Sunday, February 26, 2006

New photos of St Thomas Workhouse

More photo's of Stockport Workhouse/St Thomas Hospital have been added to Peter Higginbottom's Workhouse website. The website is well worth a visit.

May be the Trust should try to organise a visit to the site while the buildings still exists?

For previous posts see: Proposed use of St Thomas workhouse and Multi-million scheme for education unveiled

Monday, February 20, 2006

Stockport sets the standard

Mersey Square bus stopStockport was used as an example of best practice for bus operations in a presentation to Dubai authorities. Here are some of the pictures used to illustrate the point.

Bus link across Portwood roundabout, now being built

Proposal for a new bus interchange designed by Aedas

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Planning applications - 9 Feb 06

Artist's impression of antennaDC022059 Erection of 14 metre overall height mobile phone antenna, together with ground based equipment cabinet, Pavement at the junction of Northumberland Road and The Clough, Brinnington, SK5 8LS
Documents: click here
Consultation Expiry Date: 09-03-2006
Information office: Brinnington Library, The Arcade
Advice on mobile phone masts: click here

DC022057 Erection of 10, two-storey retirement apartments, All Saints Church Hall & Car Park, Church Road, Cheadle Hulme
There ought to be documents at the following link, but nothing was found when I searched: click here
Information office: Cheadle Hulme Information Centre, 6 Station Rd
Consultation Expiry Date: 09-03-2006
two-storey retirement apartments

DC022043 Erection of 3 storey building comprising retail on ground floor, & 6 flat units at first and second floors, new access & associated car parking (Re-submission), Land adjacent to Maple Road, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 2DH
Documents: click here
Information office: Bramhall Library, 70 Bramhall Lane Sth
Consultation Expiry Date: Date 04-03-2006
Maple Rd proposals

3 storey block of flats plus 8 dwellingsDC022047 Erection of 3 storey block of 12 flats & 8 dwellings (Re-submission), Former Shell Petrol Station, Edgeley Road
Documents: click here
Information office: Hygarth House, 103 Welllington Rd Sth
Consultation Expiry Date: Date 04-03-2006

The above applications have been highlighted as new constructions. If you are concerned or have objections, you are encouraged to contact SMBC on your own behalf. (
You can also contact me, or another member of the Trust's Management Committee, to discuss responding to the application on the Trust's behalf.

Links have been provided to the complete set of application documents. More information can be gained by searching on the DC number on SMBC's planning database.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Heritage Trust Members Come To Blows

A small group of Trust members are putting together a set of Greetings Cards using historic buildings around the Borough and period costumes to depict everyday scenes from the time.

The first of the cards should be on sale in the Heritage Centre St. Mary's Church Stockport from next Friday and will cost £1 each.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Proposed use of St. Thomas' Workhouse

The Secretary of the Trust, Steve Cliffe, has sent this comment on the proposed use of the St. Thomas' Workhouse buildings, as part of an expansion to Stockport College.
The College are consulting stakeholder partners in Stockport for views before submitting detailed planning proposals to the Council.

"Thank you for letting me comment on the Stockport College Masterplan. Stockport Heritage Trust warmly welcome the opportunity to conserve and use the best of the listed buildings on the Old St. Thomas' Workhouse site as part of the college expansion plans. This is an idea we have favoured for many years.
The two most important buildings are the Master and Matron's House (clocktower building) and the entrance lodge which both have fine classical Georgian lines and link to key historic events of the early 19th C. Which were covered by the artist of the London Illustrated News.
I do feel that page 12 of your document is vague and possibly deliberately ambiguous in committing the college to preserving any listed building and deserves to have been thoroughly proofread!
Also we question whether orienting the main gateway access from the A6 is the wisest option where an anterior approach via Greek Street might prove a more amenable space and safer traffic free access to and from the town centre. But this is something the Council's Regeneration team needs to address.
Broadly we support Option 4 and its speedy implementation in order to preserve and utilise the deteriorating important listed structures."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

