Sunday, July 30, 2006

Weekend Fun at Chadkirk

Knights in Battle recreation society

Knights In Battle's medieval encampment was only one of the attractions at this year's Chadkirk Festival.

Adlington Dancers

The Adlington Dancers amused and entertained us on Saturday with 17th century costumes and dances,

Marple Brass Band
Strawberries and cream were on sale from the Friend's of Chadkirk
and Marple Brass Band delighted the crowds on Sunday with traditional music.
Trust members dressed in a variety of historical costumesAs usual Stockport Heritage Trust members were out in force, and dressed in an array of colourful costumes.
A lot of effort was put in to promoting the Trust and raising funds.
These veterans have run the Trust stand ever since the Festival started The weather was kind to us and everyone had a good time.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A visit to Staircase House

Interactive wooden model of Staircase HouseWith the first anniversary of the opening of Staircase House as a museum, I made another visit. It really is a treasure. There are not many towns or cities with such an evocative locale in its centre. I took my parents, they were bowled over. They hadn't imagined it would be so large.

A window on the past,
Originally uploaded by Bill.
There have been a few changes and additions since the opening. The new item that impressed me the most is the beautiful wooden model, reported here last June. Organisations and individuals responsible for the rescue of the HouseI gather it was designed to allow the blind to explore how Staircase House grew over the centuries. However, everyone can enjoy using it. The model is hidden at the back of the Exhibition Room at the start of the tour, so I think most people never see it, or pass it by in their impatience to see the house.

We spent three hours in the house in all, including the Stockport Gallery and Blackshaw's cafe, and it wasn't long enough.


Golden Lion conversion to flats and offices

Golden Lion plansDC023669
Golden Lion, 89 Middle Hillgate, SK1 3EH
Conversion of public house with flat above into ground and basement floor offices with two flats above. Rebuilding of existing single storey rear extension and the provision of additional windows and door to rear elevation.
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr J A Seymour 0161 474 3656
Consultation Expiry Date: 17-08-2006
Documents: click here.

Wybersley Hall

After decades of neglect and at least 40 years of standing empty, work is on-going to protect Wybersley Hall from further decay. Meanwhile, planning permission is being sought to renovate the building as a private residence, while preserving the character of the hall.

Local historian, Steve Cliffe, dates the hall as far bakc as the 15 Century, a similar age to Staircase House.

With Peace Farm having disappeared to development and Marple Hall demolished due to irrepairable vandalism, Wybersley Hall is the only remaining building of the Bradshawe estate. It is pleasing that a building, over half a millenia old, is not only being preserved but being restored to its original usage, that of a private house. It is not even being sub-divided to flats, the fate of many large buildings.

Savoy Cinema conversion to a pub

proposed new facadeDC023644
Savoy Cinema, Heaton Moor Road
Change of use from cinema to public house, new frontage, external staircase, door opening, decking and railings and eternal alterations.
[I presume they mean external alterations, rather than a perpetual series of changes.]
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr C Smyton 0161 474 3551
Consultation Expiry Date: 17-08-2006
Savoy, 10 July 2005Click here for documents.
Applicant: Barracuda Group.
As well as plans there is a report, split into four sections of about 100 pages each. It has applications for Baraccuda developments all over the UK. Presumably the Stockport application is hidden in there somewhere, but I can't find it. Are they trying to do a snow job?

Photo by Phil Rowbottom.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Have your say

Judging by the response to this blog's reader survey, readers are not enamoured of surveys. However, for those who can overcome their reluctance, Stockport Council are asking for your comments on a variety issues:

New bridge soon

According to the Edgeley Labour Link, work on the replacement bridge will start soon.
My understanding was that the Gorsey Bank developer would pay for the new bridge. So may be this means a developer has been chosen.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Be involved in your community's rich heritage

[The best way to get involved is to join Stockport Heritage Trust, but failing that you can take the advice of the Stockport Times, in this excerpt from 27/7/06.]
Stockport Council has secured funding for a 3-year project which encourages people from local communities to get involved in heritage activities.
The project, to be based in Reddish and Brinnington, aims to give residents the chance to gain lifelong learning skills through local history and heritage.
The project is jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Neighbourhood Renewal, in partnership with the Council.
Two people will be employed by Stockport Museums to work with communities and volunteers to develop fun, heritage-based activities, courses, exhibitions and visits for the next 3 years. This project leads on from the nationally-recognised Access Heritage project which took place in Brinnington from 2002-5.
For more information about the project, contact Gillian Wilson, informal learning and inclusion manager at Stockport Museums on 0161 477 6517.

Have your say in planning

[Excerpt from Stockport Times 27/7/06]
New guidelines will enable the community to have a greater say in the way planning applications are handled - from major retail developments to local playgrounds. Stockport Council's Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) aims to give residents, businesses, organisation and interest groups more opportunity to shape policy and increased involvement in the early stages of preparing development plans for the borough.

Church work is near completion

St Thomas's Church 17.04.06.
Originally uploaded by A G 1.
[Excerpt from Stockport Times, 27/7/06. See the original for a photo of our friends, the Rev Ken Kenrick and the Rev. Roger Scoones.]
One of Stockport's most eye-catching buildings is due to be unveiled this week to reveal its renovated exterior.
Restoration work has been carried out on the cupola and loose stone work on St Thomas's tower by skilled stonemasons and the clock faces have been restored to their former glory.
Scaffolding, which has been in place since February is expected to be removed in the next few weeks.
Rev. Ken Kenrick, who has been at St Thomas's for 23 years, said: "We are so fortunate to have splendid buildings in our town. We want to make the very most of them and the opportunity they offer for us, for our worship, and for other events and activities."
The grade I listed building originally built in 1825, has had a lot of work carried out previously.
Rev Kenrick added: "There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to the windows and walls because the stone is cracking but it is being carried out in stages."
English Lottery Heritage grants totalling £98,000 and help from the local authority have helped to pay for the work, thought to cost over £150,000. The rest of the money will be met by donations and fundraising activities organised by the church.

Mill one step closer to completion

Houldsworth Mill
Originally uploaded by sparkles..
[Excerpt from Stockport Times 27/7/06]
Plans to convert Houldsworth Mill's 19th century engine house into a community centre have taken a step closer to reality.
Architectural and archaeological studies on the building, which is still officially listed as 'at risk' by English Heritage, are almost complete. The studies will pave the way for an estimated £1m lottery heritage grant.
Robert Reader, chair of Reddish Building Preservation Trust, said: "We've had to wait for the industrial archaeologist and conversation architect to say what we can and can not do. It is a complicated building but I'm sure it's going to look brilliant when it is completed. The building tells an important story of Stockport's industrial history, Built during the American Civil War when there was no cotton available, it showed real confidence to build such a magnificent building.

Cheadle mast gets go-ahead

[Excerpt from Stockport Times 27/7/06. I don't seem to have spotted this application.]
T-Mobile are planning to locate a new mast in Cheadle. But despite the usual flurry of residential protest, only two objections have so far been received by the council.
Planning officers have endorsed the company's plans to put up a 15 metre mast, on the Demming Road industrial estate.
Two letters from house-holders in roads surrounding the interlinked Demmings and Brookfield industrial estates, expressed concerns over the aesthetic and health implications of a new installation. "The siting of the mast is out of keeping with the architectural and historical character of the original Victorian buildings."
They also said: "The evidence regarding long-term exposure to radio waves from a telecommunications mast is not conclusive. It would therefore be inappropriate on health and safety grounds."
Other issues included interference with television reception and the change in outlook for nearby residents when trees have shed their leaves in winter.
Council officers, however, have suggested the planning committee gives the go-ahead to T-Mobile.
Cheadle Area Committee will discuss the application at Ladybridge Park Residents' Club, Edenbridge Road, Cheadle Hulme on Tuesday August 1st.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ex-pupils flock for 70th anniversary of Adswood Primary

The school, on Garners Lane, opened permanently in 1936 as Adswood Council School � shifting from a temporary home in a wood hut on nearby Neston Grove.
A celebratory open day on Friday (July 21) saw guests given a tour of the school, a special assembly where past and present pupils shared their memories, and a large display of memorabilia from the last 70 years.
[Click image for the full story from the Stockport Express]

Our Stockport

SMBC are asking for photos to be submitted to Our Stockport to show what a beautiful place we live in. The best submissions will then be shown on Our Stockport Gallery. Only 49 photos have been accepted for this gallery so far, a rather small collection compared to the 670 photos in the Flickr Stockport Pool.

