Sunday, 29 December 2013

St Petersgate Bridge re-opened

Following my post St Petersgate Bridge Repairs Almost Finished I've been back to see it again. On Christmas Eve the roadway was temporarily blocked by the dustman's cart.

The railings have all been given a new coat of paint. In the background can be seen the dome of the White Lion. You can see under the bridge and the other side of the railings in my post about the Queens Head.

St Petersgate Bridge was constructed in 1866-8. The designer was R Rawlinson, and the engineer was Brierley of Blackburn. The cost was around £6,000. A contemporary description of the bridge notes 'six arches, the central one over the Underbank-street being of cast-iron, with perforated parapets and a sufficiency of ornament to prevent its being (as many bridges over public streets are) an eyesore and offensive to good taste'. The Stockport coat of arms on the bridge cartouche was adopted in 1836, and was said to be the arms of the Stopford or Stockport family, Barons of Stockport (later superseded by a coat of arms granted by the College of Arms in two stages in 1932 & 1959).

A contribution to Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Ted's Cards

Greetings card stall in Stockport Market Hall.

The original photograph from which this was created can be seen on Geograph.

A contribution to The Weekend in Black and White.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Ghost sign on Deanery Way/Union Road

Last week when I showed you the sign of the White Lion part of a ghost sign was spotted in the background.

I've been back to take another look at it. The sign is very faded and I'm not able to decipher it. Union Road became Deanery Way when the Merseyway Shopping Centre was built. The buildings to right of here, including the Grosvernor Inn were demolished but I've not been able to find any old photos showing this building on the corner of Great Underbank. It is now occupied mainly by the Yorkshire Building Society.

A contribution to signs, signs.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

X is for Xmas

On Xmas Eve, the Rev Roger Scoones, vicar of St Mary's in the Market Place, was touring the Market Place, ringing his bells and inviting people to the listen to the carols in the church.

A contribution to Outdoor Wednesday and ABC Wednesday.

Friday, 20 December 2013

St Petersgate Bridge Repairs Almost Finished

A month ago I posted photographs of the men repairing St Petersgate Bridge from the Market Place end.

I was back there recently and as I walked from the Market Place past the fence between the pathway and the roadway a workman was painting the parapet on the other side. By the time I'd reached the other end and poked my camera lens through a hole in the fence he'd gone.

I imagine the roadworks will have all been cleared away by now.

For a wider, coloured view see Geograph.

A contribution to Friday Fences, The Weekend in Black and White and Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Signs at the White Lion

Since I posted yesterday about the White Lion I've discovered the photograph I took of the sign in November 2012.

I've only now noticed the remnants of a "ghost sign" on the building opposite. I'll have to get a closer look at that another time.

According to a leaflet about the "Stockport Town Centre Heritage Trail" it seems in 1815 the then landlord of the White Lion fired a cannon to inform the town's people of the British victory at the battle of Waterloo and at a "Wife Sale" in 1831, William Clayton sold his wife for five shillings to a J Booth. She was handed over with a halter round her neck.

A contribution to signs, signs.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

W is for White Lion

There has been a pub on the site of the White Lion since the 14th century. The present building was erected in 1904. A hearty blend of late medieval and Baroque features in a typically exhuberant Edwardian fashion, it is Grade II listed.

Alas, it has been closed for more than a year.

See also the follow up post Signs at the White Lion.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The busiest bus route in the country

The bus shelter at Wellington Road North is the main stopping point in Stockport for the 192 bus service from Hazel Grove and Stepping Hill to Manchester.

Greater Manchester bus route 192 is a frequent and popular bus route running between Manchester city centre and Stockport. It carries over nine million passengers each year, and is often considered to be the busiest bus route in the country. More information on Wikipedia.

A contribution to Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 16 December 2013

From Orphanage to Care Home

From the end of Penny Lane, looking across Lancashire Hill at what was originally Pendlebury Hall, an orphanage designed by architect J.W. Beaumont and erected 1881-2. It was founded through the bequest of Ralph Pendlebury who left £100,000 for the purpose. Pendlebury started his working life as apprentice to a handloom weaver, but later built and owned mills in Stockport.

