190 Wilmslow Rd, Heald Green, Cheadle SK8 3BH
The original Long Lane Post Office is still there but not here:
However – I digress.
One fine day, some time ago there popped into my consciousness a Sixties retail mosaic in the Heald Green area – I tracked down its precise whereabouts online, in the modern manner.
Thinks – one fine day, just you wait and see I’ll pay a visit to the Heald Green area.
So today I did, it started off fine and finished up less so.
Jumped the 368 from Stockport Bus Station alighted at The Griffin.
Walked aways up the road and there it was, almost intact – it’s original name obliterated with lilac exterior emulsion – did it once read healds?
Why of course it did – the local dairy and retailers were the shop’s original owners.
A few tesserae are missing otherwise the piece is as was – a wobbly jumble of text, shape and colour.
Self service – at your service.
William Walton’s and Sons – 152 Stamford Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 6AD
Founded in 1832 – when Stamford Street looked a lot like this.
Much has changed during the ensuing years, Walton’s it seems has not.
On Monday 24th October 2011 I had the privilege of meeting current owners Margaret and Dave, spending time chatting and taking photographs.
They tell their own tale – take a look.
A Moebius Band of motorway formerly known as the M63 wraps and warps itself around the city, ever so conveniently linking the traffic of Greater Manchester with itself.
Ever so conveniently it passes through Stockport – only moments from my home.
Before the white man came.
The view from Princes Street along Hatton Street – towards Heaton Norris Rec.
A boon to the modern day motorist, though happily the modern day pedestrian is also catered for in the form of the Hatton Street Footbridge – linking Great Egerton Street below, with Heaton Norris Recreation ground above.
Images TS Parkinson – Stockport Image Archive
For the past two years the footbridge has been inconveniently closed, during the development of the Redrock Leisure Facility, built on the site of the former car park, in the foreground of the image above. Thus prohibiting the passage from the Post Modern world of the big brash entertainment box, to the leafy cobbled street beyond.
The Hatton Street footbridge has two spans of in-situ u-section deck, is at ground level on the north side, but is reached by steps or ramp from Great Egerton Street on the south.
William B Ball
I’m ever so pleased that access has been reinstated, from me it is both fully functional yet imbued with an elegant concrete sculptural grace, worthy of Niemeyer or Lasdun.
So take a walk on the slightly higher side, either way you win.
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.
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.
Glynwed formerly Allied Ironfounders, the manufacturer of gas appliances, the humble Rayburn and the infamous stuff of sagas the Aga.
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.
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.
The sleek Modernist lines of the Allied Ironfounders’ showpiece contrasts with the conditions of the work force manufacturing the grates and Agas.
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.
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!
And lo, it came to pass, let construction commence.
Simply add a few decorative embellishments courtesy of the Direct Works’ pavoirs.
You have built it and now they will come:
Little did you know you had created a punk rock icon.
Featured on the cover of fanzine Ghast Up #3 – many thanks to MDMA
Many thanks to the Tameside Image Archive
Why are we here?
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.
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: