Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ghostly Figures Seen Around the Marketplace

Ghostly figures were seen passing through Stockport town centre on Tuesday night, and lights hovered above the ground.

No these were not supernatural phenomena, but a group of willing ghost hunters being led by Steve Cliffe on a guided walk around the Market Place and Underbanks.

After watching Constable Birch being shot in Loyalty Place (Jim Clare) the group moved on to mysterious tombstones and the depths of Stockport's Dungeon.

Thank you Steve, for a very enjoyable evening and a request was made for a repeat performance next year.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Heritage Blog

It is one year since the launch of the Stockport Heritage blog. To revisit the early days, click on "October 2005" in the right hand margin.

Our readers' survey posted earlier this week, showed how interesting readers find it.

To see a snapshot of current usage, go to blog stats.

Recent searches which have brought people to our blog have included:

  • stockport heritage
  • stockport workhouse
  • stockport market ghost walk
  • limekiln cottages marple
  • river etherow bleaching co
  • stockport heritage centre
  • radio masts in romiley
  • historical stockport

32% of our visitors are repeat visitors and more than 22% of our visitors view the pages for more than 5 minutes.

We have recently earned $100 from the Google adverts on these pages.
Locations of visitors to this page

Thank you to all our contributors and readers who have made these pages such a success. We plan to build on this popularity and we will soon start implementing the improvements requested in the readers' survey.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stockport Story, Phase II to open 31st Oct

What a busy day next Tuesday is. There is the Trust's Halloween Walk, Romiley's Area Committee is meeting to discuss phone mast applications, and it is also the opening of the Second Phase of Stockport Story.

The new gallery is for changing exhibitions. It is kicking off with an exhibition on Curious Contraptions. Look in Future Events for special events supporting the exhibition.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Battle lines are drawn to stop masts in Romiley

RESIDENTS in Romiley are gearing-up for the mother of all battles, to prevent two high profile telecommunications masts being built in their midst in the village centre.
The one causing most controversy is the planned siting by Orange of a near 40 ft mast next to Romiley Forum, Compstall Road, and less than 100 metres from Romiley Primary School.
The second one is a 56 ft mast by 02 on land owned by Network Rail at Romiley Railway Station. Both decisions, which are being recommended by Stockport Council officials for approval, will be made on Tuesday by Werneth Area Committee.
The meeting starts at 6 pm at the Ada Kay Centre, off Annable Road, Lower Bredbury.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

See also:
"Stealth" mobile phone mast for Romiley; and
Another phone mast at Romiley Station.

Murder at open air sex spot

The gruesome discovery, made at around 7.30pm, may have a devastating effect on the Stockport parkland which is already struggling with its reputation as a kinky sex spot.
Because of lewd activities there, the numbers of family visitors have dropped in recent years and community workers believe it could now become a permanent �no go� area.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Giant humming bird sculpture good for mind

[Excerpt from the Stockport Times 26/10/06]
Friends of Reddish Vale Park and mental health charity Stockport Mind were putting the finishing touches to the artwork, made of wood chippings, on Friday.
The model is a smaller version of one of the Nazca Lines found in Peru's Nazca desert.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Results of the readers' survey

It is now the first birthday of this blog (29th October to be precise), so it is timely to release the results of the Reader's Survey. (If you didn't notice it before, there has been links at the top of the page for some months for this survey.)

How do people find these pages?

One third of readers come to us from links on other pages. Some of the most used referral links are those from: Stockport Express; Stockport Harriers, not to mention the occasional visitor from Flickr, Metro News, Mike Kiernan's website and North Cheshire Family History site.
The second source is from search engines, with just over 1 in 4 doing a web search which leads them to our pages.
One in five came from a referral from a friend. Two said they came from "other" sources, one said it was Steve Cliffe who told them about the site, but they obviously didn't classify him as a friend. But I can't joke because the other "other" I think referred to me.
Only one person said that they found us through the Stockport Heritage Magazine. At least it did better than our leaflet, which attracted no one, but I am not sure the leaflet even gives our address. I keep trying to persuade people to include our web address on leaflets and Trust products sold at the Heritage Centre.

What is interesting?

Two thirds of our readers find the photographs very interesting.
Joint second most interesting features are: Trust news and past events; and planning application information. 44% of the readers find these "very interesting".
Joint 4th are: future events; and excerpts for news publications. One third of readers found them very interesting.
Only 22% found links to other sites "very interesting" and 11% found links to Stockport Council sites "very interesting".

If instead, we list the most interesting, by adding together "very interesting" with "interesting", we get a slightly different order.
100% find Trust news and past events interesting.
89% find photographs interesting.
78% find future events interesting.
67% find excerpts from news publications interesting.
56% find planning applications interesting.
Only 44%, i.e. less than half the respondents, find links to other sites and to Stockport Council web pages interesting.

What do readers want more of?

Readers want more of practically everything, with at least half wanting more: photographs; Trust news and past events; and links to other sites. Note that "links to other sites" scores highly despite only 44% considering it interesting.
44% would like more "excerpts from news publications" but an equal number would like less.
The only item where the number asking for less is greater than those asking for more is for "links to the Stockport Council website", where 33% would like less versus 22% wanting more.
No one wants less "links to other sites" and "Trust news and past events".

Reader's suggestions for additional features

"Profiles of heritage places of interest locally."
My personal thought on this is that most of these are already covered by other websites, hence all the (apparently unpopular) links to other sites.
When the Trust visits a heritage site, the write up could probably say more about the site, but that is up to the contributor.

Contributors please take note of this request. Can you add a profile of a local heritage site? If you aren't a contributor, you can contact me to get you added to the list of bloggers, or send me material and I will post it for you. (stockporttrust@ntlworld.com).

"A short write up and picture of Trust members. There are so members we never see, it would be a shame to pass one in the street and not know!"
This would be nice. We should probably start with the Trustees and management committee members so that members know who are looking after their interests.
I would like to learn more about those who I only know electronically, such as photographer Allen Gleave. However, I don't know how many readers will volunteer this information so the faces we never see at Management Committee are likely to remain incognito.

"A monthly puzzle picture"
An interesting idea, as long as this doesn't tread on the toes of Stockport Heritage Magazine which has occasionally run such a puzzle.
Who would provide these photos? I could borrow them from Flickr, but attentive readers will have seen them already.

"How about some tie in with the LGBT History Month held each February. There was a great number of activities in Stockport this past February including the official opening at the Stockport Art Gallery (covered by the Stockport Express). The organising facilitators in Stockport are Age Concern and the PLUS Group."
The blog site did feature the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite History Month by giving a link to a relevant site. I think it was the Stockport Council press release. Though Stockport Age Concern and the PLUS group were supposed to be sponsoring it I found practically no information on their websites either. As I couldn't find any actual history events, that was the limit of the coverage. I will be keeping a lookout for LGBT History Month next February.

"More pics"
This is supported by the other survey responses. I am not sure how to implement it.
More and longer displays of photos in the right hand margin?
More photos illustrating articles? (I try but they aren't always available)
Postings consisting entirely of photos? (I admit I discouraged Allen when he posted a lot of photos, with out comments to the site. They were good photos, but my judgement was that the site provided good links to Flickr where searches can be done for Stockport photos by him and others. Perhaps I was wrong to do this.)

People obviously want more photos. Please advise me how to do this. Add comments (click on "comments" in the footer).

"Samples of old photographs :- different areas of Stockport each month"
A good idea and an advert for our vast store available for viewing at the Heritage Centre. Someone has to scan them in first.

We are looking into scanning most if not all our old photos. There will be a presentation from House of Images, offering one solution to posting the photos on the internet and offering them for sale, at the next Trust meeting (Wed 1st Nov, 8pm at the Old Rectory).

Meanwhile, may be someone will volunteer to scan in a photo a month. I don't have a scanner.

"None it is very good"
Thanks for the endorsement, but I remain keen to find new ways of improving the blog.

Comments, suggestions, complaints or ideas

"A spotlight on individual members and their work"
This interesting variation on a suggestion made above. It would also be an opportunity to say thank you for their contributions.

"Can the blog be arranged so that there are more defined sections, i.e. put planning applications at the end in a section of its own"
The nature of a blog is that it is sorted by date like a journal, so this is not easily done.
If we had a website, either instead of or as well as the blog, then information could be organised by type, but a website needs to be kept up-to-date. Our two previous websites have lapsed through in attention. I am not volunteering to run a website. We are open to volunteers.
What I could do is set up a second blog, so items are divided between the two. The problem with that is the people who only sometimes find planning applications interesting will seldom look at that blog and miss the info they would have wanted to see.
What I am not sure is how many people are put off by uninteresting postings. When presented with several planning applications do they simply page down to the next interesting posting, or do they leave the blog. I hope it is the former.

"On line becoming a member"
I suppose that might be possible, using PayPal. What I am aiming to do is provide a downloadable application form to printed off by the user, for posting to our membership secretary.