St Augustines

St AugustinesAs previously reported, St Augustines has held its last service. So I have collected these photos before it falls into further into disrepair.

foundation stoneRecorded in stone is the fact that the church was built in 1891, with the stone laid by Thomas Hardcastle Sykes, a patron of Edgeley and Stockport. Records show it was founded in 1893 as the parish church for Brinksway and Cheadle Heath.

towerI have never been into St Augustines, but I feel attached to it because of the curious half-timbered tower.

wallOutside, the church is in a sorry state. Practically all the rain pipes are missing, large amounts of decay and damage to the walls. More substantially, the cellar is full of water. I presume that now the church is closed, thereis going to be even less attention paid to its upkeep.

flooded cellarSt Augustines, St Augustines Road, Cheadle Heath

Friday, February 10, 2006

Planning applications - 2 Feb 06

DC022011 Cheadle Institute, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 2AA, Change of use to offices and external and internal alterations.
Documents: no documents were posted at time of writing. click here to see if they have been posted.
Consultation Expiry Date: 03-03-2006
Planning brief: Click here for the 2004 planning brief.
Information Office: Cheadle Library, Ashfield Rd
History and background, courtesy of Save Britain's Heritage: click here.

DC021965Ridge End Farm, Ridge End, Marple, Stockport, Cheshire, SK6 7ET, refurbishment of farmhouse.
(Opposite The Romper pub.)
Documents: click here.
Consultation Expiry Date: 01-03-2006
Information Office: Marple Library

DC021992 Land at Water Street (site of former Hope Mill), change to car parking permissions for this planned leisure centre.
(Adjacent to the confluence of the Tame and Goyt to form the Mersey. Not the most glamorous of sites, but of great significance.)
Documents: click here.
Consultation Expiry Date: 25-02-2006
Information Office: Hygarth House, 103 Wellington Rd Sth

Stockport Times/Express 9 Feb

See STOCKPORT TIMES WEST for the full stories.

Praise for town's visitor attractions
Unknown to staff at Staircase House and the Air Raid Shelters, the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service (VAQAS) sent an assessor to test both attractions and excellent findings have been reported.
The VAQASA assessor commented on the "very high standard of restoration" of the historic building and said the "rare tactile quality of the visitor experience is a refreshing change from sites where do not touch signs are common."
And the assessor added: "Standards of exhibition, interpretation and design are stat-of-the-art and the audio guide was a s good as any that the assessor has heard."
And the mystery visitor was equally complimentary of the Air Raid Shelters on Chestergate and said, "the experience was very authentic" and "there is a sense of marvel at the extent of the tunnels."

Mobile cinema is reeled into town
From Friday 10th to Sunday 12th February, the Cinemobile will be in St. Petersgate car park, to the rear of St. Peter’s Church. Supported by Stockport Council, Future Stockport and Imagine FM and organised by Kinofilm, the event marks the start of a month long celebration tour of Greater Manchester.
The sleek, hi-tech mobile cinema comes with the latest screening and studio equipment, complete with Dolby surround sound. It looks and feels like a standard cinema, is heated, air-conditioned and can accommodate up to 100 people, including space for three wheelchairs.
A diverse and interesting three-day family film programme includes animation courtesy of the puppeteers at Cosgrove Hall, digital shorts from North West Vision, and rare film footage of Stockport in by-gone days from the North West Film Archive.
Films made in Stockport by students from Stockport College will also feature and Saturday and Sunday’s programmes conclude with a special presentation of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, starring Johnny Depp.
Entry to the Cinemobile is free of charge.

Marple Bridge CoopTimepiece restored to past glory
A landmark clock has been restored by the developers of a new apartment complex in Marple Bridge. The Multibuild firm has repaired the old drum clock as part of the redevelopment on Lower Fold.

Ancestors can be traced at a family history for beginners session at Stockport Central Library, Tuesday February 14 from 9.30am-12.30pm.

