EWM READER MESSAGES UPDATE NOVEMBER 2003 PAGE THREE
From: Debra Thompson <Debra@thompson81428.freeserve.co.uk>
Hi, I am so fascinated by all the amazing pictures and stories found on the Eyewitness website. Although, there is one place in particular that I am interested in that doesn't seem to be shown on your website, The Ritz Club (Whitworth Street), I would really love to know all about this building / club / ballroom its history in particular, as a regular attendee of the club, I am extremely interested in its history I find it amazing as a building and can imagine all the history and stories its walls hold. Any photographs, information would be gratefuly received..
Someone who goes to the Ritz? You must be a young person, i.e. more than five years away from your bus pass! It's nice to see a member of the young and cool generation showing an interest in the heritage of our city! I don't honestly know very much about the Ritz. I'll see if I can...
Hi, I enquired about "The Ritz" on Whitworth Street, just as an update I would like to let you know that I have found 2 pictures of the interior from 1927 and one of the exterior from 1965, I have also taken a up-to-date picture of the exterior myself. All knowledge of the building I can get is off the net. I also read that it was opened in 1924 as a ballroom... but whilst walking through it on Saturday *whilst refurbishments were happening* I saw a signature on the floor with the date 1903? I also wrote to a architectural web site, and they told me it was built in 1927-8 by Cruickshank & Seward who also worked on post-war university and UMIST buildings. So I am a little confused. as to whether the signature on the floor was a fake. I was also, just wondering if you have ever heard or come across anything to do with a Octopus *or* Octagon, magazine, was a little publishing house in Hulme in the past. Could have been something to do with a social group ? If you could let me know anything on this I would be very grateful. Thanx Debra Thompson.
Well you've answered the question yourself, and I've learned some interesting facts! Thanks very much. Sorry I don't know about the Octopus magazine or Octagon magazine but maybe someone out there can help.
Subject: Eyewitness Manchester/Question
From: Shannon Blosser-Salisbury <email@example.com>
Dear Mr. O'Rourke,
I 'm a big fan of your gorgeous website! I have never (yet) been fortunate enough to visit your beautiful city, but I am sure that I will one day. I certainly have more incentive after viewing the pictures and reading the stories on your site.
I am an American girl who started genealogy research on my family a couple
of years back. The first section I wanted to tackle was the dark side of my
family (always the most exciting). My grandfather was born illegitimately in
1922 in Chicago, USA. He knew his father, but his mother apparently left immediately
following his birth.
Delving into her family, I found out that they were from Manchester. Her name was Mericourt Webb and she was the granddaughter of Thomas Webb of Molyneaux & Webb Flint Glass, Ancoats.
The family is so intriguing and I wondered if you are familiar with one of a few places related to this family: 1) The Molyneaux & Webb factory, 2) "Roseneath" a family home at #1 Crumpsall Ln., Crumpsall. 3) "Morningside" a family home on Fairfield Square, Fairfield, or 4) "Abbey Hey House", Abby Hey Lane. I 've seen listed variously as being in Gorton or Droylsden (very confusing to someone not living over there). I recently found a modern reference to "Abby Hey House, Gorton Park Nursing Home". Could it be that the old home was converted? All of these buildings would have existed during the late 1800's and early 1900's. I 'm not sure whether they still exist or not.
If you know of any of them, could you please tell me a modern address for them? If you happen to be in their area, could you take photos? It would mean a lot to me to see where these grandparents, aunts and uncles lived.
Thank you so much and keep up the good work!
Thanks for your message. I'm familiar with all those localities, though to find the houses would take more time. Perhaps someone can help. I'll keep an eye out for them on my 'rounds'.
Subject: <no subject>
From: William Edge - Hamilton Grant Software Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have any information on the old Atora suet factory which was based inside an old mill in the Openshaw district. I'm trying to track it down (if its still standing) as I am related to the original Hugon family who started the brand Atora. Perhaps you could post something on your website in case anybody associated with the company is still around (it would be at least 40-50 yrs ago though).
I would be very grateful for any information you have.
The name Atora is very familiar, but I don't know the location of the mill in Openshaw. Can anyone help? Have you tried the Manchester Central Library Local Studies Unit?
Subject: Princess Road Tram & Bus Depot
From: Arnold <email@example.com>
Dear Aidan, I have just been informed that in about 3 yrs tlme Princess Rd bus depot is to be demolished.
Princess Rd Depot is very dear to me having spent the last three and a half years of my working life in Manchester and the UK. I have told you before those three and a half years were the best years of my whole working life. I only lived 3 minutes walk away from the depot, towards Wilbraham Rd. To hear this devastating news is to say the least very sad. I am told that they will not be demolishing the clock tower facing on to Princess Rd.
So can I ask you please Aidan to find out all you can about the depot and put it on your Eyewitness in Manchester series. I do know that the depot opened in October 1909 for the old M.C.T.D. Trams. Many thanks for your help in solving my query about the old trams running through St Peter Square, and as you said they did run through the square.
Many thanks Aidan keep up the very good work that you do. I have nowhere near
finished my model of the old Piccadilly Gardens and surrounds but will send
a photo when it is finished.
Fom Arnie an old but very proud Manchester born and bred Mancunian
The closure of bus depots is an ongoing trend. There are simply less buses on the roads than there were in the heyday of trams and buses from the 30's to the 60's. Parrs Wood depot is Tesco supermarket - after a campaign by locals the clock tower was retained. Where Birchfields Rd depot used to be is now a small retail park, Salford Tramways Depot is now a housing development, but Regent Rd Depot is still there though not in use. Queens Rd is the headquarters of FirstBus and Hyde Rd depot is used by Stagecoach. I will keep an eye out for Birchfields Rd depot and try to get some photos.
MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL
From: FRANK PRIEST <firstname.lastname@example.org>
HI AIDAN I HAVE JUST FOUND YOUR REVIEW ON THE CANAL TRIP .IT TOOK ME RIGHT BACK TO 1962/63 WHEN I WAS A DECK BOY ON THE S.S.MANCHESTER PROGRESS. MY FIRST TRIP DOWN THE CANAL WAS MORE
LIKE A MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. MASSIVE FLOATING PNEUMATIC GRAIN ELEVATORS, A FLOATING DOCK!!! MILE AFTER MILE OF FACTORIES [PROBABLY LONG GONE.] I CAN REMEMBER MODE WHEEL LOCKS, THE BARTON SWING BRIDGE, IRLAM LOCKS, LATCHFORD LOCKS, RUNCORN LAY BY, THE DISUSED PARTINGTON COALING BASIN, NUMEROUS BRIDGES, STANLOW OIL DOCKS AND EASTHAM LOCKS.
I LAST VISITEDTHE DOCKS IN 1983 TO TAKE SOME PHOTOS. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!! NO SHIPS, JUST A DERELICT WASTELAND. THE ONLY PEOPLE WE SAW WERE THE POLICE AS WE WENT IN, AND THE LOCK GATE STAFF AT MODE WHEEL.
THANKS FOR YOUR EXCELLENT ACCOUNT OF YOUR TRIP,.LOOKS LIKE I WILL HAVE TO DO
THE SAME. MY MEMORIES OF MANCHESTER ARE.....A GREAT CITY WITH GREAT PEOPLE.
I went on the
Ship Canal Cruise for a third time in September and as ever it was fascinating
and the time flew. I unreservedly recommend it to anyone! I love the bridges,
here's Latchford Locks and the high level railway bridge sadly disused but still
Subject: Flixton Bridge
From: Syd. Bardsley <email@example.com>
I have only just discovered your website so I am sure that you must have had many replies to your question about why the word 'Flixton' was chipped from Flixton Bridge at the bottom of 'The Mile Road'.
However, if you haven't received an answer to your question, this is what happened. I was a child growing up in Flixton during World War II. Early in the war the Council removed all road signs and direction signs giving place names in case of a German invasion. They even chipped away the more 'permanent' names like the word 'Flixton' from the bridge over the Mersey. I enjoyed the website and the photographs, especially the one of the 'New Curzon', I remember going to the Saturday matinees there.
Keep up the good work, I will be a regular visitor to your site.
- You would think that if the Germans had ever invaded they would have had maps.
Thanks very much for explaining this one. You're the first person to contact
From: florencegrady <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have just been reading your story on musical influence on your life. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the pictures of yourself are excellent, and must admit you have not changed a great deal, just got taller. The music I loved was skiffle Lonnie Donegan Ken Colyer etc. I also had a great love of Frankie Lain. , I have heard him sing 'And they called the wind Maria', not sure if you would be old enough to remember him. Keep up the good nay very very good work.best wishes Florence.
Subject: Manchester Loop Line
From: Deirdre Berriman <email@example.com>
Dear Sir I am a resident of Burnage and I walk my dogs along the Fallowfield/Levenshulme part of the loop (which I enjoy very much). I was wondering if you knew how I could get a route map as I would very much like to walk 'the distance' but I 'd also like to know where I am whilst walking. I 've rang the ramblers association and they could not help but I stumbled on you website (which is very interesting) and wondered if you could help.
Mrs Deirdre Berriman
For all details
regarding the South Manchester Loop Line, please contact Costel Harnasz, the
chief Loop Line campaigner. His phone number is... Yes, the line should never
have been closed. If it was a Metrolink line, the city centre would be about
17 minutes away from Levenshulme and and 15 minutes Fallowfield, not a half
an hour bus ride in rush hour traffic.
Thanks for the photo of Fletcher Moss Gardens. I also enjoyed looking at your other photos of Disbury, they brought back memories.
Ah yes, Fletcher
Moss Gardens, I go there quite often, it's a wonderful place.
Subject: Eyewitness in Manchester
Just to say how much I enjoy your website, I lived in Ardwick for many years and was delighted to see such great photographs of well known places. Thank you for giving much pleasure to us Mancunians.
It's nice to know people appreciate my efforts!
Subject: Holts Brewery
Hi Aidan. I 'm researching for an article on Holts Brewery for Family Tree magazine. I would be so grateful if your readers could provide me with memories from earlier days. What games were played in the pubs? Were there any memorable landlords, or characters among the customers? Holts Pubs in the area include the Golden Lion in Old Market Street, Blackley; the Blue Bell at Blackford Bridge, Bury; Church Inn, 1 Gaskell Street, Newton Heath and the Eagle and Child, Higher Lane, Whitefield. There were many more. What was the beer like? I 'm told it was - and is the best. Any contributions used will be acknowledged in the article.
Not so long ago I remember drinking pints of Holts at a pub in Sale with my photographer friend Mark Fildes. A pint cost 89p - This was around 1990. Holts breweries are in Moss Side and Cheetham and they have made great contributions to hospitals and cancer research.
The pub that used to commemorate the place where Man City played (you have a photograph taken just before demolition) was called the Hyde Road and had one of the best Sunday football teams in the 1950's. The picture you showed of Dark Lane reminded me of the school in the lane where as kids we renovated the basement and turned it into an indoor football pitch in the mid 1950's. It had the most unlikely Dickensian name of The Dark Lane Ragged School! No kidding! The name was carved in stone above the main door.
Charter Street Ragged School is still going strong next to St Michael's Flags, now sadly bereft of its flags. Thanks very much for your contribution, very interesting.
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