Monday, April 29, 2013

Northmoor Road

The old co-op building on Northmoor Road in Longsight, Manchester M12 5RT is an impressive building. Enough to be classed as a Grade II Listed Building in 1994. The other week it celebrated its centenary, only a few months late as the date on the building states 1912.

It was built for the Beswick Co-operative Society, founded in 1892, and a thorn in the trading area of the Manchester & Salford Equitable. The Beswick ignored any territorial agreements and would open branches were they felt they could do business. Thus districts like Levenshulme, Ancoats, Withington and Didsbury would have rival co-op stores.

Northmoor Road, originally called North Road was developed between 1899 thru to the 1930's. The most famous person to reside there was J.R.Tolkien between 1926-1947. We don't know if he went to the co-op for his tea and biscuits between writing another page of The Hobbit or Lord of The Rings.

Beswick Co-op building
The building rises up to two floors plus attic rooms in a square tower. It used to have a meeting room used as ballroom for dances to live music. The property is now owned by Great Places Housing Group who provide affordable, social and supported housing across the north west and Yorkshire.​​​​​​​​​​​​​ There is now a community centre and small business units on the ground flour. Apartments are on the upper levels. It's not every building that has a party by local residents to celebrate its 100th birthday. It was reported in the local newspaper, "the co-operative building is loved by all in the area, and that showed with the amount of local residents who came to the event." - South Manchester Reporter 25th April 2013.

There is no doubt a lot of history to this building, it is something I must follow up someday.
Further reading : Northmoor Road (Wikipedia)
Description of the architectural features
(Images of England)

Photo credit to

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Trams beyond Chorlton

Tram tracks Hardy Lane
The tram tracks are now being laid down the centre of Hardy Lane. Slowly the construction of the line to connect the airport with the centre of Manchester is coming along. I'm recording the progress with photographs.

As Hardy Lane is not a busy thoroughfare for cars reducing the road to single line traffic shouldn't cause any long tail backs. However the siting of the station at the junction of Mauldeth Road West and Barlow Moor Road might isn't ideal. Not ideal for foot passengers who will have to cross two main roads to reach the platforms. You have a similar situation in Droylsden and there are no cycle lanes to contend with there.

The picture below is from the Manchester Libraries Archives. It shews the tram times to reach the centre of town from the outlying districts in 1917.

Manchester Time Zone Map, 1917
Depending on which part of Chorlton-cum-Hardy you lived in it could take from between 20 minutes to 50 minutes to arrive at Piccadilly. It is maybe marginally faster on the Metrolink these days but then you have to factor in the time to walk to the station.
You can email : coop AT with any information that will help in the making of this history.