See STOCKPORT EXPRESS for the full stories.

Asda voted an eyesore‘Eyesore’ could tumble in regeneration plan
ONE of Stockport’s most loathed buildings could be pulled down because Asda plans to build a huge new supermarket in the town centre.

Asda’s current supermarket was named as one of the buildings Stockport Express readers would most like to be demolished in a poll last year. And with Stockport Council announcing plans to work with the supermarket to develop an 8.5 acre site nearby, readers’ wishes may come true.

New college
Multi-million scheme for education unveiled
AN innovative £50 million scheme to transform further education for Stockport in the 21st century has gone out to public consultation.

The scheme will combine the best in architectural design with the creation of a mini-town inside of a new Stockport College which will boast shops, library, purpose built classrooms, information technology suites, workshops set among landscaped gardens, tree lined avenues, piazzas, fountain and large glass atrium.

The two phased five year plan will open up a large area including the former St Thomas Hospital, behind the college. It will include the demolition of parts of the former hospital, creating one of the largest green spaces close to the town centre.

Alan Davidge, the director of external relations said it was hoped that the bulldozers would move into to start demolition in the autumn and would take out most of the old wards. but leave the Grade II clock tower and former waiting room buildings intact.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Response from SMBC

The Wellington Inn (Ups and Downs)
Originally uploaded by A G 1.
See comments to Stockport Times/Express 26 Jan for Steve Burn's reponse to my query about the future of the "Up and Downer", or whatever name you prefer to give to this building.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Planning application - 26 Jan

DC021939 Phone mast, rear of Brookside Garden Centre Car Park, Macclesfield Road, Hazel Grove.
Erection of 15 metre overall height monopole telecommunications mast with 6 antannae, together with ground based cabinets and 2 metre high fence to compound.
Consultation Expiry Date: 19-02-2006
Click here for documents.
Plans at Hazel Grove Centre, Civic Hall, London Road.

The above applications have been highlighted as potentially contentious. If you are concerned or have objections, you are encouraged to contact SMBC on your own behalf. (
You can also contact me, or another member of the Trust's Management Committee, to discuss responding to the application on the Trust's behalf.

Links have been provided to the complete set of application documents. More information can be gained by searching on the DC number on SMBC's planning database.
Note SMBC's statement:
"Plans, drawings and material submitted to the council are protected by the copyright acts (section 47, 1988 act). You may only use material which is downloaded and/or printed for consultation purposes, to compare current applications with previous schemes and to check whether developments have been completed in accordance with approved plans. Further copies must not be made without the prior permission of the copyright owner."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Auction of petrol station

The dis-used petrol station on Stockport Road, Cheadle Heath is up for auction on March 2nd. According to the Main & Main board, there is planning permission for 12 apartments. That would be one less eyesore on this road.
Dis-used petrol station, Stockport Rd, Cheadle Heath

Success for Friends of Abney Park

I am pleased for the Friends of Abney Park for getting their way. I wonder what their objection was? According to the local press, it was simply a dislike of making amall gap in the wall. I would have thought the value of having a cycle path and increasing the usage of the Park by becoming a through way for cyclists would have outweighed this minor disadvantage. I presume there were some more fundamental problems.

For the first posting on this subject, click here.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Interesting Stockport - updated 11/2/05

Originally uploaded by gisleh.
Is this the most interesting photo of Stockport? According to Flickr it is. 'Interesting' is based on the number of views, comments, favourites and tags it receives.

There are currently 2457 photo's tagged, 'Stockport' and their positions change as visitors view them and leave comments.

Stockport Viaduct
Originally uploaded by gridrunner.
Ade has the fifth 'most interesting' picture, choosing a classic Stockport subject, catching an impressive reflection.

Heaton Norris Rec
Originally uploaded by Trevira.
It was Trevira who captured the Heritage Centre's Sentinel, displayed on the left hand column, as well as a disturbing look at the Centre's wedding exhibition, but it is this photo of Heaton Norris Rec which is placed 10th in the interesting category. Our sentinel warrants 25th place.

