doors, it became an annex of Openshaw Technical College, and I found myself working there in the 80s at the East Manchester Centre, until its eventual closure.

It’s now sheltered accommodation for the lost and lonely:

Located in a quiet suburb of Manchester with excellent links to the city centre, Gorton Parks has an exceptional range of facilities spread out across five separate houses, each offering a different care option. Melland House offers dementia residential care, Abbey Hey provides nursing dementia care, Debdale is the house for intermediate nursing care and Sunny Brow offers general nursing care.

We sought solace in The Pineapple.

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 17.33.25

The streets were trimmed and slimmed, much of the past a mere ghostly presence, almost imprinted on the present.

A brave new world of brand new modern housing, with an Estate Pub to match.

The_Pineapple,_Gorton

A busy bustling boozer – lots of live and local action for the lively locals, latterly seeing out time as a house of House – a real bangin’ Bashment, bass-man bargain basement.

Until time is finally called – no more four to the floor, last one out shut the door.

1512347_516327525148853_492482006_n

Nothing lasts forever and a sign of the times is an upended pub sign, lying dormant in the dust.

The Chunky no longer a great big hunk o’funk.

10 Gorton pineapple pub

The big screen TV forever failing to deliver all the action, live or otherwise.

P1050836

p1050838.jpg

Latterly transformed into Dribble Drabble.

DSC_0074

And so the beat goes on as successive waves of success and recession, boom and bust free-market economics, wash over the nation and its long suffering folk.

Its enough to drive you to drink.

Ford Lane – Northenden

And so our journey continues, leaving behind the semi-detached haven of East Didsbury.

Once again graciously greeting Mr Henry Simon and his wondrous footbridge across the Mersey – the greenest of structures on the greyest of days.

No more fords and/or ferries, say goodbye to wet feet.

webmedia-12.php

We are down by the river, a place of pleasure and practical workaday goings on – on our way to Northenden.

Northenden was mentioned as Norwordine in the Domesday Book of 1086; its name came from Anglo-Saxon Norþ-worþign – north enclosure. It was then a small farming community with a manor house and woodland.

Northenden is on a major crossing place of the Mersey on the salt road from Cheshire to Manchester. The ford was an important way into and out of and into Manchester, in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army built a troop-bridge out of big poplar tree trunks where the B5095 now crosses the Mersey, south of Didsbury, in his abortive attempt to seize the crown of England.

The Northenden ford was unusual because its northern and southern ends were not opposite each other, but people using the ford had to wade about 500 feet along the riverbed. The Simon’s Bridge was built at the ford in 1901 to help access to Poor’s Field, and the rent from this field was used by the church to buy blankets and clothes for the needy.

webmedia-9.php

Little is known of Northenden’s Saxon origins other than that it was one of the few disembarkation points on the Mersey flood plain between Stockport and Stretford. A church was recorded here in the Domesday book of 1086. The village has grown in importance since 1641, when a ferry boat for crossing the River Mersey was installed. In 1642 a ford was also constructed, hence the names Boat Lane and Ford Lane. There was a water mill and, it is rumoured, a public house. The plan form of the village was established with properties being built along the two lanes, which intersected near the church.

webmedia-8.php

Little change occurred for the next two centuries until, by the mid 19th century, market gardens in and around the village supplied food for the rapidly expanding population of Manchester. The only routes to the City were via the ferry boat or the ford until, in 1862, Palatine Road was opened and provided a bridge crossing. Northenden was still a rural village and, towards the turn of the century, good quality semi-detached houses were built for clerks and managers who were able to commute to Manchester on the horse-drawn bus and the tram.

In the 1940s the new suburb of Wythenshawe was largely completed, and by then Northenden’s rural character had gone. Palatine Road was developed for shopping and other commercial uses, and slum clearance removed many of the village’s early cottages around the church.

The water mill, which had provided a flour-milling service for a wide area, survived until the 1950s. It was situated on the banks of the Mersey where the weir, to create the change in water level and power the machinery, is still in existence.

Northenden Conservation Area

Ford Lane affords a rural route twixt suburban settlements, tree lined and river-run.

Once the province of pleasure gardens, cruisers, boaters.

And wrestlers.

webmedia-10.php

webmedia-7.php

manchester-northenden-1901-old-antique-vintage-print-picture-MHNWCF

The lane is home to several listed buildings – the most prominent being St Wilfrids – the oldest part of the church is the tower, the rest having been rebuilt in 1873–76 by J. S. Crowther. The new part of the church is built in sandstone from Alderley Edge, with slate roofs, and is in Perpendicular style.

church

The Old Rectory and Northern House both mid to late 18th century, form a group of notable homes clustered around St Wilfrids.

webmedia-5.php

webmedia-6.php

webmedia-2.php

webmedia-13-php.jpeg

Also in close proximity were a number of public houses – most notably The Tatton Arms.

Built in 1873 by the Tatton family and originally known as The Boat House.

webmedia.php copy

webmedia-2.php copy

s-l1600

Closed in 2007 and still standing, still awaiting proposed redevelopment into an apartment complex.

1908

The Church Inn built in 1897 closed in 2006 – burnt out left for dead eventually refurbished into flats.

Spread Eagle Royle

The Spread Eagle built to replace an old pub of the same name, the Spread Eagle was the second estate-style boozer on Royle Green Road, and it outlasted the Jolly Carter by almost a decade – long gone, following a shooting in 2008, the site now developed as housing.

Happily The Crown is still standing and still serving – cyclists and walkers welcome!

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 08.12.25

This was once my way to work, Stockport to Northenden each and every day, the river on occasion liable to flood  – foolishly I cycled the Mersey in Spate, against the current clinging to the handrail, up to my axles in the raging torrent.

ManMerseyFlood0Y06

I lived to tell the tale.

Photographs from the Manchester Local Image Collection