"Would like to see your stock or some of your stock of photographs on a web site to view and purchase"
See above response to the request for monthly old pictures.

Connection type

Most users have fast connections, but a third still on slow dial up modems, we should aim to limit the download size of the blog. (I have assumed that the "don't know" respondee has a slow connection.)

Location of readers

78% of the responses came from Stockport and I think that one of the two non-Stockport responses was from Fernilee near Whalley Bridge, so there is a strong local bias which is not surprising.
Locations of visitors to this page

None of the respondents was from abroad. As the global plotting of visitors shows, we do get a lot of international visitors. A high proportion of these visitors have landed on our site by chance (flicking through blogs), but quite a lot of them have made specific Stockport searches which led them to our page.

Frequency of visit

Over half the respondents visit the site at least once a week.
I keep the upcoming events, at the head of the blog about one week in advance. It would seem that this is a suitable timeframe to use.

It is nice that three first time visitors took the effort to respond to the survey. I wonder if they are now regular visitors.

Participation in the Trust

Two of the respondents are committee members, apart from that, the respondents are not a part of the Trust. I think this demonstrates a real phenomena, that the blog contacts a lot of Stopfordians not involved with the Trust. It would have been interesting for the survey to have asked whether they read the magazine, to see if it is a different audience.

Attendence of Trust events

I am glad to say that Committee Members have attended all three of our main Trust events. Excluding them from the statistics, then 43% of the remainder have visited the Heritage Centre, but none have been on the other Trust events.

I would love to hear people's comments on this survey. It is only a small sample of 15 people (or 9 for most of the questions), so feel free to totally disagree. Or may be you have ideas for how to implement the suggestions.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Plaza in bid for Lottery funding

Plaza facade, Stockport
Plaza facade
Photo by Newfred.
[Excerpt from Stockport Times - 19 Oct 06]
The weighty application includes plans to conserve and restore the internal areas of the Mersey Square venue as well as create a better access to the upper levels and improve disabled access.
The scheme also involves the complete restoration of the tiled front and a comprehensive business plan for the future.
If this stage of the heritage proposal is approved, a second more detailed bid will need to be submitted to secure the £1.9m funding.
The total cost of the work is £3m. So far £315,000 has been raised from other sources. This means £685,000 still needs to be raised and a massive fund raising campaign is due to be launched next month.

Award for super market

[Excerpt from Stockport Times - 19 Oct 06]
Stockport Market Place has received recognition at a national award ceremony.
The redevelopment of Staircase House and Shawcross Fold has scooped the prestigious Best Practice Award from the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA).
A spokesperson for BURA said: "This is a very effective refurbishment of almost-derelict properties and empty sites into an attractive new quarter which now boasts a rich mix of uses.
"Staircase House has become a major visitor attraction and the affordable housing is the first new housing built within the town centre for the past 30 years."

Stockport Scoops UK's Leading Independent Regeneration Award

Shawcross Fold was designated as a regeneration project in order to protect and restore the listed buildings which enclose one side of the town's historic Market Place. Of particular concern was the survival of Staircase House, but with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and the North West Regional Development Agency, this has been transformed into an award winning heritage attraction.
In partnership with Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust and private owners, the remainder of the listed buildings have been repaired and converted for commercial, residential and museum use.
Steven Normansell, Director of Development and Technical Services, Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust commented: �Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust worked with the Council on the housing elements of this challenging project from 1995 to 2005 when the last flats were completed and occupied. Members and Officers from Stockport Council always had a strong and common belief that a quality scheme could be delivered on this important site and that the scheme would have a major impact on the Town Centre.
�We are delighted that their earlier and unstinting support for the Project has been justified and that the importance and quality of the finished scheme has now been recognised at a National level by this award to the Council.�

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Old maps show house is the oldest in town

[Excerpt from Stockport Times Homesearch 19 Oct 06]
According to an historian with an interest in the area, who contacted Gascoigne Halman with a series of old maps going back to 1840, Edgeley Fold is at least 160 years old. In fact the agents reckon it dates back to around 1790.

Edgeley Fold[I could have told them that. I didn't previously post news of this historic building being for sale, because I thought it was unfair on the vendors to get a lot of visitors who want to see the old house but have no interest in buying it. As it is now in the press, it can't do any harm to discuss it here.

The house details can be seen at: Edgeley Fold brochure.

The most interesting part of the visit is seeing the facade, as inside there aren't many original features. The cellar sounded interesting, but I didn't see that.

