Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stockport Times excerpts - 11/05/06

£70m plan for the town centre
A £70m scheme to transform the derelict industrial site Hopes Carr - which was the scene of Stockport's 1967 aeroplane crash - is to be unveiled this week.
The prject will look to preserve a number of the existing buildings, the existing cobbled street layout and will give greater prominence to Hempshaw Brook [Tinbrook], which flows through the site.
[There is a similar article in the Stockport Express, but with a more alarmist headline. Click here.]

Stairway to fame
Stockport's Staircase House has been named "Building of the Year" at the North West's most prestigious property awards. The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) named the restored medieval town house as the most out-standing building project in the region after the project had already scopped the Building Conservation at the 2006 RICS North West Awards.
Judges described Staircase House as: "An outstanding demonstration of what can be achieved through partnership between client, architect and professional team builder.
"Staircase House is one of the most interesting urban buildings in North west England datig from the late medieval period. For many years it was neglected, severly fire damaged and collapsing, now it has been carefully repaired and adapted as a museum to interpret its own history."
[It is nice to see that Staircase House, which the Trust had to work hard for to convince the Council that it was worth saving, is now earning the Council many plaudits and awards. It's only a shame the council didn't step in before the fire damage.]

Copper toppers at Hatworks
Police headgear makes an arresting sight in a new exhibition at the Hatworks. The free exhibition aims to show how important headwear is to each force's identity. The exhibition features the Manchester "Peelers" of 1840 wearing the Peelers Hat [like a tophat] and Stockport Borough Police of 1890 who wore helmets with a spike.

Saved, my deer
Marple Firefightser came to the rescue of [a] young deer stranded in the Peak Forest Canal. The fawn was spotted by a dog walker at 6.15am when it was thrashing around in a lock at the end of Station Rd.

Are you a past parent or pupil (over 18) of Stella Maris Shool, St John's Road, Heaton Mersey? If so, you are invited to a retirement party for its head teacher Ita Gannon and school secretary Vivienne Adams - Saturday, June 17, 7.30pm-1am at the Hough End Centre, Chorlton.
Tickets are £15 each, including buffet and disco. Ring the school on 432 0532 or email

Could you volunteer to be the caretaker at Heaton Norris Pavilion, where a vibrant community group runs several activities in its buildings in the Heaton Norris Park Community Centre? If you would like to volunteer, ring Cllr Joan Kidd on 477 8207.
Call time on phone masts
With mobile operators currently applying to put up phone masts in Stockport at a rate of almost one a week, many residents have been asking the question "when is enough, enough?" A quick look at the council website reveals 21 masts currently have planning permission in the borough and there are proposals for 41 more.
Mother of three Nicola Gilbert, of Reddish Road, recently led a successful campaign to stop mobile operator Orange siting a mast on her street. Nicola said: "We wanted to know why Orange to justify why they needed another mast in South Reddish. They just wanted to plonk it right in the middle of a pleasant residential area. It would have had a huge visual impact on the local environment."
She added: "We didn't campaign on the health issue because we appreciate what the guidelines say.
"But it is still an uncomfortable feeling to have them so close to houses. It makes you pretty anxious."
So why, in the face of such opposition, do mobile companies insist on putting up more and more masts?
According to MOA [Mobile Operators Association], the increase in mast applications is down to the 3G licences. By transmitting on the 3G frequency, mobiles can now access the internet and send video messages. However, the radio waves used to carry this information can not travel as far. Therefore more masts are needed.
According to the 3G licences, mobile operators have until the end of 2007 to achieve 80% coverage for the UK's population.
For more information on [the location of] mobile phone masts visit
[See SCRAM for info on mobile phone masts.]