Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hardy Lane Cottages

Hardy Lane Cottages were in a previous post called Slum Clearance Order. Reading this story by fellow Chorlton historian Andrew which I didn't realise was on the web until this week you realise that the cottages were so unfit for modern living. On the other hand there will still be buildings of this type of cheapest construction in Manchester and the other parts of the UK. Let's hope they arn't damp and do have adequate plumbing.

See Annie Gresty and Hardy Cottages

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ladybarn Branch

Old Ladybarn branch of Co-op
Took a detour through Ladybarn in south Manchester. There are some great old buildings in the district and then there is this former M&SE Co-op branch on Ladybarn Lane dating from the 1920's. Until it closed, it held the meetings of Withington Co-operative Party from the 1930's until the store and hall were closed in the 1970's.

Old Marble WorkWithington Constituency Labour Party issued a ‘Year Book’ in March 1968. Year book is a bit of an exaggeration. It is a mere sixteen pages slightly bigger than A5 printed on a Roneo or Gestetner machine. A copy survives in Manchester Central Reference Library. It includes some Withington Divisional Co-operative Party details. The membership was approximately 10. The meetings were held on the 2nd Friday of the month in the Ladybarn Co-op Hall, Ladybarn Lane at 7.45pm. Chair - Mrs. Willoughby 41 Lindleywood Road: Secretary Miss H.F.Messenger 8 Westbourne Road (which is the side street by this Co-op store), and Treasurer Mrs. D.Crivat 245 Manley Road. Cost 1/- per year (shortly to rise to 2/6d). That year seven speakers were booked and there were two social events. Contact with the Labour Party was been maintained through Mr. J. Lilley, a sponsored candidate.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Slum Clearance Order

Hardy Lane cottages were demolished on a Clearance Order dated 1969, although demolition was carried out in December 1972. They were in a poor state both in and outside. Sagging roofs, leaning chimneys, dampness, inequate light and ventilation. The report even refers to insanitary pail closets in defective structures. In 1969 there were 8 cottages, with seven of them inhabited by 20 people. 16 were adults and 4 were children. The properties were owned by Chorlton-cum-Hardy Golf Company.

Thanks to local historian Andrew for sending this information on to me. Back then there was a policy of demolishing old and defective housing rather than spending money on making them inhabitable again. There are lots of old cottages in Chorlton that nearly joined them under the bulldozer before that policy was amended. The photograph is from 1958.

Friday, November 13, 2009

History Talk Packs them in

A Friday afternoon in Chorlton Library, and the back room is packed. A muster of 60 people. Fortunately we got into the place early and managed to get a seat. All to hear Chris Makepeace give an hour to talk about the history of Chorlton. Its too big a subject but it is nicely illustrated with slides. A nice touch, not seen a genuine slide projector for years. The rattle of the mechanical parts, the need to focus the image, and all done by a remote control device.

It's part of Chorlton Book Festival 2009. Just like cookery demonstations there is a audience out there for history. The listeners in the main don't want to get their hands dirty but they are very interested and attentive as long as somebody else is entertaining.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Little Market Garden

"Plans to develop the market garden are already underway. Southway Housing have leased a parcel of land behind the Co-op on Hardy Lane to the project and over the next few months the land will be cleared, designs drawn up and landscaping work done in preparation for the first growing season in 2010. " - Chorlton Civic Society Newsletter November 2009.

Funds are being sought for this work. The market garden is seen as just the beginning of a process which they hope will restore the estate to a place where most residents grew fruit and vegetables in their own gardens.

Full story at
You can email : coop AT with any information that will help in the making of this history.