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.