Hyde Road was a football stadium in West Gorton, Manchester, England.
It was home to Manchester City FC and their predecessors, from its construction in 1887 until 1923, when the club moved to Maine Road.
Billy Gillespie on the ball.
Before its use as a football ground, the site was an area of waste ground, and in its early days the ground had only rudimentary facilities. The first stand was built in 1888, but the ground had no changing facilities until 1896; players had to change in a nearby public house, the Hyde Road Hotel.
As a Chester’s house, a condition of the club’s official link to the pub was that supporters and club officials and players would sup Chesters ales, and in return Stephen Chesters Thompson of the brewery helped finance stadium improvements.
The move of MCFC to Maine Road in 1923 following a fire at the Hyde Road ground, didn’t adversely affect the Hyde Road Hotel and it continued to serve the West Gorton community and the once-bustling Hyde Road thoroughfare.
As late as the 1980s, renamed the City Gates, it was a popular watering hole before the match for supporters travelling in from East Manchester. It was kitted out in all sorts of MCFC memorabilia and was run by George Heslop, City legend of the 1960s, after he’d had the Royal George in town.
Sadly, as the community around it was decimated, the pub struggled and its last hurrah was as the City Gates theme pub. The business failed in 1989 and the pub sat empty and rotting for twelve years until it was demolished, despite a half-hearted fans campaign to save it. Two keystones from the Hyde Road Hotel reside in the MCFC memorial garden and are all that remain of this significant Manchester pub.
Sadly one of many Hyde Road pubs to bite the dust
By 1904 the ground had developed into a 40,000-capacity venue, hosting an FA Cup semi-final between Newcastle United and Sheffield Wednesday the following year.
The stands and terraces were arranged in a haphazard manner due to space constraints, and by 1920 the club had outgrown the cramped venue. A decision to seek an alternative venue was hastened in November 1920, when the Main Stand was destroyed by fire. Manchester City moved to the 80,000-capacity Maine Road in 1923, and Hyde Road was demolished shortly afterward. One structure from the ground is still in use in the 21st century, a section of roofing which was sold for use at The Shay, a stadium in Halifax.
Maine Road – which in turn closed on May 11th 2003, City losing 1-0 to Southampton
City are now at home at the Etihad – formerly the Commonwealth Games Stadium.
The area was also home to the Galloway Boiler Works – you can see the employees of 1900 here.
The northeastern end of City’s stadium was known as the Galloway End.
Bennett’s Iron Foundry also occupied the site – excavation of which, is currently taking place.
Bilclam furniture now sells for big money.
The foundry employed some of the club’s players, and the Galloway Boiler Works, supplied some of the materials to develop the Hyde Road ground.
I had always known the area as the Olympic Freight Depot – seen from the passing train.
I cycled by the other day and the containers are long gone – the site is being cleansed to a depth of two metres.
Loitering by the gates, I asked if I may take some snaps .
Please y’self – so I did.
So what’s next on the cards, for this little corner of local history – set twixt Bennett Street and Hyde Road?
New homes is on the cards – and on the hoardings.
Plans have been revealed for a 337-home development on the Olympic Freight depot in West Gorton.
Brought forward by Sheffield-based Ascena Developments, the planning application to Manchester City Council outlines proposals for 191 houses and 146 apartments, split across two blocks.
Alongside the homes, the development would include a 3,000 sq ft circular community centre and café, shop, and a unit which is earmarked for a chip shop.
Kellen Homes has been granted planning consent to redevelop the thirteen-acre Olympic Freight depot on Bennett Street in Manchester into 272 homes.
The developer, owned by Renaker founder Daren Whitaker, lodged plans for the West Gorton scheme last year following the withdrawal of an earlier and larger scheme drawn up by Sheffield-based Ascena Developments.
So no chip shop, I assume?
The site will require significant remediation, impacting the scheme’s viability, the report states.
As a result, no affordable housing is proposed.