P h o t o B l o g

Wednesday, 30 April 2008


A simple terrace of houses could be built to look very plain, but the Victorians were inclined to add a certain amount of ornamentation to most buildings.
These moulded decorative bricks are to be found on Kings Road, Hurst Knoll, Ashton.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

The Queen's Arms (or not)

The former Queen's Arms pub on the corner of George Street and Wood Street, Ashton. It started life in 1823 as the Elephant and Castle pub but after Queen Victoria came to the throne, was re-named the Queen's Arms.
As the photo shows, the pub has now been re-named once again - this time to Bar 15.
From time to time I hear people complaining about the fashion for re-naming pubs but, reading about the history of Ashton's pubs, it can be seen that this is by no means a new thing! One pub, which I will feature soon, has had at least 5 names!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Market Progress

Today's photo shows Ashton's open market, looking towards the Market Hall. The progress of the Market Hall's re-building can be seen, with a new roof-line. The tower is now being refurbished behind the scaffolding. The Market Hall was gutted by fire in 2004.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Parish Church

The Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels seen across the ornamental entrance to the Memorial Gardens in Ashton.
The area between the gardens and the church was the historic heart of Ashton, with the the Old Cross standing in the original market place.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Memorial Gardens

Ashton's Memorial Gardens in bloom in the April sunshine. At the top of the bank stands the war memorial. In the background is a block of new apartments and behind that the tower of Albion Sunday school (seen in yesterday's photo) can also be seen.

Friday, 25 April 2008

The Cats' Park

Spring is very definitely in the air in Ashton this week. The trees may still be bare but there is plenty of colour on the ground!

This is the view across the triangular-shaped gardens between Mossley Road, Penny Meadow and Cricket's Lane. In the distance is Albion Warehouse, the former Albion Sunday School.

A much larger version of this photo, suitable as desktop wallpaper, can be found here.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

St George's Day

Yesterday was St George's Day and Tameside Council played its part in the growing movement to celebrate the day in England. Every public building in Tameside flew the white and red flag of St George and stickers were given out to every school child.

During the day, costumed stilt-walkers toured the market ground distributing silk red roses. A group of costumed "knights", pictured above in front of the Ashton Town Hall steps, visited every town in Tameside giving out roses. Mossley councillor Roy Etchells, looking on, joked that they wouldn't have got away with handing out red roses over in Yorkshire!

No dragons were in evidence. You will have to look here to see St George fighting a rather cute dragon.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

More Backs

Another typical back alley or ginnel in Ashton. The scene will be familiar to ex-patriot Ashtonians, apart from the wheelie bins, satellite dishes and security gate.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Broadoak Shops

This photo shows the green and the row of shops that are opposite the Broadoak Hotel, Smallshaw. The turning to the right is Poplar Grove.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Latchford Street

Looking east along Latchford Street towards Elgin Street and Canon Johnson school.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Canon Johnson School

Canon Johnson Church of England Primary School, on Elgin Street, is one of the two primary schools that serve Christ Church on Oldham Road.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

More Daffs

A photo showing more daffodils in Mossley. These a a little further along Stockport Road from the ones shown on Tuesday, near to the Butchers Arms.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Theatre Tavern

The Theatre Tavern on Oldham Road.

This pub began life in 1840 as a combined corner shop and beer house. In 1869 it was named The Robin Hood and Little John, eventually becoming known as the Robin Hood. In recent years it changed its name to the Theatre Tavern, being adjacent to Tameside Hippodrome theatre. Perhaps the pub name will be changed again now that the theatre has closed its doors.

The tiled lettering shown in yesterday's photo is on the side wall of the pub, in Cotton Street.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

On The Tiles

The colourful tiles bear the words "Gartside's Famous Ales & Stouts". The question is - where is this to be found? Answer tomorrow!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Daffs Are Out!

A host of golden daffodils just off Stockport Road in Mossley this week. And so soon after the recent wintry weather! Nice to see colour coming back.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Glory of the Garden

"Glory of the Garden" is another sculpture from Paul Margetts, creator of The Family.

The 3.5 metres high sculpture is situated in the Radcliffe Freedom Gardens, near the junction of Oldham Road and Water Street. The inspiration for the sculpture, and its name, comes from Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Glory of the Garden".

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Taunton Hall

Taunton Hall, on Newmarket Road, with Old Hall Farm on the left.

