READER MESSAGES Nov and Dec 2002 Page 1

The Midway Pub on Levenshulme's northern borderI read your website weekly and am just a little curious about the boundaries of Longsight and Levenshulme. I was born in an air raid shelter on Pimlott St. and my Gran lived at 47 Pimlott well into the late 70s'. We left England in 1949 so I only have a few memories of time spent there. But anyway, I can remember walking up Pimlott St. to Stockport Rd and if I looked across the road towards my right I saw the Midway and Mathews Lane, if I looked to my right on the same side of Stockport Rd I could see the Farmers Arms. My mother and Gran always spoke of Longsight as the area we lived yet you have photos listed in your Levenshulme section showing The Midway and the Farmers as being in Levenshulme. So just to sate my curiosity could you please give the boundaries for both areas.

One other question for you. My Granddad had a flower garden located on Matthews Lane. If you were walking up the Lane the garden patches were to your left across I guess what is the Nico Ditch. Is there any place I could obtain the history and pictures of this area.?

Many Thanks,

Miriam McCormick

Old Gorton - Levenshulme sign On the wall next to Matthews Lane the old sign says that this is the border between Gorton and Levenshulme, but few people would associate the area along Stockport Rd next to Crowcroft Park with Gorton. The railway, built in the early 1840's, forms a 'new' boundary, so once you're south of the railway bridge, you're close to, if not in Levenshulme. The Manchester City Council website should provide information about ward and district boundaries in the City of Manchester.


Martin Simm

Thanks Aidan.
I was in Selby at the time of the fire...saw on national news though. Here's a question for you.. take a 5 mile radius around Manchester Town Hall - what percentage of the land is in Manchester? With Leeds it would be 100% of course, bet it's a lot lower with Manc.
Mart

Five miles to the north and you're in Rochdale MBC. Five minutes walk to the west and you're in the City of Salford. At a rough guess I'd say 40 per cent is outside the Manchester City Council boundary. Would anyone like to check this out on a map and tell me if I was right?


From: Phil Blinkhorn
E-mail: Subject: Town Halls

Good evening Aidan from a very cold Co Kerry!
The Town Hall Albert Square Manchester
The other day someone asked me why Manchester had a Town Hall, not a City Hall. I told him that, once upon a time, it had both in full use at the same time and that real business was conducted at the City Hall with paper pushing going on in the Town Hall!! Indeed, at one time in the early 1970s, Manchester city centre could boast a County Hall, City Hall and Town Hall!

Joking apart, I was at a loss to answer the question fully other than with a, perhaps apocryphal, story that when the current Town Hall building was erected it was decided to continue the tradition of calling the Civic Offices the Town Hall, which had held from before Manchester's incorporation as a city.

Whilst this is as maybe, the same cannot apply to Salford which, also, has always had a Town Hall. How many other cities in the UK (and elsewhere) are governed from a Town Hall - or is this a piece of, perhaps, Northern down to earthiness, or even inverted snobbery unique to the twin cities on the Irwell? Then again, why does Salford have a Mayor and not a Lord Mayor? Unless you have the answers at your finger tips it might be fun to ask your readers around the world for their input.

By the way, are you aware that County Kerry has a Mayor? Why does a County need a Mayor - not a Chairman? To make matters even more Irish (i.e. hilarious) the Mayor is the son of the redoubtable Jackie Healy-Rae. Michael, as his father, is never seen in public (outdoors at least) without his flat cap which he wears to all official functions along with his mayoral chain. There is now a move to upgrade Tralee to a city (the mind boggles).

One other Manchester/Salford story, which is not apocryphal.

When Thatcher handbagged the GMC, there was some debate as to how the seats on the Airport Board would be redistributed between the local authorities. At the same time, there was a debate on how the area would market itself as a whole as the cohesion of the GMC nomenclature, which had been built up overseas for 12 years with a great deal of success in industry and tourism, needed replacing.

