Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Green Fields Pass

Chorlton still has a slice of greenery and position yourself at the right spot it can be a bucolic scene. There is always someone who can remember when all this was fields, the more contemporary version for Manchester is someone who can remember when all this was factories employing thousands when all you have now is another industrial age relic converted to the ready-meal appartment lifestyle, another museum and a visitors centre....

But that rural aspect to Chorlton-cum-Hardy wasn't so long ago. The newspaper report is from 1929 and is entitled "The Green Fields Pass".

"There used to be some pleasant countryside lying alongside Barlow Moor Road between Chorlton-cum-Hardy and West Didsbury. Last year travellers on the "circular route" looked down upon fields of oats ripening in the sun. There was a farm with beasts in the pasture. A lane ran down to the river and a footpath followed by the hedges, both being much esteemed locally as lovers' walks.

Nealy all has gone now. It happened almost in a night. One day the fields lay green and still. The next day they were a waste of bricks, pile after pile of which had been tipped from lorries. Ditches were dug and foundations laid, and in a few weeks houses and shops had been erected. From a tramcar now it is difficult to see where the houses end. It is only a matter of months before the shops are tenanted and a new district is in being.

At the moment a recreation field near the Christ Church elms is the only space of note on the river side of the road, and the owls cry disconsolately among the new chimney pots. Fortunately the golf course and the river's habit of overflowing will be a bar to too much development.

extract from the Manchester Guardian, Thursday 30th May 1929 (which incidently was the day of the General Election). It estate being built is the Barlow Moor Road development between Hardy Lane and Princess Road. Being a resident of Manchester and a member of the public libraries one is able to search and read all the back issues online. Now that's a treasure trove going back to 1821. Photograph is from Chorltonhistory and a story about the Higgingbotham's farm at Chorlton Green.

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