Originally uploaded by Torve.
A photo taken in my garden gets in at 15th. (A photo of mine of the Glass Umbrella only makes it in at 19th. It is ironic that I have worked hard to raise the profile of the Market through these photo's and one of my other photo's beats it.

Viaduct and Pyramid from the A6
Originally uploaded by A G 1.
We have to look down to 44th place for Allen's first photo. Which is still impressive out 2296 photos. Allen also has the distinction of uploading 1614 of the Stockport photos.

Phil comes in at 324th.

Boar's Head
Originally uploaded by JayT47.
The 2457th most interesting picture, or the least interesting picture if you prefer, is by JayT47, though his photo of The Railway Inn is the 43rd most interesting photo.

But all this may have changed by now. You will need to visit yourself to find out what is considered interesting now.

But we don't just photo Stockport, if you want to see each photographer's most interesting photos, follow these links: Gisleh; Ade; Trevira; Bill; Allen;
Phil; and JayT47.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Stockport Times news - 2 Feb 06

Bands want a permanent home
[Supporters of Marple and Hawk Green bands are seeking help in realising a dream to build a practice room.
In 1986 they bought a plot of land behind Regent Cinema. They have raised £50,000 and want to apply for an HLF grant for the rest, but to qualify they need to demonstrate wide community access. So they are looking for other groups who will want to use the building.] If you can help contact the fund on 427 7020 or 427 1023.

Garden centre arrangements for flower show
North West's first ever Primrose Festival is launched. Around a hundred different varieties of the humble flower go on display at Barton Grange Garden Centre on Chester Road this weekend. The festival lasts until Sunday February 12.

Stockport is top film location
First, the BBC turned to Stockport Council's Piccadilly office block, Stopford House, to provide the setting for a 1970's police station in its new series Life on Mars. And last Thursday, Stockport Bus Station provided the backdrop for a dramatic chase scene starring Patrick Stewart in Granada's investigative thriller Eleventh Hour.
Recent projects in the borough also include: 'Most Haunted', 'Cash in the Attic', 'Escape to the Country'.

'Let's challenge discrimination'
Libraries across the borough joined the UK's sixth annual Holocaust Memorial Day.
Set up to remember all the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution and to reflect on more recent genocides, the event on January 27 helped to educate people about the dangers of antisemitism, racism and discrimination.

Winning author born in town
A Stockport author has won the Whitbread Book of the year. in the closest-ever vote in the history of the prize, Hilary Spurling, born in Stockport in 1940, scooped the award for the second volume of her biography of the French painter Henri Matisse called Matisse the Master.

Big light goes out
The retrospective application for the Merseyway light has failed.
[I am glad of that. It was not particularly attractive and it was an extreme case of light polution.]

St AugustinesLast service at St Augustines, Cheadle Heath
The bishop of Stockport, the Rt Rev Nigel Stock, was among guests as St Augustines Church, Cheadle Heath, recently for its final service after more than 100 years.
The church on St Augustine's Road, has shut because repair costs meant it was no longer viable to maintain. The congregation, led by Rev Helen Scarisbrick, will now meet at nearby churches.
[I wonder what will happen to the building. I have never been inside, but the outside is intriguing. It has a tower with a with a half timbered structure at the top.]

Work on new 'eyesore' home is stopped
Work to build a luxury home has been suspended after it was found to be larger than allowed - leaving Bramhall residents staring at a giant stell 'eyesore'.
[The owners have until 12 Feb to either reduce the size of the structure or else appela to the planning inspectorate.]

Helping make the bats mobile
Forty boxes were fitted at Chadkirk Country Park by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Cheshire Bat Group. Chadkirk was recently designated as a Local Nature Reserve. It possess a range of diverse habitats, including ancient woodland and rivers which are used by bats as roosting sites and feeding grounds. However, there's a lack of suitable natural holes which limits the number of bats present.