Some wag at the Town Hall (the one to the north of the Irwell) suggested in a properly presented report that did the rounds for some short while, that, whilst the two cities should maintain their independence, they should be marketed as Manchester-Salford; the former geographical area of the GMC should be hence forth known as the Manchester-Salford Metropolitan Area and that the airport should henceforth be known as Manchester-Salford International. To highlight Salford's historic precedence, it should have two seats on the Airport Board to one for every other Metropolitan Borough and that the Mayor of Salford be given precedence over the Lord Mayor of Manchester at all official functions.

For some reason this didn't go down too well at the Town Hall (the one in Albert Sq, that is).

Best wishes,

Phil

Sounds like a very good idea to me. Salford should go much further in presenting iteslf as a counter-weight to Manchester! The trouble is, if you're trekking in Nepal and your guide asks you where you're from, which do you think he has probably heard of, Salford or Manchester?


Salford The Cliffsam and ann
Bella Vista

I attended Broughton high school when it was based at Bella Vista. I was under the impression that at one time it had been a private house, as far as i know there was not an underground passage, however there was a spiral staircase and a belltower both reputedly haunted by a deceased pupil and seen by our French mistress. It was a lovely old building and despite its bad condition should have been preserved.

Does anyone remember the unmarried mothers home behind Bella Vista? we used to watch the young women with their babies whilst in biology class. I also remember watching the horses being brought out of the old racecourse stables from whilst sitting on the landside during breaktime. Anyone out there actually see a race? PS Prestwich is named for the original landowner in the doomsday book Alyce de prestwych. the spelling may be wrong.

Very interesting - Here's a photo of the setts at the Cliff, Higher Broughton, City of Salford.



garnet Manchester Central Library statue ?

Manchester Victoria Station bridge
Manchester Central Reference Library by day


Hi Aidan,

I've been using the picture of Manchester Library you took as my desktop wallpaper for some time now and it just struck me that there is an alcove on the outside of the building, second floor (and possibly more on the other sides) that look as though they were meant to house a statue(s) of some sort. Do you know if there were ever any statues there and if so of what and what happened to them ?

Interested.
Garnet Hoyes
Thailand.

Garnet Hoyes
National Synchrotron Research Center
111, University Avenue
Nakorn Ratchaseema, 30000,
Thailand.

Many 19th century and classically inspired buildings were designed with alcoves to accommodate statues, though in many cases no statues were ever placed in there - as is the case with the Central Library. There's an empty statue alcove on the railway bridge over the Irwell next to Victoria Station (above). I wonder what would be a suitable statue to place here.



Dublin - The Custom HouseGERALDINE ROBREDO
Re: O'Rourke Research.
Hi Aidan,
I am researching the O'Rourke family and I came across your e-mail address on the internet.
I have undertaken a serious genealogical investigation of my O'Rourke family for quite some time now, and as I live in Mexico, most of the research has been done on the internet. However in spite of this, I have been reasonably successful in finding my 'roots and relatives' - and recently we had a 'grand' international reunion in County Leitrim, Ireland,with all our newly-found relatives from the USA,the UK and Ireland too of course.

In the course of my investigation, I discovered that a number of my ancestors left Ireland for France,the USA,the UK, Russia and Spain, and knowing this, I am now trying to find some 'links' with these 'lost' relatives! I wonder if you are interested in genealogy or not? And if you are, do you know where your ancestors were from? If you are interested, I would be more than happy to share my Family Tree with you, along with all the other information that I have compiled over the past few years. If you are not interested, but are in contact with other O'Rourkes who are, then please feel free to pass my e-mail address on to them. By the way, I was born in Bolton and lived there until my marriage!

Kind regards, Geraldine Leighton de Robredo.
Puebla, Mexico.

My mother has done some research into her side of the family, the O'Connells, but I have to confess I haven't done much research into my father's side. If there are any other O'Rourke's out there, perhaps you may be able to help Geraldine. And while we're on the Ireland connection, I'm planning a comparative Eyewitness in Dublin and Manchester feature very soon.