Be aware that, in submitting photos to "Our Stockport", you give permission for SMBC to use your photos in their publications.

Turning Green In Bramhall And Woodford

[SMBC press release - 20/7/06]
Stockport Council’s pioneering Green A-Z map, which encourages people to walk and cycle, has launched its fourth edition this month, covering Bramhall, Woodford and parts of Cheadle Hulme.

With three Green A-Zs already in circulation (covering Brinnington, Reddish and the Heatons; Cheadle, Offerton and the Town Centre; Hazel Grove and Bramhall Park), a fourth map is set to provide even more information on the borough for those people interested in leaving their car behind.

The Green A-Zs are available FREE and can be picked up from your local library, or ordered directly by contacting the Council’s Sustainable Transport Team on 0161 474 4346 or 0161 474 4592.
[Click on the image for the full story.]

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Work starts on conversion of the Cheadle Hulme police station

Ex-police station
Originally uploaded by robo2004.
The old Cheadle Police station and lock-up is to be converted to flats.

To see the original posting about this development, plus links to the planning application, click here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Stockport Town Hall on TV

I just looked up from editing this blog and saw Stockport on TV. Stockport Town Hall was the backdrop to Leo McKern. Our Town Hall was supposed to be the law courts of the Northern town of Grimbold. Rumphole of the Bailey had over come the prejudices of the Northern jury against theatres, to find the actress defendent not guilty.
The year of the production was not shown in the credits, but it must have been shot around Christmas time, for there was a large, but undecorated, Christmas Tree outside the Hall.

Cascades of canal

Cascades of canal
Originally uploaded by Nicola Whitaker.
[Text from the Stockport Times]
Marple canal lock inspires Tatton Park flower show
The Marple lock system will provide the inspiration for SMBC's entry into the flower bed competition at this year's RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park.
Opened in 1804, the Marple locks comprise a series of 16 locks that link the upper and lower parts of the Peak Forest Canal.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The value of a blog

The great thing about a blog, is that it allows people to float ideas, good or bad, for open discussion. Anyone can leave a comment to criticise a posting.
The risk is that someone may inflate a suggestion and manipulate it outside this forum for their self-serving purpose. I hope we can keep the blog for open discussion of ideas and rise above the machinations of hangers-on.

Stockport's Heritage Centre is the cool place to be

Stockport Baths brass plaqueIn the current heat wave, it's always nice to know a cool place to chill out. St Marys and the Heritage Centre are naturally peaceful and cool because of the Cheshire sandstone walls. There is always something new to see. In fact the challenge to the Heritage Centre volunteers, Jim, Eric, Alan, Grace and Sheila, is displaying the latest items donated by the public, which can anything, from waistcoat to doctor's prescription. Here is one of the most recent donations, a brass plaque from Stockport Baths.

Ann Coffey asks about off-road nuisance

It is possible to monitor what are MPs are saying in Parliament at Usually Ann Coffey, MP for Stockport, is saying how marvellous the government is. For once she is asking a question close to the hearts of many Stopfordians, that of off-road nuisance. Unfortunately, she doesn't get a very useful answer. Click on the image below.

Middle Hillgate flats - planning application

Front elevationDC023548
Nine Flats on the corner of Middle Hillgate and Mowbray Street
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr J A Seymour 0161 474 3656
Consultation Expiry Date: 04-08-2006
Information Office: Hygarth House
Documents: click here.
Location map.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Formation of public walkways onto existing railway embankments plus an area to form motorway screening

I don't understand the plans. But it seems they
are trying to make the disused railway lines, just north of the M60, into more walkable territory.
Click here to see if you can understand the proposals.
Planning office: Heatons Library, Thornfield Rd, Heaton Moor.

