|READER MESSAGES Nov and Dec 2002 Page 1|
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
Re: O'Rourke Research.
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!
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.
Just 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
buses and cinemas
Greetings 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.
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?
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.
Would this be the railway viaduct you mention?
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.
All 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!
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
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.
There's really nothing I can add to your account! Thanks very much, as ever, for your fascinating contribution!
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
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.
I 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.
On 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?