William Billingrton
B B
G/day Aidan
Besses o' th' BarnJust caught up with your 2 pictures of Besses o' th' Barn...! But you should have taken pictures showing the junction which is the eye of Besses o' th' Barn, there used to be a horse trough & a very small park by the bus stop for M/c dividing Bury new & old rds...I used to sit on some seats close to the Junction Hotel as a 5/6 year old watching all the traffic go by, I was car mad & could name all the different cars as they appeared at the junction

The old cinema was the Mayfair Junior, behind was the Mayfair the large cinema which was a pile of rubble in 1941 no idea what happened to that..

By the rail bridge half way up the embankment was a gun bunker put there to defend the roadway..

I could go on, it used to be a very busy area the junction, with a post office, hardware store, on the left of Higher Lane & the CWS store on the right handside, Nuttals newsagents, a herbalist plus many more on the left efore you enter Bury old Rd heading for M/C.

I now live in Perth Western Australia since 1972 but can remember my time in Besses o' th Barn as if it was yesterday.

Thanks for your time hope I have not bored you ,plenty more memories of fun
in the clough, & exploits around the old viaduct bridge.....
Bill
Thanks very much for your message - Your comments are not boring! Every detail, every fact is interesting, and serves to build a complete picture of our area. Hope to do more photos around 'Besses' soon.


Steve Partington
buses and cinemas

Capitol Court East DidsburyGreetings from Vancouver. born and raised, Withington, through the 50s and 60s, The 74 bus shared by Stockport Council, and Manchester Corporation from Vernon Park, terminated at Chorton st. bus station, off Aytoun st. I lived just by Parrswood Rd so used it all the time. Also I remember the 52 to Alderly edge, run by the North Western bus Co. and the 30 to Macclesfeild, and a Torkington bus I think was a 51.

Me and the wife were reminiscing about the picture houses, as we called them within a 30 minute walk of where we lived,there was the "Odeon" on Kingsway by Green End Rd. (During the war, and before it was the "Lido") then there was the"Capitol" Parrswood Rd.and School Lane.(more recently Granada studios, before being knocked down to make way for flats. Then there was the"Scala" Withington village,by Copson st.(then Cooper St.) then there was the "Tudor" in Didsbury village. I can't recall the side street off Wilmslow Rd. (but Healds milk dairy was at the end of the dead end street). and finally my beloved "Palatine" at West Didsbury. Palatine Rd. Lapwing lane corner. Spent many a happy Saturday afternoon at the matinee. All long gone, but great memories. What a brilliant website, that can stir so many happy memories as yours does. Keep it going Aidan, and thanks a million... Steve

Thank you very much - The photo shows the flats which now occupy the site of the old Capitol cinema on the corner of Parrs Wood Road and School Lane.


Diane Dunphy
Elizabeth Gaskell "Mary Barton"
Hi Aidan,

This is technology at its finest. I am a student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and I am doing a research paper on Elizabeth Gaskell's Novel "Mary Barton". I would appreciate any information or pictures you may have on this matter.

Take a look at my mini-feature on Elizabeth Gaskell. Does anyone else out there have any interesting facts about the novelist who gave us such a vivid picture of Manchester in the 19th century?


phil blinkhorn
Aidan,

Your Local Place Names Explained feature was very comprehensive and interesting - just re-read it - but there is an underlying set of place names, some official some not, which were/are in common use in Greater Manchester.

Some examples I can't explain:

Old Heaton Norris Junction signAs a young trainspotter in the 1950s, one of our favourite haunts was "The Bucket". This was the junction in Heaton Norris close by the old LNWR warehouse where the Denton line left the Manchester - Stockport line. Officially "Heaton Norris Junction", even railwaymen referred to it as "The Bucket" - but why? Incidentally, the capstans used to move and turn railway waggons at the warehouse were still horse powered in the late 1950s.

Then there is Guide Bridge. To which bridge does it refer...and which Guide?

Crown Point Denton. Crown Junction, perhaps, but why Crown Point?

