Park Bridge was once a busy industrial stretch of the Medlock Valley, within Ashton's northern boundary. The Lees family, who ran the thriving ironworks, built several terraces of houses for their workers, plus other facilities such as the Institute, pictured here on a miserable day.
The Institute was opened in 1905 by Maurice Lees. It had a reading room and a billiard room. Monthly church services were held there and it is still a thriving community centre. Each year a Service of Remembrance is held at the Memorial at the front of the building.
See Google Aerial View of this location.
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Sunday, 28 September 2008
The former Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School is on the corner of Mill Lane and Crown Street (originally Church Street) in central Ashton.
Built in 1877, the building has been empty for some time, as can be seen by the trees growing from the roof. It has been bought by a company that has converted other old buildings into apartments, so there is a possibility that the building may be retained, although it seems unlikely that anything will happen during the present economic climate.
Friday, 26 September 2008
O is for "Old Town" and this street sculpture represents Ashton's Old Town area of Stamford Street and Old Street. The metal grid in the centre of the sculpture is in the form of a map of the grid pattern of Ashton's streets. The surface is decorated with a variety of objects to represent the shops and industries of the area. Elsewhere are representations of people, buildings and events that have shaped Ashton. The sculpture was created in 2002 and is the work of artist Michael Johnson.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
The Hare and Hounds pub at Luzley is a favourite place for those wanting to go to "a pub in the country" without having to go too far! The Hare and Hound is situated on the old road between Ashton and Mossley, with views across open fields opposite towards the heather moorland above Stalybridge.
The pub has been there since at least 1755, at which time it was called the King George. Six years later the name was changed to the King's Head.
In 1810 the pub became known as the Hare and Hounds, which it has been ever since, except for a few years in the 1850s when it was known as the Hunters Tavern. The pub had connections with the Ashton Hunt, with Ben Greenwood, one of the huntsmen, being the landlord for a number of years, which is probably the origin of the names "Hare and Hounds" and "Hunters Tavern".
Monday, 22 September 2008
The Woodcock is on Newmarket Road in the Taunton area of Ashton.
It was first licensed as a beerhouse in 1868 but re-built in 1879. In 1889 it was granted a full license (so that wines and spirits could also be sold). It was owned by Shaws until 1902 and then by Rothwell's Brewery of Newton Heath. In 1961 Rothwell's were taken over by Marston's, who still own the Woodcock.
In the distance can be seen the Clock Shop on the corner of Downing Street.
See Google Aerial Photo of this location.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Friday, 19 September 2008
N is for "Nazarene" and 230 Stamford Street is the address of the Church of the Nazarene.
The Church of the Nazarene is a protestant church in the Wesleyan tradition celebrating scriptural holiness. It has 14,000 congregations around the world.
Originally called Croft House, 230 Stamford Street was built around 1810 as the house of wealthy mill owner Samuel Heginbottom. At that time it stood on the edge of the town, in its own grounds and adjoining countryside. Within ten years it was swamped by the spreading urban development of Ashton.
The house then became the residence of John Ross Coulthart and later was used as the Stamford Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.
The building was damaged by fire in June 2008 but is now back in use as a place of worship.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
A view of Albion Church seen across the Memorial Gardens, Cricket's Lane, Ashton.
To the right is the War Memorial, built of 50 tonnes of Portland Stone, topped with a bronze statue showing a wounded soldier and an angel of peace. On each side are statues of lions.
Monday, 15 September 2008
Today's photo shows the entrance porch to Mossley Hall, originally Whitehall, the home of Mossley mill owner George Mayall.
Claimed to be the grandest mansion of any mill owner in the area, it was built in 1864 in the Italianate style and cost £60,000 to build, which was a lot of money at the time!
The building was open as part of this weekend's Heritage Open Days. The owner does not wish photographs of the interior to appear so you will have to be content with the grandeur of the porch!
Sunday, 14 September 2008
This weekend sees the annual Heritage Open Days, where buildings around the country, many of which are not normally accessible to the public, are opened up for visits.
Today's photo shows Philip Wilson telling visitors about the history of Mossley Hall, which was opened for public viewing this year for the first time.
Built in 1864 as a private house for Mossley mill owner George Mayall, it was originally called Whitehall after the farm that had occupied the area. It later became Mossley's Town Hall until local government re-organisation in 1974. It is now known as Mossley Hall and is being restored by its owners.