More rare birds seen in borough
The transformation of the former industrial sites of Reddish Vale into a country park has done much to help the return of many species of birds.
Henry Campbell Ricketts, Stockport Parks' technical service manager said: "We have been trying to manage the land in a more sympathetic way; replacing ornamental flower beds with more nectar and berried plants."
For more information on how to encourage population growth in these birds call nature development officer Zara Paris on 474 4560.

Villages to 'go for gold'
[Marple Bridge is planning to build on its second place in last year's North West in Bloom competition, Small Town category and is aiming to come first.] To helf in any way contact bid co-ordinator Pat Harris on 449 0707.

Star Letter Attracting new visitors
I was pleased to see the article in this week's Stockport Times about the sighting of a flock of 200 lapwings of Adswood tip...
[This letter says that birds in Adswood and elsewhere are flourishing.]

Aldi asks for more

The building isn't up yet and Aldi are already asking to extend their hours of operation into the evening. It looks as if they applied for shorter hours to make sure they got the original planning permission and are now requesting the hours they actually want to operate.
Personally, it rather suits me if it stays open till 8pm, but I don't live next to it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Guided tour of St Thomas

St Thomas

Golden pipes. Photos by Bill.
St. Thomas (C of E), Wellington Road South was founded in 1825 as a chapel to St. Mary, becoming the parish church for Bramhall and parts of Stockport and Stockport Etchells in 1827.

The Rev. Ken Kenrick gave us an excellent tour of the church, with fascinating historical information. It is a very impressive church and once must have been a very impressive civic statement, when Hillgate was still the main thoroughfare into Stockport.

Inside the paintwork needs attention, but at least the most urgent repairs are getting attention. The tower is being repaired, with most of the money coming from English Heritage but £19,000 still had to be raised by the church.

doorAmongst the fascinating historical trivia Ken told us, was that he is still the official St Thomas Workhouse chaplin and paid for the post, though the work house was done away with long ago. (Though the payment is deducted from his salary as rector of St Thomas and St Peters.)

Clock mechanism
The clock mechanism states "J. Smith & Sons. Midland Steam Clock Works. Derby"

Planning Applications

Black Lion 25/3/05
photo by Allen.
DC021816 The Black Lion Public House, Middle Hillgate
Mr OF Vaughan, a prospective purchaser of the property has applied for permission to convert the pub to offices. According to the application, the pub has been vacant since December 05. View the application via this link or at Hygarth House.
Date of application: 4/1/06
End of consultation: 3/2/06

DC021818 Land adjacent to St Mark's Vicarage, Berlin Rd, Edgeley, SK3 9QF
The church is applying to build two semi-detached houses.
View the application via this link or at Hygarth House. Plan 1 and Plan 2.
Date of application: 22/12/05
End of consultation: 3/2/06

DC021882 24 2-bedroom apartments, Apsley St/Wellington St/Churchgate
Replace the current clutch and brake workshop with 24 aparments and 27 car park spaces.
View the application via this link or at Hygarth House. Supplementary information, Plan 1, Plan 2, Plan 3, Plan 4, and Plan 5.
Date of application: 9/11/05
End of consultation: 12/2/06

The above applications have been highlighted as potentially contentious, or as interesting developments, such as old buildings getting a new lease of life. If you are concerned or have objections, you are encouraged to contact SMBC on your own behalf. (
You can also contact me, or another member of the Trust's Management Committee, to discuss responding to the application on the Trust's behalf.

Links have been provided to most of the application documents. More information can be gained by searching on the DC number on SMBC's planning database.
Note SMBC's statement:
"Plans, drawings and material submitted to the council are protected by the copyright acts (section 47, 1988 act). You may only use material which is downloaded and/or printed for consultation purposes, to compare current applications with previous schemes and to check whether developments have been completed in accordance with approved plans. Further copies must not be made without the prior permission of the copyright owner."