At the Manchester end of Chapel St, Salford, is the site of the Flat Iron Market...how did it come by that name?

In Leigh, there was a bus destination "Dangerous Corner"? When was it dangerous, to whom, was it made more dangerous by buses terminating there and is it still dangerous?

Just outside the area, Snig Hole, in Helmshore, Rossendale, is translated as "Passage of the Baby Eel" by local folklore, but the stream, which is a very narrow, rocky tributary of the Irwell was heavily polluted, even prior to the industrial revolution, by iron deposits and there is no record to my knowledge of any fish life of any sort.

Finally, your musings on Stockport. I was always told the ancient word was Stopford and I have a copy of a map of 1640 showing the town as such. One explanation I have heard of the original name is that it was a place where anyone carrying goods by horse or waggon use to have to stop as the major ford over the Mersey, which I understand was further east than the current Merseyway, was at the bottom of a steep valley which caused considerable difficulty to laden horses, both in the descent and ascent of the other side and all used to stop, take refreshment and breath after a tricky descent, before or after fording the river and beginning the difficult ascent of the opposite valley side.

Best wishes,

Phil

Yes, and did I mention 'West Point' in the article - the roundabout at the top of Kingsway at the junction with Mosley Road. And how about Brooks' Bar at the junction of Moss Lane and Upper Chorlton Road? Crown Point Denton is apparently named after a British victory during the American War of Independence.



Re: 'seven arches' landmark

Hi Aidan!
When I was a kid I remember we sometimes roamed a valley area called Prestwich Clough which had a high viaduct running across it - I think my mother called it the "seven arches". Later with my pal we climbed the hillside to reach this viaduct and walk across it. There was no railway track or canal or anything. I have not been up in Manchester for ages. I wonder, is the viaduct still there, and can anyone tell me its original purpose?

Charlie Pottins

Would this be the railway viaduct you mention?

Disused railway viaduct Clifton

Thanks Aidan. I'm not sure, but I think this may not be the same viaduct! Though they would not be far apart. I've been looking at web pages dealing with Prestwich Clough now, part of a bigger woodland park project these days, it seems. But sadly the ones I've found have neither pics nor a map.

They do mention the church overlooking the clough though.

I may have travelled over the viaduct you show - about 1957 our class from school decided to go and watch Bury play Bishop Auckland, because our maths teacher Harry Sharret was playing for the 'Bishops'. He was the goalie, and had the pleasure of having us spotty herberts behind the goal shouting "Never Mind, Sir! " when he'd let one in (the Mirror I think picked this up with a headline "Never Mind, Sir!" say the Boys of 3T")

Anyway, on the way back I got separated from the other lads, and caught a train only to find it was not the one I was used to, which went via Heaton Park, Bowker Vale and Woodlands Rd.(where I would have got off) but went via Salford to Victoria. So I got off at Victoria and took the bus. So I'd taken the scenic route - though it was night, and I don't remember whether we crossed a viaduct.

Stand church WhitefieldAll of which is a digression from what we were talking about. But I liked that whole area from Prestwich and Kersal Moor through to Agecroft (great view of the power station, which I'd been inside on a school trip) and Clifton (which me and my mate reached along the canal). I'm going to look up more on Prestwich Clough, the viaduct(s) and the churches. Also I remember there was an interesting church at Stand, had two towers I think.

Something else I remember, taking a walk from Agecroft up a long track heading NNW, we were surprised to come across a narrow little sandstone ravine to our right.

But before that we passed an impressive large stone house standing on level ground near the riverside. Don't know what it was then, or whether it would still be there.

Another place nearby was Agecroft rowing club, of course, I think they had a black-and-white timbered place.

And on Kersal golf course where we sometimes trespassed, crossing from "the Cliff", there was a little castle-keep like building on rising ground looking down to the Irwell, ideal for storming and holding when we were kids, I don't think it was a genuine ruin, more like a folly, but we considered it quite a 'find' on our expeditions!
Charlie.

Some great reminiscences there - I hope we can clear up the matter of the railway viaduct at or near Prestwich Clough. Can anyone help?