Marple residents fight land sale

[Excerpt from the Manchester Metro News 21/7/06]
About 40 Marple residents met councillors to discuss PropertySpy plc, which has bought 10.4 acres of land off Brookdale Ave.
The land, formerly part of Hilltop Farm, falls within the Greater Manchester greenbelt and is designated for agricultural use. But the St Albans company is selling plots, on the basis that it could be re-designated for housing.
Hazel Grove MP Andrew Stunell said: This is a speculative scheme of the worst sort. It is outrageous and legislation is already before Parliament to stamp this out.
"Anyone who is tempted to buy one of these plots should know that they are lining the pockets of the promoters with no chance whatsoever of ever getting their money back or a house built."
Resident Tim Snellgrove said: "The land needs to be maintained properly. Also it is very, very unlikely that in the next 20 years at least this land will be re-designated."
A spokesman for PropertySpy said: "We firmly contest that our investment product could be described or construed as any form of abuse.
"We categorically deny the assertion that there is no chance whatsoever of purchasers ever realising their investment or of the land being developed.
"The high demand for housing means there is every chance that prime sites will be considered for residential development at some point."

[The controversial PropertySpy site can be seen by clicking here.]

Sowing the seeds of success

[Excerpt from the Stockport Times 20/7/06]
Only a few months ago, activists were scattering seeds for a wildflower meadow which is now a glorious field of knee-high grasses, marigolds, cornflowers and poppies.
Lovers of the outdoors will be able to enjoy the summer by taking advantage of the scenery, just of Old Hall Rd.
Paula Isherwood said: "We are delighted to say that, although we have a few bald patches, it's looking beautiful."
April's seeding followed the digging of the ponds in March, funded by the Environment Agency and the council, and worked on by many of the 90 members of Gatley Carrs Conservation Group.
The former swampland site has also been assisted by the Lottery's Awards For All programme and is likely to need similar attention in another 10 years.

Bowled over by our top Hat Museum

[Excerpt from the Stockport Times]
The Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service praised the [Hat Museum] after 'mystery shopping' it last week.
VAQAS assessor Chris Vere said: "Hat Works is a confident and very well-presented attraction with a good sense of humour and plenty of depth to its offering. It was a most enjoyable visit.
"The museum provides an excellent standard of visitor experience and comfortably merits the continued Visit Britain accreditation as a quality assured visitor attraction."
For more information visit

'Business pay-offs could damage town centre's £500m Masterplan'

[Excerpt from Stockport Times 20/7/06]
Roger Hannah says that the redevelopment scheme could come unstuck, if the developer working hand-in-hand with the local authority to bring the borough's Masterplan to fruitition decides that, because of high compensation settlements to businesses and landowners, there would not be enough profit left in the kitty.


It's supposed to be Manchester, but new BBC drama series is filmed in Reddish and stars Bredbury actor, Will Mellor.

The end of an era

[Excerpt from Stockport Times 20/7/06]
The red brick Edwardian schoolhouse which now houses Woodley Primary School's nursery, is shutting when its nursery classes move to the main school site at Sherwood Rd.
First opened in 1864 as the Woodley British School, on Chapel St, it moved to the Bankfield Rd building in 1909, and was renamed Woodley Council School.
Lit by gaslamps, the school taught children aged 5-14 reading, writing and arithmatic, with some of the children only attending classes parttime while they worked in local factories and mills.
Headteacher Thomas Cowper wrote afterwards in the school log: "During the spell of very hot weather, a ventilated classroom with plenty of space in it has been greatly appreciated by all who remember the five-classes-one-room conditions."
In 1964 the school moved to new modern premises in Sherwood Road and only two infant classes remained at the Bankfield Rd site before it housed just the Nursery.
The school plans to commemorate with an open afternoon on Tuesday July 25, from 4.15-6.15 and has invited former old boys and old girls along.
Local author and historian Roy Frost has recorded a history of the school in his book "Woodley School 1864-2004" Copies cost £5 and are available from the school.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Book series brings new perspective on the landscape of the North West

[English Heritage press release - 19/7/06]
A new and comprehensive study of England's landscape is launched today (Wednesday 19 July) by English Heritage and Harper Collins. The book series offers an authoritative view of the evolution of our landscape in eight regions: the North West, North East, East Midlands, East of England, South East, South West, the West and West Midlands. Each study explores the distinctive characteristics of its region, charting how England's celebrated landscape has been occupied and shaped since the last Ice Age.