The significance of Edgeley Fold is that it is the remains of Edgeley House, the family house of Sykes, whose business, Sykes Bleach Works, created and defined the south half of Edgeley. The Sykes family moved to America and Canada around 1904, leaving most of their estate lands as Alexandra Park. The main part of Edgeley House was destroyed. The Edgeley Fold section appears to be less substantial than the rest. The 1790 date, over the main door suggest it was the original house. I think that the building now lost was a larger extension, built as the family fortunes increased.

Incredibly, there are no planning constraints on this building, though the new Alexandra Park Conservation Area would offer some protection, if it is agreed to.

Government allows development to go ahead at danger tip

CHEADLE MP Mark Hunter has slammed a decision by the government planners to allow a multi-million pound housing development on a former �danger� tip that spans areas in Bramhall and Adswood.
The decision by Ruth Kelly the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has overturned years of opposition by residents and local politicians worried about the contents of the Adswood Tip, traffic issues and over-development.
It will enable developers Persimmon Homes to build 163 apartments which include 139 two-bedroomed flats and 24 sheltered units on the land at Midland Road and Geneva Road.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Councillors blaze a trail in canoes

TOWN councillors found themselves in at the deep end when they took to the waters to celebrate the opening of the River Mersey Canoe Trail in Stockport.
The launch held on Monday near Brinksway Weir, marks the first voluntary dedication of public access to a water way by landowners.
The new right of access to River Mersey was a joint venture between Natural England and the Environment Agency, supported by Stockport Council.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Police Continue to put the Brakes on Off-Road Bikers

In a summer crackdown on illegal off-road bikes, police in Stockport have issued 43 formal warnings, seized 20 vehicles and made 3 arrests. Between 10 June and 29 September 2006, Stockport Police teamed up with Stockport Council's Anti-Social Behaviour Action Team and GMP's specialist off-road motorcycle riders, to patrol areas around Stockport and crackdown on the illegal use of off-road bikes, scooters and quad bikes.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Merseyway Mini-Market

New market stalls on MerseywayFor the second week, there has been a market at the bottom of Bridge Street. It's not in competition with the medieval market, but an outpost and advert for it. The hope is it will make the large numbers of people who walk Mersey aware of the market and lure them up Bridge Street.
As I approached, I heard someone say, "Ooh! A market." So it is doing it's job.

Market leafletTo the right is a copy of one of the leaflets being distributed. Below is the view from the market down to its new outpost. A les tiring route is via the TK Maxx lift

Is it really successful? Well I didn't drawn up Bridge Street to the market. A market gazebo was placed halfway up the hill, to give punters something to aim for. The gazebo was empty and at an extreme angle, so looked abandoned rather than leading to an lively market. May be a string of wall pendants or bunting might be more successful.

See a previous posting for Cllr Sue Derbyshire's perspective.

View from market down to Merseyway

Friday, October 13, 2006

NCFHS news

We are currently the featured website on the North Cheshire Family History Society (NCFHS) site. Take a look, I think you will find their site interesting.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Preserve the best of our heritage

[Excerpts of a column by Councillor Sue Derbyshire, in the Stockport Times 12/10/06]
Cllr Sue Derbyshire recieves in struction on the playing of the gu zhengOn Saturday, I spent much of my time in Stockport Market, looking at the stalls that are always there and the extra ones visiting the town for the cultural market, as part of Black History Month. [See Cultural Jamboree.]
This week was a very special one for the market as the additional trading space on Warren Street was used for the first time on Friday. On Saturday, there was an excellent display of the types of goods that can be seen in the market and many people will now, hopefully, take the opportunity to visit the whole market area.
As well as the market itself, Staircase House played a key role in the proceedings, with artists demonstrating music, Chinese writing, printing and Asian food in the House. [See Staircase House goes Global.]
The most important consequence of all these events, is that people who may not have visited this part of the town centre for several years will have had the opportunity to see the substantial work which has been carried out in the area.
The market may have been there since 1260 and Staircase House almost as long, but recent years have seen big improvements.
The award winning Staircase House, Shawcross Fold and Meal House Brow needs to be seen to be fully appreciated, bringing shops and houses back into use.
The work on Underbanks has made that area come back to life and the developments on Hillgate are coming along.
The last piece of work to e initiated is the Covered Market Hall and, in November, we are bidding for Heritage Lottery Funding to refurbish it.
Stockport has a centuries-old history as a market town and we are determined that we preserve the very best of our past.

