Thursday, August 31, 2006

Council Helps To Preserve Stockport

As part of an ongoing public consultation process into conservation areas, the Council wants to hear the views of local residents, businesses and other interested parties on the proposed new conservation areas at Alexandra Park, Edgeley; Cale Green; Chadkirk and Hatherlow. Consultation will also look at character appraisals for the existing conservation areas at Barlow Fold and Greave Fold in the Romiley area. The following locations will be holding drop-in sessions and exhibitions, to obtain public feedback:

  • Conservation area: Alexandra Park and Cale Green, drop-in session at Edgeley Library on Monday 4th September from 3.30pm to 7.00pm. Exhibition at Edgeley Library, from Tuesday 5th September until noon on Monday 11th September. Exhibition at Stockport Central Library from 1.00pm on Monday 11th September until Saturday 16th September.
  • Conservation area: Hatherlow and Chadkirk and review for Barlow and Greave Folds, drop-in session at Life Centre, Romiley on Monday 18th September, from 3.30pm to 7.00pm. Exhibition at Bredbury Library, from Tuesday 19th September until noon on Monday 25th September. Weekend exhibitions will take place at Chadkirk Chapel on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September, and Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September. The exhibition will be on display from 1.00pm until 5.00pm. The Chadkirk exhibition will only cover the proposed Chadkirk conservation area, not all four areas under review.

    [Click the image above for the full story.]

A footballing first for Europe

Some football trivia:
Having previously stated that the first Asian-born footballer to play for a European club was Paulino Alc'ntara who played for Barcelona between 1912 to 1927, the Guardian has corrected itself, to reveal that it was in fact Jimmy Pass, born in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, who played for Stockport in 1903.

[Click the image above for the full story.]

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hannah points the way with important discovery

The Old Vicarage and Parish Centre are hosting open days on Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3, where archaeologists will be on hand to discuss the finds and give tours of the site.
The sites will be open from 11am to 4pm and tickets cost £4 per adult, £1 per child and £8 for a family.

[Click the image above for the full story in the Stockport Express.]

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

LED Display outside the Town Hall

DC023952 & DC023953
The erection of a free standing electronic LED display sign.
Town Hall, Edward Street, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 3NG
Case Officer / Telephone: Mrs S Taylor 0161 474 3664
Consultation Expiry Date: 14-09-2006
Documents: click here and here or at Hygarth House, 103 Wellington Road Sth.
[You will probably find some of the documents download as black pages. I have discussed this with DC Admin and they gave me some advice which did not work. I would like others to contact them and tell them they can't read some of the documents.]

The proposed sign looks pretty awful. See the mock-up photos by clicking here. They don't show it in colour, but it will be green with red lights. Do you think the Trust object to this proposal?

Phone mast for Cheadle

Installation of a 15m high slimline pole telecommunications mast and associated equipment cabinet.
Grass Verge, off Carrs Road, (Junction with Stockport Road) Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 2JZ
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr J F Crowder 0161 474 3661 xn 3661
Consultation Expiry Date: 18-09-2006
Documents: click here or see Cheadle Library.

Inside the pyramid

Inside the pyramid
Originally uploaded by mbrearley.
Here's an unusual shot, the Pyramid viewed from the inside. To see the working environment, then click here.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Town Centre M60 Gateway Strategy

The Trust has been invited to a discussion on the progress of the Town Centre M60 Gateway Strategy and the future priorities. You are invited to leave comments here that can help inform our discussions. Click on the image below to access the original Strategy Report (2000) and the last 5 annual reviews.

[Click the image above for the full story.]

