St Vincent de Paul – Rochdale

Caldershaw Road Norden Rochdale OL12

Well it’s almost a mighty long way to cycle from Stockport to here, but well worth it.

A clear functional design of the 1970s, designed to place all the internal focus on the top-lit altar, which beneath its modern cladding incorporates a pre-Reformation altar stone. The external appearance of the church is slightly forbidding but the interior is enhanced by vibrant slab glass.

More than somewhat bunker like in its recessed situation, well below street level, yet interesting and engaging nonetheless – I’m rather fond of grey.

Working around the comings and goings of the adjacent school, I half circumnavigated the site, capturing something of the detail and exterior views of the stained glass. The interior will have to wait until another day.

Planned and newly constructed housing developments in Norden and Bamford made it apparent that a new church was needed nearer the geographical centre of the parish. In June 1975 the present church of St Vincent de Paul was opened, nearly a mile away from the old church. The architect was Bernard Ashton of the Cassidy & Ashton Partnership, Preston.

Internally the church is simply fitted with plain white plastered or boarded walls. The low level of daylighting enhances the effect of the four corner windows, which are filled with rainbow glass, and of the top-lit altar. The dalle de verre glass was designed by Eddie Blackwell and made in Dom. Charles Norris’s workshop at Buckfast Abbey. The figure of the risen Christ on the roof over the entrance porch were also designed by Blackwell.

Taking Stock

San Remo Coffee Bar – Rochdale

Sanremo or San Remo is a city on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in north-western Italy. Founded in Roman times, it has a population of 57,000, and is known as a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera. It hosts numerous cultural events, such as the Sanremo Music Festival and the Milan–San Remo cycling classic.

Rochdale is a market town in Greater Manchester, England, positioned at the foothills of the South Pennines on the River Roch, 5.3 miles north-northwest of Oldham, and 9.8 miles  north-northeast of the city of Manchester. Rochdale is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, population 211,699. Rochdale is the largest settlement and administrative centre, with a total population of 107,926. Home to the Cooperative Movement, Rochdale AFC and a redundant cotton industry.

The two towns come together at 27 Drake Street, Rochdale, Lancashire OL161RX, home to a fine café and Italian born Tony and family. It has a well preserved menu that reflects industrial Lancastrian tastes rather than flavours of Liguria. It has an internal decorative order that is pure mid century a la mode – Pennine Style. Several more than several signs leave you in no doubt as to the availability of pies, pies with chips/potatoes, peas, gravy, veg – pies of all varieties, pies.

So pie, chips, peas and gravy it was, with a mug of tea – it always is.

Pop in say Buongiorno!

DSC_0069

DSC_0071

P1140277

DSC_0039 copy

DSC_0041

DSC_0043

DSC_0044

DSC_0050

DSC_0051

DSC_0053

DSC_0056

DSC_0059

DSC_0064

P1140278

P1140280

P1140282

P1140283

P1140287

P1140288

P1140289

P1140290

P1140294

P1140295

P1140296

P1140297

P1140298

P1140300

P1140302

P1140308

Seven Sisters – Return to Rochdale

I’ve passed this way before, they’re hard to miss, seven substantial tower blocks towering over the town on College Bank.

But what goes up, may come down.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 13.53.11

Construction in 1963

Demolition in 2017 is one suggestion – following years of poor maintenance, problems of heating and ingress, plus a whole host of other reasons outlined here.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 13.50.02

The housing trust in consultation with residents, have produced a tentative plan.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 13.50.49

This may or may not include the demolition of one or more blocks. On the day of my visit, the tenants I spoke with understood that the blocks faced an uncertain future, and were rightly concerned by the rumours and conjecture. The majority would prefer to stay put, having lived there for several years, raising families and building  homes.

Whatever the outcome I hope that the wishes of the residents are not overwhelmed by political expedience, or the will of the developer.

Take a look for yourself.

P1140328 copy

P1140335 copy

P1140337 copy

P1140339 copy

P1140340 copy

P1140346 copy

P1140347 copy

P1140348 copy

P1140350 copy

P1140351 copy

P1140353 copy

P1140355 copy

P1140356 copy

P1140358 copy

P1140362 copy

P1140370 copy

P1140372 copy

P1140374 copy

P1140444 copy

P1140445 copy

 

Lower Falinge – Rochdale

Walking between College Bank flats and St Patrick’s church you and I will almost inevitably pass through Lower Falinge.

In April 1967 Rochdale Council’s Estates Committee considered a proposal to build 750 dwellings in four-storey deck access flats in the Falinge area. By November the £1,810,000 scheme for the area bounded by Spotland Road, Hudson Street and Toad Lane was given the thumbs up.

C_71_article_515340_body_articleblock_0_bodyimage

The four-storey development was to provide 527 dwellings with deck access, ramps and overheard walkways. It was planned so people could walk from any point in the area to another without having to return to ground level. Work began in early 1968 and was completed in three stages. More recently they have been up-graded and now have pitched roofs. Freehold Flats were built in the early 1970s. Eleven of the eventual 19 blocks were occupied by August 1971. 

Redevelopment_in_Falinge,_Rochdale,_Lancashire_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1395299

Built at a time when full employment was a tangible reality rather than a fondly recounted folk memory, the area was buoyant and relatively prosperous.

Time, the free market, and casualised labour has not been kind to Lower Falinge and many other post-industrial estates. The Thatcherite press conveniently badges the residents as scum, scroungers and frauds, a carefully conceived sleight of hand, transferring responsibility onto those careless enough to become the victims of an uncaring economic system.

scroungers_headlines_lg

Demonising and dividing working people regardless of ethnicity, ability, sexuality or ability – the equal opportunities abuser.

A few years ago there was even a national news story about a Falinge café serving fry-ups with a can of Stella for £2.50, this was untrue.

So Lower Falinge and its like become the convenient exemplar for the inconvenience of Broken Britain, a PR device to whitewash the very dirty hands that authored its very dirty demise. Those very dirty hands that have no viable solution to a very real problem, of resolving poor peoples’ uncertain futures.

Meanwhile the journalists form a disorderly queue to file the next in line, online assessment of an awful situation devoid of resolution, short of revolution.

2008826_152139

2016126_162425

Transferred from local authority control to charitable trust, forever shape shifting its hard lines to a softer, home made, fluffier image as limited resources, chase limited opportunities, all around the deck access landings.

Life goes on, we live in hope or Lower Falinge.

Limbo-5880

Mishka Henner

The estate is now post-post modern, acquiring another veneer of refurbishment over the now tarnished green of the cover all, all purpose un-repurposed steel railings.

P1140380

P1140381

P1140382

P1140383

P1140384

P1140385

P1140386

P1140387

P1140388

P1140397

P1140399

P1140401

P1140403

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