Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Boost for Etherow Country Park

Etherow Country Park in Compstall is looking at new ways to improve this very important heritage village. They have already had work done to restore the Old Pump House and winding gear and re-laid a cobbled path.

The Trust has been invited to discussions on how these objectives can be achieved.

The aim is to lift and preserve this 160 year old barge as well as safeguarding other industrial features of the area, also providing new information boards and better signs to help the public get the most out of the Park.

This is already a Green Flag Park and with the improvements intended will become even better.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Trust's Christmas party

Alan, Steve & MargaretOn Tuesday, Trust members and volunteers enjoyed a Christmas meal at the Old Rectory. A fitting location given the Trust's support for it's renovation from the original rectory and a timely reminder of it having one of the first blue plaques in Stockport, organised by the Trust and Boddingtons.

JeanI hope other members will add a few more photo's to this posting.

Jim & Margaret

Kevin & Coral

Bill & Lan

Anne, Catherin, Steve, Anthony & Paula

Council Pledges To Fight To Save South Reddish Station

[Council press release, 20/12/06]
Stockport Council pledged to save South Reddish Station from closure last night, as a Notice of Motion against Network Rail’s proposal was approved at the full Council meeting.

[Click here to see the full press release.

For a long time there has only been one passenger train a week, in one direction. It departs Stockport at 11:23 Saturday morning, passing through South Reddish (stopping on request only) at 11:27. It then calls at Denton, Guide Bridge before arriving at Stalybridge 11:44.

It keeps this line classified as a passenger line, not just freight, and reduces the tax to be paid by Network Rail, justifying the expense of the service.]

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Biggest landlord in Reddish" and owner of Broadstone Mill

[Excerpt from Manchester Evening News, 19/12/06]
KNICKER elastic, door bells, Maltese trouser pockets and refurbished shopping trolleys: grabbing bizarre business opportunities has become a way of life for Richard Sym.

[Click here for the full article.

Reminds me of the Neil Innes' song, Knicker Elastic King, .]

'Stress' argument sees mast application fail

[Excerpt from Stockport Express, 20/12/06]
STOCKPORT phone mast protesters have persuaded the council a mast application would be too stressful for residents with health problems.

The group opposed a bid from Orange to place a 12m monopole mast at the junction of Offerton Lane and Hempshaw Lane, in Offerton.

click here for the full article.

[This is unprecedented. While the safety of masts are far from proven, operators rely on the fact that they meet EU standards defined some years ago, which only cover certain types of radiation emitted by masts. My understanding was that safety fears could not be used as reason to ban phone masts. it seems highly likely that the council's decision will be overturned, but if it isn't it will be a major victory for phone mast campaigners across the country.]

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Railway PH, Reddish to be replaced by 14 apartments, planning application

Demolition of existing building. Erection of new building acommodating 14 number apartments with 14 number car parking spaces.
The Railway P.H, 465 Gorton Road, North Reddish, SK5 6LR
Case Officer / Telephone: Mrs J Chase 0161 474 3644
Consultation Expiry Date: 06-01-2007
Documents: click here (not on-line at time of posting)

Replacement of existing Georgian and opaque glazing with new clear glazing, Heaton Moor, planning application

There is not enough information posted, as yet, to be clear what is happening, but it does sound as if the frontage of the Royal Bank of Scotland may be compromised to accomodate a new ATM.

Installation of three number condensers to rear of the building and one number window fan at second floor level, the reconfiguation of bay window to suit relocated ATM at DDA height with addition of anti-ram raid protection system in front of ATM. The addtion of one task light to illuminate the proposed relocation of the external ATM. The removal of the existing night safe. The replacement of existing Georgian and opaque glazing with new clear glazing.
Royal Bank of Scotland, 1 Heaton Moor Road, Heaton Chapel, SK4 4LW
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr C Smyton 0161 474 3551
Consultation Expiry Date: 07-01-2007
Documents: click here (no documents on-line at time of posting).

Public open space to residential garden area - planning application

Change of use from public open space to residential garden area.
Land adjoining, 20 Marbury Road, SK4 5NU
Applicant: Stockport Homes (Council owned company which operates council housing)
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr C Smyton 0161 474 3551
Consultation Expiry Date: 07-01-2007
Documents: click here (no documents on line at time of posting.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stockport's only footbridge over the Mersey

The 19th Century footbridge now lies in Gorsey Bank. It looks complete and undistorted by its upheaval, as if there may have been many more years life in the structure. Perhaps it was the old piers that made replacement essential. Certainly the Council officers said the bridge was life expired.

On a damp Friday afternoon, the replacement was swung into place and placed on new concrete piers.

As it was lowered, a local resident observed, "That's yours and my Council Tax paid for that."

I pointed out it was to be paid for by the developers of Gorsey Bank and the playing field.

"They're not going to build on the playing field," the resident assurred me. "There is going to be a petition about that."

It would in fact take an exceptional amount of lobbying to prevent development of the playing field, as long as the developer's plans are consistent with the Planning Design. This allows for the playing field to be built on, as long as the equivalent amount of play are is created elsewhere in the development.