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fury over cinema plan

[Excerpt from Manchester Metro News - 25 Aug 06]
Fears of noise from revellers if it becomes a pub.
Four Heatons Area planning officer Chris Smyton said he has received "a substantial number" of objections to the application by pub chain Barracuda Group Limited, which owns and operates about 170 pubs around the country.
"I have not considered the letters in detail yet but the main objections stem from the loss of the cinema itself, and the potential noise and nuisance factor if another pub is opened. We are investigating the current levels of nuisance in the area to see if this carries any weight."
Lisa Fan has owned the Savoy for 12 years. She said sharply falling attendances and rising costs had forced her to sell up. Lisa added: "Last week there were only four people in for one performance and five for another." She said the fuel costs of running high voltage projectors and high insurance premiums were also forcing her out of business.
Mr Smyton said that the application will be considered by the Four Heatons Area Committee on September 13.

[Click the image above for the full story.]

There’s a fort at the bottom of my garden

For the past eight years the Hearle's garden and surrounding fields, in the village of Mellor near Stockport, has been a huge archaeological site, revealing evidence of human occupation from the Mesolithic Period (around 10,000 years ago) up to the present day with the only gap being the Dark Ages.

[Click the image above for the full story.]

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Harry the Hatter is blast from County's past

[Excerpt from the Stockport Times - 24 Aug 06]
The revival of the original mascot has brought mixed reactions from the town, but County believes the choice is the right one.
Harry rose to fame in the 1930s. He was featured in a special series of cigarette cards chronicling club nicknames, and Count were known as the Hatters due to the town's reputation as Europe's biggest hat manufacturers.

Fires at derelict sites are a 'major problem'

Hopes Carr 22.08.06 (2)
Originally uploaded by A G 1.
[Excerpt from the Stockport Times - 24 Aug 06]
A mill fire at Hopes Carr on Tuesday night at is just the latest in a series of arsons at the site which have had chaotic consequences for the town centre in recent months.
And a huge blaze which devestated the former Dial Park Primary School last month was just one of several attacks on disused primary schools in the borough.


[Excerpt from Stcokport Times - 24 Aug 06]
Stockport MP Ann Coffey met a teenage graffiti artist to discuss providing a designated area where he and other young artists can legally display their work.
Ms Coffey said afterward: "It would be great to see a designated graffiti wall in Stockport."

Parks offer clues on town's history

[Stockport Times excerpt - 24 Aug 06]
Many of Stockport's green spaces and parks hold fascinating clues to the town's past.
Visitors to some of Stockport's Heritage Open Days will be able to see this for themselves, at events taking place between Thursday 7 and Sunday September 10.
Visitors can stroll along the Heaton Moor ConservationTrail and families are are invited to take part in period games.
Heaton Moor was Stockport's first railway suburb. The park was openedon the occasion of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, July 17, 1897, and was covered by by-laws which provide an interesting insight into life at the time, for instance: "carpets, mats, etc. not to be shaken or beaten" and "pea shooters not to be used".

On Saturday, September 9, volunteer guides will be leading a walk along the historic flight at Marple Locks. In May 1794, construction of the Peak Forest Canal began, stretching from Whalley ridge to Ashton.

Vernon Park is Stockport's oldest park, opened in 1858 and restored to its Victorian splendour through a Heritage Lottery Fuind grant in 2000.
[For details of the many events see Stockport Heritage Days.]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Important Day For Town Centre Transformation

Stockport's biggest ever retail expansion came a step closer today, with the signing of the formal cooperation agreement between Stockport Council and Lend Lease.

[Click the image above for the full story.]

Campaign to save the Savoy is stepped up

[The debate continues. See the Stockport Express.]

[Click the image above for the full story.]

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hopes Carr 22.08.06 (4)

Hopes Carr 22.08.06 (4)
Originally uploaded by A G 1.
I was just walking a long Wellington St when I heard fire engines speed round the corner into Hopes Carr. This is the second fire in a month.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Congratulations to Stockport's Heritage Centre for being 7 years old this week.

To commemorate this monumental occasion the Trust laid on a small birthday party for the tireless volunteers who give there time each week to greet visitors with a smile and a cheery word.

The afternoon was rounded off by Jim Clare modeling his, soon to be, new Town Criers outfit.

Could the Savoy become a youth centre?

Kirk Crager of the Calvary Chapel, Stockport has contacted this blog hoping to make contact with those trying to save the Savoy from becoming a pub. His message is below.

