Thursday, October 21, 2010

Garden Corner

For a few years this century there was a landscape garden that replaced the scrubby croft, and the smaller billboards. All replaced by a car park. Well you can't operate retail without spaces for customers to place their vehicle. Photo taken from Google Streetview which is useful now, but is going to be a great archive. It already is.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Russian Map View

Before Google got mapping the planet, the Soviet Union produced their own set of maps of the world from 1950 onwards. These are copyright free, unlike Ordnance Survey maps which you've paid for out of taxes and then have to buy back if you want to use even for non commercial applications. Here is the corner of Hardy Lane and Barlow Moor Road. Note the the little road or passage coming off south of Hardy Lane that is not shown on any Ordnance Survey maps. Memory fails me but there might have been a thin narrow passage here but was it wide enough for a car or a tank.

Map copied from , which when I first started this weblog just had the 1848 OS maps but now has lots, lots more. Top tip get the post code for searching and be patient. For the mapping legends that the Soviet military used see here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A store in every district

Below is a list of branches from the M&SE Co-op in south Manchester back in 1951 (source Kelly's Street Directory but was probably compiled in 1950). It shows a network of small branches, though it isn't a network for the consumer. People used to shop local without the use of the car. Shop more often for a smaller basket, and had a lot less choice. Another point is how the districts they are in have changed in the last 50 years. Didsbury is no considered a much bigger area, as it improves the value of your house.
  • Burnage                       Kingsway
  • Brooks's Bar               23-35 Moss Lane West
  • Chorlton-cum-Hardy   442-444 Barlow Moor Road (Hardy Lane store)
                                       66 Beech Road
                                       35 Stockton Road ( next to 66 Beech Road)
                                       90-92 Warwick Road South (in Stretford / Trafford)
                                       349-351 Barlow Moor Road (centre of Chorlton)
  • Didsbury                     220-222 Fog Lane
                                       106-116 Wilmslow Road
  • East Didsbury              476-480 Burnage Lane
                                       179 School Lane
                                       61-63 Ladybarn Lane
  • West Didsbury            129 Burton Road
                                       36-38 Merseybank Avenue (Merseybank Estate)
  • Whalley Range            14 Milton Grove
                                       98 Withington Road
  • Withington                   164-166 Parrs Wood Road
                                       87 Wilmslow Road
                                       86-90 Mauldeth Road West

Monday, August 23, 2010

Football Field

"The early years of 20th Century saw the appearance of several football clubs in the suburb, some short-lived. Chorlton Albion (1925), whose home pitch was on the corner of Hardy Lane and Barlow Moor Road, near where the Co-op is now".
from Looking Back series in the South Manchester Reporter 19th August 2010 - Amateurs Had It All by Graham Phythian, a notable football historian.

Details about defunct football clubs at this level are patchy at best. It throws up questions of where there any changing facilities, what fixtures did they play and it what colours?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Also opened in 1929 #4

Old Co-op Building Burnage
This was the Co-op store at Green End in Burnage. One of the seven opened in 1929, along with Hardy Lane. There is a photograph taken in 1929 in the Manchester Libraries image collection - here. The store is on the left of a large parade of shops. Now the parade faces a small roundabout but back then there were just tram tracks running along Burnage Lane.

Again there is a access to flat roof at the back of the shop. The address given is 476, 478 & 480 Burnage Lane in the Kelly's Street Directory for 1951.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Also opened in 1929 #3

Old Co-op Building Burnage
Originally uploaded by lorenzo23
There were seven new M&SE Co-ops opened in 1929. Only Hardy Lane has survived as a Co-op. The list of the seven and eventually I got around to Burnage to spot some of them. Now a small independant grocery store and newsagents - at least it is not boarded up and derelict. It's at the corner of Parrs Wood Road and Heyscroft Road.

It has the roof at the back you can walk out onto, as did Hardy Lane. It also has two satellite dishes. Click the picture for the bigger view.