From: Phil Blinkhorn
E-mail:
Subject: Toast Rack, buses

Hi Aidan,

As you will now have realised, I'm doing my usual, belated, catching up on your pages!

Hollins Building - The Toast RackThe "Toast Rack" was built in 1958/9 and, once it had risen a few floors was just visible from Ward Hall at Xaverian, during which period I was resident in the first year.

The building was originally part of Hollins Catering College and, along with a circular building with a small dome adjacent to Wilmslow Rd, was designed to represent a toast rack and poached egg - something the Manchester Evening News, in those days a broadsheet too august to be known as the M.E.N., had plenty to say about - much of it derogatory and many of the readers expressed similar views.

They may have had a point. Both buildings suffered terrible leaks, metal window frames let in draughts and the "Toastrack" was expensive to heat.

I did some guest lecturing there in the early 1980s, during my time as G M Conference Officer and the building always seemed to be under some form of major repair. It also suffered from copious amounts of asbestos used during construction.

Back to buses again and your photo to accompany the letter from Jean Smith and your comments on the 74 bus route.

Town Hall Manchester with old Manchester Corporation Bus from the Museum of Transport The vehicle you depict looks to be a Leyland PD2/34, 3520, which is preserved at the Museum of Transport. It was the last of a batch of 6 vehicles which were unique to Manchester and looked identical to a batch of 45 PD2/40s (again a type unique to Manchester) which preceded them. The PD 2/34s were all allocated to Parrs Wood and were delivered with a range of semi and fully automatic gear boxes from different manufacturers. 3520 had a fully automatic box by Self Changing Gears for the first six years of its life. This was a very advanced unit for the time but it had a problem. Whilst fully automatic, there was a gear selector for reverse, first, second and, strangely, third. To avoid a tendency for drivers to select third for starting, the selector solenoid for third was powered by the alternator, the battery alone providing the power for the other selectable gears.

Now, from both engineers' accounts of the time and my own experience of it on the 1, the 16 and 161/2 this bus could really fly BUT sometimes it would not move at all. If, on a gloomy Manchester morning, the conductor switched on all the lights prior to engine start, the battery would drain - rapidly. Whilst the engine would run, no low gear would engage as there was not sufficient power for the solenoids. The only solution was copious engine revs, with the lights off, to put enough charge in the battery or to build enough alternator output to engage third, followed by a very jerky start - both methods accompanied by copious amounts of smoke which could rapidly fill Parrs Wood garage. The vehicle also had a police dispensation to be left driverless, ticking over, at the terminus in the dark, as long as both the handbrake was applied and the "Park" position was selected on the gear change, to avoid the battery draining whilst away from the depot, as customers would not take kindly to sitting on a dark vehicle whilst the crew sat in the canteen at Piccadilly or Chorlton Office. I remember also that there was a front wheel chock chained to the inside of the driver's cab which had to be passed out of the sliding window in the cab door.

The situation was changed in 1964 when the vehicle received a major overhaul and a semi automatic box.

The whole batch of 60 vehicles had a body design by Burlingham of Blackpool who were known for building vehicles with windows with exaggerated curves and a steeply sloping front profile. Unique to Manchester, along with a batch of Daimlers purchased at the same time, the curves remained but Manchester squeezed an extra row of seats, to allow 65 seats, by insisting on an almost upright front profile. A batch of bodies delivered to Ribble in the same era with the normal profile could only take 61.

The PD2/34s were the pride and joy of Parrs Wood and were kept pristine into SELNEC days. Their regular runs were to Gatley on the 1/161/162, on the Chorlton - Stepping Hill 16 and on the 500 to Alderley Edge (rush hours only). They may have done the odd turn on the 74 when "running in" after overhaul or towards the end of their lives but the 74 was a secondary route, offering service which could be beaten for time, from most of the pick up stops to most of the places served, by combining two other routes. Serviced primarily by Parrs Wood with back up from Birchfields, the 74 was the preserve for most of the 1950s and 1960s of 1949 MCW bodied Leylands, similar, but of an earlier batch to that you depicted running on the A6 near Stepping Hill and the odd Crossley with a similar body.