Friday, 12 September 2008
M is for Manchester Road, the main A635 from Manchester and the M60 into Ashton.
Anyone who has been away from Ashton for many years will remember Manchester Road as being completely flat and straight, yet this recent photo is looking down a definite hill and curve! The reason is that, when the M60 motorway was built, the alignment of the road was changed, with the road level west of Crowthorne Road being raised to get enough height to cross the motorway.
In the foreground you can see the lane marked "M60". On the left is Evans Halshaw, Ford dealers, which has replaced Quicks. Behind that, the nearest block of flats is Margaret House.
Right of centre is St Peter's Church, with the tower of the Old Swimming Baths behind. Beyond that, those with sharp eyes may make out the tower of Ashton Parish Church and the spire of Albion Church.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
There were three mills built as part of the Rycroft Mill complex. No 3 was later known as "Tudno" and is now the home of Hills' Biscuits.
A different photo of the mill was shown in June.
The inviting smell of biscuits baking sometimes wafts all across the West End of Ashton!
This mill was built in 1845 by James Smith Buckley who, with Abel Buckley, had built the other mills at Ryecroft. These were among the many cotton mills that were built in Ashton between 1779 and 1806.
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
226 Stamford Street is not the most obvious choice of a subject for a photo, being the former Kenworthy's Jewellers shop and now looking rather abandoned.
But notice the blue plaque on the upper storey. It tells how, between 1864 and 1885, this building was the home of Francis Thompson, who was a famous Catholic poet in his day, although his best-known work, "The Hound of Heaven" was written later, when he had moved to London.
Read more about Francis Thompson here.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
This is an almost timeless picture of northern mills with a background of northern hills and a foreground of cobbles! However, the observant viewer will notice a few clues that this is a recent photo, such as the pole-mounted CCTV camera and the palisade fencing.
This photograph shows a different view of Whiteland Mill, seen here last week. It is seen looking down the steps from the railway bridge at the end of Granville Street, Cockbrook.
Behind Whitelands Mill is Stamford Mill, just across the border in Stalybridge.
A Google aerial view of this location can be seen here.
Friday, 5 September 2008
L is for Lees Road and this is the southern end of Lees Road, looking south towards Hurst Cross. The Texaco garage is on the corner of Nook Lane. The terraced houses in the distance are on the corner of Kenworthy Avenue. The photo was taken close to the junction with Connery Crescent. Ashton United's football ground is behind the houses on the right.
Lees Road (sometimes incorrectly called Lees New Road) was built round about 1840 and went to Lees. The present B6194 road up through Abbey Hills to Oldham was only built later. Lees had historically been a part of the parish of Ashton but, before the construction of Lees Road, travel between Lees and Ashton would have been very difficult.
A Google aerial view of this location can be seen here.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Yesterday's photo showed the "New Charter Academy" sign at the former Hartshead High School. Today we see the sign at the former Stamford High School on Mossley Road. This sign reads "New Charter Academy, Silver Springs Campus".
It is to this building that all of the new intake of Year 7 pupils will come today to begin their secondary education. In two years' time they will move to a brand new building off Broadoak Road.
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
A sign of the times - observant travellers along Lees Road in Ashton may have noticed that the sign that previously announced Hartshead School now says "New Charter Academy, Greenhurst Campus".
Hartshead and Stamford High Schools have technically closed and been replaced by a new "Academy". A new state-of-the-art building is being constructed off Broadoak Road. but, in the meantime, the 1350 pupils will use the two existing buildings.
Hartshead School is to be known as Greenhurst Campus, named after nearby Greenhurst Clough, while Stamford School will be Silver Springs Campus, named after the local beauty spot. Samuel Laycock Special School is also to be integrated into the new Academy site.
The new intake of Year 7 pupils start on Thursday at Silver Springs, and the Year 10 pupils at Greenhurst, with the remaining years starting on Friday at the buildings they previously attended.
When the new building opens in 2010 it will include a 300-place sixth form. New Charter Academy is the first to be sponsored by a housing association.
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
A view across the wharf at Portland Basin in Ashton, showing some of the canal boats that are moored in the arm in front of the museum.
The building is a replica of the original Ashton Canal Warehouse, which was destroyed by fire. In the original warehouse, canal boats were able to go through the arches to be loaded up under cover or to have their cargoes hoisted to or from the upper floors of the building.
The apartments just visible in the background stand on the site of Junction Mill.