Our charity as been looking for a more unorthodox place of having our meetings, as well as having a youth centre and a coffee shop type hang out. A kind of multi purpose facility to use for our charity but also to open up for youth in other ways. I think this is a much better use than another drunken pub...I just want to find out the contact details of people to see if this would be acceptable and if the other planning permission got stopped, maybe we could try. Or even we would be willing to rent a few days a week from the cinema in order to help it financially. I tried to rent it for Sundays about a year ago and was turned down. I have no idea why, especially now that I know they have been struggling financially...
Kirk Crager

For contact information, click on the name above.

Stockport Heritage Trust has not taken a position on the Savoy. We would love to see the cinema flourish, but I suspect the economics are stacked against it. We certainly wouldn't like to see the Savoy standing empty. It is to be hoped that some use, which creates amenities and jobs for Heaton Moor, while preserving the character of the building, can be found. I understand from Stagedoor, that the inside has already been extensively modernised following a fire sometime ago.

See earlier postings:

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tricks of the trade

How does Roger cope with all those difficult names in the Bible?
Now it can be revealed...

Lectern at St Mary's, Churchgate

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tesco - Face the Facts

18 August 2006: John Waite investigates Britain's biggest retail chain Tesco and the way its critics claim it bends and on occasion even breaks planning law in the building of some of its new stores. John visits one community in which a superstore was built almost twenty per cent bigger than planning permission allowed. In other cases he hears how the retailer has frustrated local authorities with its attempts to overturn planning restrictions.

[Click the image above for more of the story.]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mural Marvel

[Excerpt from the Stockport Times 17 Aug 06]
There's no chance that staff at BAE's Woodford site will ever forget the Lancaster bomber.
A huge mural devoted to the aircraft has been painted onto the canteen wall by artist Walter Kershaw. The 60'x20' work, shows a Lancaster production line at the former Avro plant.
At the peak of production in 1944, the factory was churning out dozens of Lancasters every week on 3/4 mile production lines. In one week alone, 52 bombers were built, with a total of 156 in just one month. More than 4,000 were eventually built at Woodford.

Campaign to 'save Savoy'

[Excerpt from the Stockport Times 17 Aug 06]
Mystery campaigners have put up notices in shop windos near a threatened cinema asking local people to rally round to save it.
The notices have gone up near the Savoy Cinema in Heaton Moor after the Stockport Express last week exclusively revealed that the historic cinema will close if a planning application to turn the site into a pub is given the go-ahead. [In fact this blog revealed the plans 12 days before that, see Savoy cinema conversion to pub]
The notices ask residents to 'Save Our Savoy' and urge them to lodge an objection to the pub plans by writing to the council's planning office at Hygarth House.
Whether or not the planning application goes through, hopes of saving the cinema are not high. Owner Lisa Fan said attendances had fallen so sharply it was no longer viable to keep it open.
[For more information on see Savoy planning application, but the cinema can only be 'saved' if there is a plan to make it viable. An alternative use is better than it standing empty. May be the poster campaign would be more constructive if it encouraged more people to use the cinema.]

Town Hall talking... Councillor Brian Millard

[Excerpt from Stockport Times 17 Aug 06]
Last week, one of our council employees discovered copies of a booklet titled An Account of the Town Hall of the County Borough of Stockport in the Town Hall strong room.
It's a fascinating narrative - with plans of each floor, a large number of photographs and the names of long-departed aldermen and councillors.
Also of interest is the list of contractors, from Stockport, Manchester and London. In those days, the architect not only designed the building, but also the furniture, which was constructed by a Cheltenham firm and remains today.

Arise King Thomas of Bramhall Lane

[Excerpt from Stockport Times 17 Aug 06]
A university student has discovered that he is related to Irish kings after his wife carried out DNA tests on him.
She said: "When I got the results back, they said he was 'haplogroup R1b' which didn't mean anything to us then.
"A haplogroup is a grouping of genetically similar people who share an ancient ancestor, a sort of genetic clan.
"I found that R1b had been found to be the likely group of Niall of the Nine Hostages, a high King of Ireland who established a long line of Irish Chiefs.
"It is also the group that Colla Uais is thought to belong to. He is another High King from whom many Scottish and Irish clans are descended."

