Bus Station – Stockport

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.

22942

View from the Fire Station Tower.

10891

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.

pd hancock 78

Work began in April 1979 on a brand new bus station, the first stage finally opening on March 2nd 1982.

14406

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.

79

1979 copy

81

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 17.13.54

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.

Screen-Shot-2017-09-19-at-07.02.03

Untitled-1

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.

P1240456

P1240429

P1240431

P1240441

P1240445

P1240446

P1240447

P1240457

P1240459

P1240460

P1240462

P1240470

P1240472

P1240473

P1240474

P1240475

P1240476

P1240478

P1240479

P1240484

P1240485

P1240487

P1240488

P1240490

P1240507

P1240512

P1240514

P1240515

 

 

Allied Ironfounders – Audenshaw

As I walked out one morning, in search of an industrial access cover or two or more, I found more, much more, dug deeper, unearthed a can of worms, a murky past cast in cast iron.

This is the cover closest to my home on Didsbury Road Stockport, manufactured by Glynwed of Corporation Road Audenshaw, the closest foundry to my former school.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-17-55-59

Glynwed formerly Allied Ironfounders, the manufacturer of gas appliances, the humble Rayburn and the infamous stuff of sagas the Aga.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-18-34-01

the-story-behind-a-symbol-alied-ironfounders-front-cover-c-1950_600px

And the Meridian Grate – great! The foundry was also known as the Planet Works, the adjoining rough ground Planet Fields, where on wet winter days we would form a mud spattered procession of ragged schoolboys engaged in the joys of cross country running, over a factory’s spoil tip.

t07526

We never got to see the firm’s Mayfair showrooms, we never got to pass go – I guess it was just too far to run, cross country or otherwise.

21467-1-434-434-ffffff

21468-1-434-434-ffffff

The sleek Modernist lines of the Allied Ironfounders’ showpiece contrasts with the conditions of the work force manufacturing the grates and Agas.

t21844

t21854

t07525

So some fifty years and several miles separates me from my schooldays and my local gas inspection cover. Guess I’l just gas up the Thames Trader and head for the hills folks.

Yippie-aye-ay, yippie-aye-oh, ghost riders in the sky.

And underground.

 

Precinct – Ashton under Lyne

Possibly my first brush with modernism and modernity, the shopping precinct in Ashton under Lyne. Typically in the mid Sixties, British towns reinvented themselves as space age retail experiences, in stark contrast to their middle aged, Middle Aged market centre, market centred identity.

Out with the cobbles and stalls, in with the travelator, frothy coffee, concrete and a pedestrianised, undercover, all weather, super convenient haven of heavenly fun!

ashton precinct copy

And lo, it came to pass, let construction commence.

t01953

t01950

Simply add a few decorative embellishments courtesy of the Direct Works’ pavoirs.

12745520_10153983510951600_6512440473109429374_n

You have built it and now they will come:

Little did you know you had created a punk rock icon.

hires-10932

Featured on the cover of fanzine Ghast Up #3 – many thanks to MDMA

unknown

 

1936346_10153983510671600_316627603075249841_n-1

10264662_10153983511236600_4523373721109693617_n

10385434_10153983511291600_4613412642380719745_n

16602225_1570603029620874_2256672277170597802_o

10342461_10153983511146600_7512830533940401704_n

12728821_10153983510731600_7256812645345890936_n

12729035_10153983511066600_1320602826549288893_n

12742561_10153983511096600_5537488918949045366_n

12743866_10153983510701600_2875237727693899359_n

12744088_10153983510966600_242545068376562667_n

t03748

ashton precinct

precinct

Many thanks to the Tameside Image Archive

Ashton Moss – Expo 2025

Why are we here?

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 13.02.21

A heady cocktail of capital, coal, cotton, cultivation, commerce and cricket created you.

The end of the age of celery heralded the construction of a new landscape of consumption.

Spoil and soil from the cuttings of the M60, added to by Etihad detritus created an elevated mound some hundred feet in height, across an area of seventeen hectares.

Where are we going?

Playing golf has been permanently postponed, the proposed light industrial units were knocked back by local authority planning officers, and residents’ objections.

So let’s get off to the Expo!

I took myself off there, take a look around, get a feel for the place. Currently the province of rebel dog walkers and guerrilla gardeners, I was informed that the rights of way are regularly blocked by an employee of Cordingley’s Estate Agents, who closes the gaps in the perimeter fencing, subsequently photographing his wiry handiwork. The gaps are then promptly reopened and walkways reestablished.

P1080223

Short eared owls have been spotted.

I was told of the legend concerning Peg’s lantern – fearing for the well being of her son, Peg wanders the dark lanes in search of the errant offspring, later found drunk in a ditch.

This area is a locus of deep, deep energies and histories, monkey with it at your peril.

These are observations from a hill:

P1080237

P1080246

P1080239

P1080236

P1080219

P1080216

P1080207

P1080198

P1080197

P1080195

P1080194

P1080193

P1080191

P1080189

P1080184

P1080181

P1080179

 

Ashton Moss – Leisure and Light Industry

Absolute disgrace the food was disgusting and we’re we was sat it stunk of urine.

Never again will I go.

Welcome to the modern world, once home to the world’s finest celery, now home to the world’s worst online reviews.

