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Friday, 12 September 2008

Alphabet Friday - Manchester Road

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.


  1. This summer, I intended to go back to Ashton for the first time in 24 years and have a look round but photos like this, and other on this blog, have put a damper on my enthusiasm. I think it would be like trying to find my way around an alien town. I imagine all the nooks and crannies that I used for parking and short cuts are now buried under miles of tarmac. I did recently leave the M60 and drive past Snipe Retail Park to Audenshaw and was staggered at the sheer volume of traffic. Perhaps another year or perhaps it’s better to keep my memories of the old, less traffic-ridden town.

  2. Sorry - don't know what happened here to become Anonymous!

  3. Hello S-o-N,
    Of course, there are lots of widened roads and acres of tarmac, but there are still plenty of nooks and crannies around.

    After 24 years every town will have changed enormously, and Ashton is no exception, but you will still find plenty that you recognise once you get over the shock of the things that are different!

    There is traffic everywhere and even the humblest street of terraced houses is now lined with parked cars at night. I think some people call it "progress"!

  4. I'd like to know when you took this photo, Martin.LOL
    Such lovely blue sky!! Surely not THIS summer!!

  5. June 10th, Meg. The same day as the Ryecroft Mill photo!

  6. hi it must have been that one day we called summer lol

  7. See, that's the thing about Burbank where I live.
    Down the street is still Amelia Erharts address! where her Turkey farm was. OK today its small and light engineering buildings have replaced the farm but "Turkey Crossing" where the railway crosses Buena Vista St essentially, remaining the same.

    The changes I see in Ashton are much more pronounced, so much so now, that the older areas towards St Micheal's are beginning to look out of place and a little odd.

    First came the Bypass that severed those communities from the town that today, the area is exclusively light industrial.

    Now, Lord Sheldon Way is the new road into Ashton rendering Manchester Road to a "has been" road. It's sort of another Stockport Rd.

    The changes are of course improvements and no one is denying that, it's just that the Old Ashton has drifted into the mists of time and history.

    That's why I've become somewhat enamoured by Burnley (where Jean is from)because large parts of Burnley still retain that feeling from the past.
    It's a modern town too, but there are still areas of streets of terraced houses that remind me of Ashton in the 50's and 60's.
    Only difference being the satellite dishes and no spot to park your car.

    Anybody remember the different routes the M60 was to take when planned in the 1960's? there was the blue route, purple route and so on. I never imagined the motorway coming this close to Ashton, rather, it would cross at the Snipe, more through Droylsden.

  8. As someone who was born and bred in Ashton-under-Lyne, I wouldn't advise anyone to return to visit. You would be so disappointed.

    I wish someone could give me a rational explanation for the eyesore that is Ikea, being built where it is. What was wrong with siting it further away from the centre of Ashton, possibly nearer to the cinema complex. It is the ugliest of structures, which appears on the horizon from where ever you look. In my opinion there must have been some sort of illicit deal made to allow such a blunder.

  9. A pity that you are so disillusioned with Ashton, Chris. Not everyone shares your opinion.

    I wonder what brought on the comment about IKEA? In spite of what you say, it is not visible in this photo!


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