Be open eyed on heritage open days

Many of Stockport's best kept secrets are to be revealed this September.
On the Saturday [9 Sep 06] guided tours, led by Stockport Heritage Trust members, will take visitors through the historic Market Place and Underbanks area of Stockport.
Starting hourly from 11am at the part-medieval church of St Mary's in the Market Place, the walk will follow the ancient streets of Stockport and participants will be shown the town's former red light district, dungeon, the mysterious location of Tin Brook, ancient caves made by Stopfordians and the site of a Civil War Battle.
[See the Stockport Times for more about this and other events over heritage days 7-10 September. For an almost comprehensive list see: Stockport Heritage day.]

Help down on the farm

[Excerpt from the Stockport Times 17 Aug 06)
Volunteers and sponsorship are always needed to help with the running of the Offerton Community Farm. The Holiday Lane farm, which homes rescued ponies, sheep, rabbits and pigs, costs £5,000 each year to run and volunteers are always needed to feed, groom and clean the animals.
If you can spare a few hours a week, contact owner David Oakes on 07947 565813 or Lisa Hogg on 07731 006597.

Report off-road bike nuisance on-line

In response to growing concerns about the increasing problem of off-road bike nuisance, the GMPA, the governing body for Greater Manchester Police, has launched an on-line reporting facility on a specially created website dedicated to the problem.
Residents can click on and complete a simple report form on-line.

[Click the image above for the full story.]

Double commendation for Chadkirk Chapel

Photo by m.puddifoot.
Chadkirk Chapel celebrates being highly commended by the national attraction recognition scheme, VAQAS, and winning the coveted Green Flag Award for excellent green space.

[Click the image above for the full SMBC press release.]

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Mellor Dig gets defensive

Breaking News 16th August 2006
In addition to the enranceway to the Iron Age Inner Defensive Ditch, today they found several pieces of what looks like more Iron Age pottery from the bottom fill. If you are not fortunate enough to be able to visit the site you can find out more about this and all the other highs and lows of the excavation for the first time through the Dig Diary as the finds and features emerge.

[Click the image above for the full story.]

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Canal Boat Stuck in Marple Canal 15.08.06


[The Mirror 3 Aug 06]
Number 45: Be a mad hatter at the fascinating Hat Works museum in Stockport, Cheshire, where there's a wide display of top hats, bowlers and trilbies. Call 0845 833 0975 or visit

[Click on image above for the full story.]

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Boring or beautiful?

mersey square
Originally uploaded by robo2004.
Has Mersey Square got better or worse? What do you think?

[Click on "comments" below.]

Stockport Heritage Magazine on sale

Stockport Heritage Magazine Summer 06The latest magazine for Summer/Autumn 2006 is at newsagents and all good bookshops in Stockport. Best of all, buy it at the Heritage Centre, St Mary's Church, Churchgate and 50p goes to the Trust.

Contents include:

Or email me on and I'll put you in contact with the editor and annual subscriptions.

Staircase House grand balloon release

The climax of the anniversary was grand balloon release, which was also a balloon race. I don't klnow where they landed, but the balloons were last seen heading towards the Atlantic. They are displayed here in order of elevation, or reverse chronologically.

Staircase House 1st Anniversary

the kitchenFrom outside, it appeared to be business as usual, apart from the black and white flags and black balloons (which looked vaguely funereal), but inside the House all was hustle and bustle with families being entertained by costumed staff and entertainers.

Hurdy gurdy entertainment in the candle roomMy photos do not capture the full excitement as photographing children is not a good idea (except for backs of heads), however they show some of the atmosphere.

We must thank Sarah Cotton and her Staircase House staff who dressed up and entertain visitors and are prepared to be photographed wearing costumes that they would not choose for themselves.

a practical class in wattle and daub for adults and children

Study in blue
Photo's by Bill.