Also Opened in 1929 # 2 - Warwick Road South

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shop Opening Hours

These are the opening times of Co-Op stores in Manchester in 1930, and would have been the original trading hours for Hardy Lane store. I was going to copy them into type but a photo from an old handbook will suffice. Up until about thirty years ago closing for lunch was still the norm. An hour and a quarter for a midday break would now be considered generous. Saturday was the exception. Early closing day as laid down by the Shops Act 1911 was on a Wednesday. Even now in Chorlton many independent shops still close early on a Wednesday, some don't even open for the day with it being the quietest trading day for customers. Sunday opening would have been unthinkable back then but that all changed with the Sunday Trading Act 1994.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Notice the background

The photo looks like it was taken in the recent General Election, the one last May, those rosettes that are clue. However is the story is from today about the Labour Leadership campaign with Ed Milliband MP as one of the contenders. That's Hardy Lane Co-op in the background which is more the interest for this weblog.
Lucy rejoins the campaign trail from the South Manchester Reporter July 1st 2010.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Woodcraft on video

Not really covered the Woodcraft who have been meeting at Hardy Lane since the 1970's, and some earlier activity in the late 1940's and 1950's. It is an area still to be explored. Today was notified of an online video of a 1968 film called I'm a Member of a Family at the Yorkshire Film Archive which documents an international Woodcraft Camp. When you quote "they say the past is a different country they do things differently there" you can see the truism of that phrase. It's the L.P. Hartley's novel The Go-Between to save you looking it up.

Also told it was really like this by a former member back in the 1970's. It's appears as a charming, innocent age set against a background of the Cold War and a call for World Peace. Anyway here is the link to the video (10 minutes, colour, sound). It's

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Late Shop Days

Co-op Late Shop
This photograph was taken today in May 2010 and is reminder of the old Late Shop livery of United Norwest. The lorry or at least part of it is still being used. It is just arriving at The Co-operative on Wilbraham Road in Chorlton on a wet Saturday dinnertime. Back in the years when there were Late Shop C-Stores this branch would have been a Kwik Save, then maybe a Gateway then lastly a Sommerfield store. It's hard to remember all the changes in ownership and takeovers.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Labour HQ at Hardy Lane

Labour HQ
The Labour Party election headquarters is in full swing at the Co-op Rooms. Popped in the check out what is happening. Nice use of cycle leaning on the big plastic posters. Lots of paper to push through letterboxes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Camapign HQ

Hardy Lane Co-op Rooms are currently the head quarters for Lucy Powell the Labour candidate in the forthcoming General Election. The rooms have been used for Labour campaigns since at least 1964, and as HQ since at least 1987.

Picture is of Lucy (left) with Yvette Cooper, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions who dropped by to meet constituents and called into the Hardy Lane rooms. At least the background looks like that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Co-ops in Salford

Took time out to trek over to the Working Class Movement Library in Salford for a talk on Co-operatives in Salford. It is not a trek since I realised you can do shopping in central Manchester and then take a seven minute train journey - Manchester Oxford Road to Salford Crescent station which a two minute walk from the Library.

The talk was by Gillian Lonergan from the Co-operative Archives at the Co-opsUK building. A muster of over 30 punters for an excellent picture presentation follwed by tea and custard cream biscuits. Always like a history talk when it informs me of new facts. Co-ops in Salford go way back to the days of the Rochdale Pioneers with hand loom weavers, and cloth dyers forming a few co-operative enterprises. The Manchester & Salford Society got a fair mention even though despite its name it didn't have many branches in Salford.

The talks are part of an Invisible Histories series over the next few months at the WCML.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Back on the History Trail

Replica Co-op Store
The People's Museum has re-opened in Manchester. So why not take a look and see what is on offer. This I did on Monday last with fellow amateur historian my old mate Andy. Actually the exhibits is much of what was there before it closed. Bigger co-op display with the replica or more like re-created imaginary co-op store. You always wonder what is tucked away in cardboard boxes that never gets seen.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Before the Co-op Car Park

Hardy Lane, Chorlton
Originally uploaded by Gene Hunt

Taken in 2007 just before the new car park was built. Looks like the building work is about to start with the metal railings erected beyond the croft on the corner. The billboards which brought in thousands of pounds (GBP) for United Co-operative are still in place.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hardy Lane in the Snow

Hardy Lane in snow
Not often you see scenes like this. The second day of the snow and before it turns to icy danger. Photo shows Hurstville Road off to the left, and the refuse collection hasn't taken place because of the weather.
You can email : coop AT with any information that will help in the making of this history.