View from the north bank

The width is substantial and will continue to be able to support motorbikes, that chew up the Trans Pennine Trail and annoy walkers. May be it has been designed to allow horses to use it, but I can't see where horses could safely get to, beyond Gorsey Bank.

The brick piers remain, but have been backfilled with concrete. They seem to be acting now only as 'sympathetic' facings for the concrete piers.

Note that the bridge will not be open to the public until January.

The new view upriver, with the viaduct just visible

Friday, December 15, 2006

Voting has started for the new Blue Plaque scheme

Voting has started to decide which 10 sites will feature a blue plaque.

To vote, either purchase a Stockport Express for a voting form or go online at:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

School's expansion verdict imminent

[Excerpt from Metro News, 14 Dec 06]

CONTROVERSIAL plans to expand a Cheadle school in a green belt area were due to go before Stockport councillors last night. The application, which was refused in July 2005 on the grounds that development would be "inappropriate" in a green belt, has prompted 35 letters of support from locals and MP Mark Hunter.

Click here to see the full article.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Heritage Centre exhibition changes

Angela working on the new displayThe main exhibition area is going through a process change. The Wedding display is being replaced by a display on Babies and Children's Clothes From Victorian to Wartime. Visitors are still welcome during this change, in fact its the best time to discuss the exhibits with the organiser, Angela Kenrick.

Teddy Bears' picnicIn the second room, the collection of photos continue to expand and a special Christmas display has been created for the children, the Teddy Bears' picnic meets Goldilocks and the three bears. It's an interactive, visual and audio display.

St Marys entrance, Dec 06As well as the Heritage Centre, there is the St Mary's repair and restoration display in the porch. Perhaps even more illustrative of the problems the building faces is the continuing growth in fences and protection, to shield the public from falling masonry. By the end of this month the church must raise £42,000 or else it loses promise of HLF funds. This is a very difficult target to reach and the church continues to look for generous benefactors, large or small.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


This blog has been upgraded to "Beta Blogger". (This won't make a big difference to most of you. Those of you who submit postings may find they have to create a new Google account. Just follow instructions.)

The reason for the change is that we can exploit various improvements. An improvement you may have noticed already. Now at the bottom of most postings you can see labels. Click on the label and you see all the postings with that label. I hope you find that useful.

(Someone adding a new posting can add existing labels or invent their own labels. See the bottom right hand of the posting box.)

By the way, the first cheque fom Google has been paid into the Trust account, for the adverts you see at the top and right hand side of the page. The person paying it in called it a "Googly" cheque. All the clerks wanted to see it because they have never see a googly cheque before. This blog has earned us £53 in a year.

Lottery Grant Set To Transform Covered Market Hall

[Council press release]

Covered Market
This photo from 10+ years ago
shows how old some of the
'temporary' repairs are
Photo by Vernon.Hyde.
Stockport Council has been awarded a grant of £999,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help transform the town’s historic Covered Market Hall.

The money will be used to fund the regeneration project which includes the following:
  • Upgraded internal layout to improve circulation and stall visibility.
  • Some two-sided trading units, opening to the inside and outside.
  • Replacement of some low level boarding with glass to make the building more inviting and to reveal the businesses to passers-by.
  • Changes to the floor surface to make it smoother and easier to clean.
  • Improved access for wheelchair users.
  • Background heating and control of ventilation, which will make the hall more comfortable for traders and customers.
  • New food and cafĂ© units which will comply with the latest hygiene regulations.
  • A flexible area without permanent stalls to allow use for events, particularly in the evening. Most of the time this area would be occupied by demountable stalls.
  • An interpretation area to explain the history and significance of the building.

A market trader has pointed that this press release has been quoted on the BBC site, click here. (See comment below.)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Winter Wonderland

There was more than just Delboy in Marple Bridge on Saturday, there were Morris Dancers, a steel band and lots of shoppers prepared to spend money on Christmas presents.

The Trust had a stall for the first time this year. Angela Kenrick, Coral Dranfield, Sue Foster and Kath Taylor all turned out to take money off the willing public and, in spite of the chilled feet and blue fingers, it was well worth the effort.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rivers Under Your Feet

Rivers Under Your FeetNow available at the Heritage Centre is a fascinating book about the water tunnels beneath Stockport. Written by Coral Dranfield it reveals the findings of the research done by her and the Trust to uncover Underground Stockport. This 44 page book goes a long way to explaining the rapid growth of Stockport in Industrial Revolution. Some of these tunnels remain important to this day, carrying power and utilities to business and residences in Stockport.

The launch of this book will be followed by the related Underground Stockport exhibition at the Stockport Story, in February and March.

Meanwhile, buy your copy for £4.50 at the Heritage Center, St Mary's, The Marketplace.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Heritage magazine, Winter 06/07 on sale

The latest issue of the the Heritage Magazine is now available in most newsagents and bookshops and at the Heritage Centre, St Mary's Church, The Marketplace.