Apart from heavy loads generated by Parrs Wood Road North originating passengers bound to and from Manchester in the rush hours, the service was often lightly used and, with good visibility along the aforementioned road, some impressive turns of speed were recorded as there were few takers during the day, traffic was light - the main roads being the almost parallel Kingsway and Wilmslow Road and any police presence would have been obvious to the proverbial blind man on a flying horse.

Finally, David Rayner's letter reminded me of the land on the other side of the Mersey from Cheadle Heath. Accessed from Heaton Mersey either via the bottom of Vale Road or via a footpath from opposite Barnes' Home on Didsbury Road and thence via farm tracks, there were many lineside views available of the line to Tiviot Dale, the line through Cheadle Heath to Derby and London and the line to Sharston and beyond. A girder bridge, similar one produced for Triang model railways, carried the London line over the Mersey whilst the Stockport - Sharston line was carried by what was known as the "concertina" bridge. Rumour had it that there was a way of walking inside the tubular structure of the bridge. I never tried it, others claimed to know someone who had, but I never met "someone".

There was also a cut-off line linking Cheadle Heath with the Sharston line and the whole area was very busy Monday to Saturday. A great view of proceedings was available from Sister Angela's classroom in St Winifred's school before some idiot decided to condemn the old building and move the site nearer to Didsbury Road - thankfully after I left!. Sundays saw a dramatic reduction with only a few trains on the London line to disturb the Sabbath.

Brinksway Stockport with Pyramid2002A footpath ran from the bleach works at the bottom of Vale Road, Heaton Mersey, via the works' yard. This would, eventually, bring you out in Stockport, on Brinksway Rd, if I recall, by Bukta's mill, having journeyed along the banks of the Mersey, at some elevation, with the rock face across the river on the south bank and having passed the entrance to Heaton Mersey engine shed en route (home for many years of the numerically first LMS region engine, 40001).

I also remember seeing my first Sabena DC7C approaching Ringway from just outside the shed - plane and train spotting combined - bliss.

When we tired of things railway, there was always "tracking". On some derelict land just north of the Tiviot Dale line there were some excavations in the clay soil, to a depth of around 25 or 30 feet. Over the years some enterprising youths had made tracks along, around and down the excavations including one near vertical drop of around 20 feet - all to be ridden round at great speed on whatever push bikes were available. There was a similar set of tracks on land behind the bike shop at Wellington Road North, Manchester Road junction in Heaton Chapel. We would blithely risk life and limb at these sites with little regard for anything other than gaining the fastest time around the track or performing the best jumps off some of the humps or, again, doing wheelies, years before the term was invented.

All of this from being 9 onwards. No thoughts of cycle helmets, no risks of being abducted (although David's letter gives the lie to our parents' innocence) and all well out of vision and earshot of our parents.

The area to the north of the Tiviot Dale line was covered by housing in the early 1970s, through trains from Manchester Central to St Pancras have long gone (would Central Station have served Manchester better with trains via St Pancras to Paris, Brussels and beyond than it serves as GMex?) and kids today seem to have to be in someone's view at all times until old enough for some to go and make a real nuisance of themselves.

Best wishes,

Phil

There's really nothing I can add to your account! Thanks very much, as ever, for your fascinating contribution!


banda.maddocks
Boddington
Dear Aiden
I find it hard to believe that the present owners of Boddingtons want to move the brewery out of Manchester, what are they thinking of, sacrifice jobs to create some elsewhere. Living in Wanganui, New Zealand I am probably as far away from Manchester as it is possible to get but a pub in town serves Boddingtons, the real stuff, not made under license, a bit expensive compared to the NZ brew but well worth the price.

Boddingtons belongs to Manchester, is part of Manchester like other establishments, such as the Ship Canal, Man United and Strangeways, which is a good place to put the owners of Boddingtons until they change their minds.