Taunton Hall was a medieval cruck-framed building, dating from the 1337. However, the building has undergone much alteration, with the original timber frame being encased within 18th-century brickwork and a stone slate roof. Three cruck trusses survive, along with other features, such as 16th-century wattle and daub panelling.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Alderley Street

This picture is looking along Alderley Street, Hurst, towards Queens Road and the distant Pennine Hills. Cedar Mill once stood on the left, with the "Red School" beyond that.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Cranbrook Street

Three storey terraced houses on Cranbrook Street, off Oldham Road, by the Hop Pole pub. This style of terraced house is unusual in Ashton.

The stone plaque on the front wall of Young's Takeaway reads "Lord's Field Place".

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

National Gas Engine Company

The National Gas Engine Company was opened in 1890 by Henry M. Bickerton at Wellington Works in Ashton. His engines ran on town gas and were used in cotton mills and other factories.

Bickerton had previously been involved with the Mirrlees-Bickerton & Day company, which had built the Mirrlees diesel engine. The National Gas Engine Company became the National Gas and Oil Engine Company in 1932. It was taken over by the successors of Mirrlees-Bickerton & Day and in 1966 the company changed its name to Mirrlees National. In 1977 it became Mirrlees-Blackstone, part of Hawker Siddeley, finally losing the "National" label.

The buildings are now rented out for warehousing and light industrial use.

The photo shows the back of the works, seen from across the railway, from the rear of the Hollywood Bowl, seen in yesterday's photo. On the walls, the original lettering "National Gas Engine Company" has, at some stage, been overwritten with "Mirrlees National".

More about National engines can be read here.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Ashton Moss

If you haven't been to Ashton for a long time you might be forgiven for not recognising this as a scene on Ashton Moss. Gone are the market gardens to be replaced by Hollywood Bowl and Cine World along with various chain eateries.

Monday, 7 April 2008

The Shepherds Inn

The building on Old Street shown in yesterday's photo was the Shepherds Inn. The present building was built in 1910 and, at the time, must have been a stunning example of ultra-modern Edwardian architecture!

A pub called the Brown Cow stood on the site from the early 1800s. This was re-named The Shepherd in 1846, later becoming the Shepherds Inn. The pub was re-built in 1910 with the present building, which continued as the Shepherds Inn until 1975.

The building was then used by a building society and now houses an estate agency and solicitors.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Old Street

This splendid building on Old Street, with its decorative frontage, now accommodates an estate agent and a firm of solicitors. But do you know the original purpose of this building? I'll tell you the answer tomorrow!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Ashton Benefits

Strangely enough, Ashton benefits from the high prices of life in London!

For a while now, the London Borough of Islington has had its housing benefits administration office at Portland Basin in Ashton. (In the photo, the car park was empty as it was Easter Sunday, when it had snowed!)

Now the housing officials are to be joined by Islington's parking administrators. This may seem to be a bizarre course of action but it would seem to make financial sense for Islington. They apparently have difficulty recruiting office staff in London. It seems existing staff will be invited to make the move north. (It doesn't always snow this far north, folks!) Any vacancies remaining will be easier to fill in Ashton because the cost of living and housing costs are lower.

GMB trade union officials claim Islington Council really wants to move the jobs in order to sell off their present prime office space.

Read more about it in this Islington Tribune report.

But Londoners won't have to come to Ashton to claim their housing benefits or pay their parking fines - only the administrative work will be done here!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Back Alley

Around the backs of many of the terraced streets in Ashton you will find some sort of back alley or ginnel. Nowadays many of these have security gates which can be locked at night.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Sunnyside Up

Just off Newmarket Road in the Taunton area of Ashton is the delightful row of cottages known as "Sunnyside". As you can see, it really is!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The Ashton Canal at Portland Basin

Ashton's contribution to April's Theme Day on "Water" shows the Ashton Canal at Portland Basin. What other location in Ashton is more perfect for a watery picture? This wintry scene was captured only 9 days ago on Easter Sunday. (Click image to see a larger version.)

The stone arch bridge on the left carries the towing path across the entrance to the Peak Forest Canal. The bridge was built to be used by the boathorses that towed the narrow boats along the canal. Although the canal opened in 1796, the present bridge was only built in 1835. The canal was used for carrying coal from local mines down to Manchester.

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