Dr Angus Winchester from the University or Lancaster and regional author of the North West volume, said: "'The North West' conjures up a series of widely contrasting images: the dark mills of industrial Lancashire or the majestic mountain scenery of the Lake District; the glitter of Blackpool or sheep and cattle quietly grazing around old stone farmhouses; the architectural splendour of Liverpool's cathedrals or the bleak, evocative ruins of Border castles. This book explores the rich diversity of landscapes in that long, narrow stretch of England from the Mersey to the Scottish border, hemmed in by the sea to the west and the Pennine moors to the east. Covering both countryside and townscapes, it explores how economic exploitation has shaped the land across the millennia, how features in the landscape can form tangible expressions of abstract ideas (of power, authority, religious belief, utopian ideals, for example), and how the landscape of the North West, both in its mountain scenery and its industrial legacy, has inspired writers and artists for more than two hundred years."

Sir Neil Cossons, Chairman of English Heritage, said: "The landscape of England has inspired generations of writers, poets and artists. It evokes intense passion and profound emotion, but only in the last half-century or so have we started to recognise the extreme fragility of all that we value. These books set out to reveal the values that underwrite our sense of place and offer a new insight into how the landscape of England evolved."

The series, written by leading regional experts with assistance from English Heritage specialists, aims to integrate our understandings of geology, topography, history, archaeology and architecture and explores humanity's impact on its immediate environment, examining differences between and within each English region. The volumes also include photographs specially commissioned by English Heritage including new aerial photography that has revealed complex landscapes across the country.

The "England's Landscape" series takes a new approach to the definition of the English Regions, grouping localities together into areas where comparable settlements have used the land in similar ways, revealing new connections between apparently diverse communities. This approach also exposes the fundamental role that 'region' has played in English creative and intellectual life throughout the centuries.

Copies of "England's Landscape" are priced at £35 and are available at bookshops across the country from 9 August 2006. Or you can order copies from English Heritage Sales at Gillards on tel. 01761 452966 or email

Monday, July 17, 2006

Another Stitcher press release

The Staircase House website have posted a press release about the Trust's donation to start the Staircase Stitchers Project. (Apparently it is over a month old, but Google has only just found it.)

Staircase House Press Release
After nearly two decades all the money raised towards the restoration of Staircase House by Stockport Heritage volunteers has been handed over to Stockport Council, the present custodians of the beautiful 15th C. gentry townhouse on the Market Place.
Already eight thousand pounds has been donated to pay for a replica 17th C. carved oak tester bed and now the remaining two thousand pounds is presented by the Trust, a registered local charity, to help pay for an embroidery project that will create copies of period bed hangings, linen and costumes, all made by local volunteers. The money had been gathered in a campaign to save the priceless building from bulldozers, which started in 1987 and ended in triumphant restoration when the house opened to the public in 2005.
Iain McLean, the first chairman of Stockport Heritage and current honorary vice-president , handed over the cheque to Sarah Cotton, co-ordinator of the embroidery project. Iain is one of only three Trust stalwarts who were involved in the early campaign to save the building, including Steve Cliffe and Sharza Dethick, who were present at the handover. Steve is editor of the independent Stockport Heritage magazine and Sharza works as a museum assistant with Stockport Heritage Services.
Other Trust volunteers busy with current projects include the present chairman, Jim Clare, who runs the Heritage centre in St Mary’s Church open on market days, Angela Kenrick who works as a stitcher on the embroidery project and plans costume displays in the Heritage Centre, and Coral Dranfield who is preparing an exhibition on local water tunnels for Stockport Story Museum with the help of veteran caving expert, Alan Burgess.
Pr - 13.6.06

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hands off our green and pleasant land

[Excerpt from S Manchester Reporter]
Under current planning laws gardens and other urban landscaped areas are classed as brownfield rather than greenfield sites, meaning developers find it relatively simple to get planning permission for housing complexes that cover the entire "footprint" of a given site.
The relatively-new phenomenon has been termed �garden-grabbing� and, according to Mr Leech and his colleagues, threatens to drive a stake through south Manchester�s local heritage.
In the past few weeks the city council has received two planning applications from developers which, if successful, will see them concrete over lush, tree-lined areas surrounding old buildings.
In West Didsbury, a grand Edwardian house called the Rookery � one of many similar former family homes that give Didsbury its unique heritage � has been bought by Median Homes, which wants to convert the building and its grounds into flats.
On the back of quirky planning laws, Median Homes not only wants to convert the house on Palatine Road into nine apartments, but also build an extra block of 15 flats in the grounds.
If the developer succeeds in its bid the property�s famous sweeping drive and manicured lawn will be concreted over.
[Click on the image to read the full story in the South Manchester Reporter.]