This is the entrance from Dodge Hill. Previously known as Grosvenor Hall but now called Hilltop Hall Care Home, it has been fully refurbished to create a special environment where modern facilities blend in with the character and elegance of the grade II listed building. Wood panelling, stain glass windows, chandeliers and a bell tower are some of the features of the home, along with landscaped gardens in a quiet and elevated location. It is managed by Harbour Healthcare.

A contribution to Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A closer look at St Mary's Catholic Church, Heaton Norris

I've featured this church before on 28th May 2013 viewed then from across the M60 motorway which now isolates it from the town.

St Mary's Roman Catholic Church on Roman Road, Dodge Hill was designed by Pugin & Pugin,1897 and is a prominent local landmark. It is constructed of red brick with stone dressings and window tracery and a slate roof.

The west front has a tall gabled bellcote on a stepped base beneath which is a statue of the Virgin and Child. Stepped buttresses framing a large rose window are flanked by traceried windows with paired lights.

A contribution to Inspired Sundays.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Boars Head

The Boars Head on the corner of Vernon Street and Market Place is a grade II listed building and one of brewer Sam Smith's two pubs in Stockport, the other being the Queens Head.

A contribution to signs, signs.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

V is for Vernon Park

The original bandstand in Vernon Park was built in 1888 at a cost of £309. By 1968 it had fallen into disrepair and was demolished. The new bandstand dates from 2000.

This photograph is from June 2009.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Keep It Clean In Stockport

This mural on the side of Lancashire Hill bridge over the M60 is part of the "Keep Britain Tidy" campaign. I don't know how long it has been there but it's beginning to look a bit tired.

A contribution to Monday Murals.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

East of Hatton Street

The view from Hatton Street footbridge. The gantry signs partly obscure Lancashire Hill bridge. Above on the left is St Mary's Catholic church on Dodge Hill under which the former Cheshire Lines Committee railway through Tiviotdale ran in a tunnel.

The coloured version can be viewed on Geograph.

A contribution to The Weekend in Black and White, Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo and Shadow Shot Sunday.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Heaton Norris Park

The land for Heaton Norris park was acquired by public subscription and as a gift from Lord Egerton. Work on laying out the site as a public park began in May 1873, and it was formally opened on June 5th 1875. The total area of the park at the time was 16 acres, 2 rods & 38 poles. During the Munich crisis of 1938 large trenches were dug in the park in preparation for possible air raids. More recently the park has become the venue for the annual Stockport Civic Bonfire.

Behind the fence is a multi-use games area and beyond are bowling greens.

A contribution to Friday Fences.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tony Doyle's Mobile Butcher's Van

Every Friday and Saturday you'll find one of Tony Doyle's vans on Stockport Market.

According to the company website the butcher's based in Kinmel Bay has some ten vans that visit various markets in North Wales and the Northwest of England.

A contribution to signs, signs.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

U is for Unicorn Brewery

The brewery is named after the Unicorn Inn which was bought by William Robinson in 1838. This stood on what is now the bottom yard in Lower Hillgate. William was joined in 1865 by his younger son Frederic, who started to brew beer for other local hostelries and his first customer was Mrs. Lamb (Bridge Inn, Chestergate). In 1876, shortly after his father's death, he bought his first house the Royal Scot, Marple Bridge (then the Railway Inn). Bottling commenced from a new building in 1908; new offices opened in 1913 and a new brew house in 1929. In 1975 bottling was carried out at Bredbury and now, after fermentation is complete, all the beers are transferred to Bredbury for packaging and distribution from there. It remains a family business.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Bridgefield Street Bus Stop: Looking Out

A dozen or so different services stop on Bridgefield Street, so it is important to look out for the right bus.

Of course, some people may be looking out for something else.

A contribution to the Looking Out theme at City Daily Photo

Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Magnet

Built in 1840 as a coaching inn, due to its close proximity to the Heaton Norris Station, The Magnet has retained its original name for over 170 years.

It has been extensively refurbished since 2009 and has won a number of awards including CAMRA Pub Of The Year (SSM) 2011. There is a barrel vaulted cellar destined be a micro-brewery where they are hoping to brew their own innovative, unique "Cellar Rat" branded beers. See The Magnet website for more details.

In an earlier post on July 11th I featured the signs on the corner for Mount Crescent and Duke Street which I'd photographed in 2010. The street names no longer exist and the signs have been painted over and don't stand out as much they did.

A contribution to signs, signs.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Four Views from the corner of Heaton Norris Park

East towards Heaton Towers and Norris Towers at the top of Dodge Hill.

North towards Love Lane, Quantock Close and the bowling greens.

West along Church Road.

South over the football pitches with Stockport Plaza and the Town Hall visible through the trees.

A contribution to Our World Tuesday and to Outdoor Wednesday.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Bridge Shadows

On Friday I posted a photograph showing the M60 and A560 taken from the Wellington Road North bridge.

This view is looking along the side of the bridge across the eastbound carriageway.

A shadow of the bridge has been cast on to the cliffside. My own shadow can be seen just above what looks like a blocked up doorway. This may be an access point into a one-time air-raid shelter or is possibly connected with the railway line that originally ran alongside the route of the motorway.

A contribution to Shadow Shot Sunday and Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Weekend Reflections: Hat Museum Chimney

I was on a bus going up Wellington Road South when I spotted the chimney of the Hat Museum reflected in an office window.

I took a quick photo using my mobile phone and here's the result.

A contribution to Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 22 November 2013

The M60 and the A560

Viewed from Wellington Road North.

On the left hand side is the M60 motorway. Now part of the Manchester Orbital Motorway that encircles Manchester, this section was built in the 1980s as the M63 extension from Cheadle Heath to Portwood.

When first built the Cheshire Lines Committee railway line through Tiviot Dale still ran alongside, disappearing into a tunnel under Lancashire Hill at a point roughly where the white van on the left is seen.

On the right hand side is Great Egerton Street which is the A560 road from Bredbury to Gatley. Before the motorway was built this was the main arterial road from Yorkshire to Cheshire.

A contribution to Friday Fences.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Sign of the Swan with two necks

The sign for the Swan with two necks, a Robinson's pub on Prince's Street.

The origin of the name is said to be a corruption of "The Swan With Two Nicks". Swans have traditionally been the property of the reigning Monarch. However, in the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I granted the right to ownership of some swans to the Worshipful Company of Vintners. To tell which Swan belonged to whom, the Vintners' swans had their beaks marked with two notches, or nicks.

A contribution to signs, signs.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

S is for Swan With Two Necks

A public house has been recorded on this site from around 1830. In 1924 Robinson's Brewery acquired the building on Prince's Street and rebuilt it within a decade. It is Grade II listed.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Lord Street

A pedestrianised section of Lord Street between Wellington Street and St Peter's Square. The large building on the right is the Job Centre.

A contribution to Our World Tuesday.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Repairing St Petersgate Bridge

The roadway over the top of St Petersgate Bridge is being replaced and the road is closed although there is still pedestrian access around one side.

Behind the fence is a mobile canteen and toilets for the workmen.

A contribution to Friday Fences and Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

R is for Rat Pit

A plaque on the wall of the Rat Pit, unveiled in 2007, commemorates William Watson who was born in a house that previously stood on the site. He was a stoker on the ill-fated Titanic and was buried at sea on the 24th April 1912, aged 27 years.

More of his story can be seen on the Bents Lane Social Club website.

Bents Lane Social Club was named after the former wooden building built on stilts, which it replaced. It had been known locally as "The Rat Pit", and now boasts that name on its frontage.

The building is the local polling station for elections. Can the locals be the only ones in the United Kingdom to vote at an officially designated rat pit?

A contribution to ABC Wednesday and A contribution to signs, signs.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Woodley Viaduct

The viaduct at Woodley is a bit of a hidden wonder insofar as there isn't a vantage point (as far as I'm aware) from which one can see the whole of it.

This view from Manor Road is looking at the eastern end of the viaduct as it crosses Hyde Road.

Here now is the view looking from Manor Road through the archway towards Hyde Road.

After Manor Road the next archway crosses the Peak Forest Canal. You can see the underside of it on the photograph I posted in July 2009 on Ackworth born, gone West.

On the day I took these photographs I had walked down Manor Road and crossed the canal using Bridge #12, which I showed here on 28th September. I then walked back to Hyde Road along Bankfield Road, crossing under the fourth arch. This view is looking back at the viaduct.

The railway used to be the main line from Woodley to Stockport (Tiviotdale) and points West, but now it terminates at a nearby industrial area.

A contribution to Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Q is for the Queen's Head

According to the Stockport Historic Environment Database 10-12 Little Underbank was built in the late C18 or early C19 on the south side of Little Underbank. The 1849 1:1056 Ordnance Survey map shows the building originally abutted a larger building on its east side, identified as the Queen's Head Public House. The latter was demolished when St Petersgate Bridge was built in 1866-8, and it appears that at this point the public house moved into No. 12 Little Underbank. The pub fixtures and fittings confirm this, being of a later C19 date. There has been some late C20 remodelling retaining many original features.

The interior of the Queen's Head has a long narrow plan with an altered later-C19 bar with an original spirits fountain. The L-shaped public bar has fixed seating with matchboard backs. A matchboard partition to the rear separates a small Snug with fixed seating to the left and a small men's lavatory to the right, and a stair with stone steps. At the back is a parlour with fixed upholstered seating and rectangular top light framed by heavy moulded plasterwork.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday and to signs, signs.

Friday, 1 November 2013

A View from Heaton Norris Park

A view across Stockport from Heaton Norris Park.

On the left, half-hidden behind the clock overlooking Chestergate and Merseyway is the tower of St Peter's Church.

On the right is Stockport Town Hall .

Left of the Town Hall are the Millbrook towerblocks.

A contribution to the Heights theme at City Daily Photo.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

P is for Plaza

The Plaza first opened its doors to the public on 7th October 1932, with a charity show for Stockport Infirmary. The films shown were "Jailbird", starring Laurel and Hardy, and "Out of the Blue" with Gene Gerrard and Jessie Matthews.

It was refurbished in the 1950s and could cater for Cinemascope and 3-D. Live entertainment took place on Saturday evenings featuring local musicians and Sunday jazz concerts followed. In 1960, the Plaza staged its first pantomime with the Dallas Boys in "Babes In The Wood".

In 1965 the Plaza was sold to the Mecca Leisure Group for conversion to a bingo hall. Its final show was on 31st December 1966 and featured Jerry Lee Lewis in "Three on a Coach" and Audie Murphy in "The Texican" with William Starr at the organ. In February 1967 it reopened as Mecca Bingo.

In the 1970s the Café Lounge was converted into "Samantha's" nightclub but this later converted into extra bingo seating.

It closed in 1998 and Rank Leisure sold the Plaza to Stockport Plaza Trust in March 2000 and, after massive community and volunteer effort, audiences took their seats for the opening show on 7th October 2000.

In 2009 a £3.2 million pound restoration and refurbishment programme was started. It was closed from February until December.

This photograph was taken in January 2010 shortly after it reopened.

More information can be found on the Plaza's own website.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Betting shop windows

The windows above the betting shop on the corner of Princes Street and Deanery Way.

A contribution to Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors and Ruby Tuesday

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

O is for the Old King

The Old King public house was built in c.1828, and remodelled in 1973. The building was constructed of red brick laid in Flemish bond, to the original phase, the 1970s phase was built of brown stretcher bond brick. The 2-storey, 4-bay frontage retained early 19th century fabric to the right hand bay only, the rest was re-fronted and all windows were 20th century. To the rear was a late 19th century single-storey function room, and a mono-pitch 19th century outbuilding, possibly a brew house or store.

Standing on the corner of Great Portwood Street and Lancaster Street it was a listed building pictured here "for sale" in 2008.

In 2011 it was still waiting for a buyer.

In April 2012 I happened to walk into Lancaster Street and found this scene.

Despite being listed it was demolished to make way for a branch of Nando's.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday and signs, signs.