The area, under cultivation for over a hundred years was bulldozed to one side, and left in a heap. The M60 arrived wiped its feet on the greensward  and awaited the expected redevelopment.

Welcome to the brand new shiny nowhere, the dual carriageway expanse of Robert Sheldon Way carries you away to a strikingly inevitable array of chains, human bondage has never appeared so  clean and bright.

Muse developments:

Good design is required as a key aspect of pursuing sustainable development indivisible from good planning. Good design involves seeking positive improvements in the quality of our built, natural and historic environment, addressing the connections between people and places.

 

P1080156

P1080157

P1080164

P1080167

P1080173

P1080256

P1080257

P1080259

P1080260

P1080261

P1080262

P1080271

P1080274

P1080275

P1080300

P1080301

P1080304

P1080320

P1080321

P1080328

Ashton Moss – The Past

oldmap03

To the east of Manchester and the west of Ashton sits The Moss.

This area of low lying, deep peaty bog, just outside Ashton-under Lyne, was drained in the mid 1800’s to grow some of the best crops – It was world famous for its celery but also grew good cabbage, cauliflowers and lettuce, with cucumbers and tomatoes grown in glasshouses.

This map of 1861 shows an area criss-crossed with lanes, ditches and field boundaries.

A world that survived into the 1980s, captured here so beautifully by Brian Lomas, prior to the building of the M60.

Photographs from – Tameside Image Archive

Then came the railways:

Map Cobb Guide Bridge area

2768061_a6170a1f

With an attendant ghost:

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 10.44.34

And telecommunications installation

ashton_moss-mp-04

Its location on the south east corner of the Lancashire Coalfield, and the burgeoning demands of the Industrial Revolution saw the further development of mining in the area.

As the demand for coal outstripped the output, a deeper mine was opened in 1875, at Ashton Moss. This new pit had its own railway branch and canal arm for efficient transportation of the coal. In 1882 a second shaft was sunk – at 2,850 feet, the deepest in the world at that time.

The New Rocher pit closed in 1887 and Broadoak pit closed in 1904, after which time Ashton Moss pit was the only coal mine still in operation in Ashton. Although it produced 150,000 tons of coal a year in the early 1950s and employed over 500 men, Ashton Moss colliery closed in 1959 and part of its site is now the Snipe Retail Park on the boundary with Audenshaw.

Seen here in this painting by local artist David Vaughan.

92-17-10055_468x382

Colliery lamp token.

Lancashire-ASHTON-MOSS-Snipe-Colliery-Lamp-Pit

This tight little island of land was a contrasting mix of the agricultural and industrial, home also to the urgent demands of a leisured and growing working class.

The area boasted two motorcycle speedway tracks.

One located on the Audenshaw side, just behind The Snipe pub.

4ad86de0f4341895f428a5536c6d5855-1

And one in Droylsden at the Moorside Stadium – home to local legend Riskit Riley:

riskit

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 12.19.30

The stadium later to become a horse trotting track, known locally as Doddy’s Trot

The Moss has also provided a home for Curzon Ashton football club

46077

And Ashton Cricket and Bowling Club.

1918_Prisoner_of_War_Fund

The cricket and the football have both survived the building of the Orbital Ring Road, and the development of the site as a light industrial, retail and leisure park.

The roar of Riskit Riley is heard no more.

Ashton Moss

Ashton Moss is an area I have known for some fifty years or so, my grandfather was a collier at the Ashton Moss Pit, I worked trains around the triangle of rail that encloses the area – I returned some time ago to take a look at what remained of a once fertile area.

This area of low lying, deep peaty bog, just outside Ashton-under Lyne, was drained in the mid 1800’s to grow some of the best crops – It was world famous for its celery but also grew good cabbage, cauliflowers and lettuce, with cucumbers and tomatoes grown in glasshouses. The ground was apparently fertilised by marl dug from local banks or pits, and by dung brought by horse and cart from the elephant and tiger enclosures at Belle Vue Zoo, down the road.

Four brothers of the Kelly family came from Ireland shortly after the Irish potato famine of 1840’s, settled on the Moss and still have a descendent selling fruit and vegetables on Ashton Market today.

The Moss is also where Bill Sowerbutts, of Gardener’s Question Time fame, learnt his trade. Bill’s first memories were of his Father’s smallholding on the Moss, which had been bought from a market gardener called Tommy Knight in 1892.

http://kindling.org.uk/digging-around-ashton-moss

The celery is long gone, the land now in use as a retail leisure park, intersected by the Manchester Orbital ring road, a Metrolink tram track, several dual carriageways and the existing rail network.

Its passing does not seem to be matter of record save for this archived account of 1989.

I read today of plans to set the 2025 World’s Fair there.

In January 2009 it looked like this, heaps of spoil, recently relocated slag heaps, frozen lakes and puddles, rough tracks, barely preserved rights of way and restricted access.

DSC_0001

DSC_0006

DSC_0007

DSC_0008

DSC_0010

DSC_0011

DSC_0013DSC_0016

DSC_0017

DSC_0018

DSC_0019

DSC_0020

DSC_0021

DSC_0022

DSC_0024

DSC_0025

DSC_0034

DSC_0037

DSC_0043

DSC_0047

DSC_0052