[Excerpt from Stockport Times article by Emma Rathbone - 23/11/06]
Stockport Heritage Trust is celebrating 20 years of conserving the borough's history but the vice president has warned that its work is not over.
One a wet autumn night in 1986, a group founded the Trust to stand up for a "humane, people friendly environment". Founder member and editor of Stockport Heritage magazine, Steve Cliffe, said the group started off as a campaigning organisation and is now involved in a range of activities including exhibitions and running the Heritage Centre.
Along with vice-president Iain MacLean he cited the saving of Staircase House as one of the group's success stories. Mr MacLean said: "We stayed together through and exhausting war of attrition with those powers who intended to erase Staircase House in a massive redevelopment of the Market Place. But the house is still there and so are we.
"We grasped that the heart of a community is in its history. Change has to treasure the best of the past and demand the best of the new. Life is a story, but we sometimes find an opportunity to take control and become the authors of our own tale."
Mr Cliffe said future plans for the Trust include work with Stockport College on the incorporation of St Thomas' workhouse buildings. He hopes the group can work with students to give them the opportunity to learn about heritage management and conservation.