I am still enjoying your web site, it is great, keep it up, best wishes
from Alan J Maddocks.

Thanks to a campaign by the Manchester Evening News, the owners of Boddingtons - Belgium-based Interbrew - decided to retain beer production in Manchester. The publicity surrounding all this I think must have given a boost to Boddingtons sales. I have to say that I can't stand their tv adverts with the catchphrase 'a bit gorgeous' tv adverts. Bring back Melanie Sykes!


Wardley Hall skull.......and a couple of other creepy talesHi Aidan(again!).......It's coming up to Hallowe'en now (at least it is as I'm writing this) so maybe these few comments are appropriate for the time of year.....first of all concerning the skull of St Ambrose Barlow in Wardley Hall, I read a tale once to the effect that the saint apparently does not appreciate his skull being removed from its glass case - on those rare occasions when this has happened according to the story, blood-curdling screams have re-echoed through the house until the skull was restored to its place.Whether there is any degree of truth to this story I don't know but I wouldn't care to put it to the test.

Palace Hotel and full moonI also encountered another eerie tale concerning the hotel that the former Refuge building on Oxford Road has now become; I surfed into a website that featured an email from a young American girl tourist who had taken a room there early in 1997 I think it was, and who after her overnight flight from the US and the usual tedious procedure involved in entering the country,was thankful to be able to sink into the bed in her hotel room,but she didn't stay in it very long. Shortly after relaxing in it (it was apparently a double bed), she felt the sensation of another person getting into the bed with her, but nobody was there.She then began to feel most unpleasantly as if someone were holding a pillow over her face and trying to suffocate her and it was only with great effort and strength of will that she was able to force herself out of the bed. She immediately demanded and got, another room, and the purpose of her email was to elicit any information as to why this kind of thing might have happened to her and if it had ever happened to any other occupant of the room. There were no replies. I stumbled over this website several months ago, entirely by accident,and made a note of the address but then mislaid it and haven't been able to access the site since, despite many attempts.

Sunlight House seen from Deansgate after demolition of Northcliffe HouseOn the same site there was a story concerning Sunlight House which I believe is somewhere around the Deansgate/Quay Street area, and which was in the process of being converted into upscale apartments at the time. The men involved in this work had complained of inexplicable incidents in the building, especially security personnel at night, who had alleged that the lifts would travel up and down when there was nobody to operate them. One guard alleged that a lift had travelled up to the floor where he was, stopped there and the doors opened but nobody got out because nobody was in it, and he had not called it up to that floor. Also according to information on this webpage, it seemed that while the building was still in use as commercial premises, female personnel were extremely reluctant to use a certain toilet there because of unnacountable incidents that occurred in it. On one occasion a lady was in it, looking in a mirror (powdering her nose, presumably), when she became aware of a bearded man in an old-fashioned, Edwardian style of dress, standing behind her and watching her, but when she turned round to ask him what he thought he was doing in the ladies' toilets, there was nobody there. On another occasion, a lady in a cubicle using it for its intended purpose, suddenly saw a pair of boot-clad, masculine feet appear in the gap between the base of the door and the floor, and other women complained of hearing the tramp of masculine feet when there was nobody around, and also a feeling that somebody was watching them when there was nobody there. Not surprising that they didn't want to use those toilets!

And then of course there is that Stockport Corporation Crossley bus in the Transport Museum at the back of Queen's Road bus garage........you wouldn't think a bus could be haunted but apparently that one is.......Anybody else know any stories about weird happenings in the Manchester area?

Creepy! If you'd like to read an excellent book about local ghosts, get a copy of 'Around Haunted Manchester' by Peter Portland - Yes, the Stockport Crossley bus is a particularly creepy story. I also heard about a hooded figure seen on the 192 bus to Stockport, who stayed on board even after the bus had entered the depot for the night. The bus driver would see him in the mirror sitting on the upper deck, but when he reached the top of the stairs, he found there was no-one there. Has anyone else heard this story?

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