    It includes articles on:
  • Underground Stockport
  • Royal Oak Yard;
  • St Thomas' Church;
  • St Thomas' workhouse;
  • a restored Stockport tram;
  • Tiviot Dale;
  • Stockport's blitz;
  • Mellor's medieval hall;
  • New life for Cheadle landmarks;
  • Veteran Park Keeper at Lyme;
  • Bredbury, Woodley & Hatherlow;
  • Oldknow's Romiley home;
  • the Plaza; and
  • book reviews.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The complete list of blue plaque candidates has been revealed

The final set of blue plaque candidates have been announced:
Pendlebury Hall; Stockport County FC; Constable Birch; Plaza Cinema; Gabrielle Ray; Bull's Head pub; Admiral Sir George Back; Rostron's Brow; Sidney Gilliat; Stockport Armoury; and Sir Horace Lamb.

Relevant links:

Plaza 27.06.04
The Plaza
Photo by A G 1.
Voting will be possible from next week, see the Stockport Express or Council website.

I am pleased to say that unlike the Stockport Express and Stockport Council site, which used Phil's photo of the wrong building, thanks to Allen we show a photo of the real Reddish Working Mens Club. (See the bottom of last week's posting.)

Click on the above image more information on Pendlebury Hall and links to other Blue Plaque candidates.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Church prays for Christmas miracle

[Excerpt from the Stockport Express - 6/12/06]

THE REVEREND of St Mary's in the Marketplace is hoping for a miracle to raise cash to save the church.
It is the 11th hour for the church, which needs to raise £42,000 by December 31 to secure an English Heritage grant to start major restoration work on this historic building and its tower.

Rev Roger Scoones said: "If this is raised then English Heritage will give us about £120,000 to start the first phase of the work. If we don't raise the money by this date then the deadline will be passed and we would have to re-apply and start the process all over again, which has taken over a year."

Click on the above image for the full article.

A futuristic town: but will you dig it?

[Excerpt from the Stockport Express, 6/12/06, reporting on the contraversial Masterplan.]

DIGGERS and cranes were seen busy at work in Stockport town centre on the second anniversary of the council's Masterplan project last week.

The first stages of the project are now being realised with the transformation of St Peter's Square into a pedestrianised "urban park" well underway and landmark buildings, such as the Salvation Army Citadel, on Hillgate, being given a new lease of life as town centre flats.

Click on the above image for the full article.

No light at the end of the tunnel

[Excerpt from the Stockport Express, 6/12/06]

Volunteers from the Dragon Miniature Railway were left heartbroken when they discovered thieves had stolen hundreds of pounds worth of Christmas lights from their festive display.

"We are trying to run things as best we can, so we've bought some new, but not as elaborate, lights. Luckily, there's still a lot of light and no huge, obvious gaps - but its all extra expense we don't need," added Brian.

Anyone with information about the missing lights is asked to call Stockport police on 856 9973 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Click on the above image for the full article.

Time capsule?

Has anyone heard of their being a time capsule under Cobden from the last time he was moved or is this just a myth? When was thelast time he was moved?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ladybridge bridge now completed

Ladybridge bridge now completed
Originally uploaded by robo2004.
I am not sure roadworks are part of Stockport's Heritage, but the temporary bridge had been there so long it had almost become a permanent feature of the built environment.

England planning shake-up urged

[Excerpt from BBC News 5/12/06]
England needs a new national planning body to have the final say on major infrastructure projects such as power stations, a report has said.
The Barker Review also calls on local authorities to allow more building in green belt boundaries in their areas.
The study also says that England's planning system must be made both quicker and more simple, and the appeals process needs speeding up.
[The Barker Review of Land Use Planning Final Report can be bought for £25 or downloaded for free from here.]

Click on the above image for the full article.

Monday, December 04, 2006

12.5m phone mast, Rose Hill - planning application

Proposed 12.5 metre high ultra slim line telecommunications mast and associated ground level equipment cabinets.
Footpath of Stockport Road (Junction with Railway Road) Rose Hill, Marple SK6 6EE.
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr M Jordan 0161 474 3657
Consultation Expiry Date: 24-12-2006
No documents available at time of posting. Click on the headline to see for yourself.

10m phone mast, Bramhall - planning application

Installation of a radio base station comprising of a 10m high slim line pole accomodating 3 antennas, radio equipment housing and ancillary works.
North Park Road opposite junction with Handley Road, Bramhall, SK7 3JR
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr J F Crowder 0161 474 3661
Consultation Expiry Date: 28-12-2006
No documents available at time of posting. Click on the headline to see for yourself.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Salvation Army reconstruction

"Preserving the character of the Salvation Army building" means keeping the facade and little else.

(For more photos by Allen of the Sally Army: click here.(

Friday, December 01, 2006

'British Urban Regeneration Association' dinner

Staircase House received yet another award at the prestigious 'British Urban Regeneration Association' dinner.

The Trust was recognised for the early efforts to save the building and Kevin Dranfield attended the dinner on our behalf.

The award was accepted by Councillor Sue Derbyshire who gave a short speech which acknowledged the Trust's role in rescuing Staircase House.

With the party were Steve Burns and Eddie Wilshaw who are both instrumental in the regeneration of the Market Place and Hillgate areas.