Help in making our park bloom

[Excerpt from Stockport Times 12/10/06]
Friends of Rose Vale Park are hoping thousands of daffodil bulbs will bring new life in more ways than one. The Heald Green group will be planting a Marie Curie Daffodil field of Hope next month.
Members of the public will be able to sponsor one of 2,500 bulbs for £1 in aid of the cancer charity.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Stockport will be putting trowel to soil on the planting day in November; when two new park benches will be unveiled thanks to a £1,000 grant from the Brookfield House Trust.
The Friends formed in December last year witha vision to completely revitalise the 14-acre park.
Play equipment installed in 1972 is in the process of being condemned by the council as unsafe, with some pieces already removed.
The planting will take place on November 4 at 9.30am.

Auction recalls County heyday

[Excerpt from Stockport Times 12/10/06]
Historic football awards won by a former Stockport County manager are expected to fetch around £15,000 at an auction later this month.
The collection belonged to Andy Beattie, who was Stockport's second post-war manager, in charge at Edgeley Park from March 1949 to April 1952.
During this era, County enjoyed one of their best-ever FA Cup runs and pulled in the biggest crowd at Edgeley Park. It happened in the 1949-50 season, when County faced Liverpool in the 5th round of the FA Cup, pulling in 27,833 spectators.
In 1954 - shortly after leaving Stockport in 1952 - Andy Beattie made history by becoming Scotland's first ever manager.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Extension to mobile phone mast, High Lane - planning application

Extension to existing telecommunications pole to new height of 19.5m.
Green belt.
High Lane Cricket Club, Middlewood Road, High Lane, Stockport, SK6 8AU.
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr M Jordan 0161 474 3657
Consultation Expiry Date: 27-10-2006
Information office: High Lane Library, Buxton Rd, High Lane
Documents: click here.

16.5m timber effect phone mast - planning application

Installation of a 16.5m timber effect monopole with itegrated antennae together with equipment cabinets at ground level and associated development.
Gatley Golf Club, Styal Road, Heald Green, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 3TW.
Case Officer / Telephone: Miss E Curle 0161 474 3538
Consultation Expiry Date: 28-10-2006
Information Office: Gatley, c/o Bossop Ltd, 118 Gatley Rd, Gatley
Documents: click here.

Plan to turn Savoy into pub rejected

Savoy Cinema, 9.9.06. Photo by BillA CONTROVERSIAL plan to turn one of Stockport's last independent cinemas into a pub has been unanimously rejected by councillors.
Although the applicants could appeal against the decision to throw out the application by the Barracuda Group Ltd for the Savoy Cinema at Heaton Moor, members of the Four Heatons area committee felt there was such a strong case against it they all voted for refusal.
Mr Critchley said it would increase congestion and make parking problems worse and increase the already large number of places to drink alcohol in Heaton Moor.
He added they had been that a cinema operator in Macclesfield was interested in the Savoy.
Mr Des Dunlop, of the Barracuda Group, said the firm would spend £1 million on the pub which would create 35 part- and full-time jobs.
He warned that the Savoy would close whatever the outcome of the application because it could not compete with the cinema complex at Parrswood. It now attracted only around 50 people a week. At one time the figure was as high as 600.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Goyt Valley Walk

Yesterday's walk through the Goyt Valley started from Chadkirk carpark, and 18 walkers turned up, some bussed over from Hattersley. Kath Taylor, who organised the walk and was to lead us through the history of Bredbury, was not able to join us due to a sudden illness.

Her place was taken, at short notice, by Kevin Dranfield who did a splendid job guiding the walk, with the help of Steve Cliffe and John Bardsley, as the local experts, adding stories of local dignatories and notorious villains.

The weather was kind to us considering the time of year and I'm sure that everyone enjoyed the afternoon. Thank you Kevin, Steve and John.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Staircase House goes Global

block printing

To complement the Cultural Jamboree in the Market outside, Staircase House went global.

Chinese calligraphyActivities included:
  • block printing;
  • playing the Chinese gu zheng (I believe this is the correct name);
  • Chinese Calligraphy;
  • book reading (on Stockport Heritage Trust's ever popular tester bed); and
  • savouring Asian spices.

The photo's have kindly been provided by Staircase House, SMBC.

Playing the gu zheng

Stockport Heritage Trust's tester bed makes an excellent place for book reading

Savouring Asian spices

Cultural Jamboree

jugglerThis Saturday, one whole side of the historic market was dedicated to a Cultural Jamboree, which included ethnic food, crafts and community information. This was accompanied by a variety of entertainment including drumming, juggling and singing.

