The North’s gone west.
We all went west.
Excepting one individualist nurse.
I went west with my dad in 1958.
Now I’m going east to Dalton Street, home to the Collyhurst cowboy.
Photograph: Dennis Hussey
This is an illusion within an illusion, twice removed.
The Hollywood recreation, recreated on the rough ground of post war Britain.
In 1960 the area was a dense network of streets, industry and homes – demolished during the period of slum clearance.
Escaping the dark, dank Irk Valley onwards and upwards to Rochdale Road.
The Dalton Works Arnac factory survived until 2008
The tight maze of Burton Street and beyond, reduced to rubble.
Dalton Street was not home to the Dalton Gang, they lived here in Oklahoma
It was home to imaginary gangs, committing imaginary crimes, in an imaginary Manchester, in ITV’s Prime Suspect Five.
Kangol capped criminals doing business outside the Robert Tinker on the corner of the very real Dalton and Almond Streets.
The Robert Tinker was an estate pub in a run down area of Collyhurst. The pub looked pretty grim from the outside, but it was smarter than I expected inside, I had a drink in the lounge which was carpeted and comfortable. This was a Banks’s tied house and there were two real ales on the bar, I had a drink of Banks’s bitter and this was a decent drink, the other beer was Banks’s mild. This pub closed about two years after my visit and looked derelict, it has now been demolished.
Robert Tinker was the owner of the Vauxhall Gardens, a Victorian pleasure venue.
At the opening there was a special attraction, a giant cucumber which had been grown in the gardens reaching a length of seven feet and eight inches and a large and beautiful balloon was to be liberated at 9pm
It was built adjoining the site of the Collyhurst Sandstone Quarry.
Much of the red sandstone used for building in Manchester and the surrounding area, including stone for the Roman fort at Castlefield, St Ann’s Church in the city centre, Manchester Cathedral and the original buildings of Chetham’s Hospital, came from Collyhurst Quarry. Geologists use the term Collyhurst Sandstone for this type of soft red sandstone, which occurs in North West England
Tinker died in 1836 and gradually his gardens were whittled away, the subsoil was sold to iron moulders who cherished its certain properties and before long the trees were chopped down and houses were being built on the former site.
Those houses are in their turn whittled away, replaced in the 1960’s with fashionable tower blocks.
Architects: J Austen Bent 1965
In total five thirteen storey blocks – Humphries, Dalton, Roach, Vauxhall and Moss Brook Courts
Seen here in 1985.
Subsequently purchased by Urban Splash and refurbished:
Designed by Union North Architects, the names for the Three Towers were decided in a public competition and the winning names were Emmeline, Christabel and Sylvia – naming the towers after the Pankhurst sisters and their mother.
Currently being record to see post Grenfell regulations.
As the terraces were cleared new low-rise social housing also arrived.
All archival photographs Manchester Local Image Collection unless otherwise stated.
Along with maisonettes adjoining Eastford Square
Photograph: Stuart Collins 2014 – demolished 2015
The remains of the remaining Eastford Square homes tinned up and secured awaiting who knows what.
So let’s take a short walk, see how things stand.
The area now forms the core of the latest municipal Masterplan – Victoria North.
Victoria North is a joint venture programme between Manchester City Council and developer Far East Consortium.
An internationally recognised developer, FEC specialises in residential led mixed-use developments and hotels, along with its casino and car park operations throughout mainland Europe.
The cowboys are now long gone – or are they?
When I was a cowboy out on the Western Plain
Well, I made a half a million
Working hard on the bridle reins
Come a cow-cow yicky come a cow-cow yicky, Harpurhey