Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Replacement Lancashire Bridge plaque

A Lancashire Bridge replacement blue plaque has been reinstated.

In 2000, we at Stockport Heritage Trust, funded 12 new blue plaques for Stockport for the Millennium. They were chosen by a public vote and were funded by a Heritage Fund lottery grant.
A Lancashire Bridge plaque, identical to the above one, was displayed on the pavement, above the centre of the River Mersey, which was below flowing under the old bridge. Unfortunately it was mounted on a flimsy SMBC stand, and predictably, was stolen within a couple of weeks.

The new Merseyway bridge is finally finished and is resplendent with a replacement plaque :

This is a photo from 1937 of the original Lancashire Bridge :

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ron Vincent Shallcross

Ron Vincent Shallcross is a local man [72 years old {2015}], who may be related to the Shallcross family who had lived in Staircase House from 1605 to 1730. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Latest Marple Dig

 There is an archaeological dig beginning on the Recreation Ground off Strines Road.  Any one can join it, or just go along they will explain what they have found.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Vikings Invade Stockport

The streets were teaming with Vikings and there was plenty to see and do on the first day of Stockport's Viking Festival.

Longboats sailed down the mile, and strange dragons lurked in the dungeon.

St. Mary's Church was full of music and stalls sold the strangest clothes.
 Even a Roman soldier got left behind after the legions had left.

The stocks have never been so well used and people queued to go down and see our medieval dungeon.
 Tomorrow you can return to do it all again, except unfortunately the dungeon can not be opened as a film crew will be setting up to use it as part of their new TV drama.

We apologise for any inconvenience but it was out of our control.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Manchester Trip

A group of Trust members ventured into Manchester for a trip back in time.

Beginning in medieval times, the remains of the 'Hanging Bridge' were lost for centuries but can now be seen in the basement of the Cathedral's cafe.
It once stood across a drainage ditch which encircled the Roman fort.

The second stop was the 14th century Cathedral. Damaged in WWII as well as by the IRA bomb. A guide is esential to get the most out of the building and only £3 donation is asked.

Our last stop was at Rylands Library, where the the cafe is well worth a visit and the history of the building is explained as you go around. 
Be sure you visit the Victorian toilets.

Vulcan Visits Woodford for the Last Time

On Saturday 10th of October 2015, a very special aircraft flew for the last time over its place of birth, Woodford Aerodrome.  Sporting great delta wings and dressed in camouflage livery, Avro Vulcan XH558 performed two flypasts.  The audience of thousands beneath were almost hypnotised by the menacing yet graceful flight, and the famous howl it emitted as it accelerated.

The spectacle marked the end of an era for the fully restored XH550, the only air-worthy Vulcan in the World, flying again since 2007.  The aerodrome and runway, now almost completely demolished, was opened by Manchester based Avro (A. V. Roe and Company) shortly after the First World War, and was an intense centre of production during the Second World War.  The Avro Vulcan was first sketched by Avro’s Chief Designer Roy Chadwick in 1946(!), who was also responsible for designing many other highly regarded aircraft such as the Lancaster bomber, the Avro Anson and the Avro Shackleton.  It was a tragedy when Roy died in an aircraft accident the following year, but Stuart Davies fortunately was able to take Roy’s idea to reality, and the first full scale prototype Vulcan flew for the first time on 30th August 1952.  Roy Chadwick is buried in the graveyard of Christ Church, Woodford. Considering his enormous contribution to Britain’s war time aviation effort, the grave is somewhat humble.

 Roy Chadwick's grave at Woodford Parish Church

The Vulcan bomber was created to be part of the V-force, which was Britain’s (and part of NATO’s) strategic nuclear deterrent during the cold war from the 50’s to the late 60’s. It continued in service and the first and only time a Vulcan flew in anger was in 1982, when a Vulcan was used to perform the furthest bombing raids in history (at that time).  A complex mid-air fuelling strategy was enacted to enable the Vulcan to bomb the runway at Port Stanley Airport during the Falklands crisis.

The Woodford born Vulcan remains an icon of British engineering, and has induced much emotion in those who have been fortunate enough to witness it in flight. After the aircraft finally departed from view for the last time at Woodford, a spontaneous round of applause came from the grateful spectators, many of whom made no attempt to hide a tear or two.

 Video of the Vulcan's last fly-past at Woodford

Friday, October 09, 2015

Sad news, Ray Preston has died

On 1st October 2015 Raymond Harry Preston aged 83 years passed away peacefully.

Ray was an early member of Stockport Heritage Trust who actively supported our charity since around 1989, two years after it started.
He was known as "Mr. Offerton' as he was THE local expert and champion of Offerton.
He single-handedly was able to change the proposed line of a planned motorway route which had been planned to pass through Halliday Hill House in Offerton, which dates back to the 1300s, and is the ancestral home of the Dodge Family, which emigrated to Dodge City in Kansas, USA.

Ray's early detailed research on the Dodge connections enabled other Trust members In 2002 to visit Dodge City, to formally sign a Friendship Charter between Stockport and Dodge City in recognition of a common heritage.
These parchment  Friendship Charters are now on display in both Dodge City Town Hall and Stockport Town Hall.

Ray wrote several books on Offerton and was also a keen member of Stockport Operatic Society.
He joined the Friends of the Plaza when Stockport Council had plans to demolish it; after it had been saved, Ray continued to be an enthusiastic Front of House volunteer for many years.

The Trust will sadly miss him.

His funeral is next Wednesday 14th October at 3.15 in the Rowan Chapel, Stockport Crematorium.

Ray leading an Offerton  walk at Foggart Mill, Offerton, showing the bearings he had recovered from the mill race