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Leading the Council down a Blind Alley

It's not everyday a member of the Heritage Trust gets a chance to lead the Council down a blind alley, but on Wednesday lunch time, Kevin Dranfield did just that.

On the 8th of September Kevin and Jim Clare will be leading FOUR FREE guided tours of Stockport's medieval town centre. Here was a chance to try it out on twenty willing volunteers.

They went in ancient caves, saw Stockport's 'red light district' and walked on water, all in 90 minutes.

All the comments were favourable and it is hoped that people will turn up for the tours as part of the National Heritage Opendays
Sept. 7th - 10th.

Chadkirk Festival

Do I spy three trust members, or is time playing tricks?

For a bit more info on Chadkirk Festival, see The StockportDiary.

The Trust will be there with a stall, selling our increasingly varied range of unique products reflecting Stockport past and present. Members will be wearing historic costumes to add to the atmosphere.

If you want to parade in costume, but don't have anything suitable get in contact and we will see what we can do.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Heritage Trust in Staircase House

The Tourist Information have kindly offered us a chance to promote the Trust in one of their rooms in Staircase House. The offer extends to any Saturday as long as we book in advance and the room is manned at all times.

We can have the use of the reception desk and space to put up display boards, but must not sell anything. Angela & Ken Kenrick, Coral & Kevin Dranfield and Steve Cliffe took them up on their offer on Saturday.

Three Georgian figures could be seen parading inside and out to promote the trust and canvase new members.

The experiment was very successful and will be tried again next month.

Another report on the Reddish swan - Metro News

THUGS who shot a swan three times with an airgun and left him for dead have been slammed by nature lovers.

The male swan was with his four young cygnets in the nature reserve at Reddish Vale when the yobs struck.

Tame Valley Defence Group, which looks after wildlife in the area, is now appealing for more information about the incident so the hooligans can be brought to justice.

Pat Ruaune, group secretary, said: "The cob (male swan) was showing off his chicks to people he thought were his friends, when he was shot in the head, neck and body. The thugs were challenged by passers-by and reported to the police, but unfortunately we have not been able to trace them."

The swan survived the attack and is now recovering on another stretch of water.
[Click the image for the full story in the Metro News.] Posted by Picasa

Save Lyme Hall!

[Excerpt from the Stockport Citizen]
Lyme Hall desperately needs the publics help to repair the roof of the Grade I listed hall, which is in a very poor state and needs extensive renovation. There are already several leaks, which threaten both the building and the art collection.
Lyme Hall is under going major renovations which will involve reproofing above the East Range and most importantly the Long Gallery, home to irreplaceable wood panelling and a selction of furniture and paitings. The estimated cost of the work on the roof is in excess of £1m, for which grants have been obtained from English Heritage and Stockport Council. However, the National Trust is hoping the public will lend their support by visiting to see the conservation work in action.
Visitor Services Manager at the Hall, Philip Burt said: "We are offering the public an unmissable opportunity to take a 'tower tour' up to roof level to see conservation work taking place and a breathtaking five-storey view of Manchester, Stockport and the Cheshire Plain. We are hoping the work will be completed by Spetember and the final scaffolding to be removed in October. The repair to the roof also gives the NT the opportunity to carry out necessary work to repair and protect the six lead sculptures on the roof.
"The tour to the roof costs an additional £3 and all the proceeds will go towards the work that needs to be done on the lead statues.
[Lyme Park website]

Friday, July 07, 2006

Stockport's medieval wall

The medieval wall below the Mealhouse is disappearing behind a new structure.
No doubt I will be corrected, but I think there has long been debate as to whether the wall was merely a retaining wall to support the hill upon which the Market sits, or the base of a defensive wall round a bailey attached to a 'motte' keep on Castle Yard.
Either way, you will have to hurry to see it before it is obscureded by a new building, like much of Stockport's medieval history.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Avondale Bites the Dust.