Meanwhile, Staircase House went global with food, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts.

Stockport's Cultural Jamboree

Friday, October 06, 2006

"Stealth" mobile phone mast for Romiley - planning application

Erection of 12 metre (including antenna) 'Stealth Lampost' mast, equipment cabinet plus associated works.
Compstall Road, Romiley Village Centre, Romiley.
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr D Harvey 0161 474 3544
Consultation Expiry Date: 26-10-2006
Documents: click here

Demolition of the Gorsey Bank footbridge

View of footbridge from Gorsey BankDemolition of the Gorsey Bank bridge, to be replaced by a modern structure, starts 9 October. SMBC press releases state it was built around 1894, though the Gorsey Bank Planning Brief reckoned it was older.

The bridge is said to be too difficult to repair and the replacement will be paid for by the development of Gorsey Bank.

Notice of diversion

Footbridge from the Trans Pennine TrailThe bridge used to be more heavily used when the Heaton Mersey sidings where on the north bank of the Mersey. The significance of the bridge today is that it links Edgeley and Cheadle Heath to the Trans-Pennine Trail and to the new Mersey Vale Nature Park.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Phone mast for Heaton Norris - planning application

Erection of a 14.7m telecommuncations mast with associated cabinets.
Great Egerton Street, Heaton Norris.
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr J A Seymour 0161 474 3656
Information office: Hygarth House, 103 Wellington Rd Sth.
Consultation Expiry Date: 23-10-2006
Documents: click here.

Another phone mast at Romiley Station - planning application

Erection of a 17.5m telecommuncations mast with shrouded antennas, one 300mm dish, association cabinets and 1.8m palisade fencing.
Land adjacent to Romiley Railway Station, Stockport Road, Romiley, SK6 4BN.
Case Officer / Telephone: Mr D Harvey 0161 474 3544
Information office: Bredbury Advice Centre, George Lane, Bredbury.
Consultation Expiry Date: 26-10-2006
Documents: click here.

National Award For Staircase House

Staircase House has received an 'Excellence in Access' award from the ADAPT Trust. The ADAPT Trust (Access for Disabled people to Arts Premises Today) operates throughout the UK with a goal to improve access by advising and assisting arts and heritage venues to create effective access for everyone.
Having been classed as ‘excellent,’ Staircase House is being awarded a grant of £1,000 to assist with future access initiatives. The Council plans to invest in an on-site wheelchair and additional tactile and Braille signage around the historic attraction. These additions will complement the British Sign Language Tour, touch tour, and step and stair free tours already available, making Staircase House one of the national leaders in accessible heritage.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Reddish Baths

Thank you to Andy Stewart, from the Friends of Reddish Baths, for coming last night to our October Social Night at the Old Rectory.

The talk he gave us about the history of bathing since Roman times, and the history of and fight to save Reddish Baths, was entertaining, as well as informative and a little sad.

Andy explained to us about the building as a whole, which contained at one time, the small village pool, the firestation (a mini version of the one in Mersey Square) and the Library. The baths are now closed, the ground floor of the firestation is used as a community centre, the Library is also looking to re-house some where bigger.

The Friends of Reddish Baths are willing to take over the lease of the baths from the council and run it themselves.

In this day and age, when distinguished buildings such as these are no longer wiped away, but instead valued and put to best use, it seems a shame that a Group striving to help with this process are not given more support.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stockport's 'Beat Sweep' Swings Into Action

A new, high profile campaign to tackle crime and disorder in Stockport swings into action later this month.
The Sweep aims to:

  • identify and deal with offenders wanted for criminal offences or those wanted on warrant in the area
  • remove untaxed or abandoned vehicles
  • remove refuse
  • secure empty or derelict properties
  • gather evidence and intelligence to support convictions and deal with any other offences revealed as a result of the activities

    [Click on the above image for the full story.]

The new "Seeds of Change"

This is the new statue at the new Mersey Vale Nature Park, as previously reported in: 'Seeds of Change' - New Nature Park to be Unveiled.
Photos at: Stockport triffid.
Thanks for the photos, Allen.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Council Wins Valpak Award

Stockport Council has scooped a top recycling award in the national Valpak Awards 2006 for the Most Innovative Initiative from a local authority.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]

Hats And Wellies Needed For Walk To School Week In Stockport

Heavy rain failed to dampen the spirits of children in Stockport today, as 60 primary schools put their best foot forward for this year�s International Walk to School Week.

[Click on the above image for the full story.]