The Richard de Vernon Legacy

Jim ClaireStockport Heritage Trust's Honarary Chair, Jim Claire, held the audience spell bound at St Mary's Church for a 750 year journey through time. Trust lectures have become an annual event, but this was something special as it was single hour long lecture, rather than 3 shorter lectures and allowed the topic to be discussed in full detail.

If you want to learn about the topic, you will have to come to the Heritage Centre and talk to Jim himself. He be found there most Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Turning to the next page

Jim Claire lecturing in St Mary's

The Rev. Scoones thanks Jim

Finally, celebrating another successful Trust event.

Celebration at the Arden Arms

Friday, August 11, 2006

Stockport woos the tourists

[Excerpt from the Manchester Metro News - 11 Aug 06, with comments added in brackets]
Stockport could soon be on the map as a top North West tourist destination.
A plan to boost the borough's visitor potential was unveiled to council bosses this week, with the message that "Stockport has considerable potential to attract visitors in great numbers".
The 5-year pla describes how Stockport should aim to attract top restaurant brands such as ASK, Loch Fyne and Pizza Express to a town centre entertainment quarter. [The Loch Fyne website looks impressive, but I think Stockport should aim for something more prestigious than Pizza Express.]
The plan also reccomends that the Old Town be used as a festival quarter hosting cultural events [as long as it doesn't mean ejecting the Market to make space], and that the shopping experience be "re-invented to appeal to style-hounds and cosmopolitans".
Council bosses also hope to find a site for a four-star or boutique hotel.
The strategy will be formally launched in October.
[There is already a great deal in Stockport to attract tourists, we have got to start telling people about it.]

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sculpting new ideas at green flag park

[Excerpt from Stockport Times - 10 Aug 06]
Etherow Country Park is home to eight new sculptures that double as handy resting points. They have been designed by artist Andrew Frost at a cost of £1,000, paid for by Etherow Community Council.

A wonderful world full of Stockports

An article in the Stockport Times points out that there is a Stockport in South Australia. There is an Edgeley in North Dakota. Rose Hill can be found in Mauritius. Cheadle is in Alberta, Canada. While Davenport is in Iowa.
The article could also have mentioned Stockport in Iowa which this blog has long had a link to.

Heritage Day events, 7-10 September

7-10 September is Heritage Day (work that one out for yourself). The long list exciting, free places to visit can be found by clicking on the image below. Not least of which is Stockport Heritage Trust's town centre guided walk, hourly from St Mary's Church on Saturday, September 9. Some of the events need to be booked in advance, so take a look now. (Abney Hall, Air Raid Shelters, Art Gallery, Bramall Hall, Chadkirk Chapel, Crematorium, Hat Works, Heaton Moor Park, Hollywood Park, Marple Locks, Plaza, St Peter's Church, St Thomas' Church, Staircase House, Town Centre walks, Town Hall, The Brinnington Story, Vernon Mill, and Vernon Park.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Medieval Mellor

There have been hints dropped that this year's key discoveries at the Mellor Dig are medieval. This is intriguing, as once more the evidence of continuous occupation has been extended, but this time closer to the current day.
Having been able to find a reliable, but unattributable, inside source, I am able to reveal that what has been found are rows of massive round postholes carved out of the bedrock and clearly intended to hold treetrunk sized uprights. The source, who is a qualified archeologist, thinks it is evidence of an aisled hall on a north south axis at a 45 degree angle to the church tower and dates it as Norman. It is within the defensive ditch area in the rectory garden.
The dig has also turned up another hunting arrowhead (iron) of medieval date.
It is theorised that what has been found is the orginal Mellor Hall used by the forestors of the Peak Forest.

We're all speaking Manc now!

STARS of the stage and screen are subtly spreading the Manc accent across the country, according to one of the city's language experts.
[Click on the image to see the full story in the Manchester Evening News. Or click on Lays from Lancashire to read Burnley dialect from 76 years ago.]