Undaunted by broken glass and the smell of burnt out computers, two Trust members, who are also ex-pupils, took torches, cameras and stout shoes, in order to record what remains of the Old Avondale School building on St. Lesmo Rd. Edgeley.

This rather stately Art Deco facade, though not in it's prime, still has an imposing appearance.

From it's half green tiled walls, to the cast iron radiators, very little has been changed in the life of the building. Even the fluted stage surround is still as crisp as the day it was put there, but the message left on the blackboard, says it all.

The School was opened in 1940 and is very soon to be demolished to make way for a new academy building.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Outrage as swan is shot in head at Reddish Vale

WILDLIFE enthusiasts were left angry and appalled after a swan was shot at Reddish Vale Country Park.
The cob swan, which has four recently hatched cygnets, was injured by what has been described as an air rifle shot.
[Click image for the full story from the Stockport Express.] Posted by Picasa

Beer a family affair for Robinsons

Old Tom has been ranked among the top 30 in the world at the International Beer Awards.
The Robinson's empire began in September 1838 when William Robinson bought the Unicorn Inn in Stockport.
It was initially run as a retail business, until William was joined by his son Frederic. The pair began brewing beer and soon branched into wholesale.
In 1876, shortly before his father's death, Frederic bought The Railway at Marple Bridge and laid the foundations of the Robinson's estate.
Frederic was joined by his son, also William, in 1878. By the time of Frederic's death in 1890, the estate had grown to 12 pubs. Today it is run by seven family members - three from the fifth generation and five, including Oliver, from the sixth.
[Click on the image for the story in full from the Manchester Evening News]. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Marple Service Station - planning application

Redevelopment including demolition of existing structures and provision of new petrol filling station, sales building/forecourt shop, storage compound, jet wash, car parking and associated works (Resubmission of DC022451)
Marple Service Station, Stockport Road, Marple, Stockport, Cheshire, SK6 6DQ
The first application was withdrawn because of insufficient traffic and acoustic information.
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr M Jordan 0161 474 3657
Consultation Expiry Date: 22-07-2006
Information office: Marple Library.
Documents: click here.

Rapleys, the agent, has previously assured me that the Stockport Heritage trust blue plaque (paid for by a Trust member) will be incorporated into the new building. There is still no reference to the plaque in the new application, so I will be getting in contact with both Rapleys and SMBC to see that it is protected.

Monday, July 03, 2006

SEMMMS in doubt

LTT articleAccording to the trade mag, Local Transport Today, the costs of this scheme have risen faster than expected. At £860m, this PFI scheme would not only exceed the allocated budget, it would be more than the Department of Transport's total PFI budget for the whole of England.
Note that while there is concern for the three SEMMS road schemes, including the A6 bypass, other SEMMMS schemes such as Quality Bus Corridors, have already been implemented or are being developed.

Hidden House History

Interested in researching the history of your house? Would you like your house to be featured on TV? The Hidden House History website provide tools for research and enales you to submit the results for a national competition.
The competition is supported by The History Channel and

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Market Place news

Information boardThe foyer of St Mary's church contains an informative exhibition , showing the findings of the recent survey of the building. On display are a number of information boards, plus some of the large pieces of masonary which were removed from the roof, before they fell down. The steps needed to make safe and restore the church are now clear. Hopes are being put onto gaining a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant to pay for it.
I don't know if the Trust has been asked to provide support for the application, but I am sure we would give any support we can to maintain this building. Not only do we use it for our Heritage Centre, we see it as a key part of the historic market place, as well as being a place of worship.
It crossed my mind, as to whether it would be timely to ressurrect our plans to remodel the church to make it better suited to host comunity events, enlarge the heritage centre as well as preserve the churches role as place of worship. But, for the moment at least, it is probably best to focus on the immediate needs of preserving the fabric of the church. Perhaps the restoration of the church will help raise the buidling's profile and there will be interest then in widening it's role.
Produce HallAt the other side of the Market Place, the Bezier winde degustation (wine tasting) seemed to have been a great success. Lan and I certainly enjoyed it and went away with a couple of reds. I hope this will be the first of many such events. They add to the appeal of the market, without detracting from the core buiness of the stalls.
By the way, when you next visit the market, keep a look out for Market News. It includes a free to enter quiz where you could win £20.