The Sparrow – Collyhurst

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84 Thornton Street North Collyhurst Manchester M40 8JT

It’s too late, she’s gone
Too Late Too Late
It’s too late, my baby’s gone
Too Late Too Late
Wish I had told her she was my only one
But It’s too late, she’s gone

We spend much of our lives searching for something that once was.

There are maps, guides, street views that are as ghostly as the very destination you may seek, the past is an unreliable path to the present.

Walking up Thornton Street North, through Village Park, a city green space initiative, now largely untended and unloved, you can clearly see where The Sparrow was.

A former estate pub, a footprint.

Away from the white hot heat epicentre of the Northern Powerhouse, you quickly feel the chill of deindustrialisation. Full employment and newly built social housing the stuff of dreams and folk memory, as the future is buried beneath worn lino and entrancing entrance steps, seemingly leading nowhere.

 

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Primrose View – Oldham

Primrose View, 25-27 Ashton Rd, Oldham OL8 1JX

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Once there was an OB brewery here, OB – OK?

Fine Lancashire Ales, bought out by Boddington’s.

Closed down by Boddington’s.

Boddington’s was bought out by Interbrew.

Beer can and will eat itself – Boddies the Cream of Manchester, the transubstantiation of Monopoly Capitalism, it rises to the top, as another local brewery and its pubs sink.

Almost without trace.

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A poor do in the poorest of towns, the view was never primrose.

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The blanked, bricked and tinned windows, have a more than somewhat restricted view of an uncertain future, demolition or redevelopment, planning applied for 2014.

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Another new flue, that never arrived.

The Griffin – Heald Green

Wilmslow Road, Heald Green, Stockport SK 8 3BE.

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Once upon a time, some time ago –

Fields.

Lots of them, full of farmers.

Thirsty farmers in search of succour, or better still, bitter.

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Rough tracks cross the county, ready for the roadhouse ruffians to surface, and resurface as thoroughly modern thoroughfares.

No more back to back, back to basics culture, compact company cars are hereon in, carrying the weary worker back to these shiny suburbs.

You should see the estate they’re in.

A brand new boxy breed of boozer is created, for the blue collared, blue blazered clientele.

 

Post 1980 a fresh wave of affluence demands refurbishment, a squeaky clean ambience for the executive refreshment, entertainment environment.

Gone are the confident rectilinear volumes of modernity, to be replaced by an anonymous non-style style, a confused collision, a mismatched, mishmash mash-up.

Surrounded by plants.

The Three Crowns – Stockport

Manchester Road, Heaton Norris, Stockport. SK4 1TN

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In the 1960’s you were built as an estate pub by Boddington’s to serve the new housing developments at the top of Lancashire Hill, two large rooms separated by the bar.

You were transformed into the Cosmopolitan and latterly the Venue.

Applications were made for change of use to a takeaway and a carwash.

Neither would take, or wash.

In March 2009 you closed your doors to the drinker forever.

Like a seriously unwanted child you were snapped once and only once it seems.

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Prior to being boarded up and out.

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Then reinvented as luxury apartments.

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I’ve belatedly redressed your absence from presence, here’s my small gift to you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Three Crowns, take a bow.

 

 

The Railway Hotel – Longsight

Berigan Close, Manchester, M12 4QT.

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Once there was a Railway Hotel here, once there was a railway too.

The nearby Longsight Shed teemed with Carriage and Engine Cleaners, Firemen, Drivers, Guards, Fitters and Shunters and all the requisite ancillary support staff.

Thirsty work.

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Firstly the first Railway Hotel disappeared, then the railway too.

Sidings once full of stock and sheds full of locos, stood emptier.

Ghostly.

Less spare capacity rolling stock, less cleaning and maintenance, less of everything.

The area was redeveloped, back to back terraces replaced by brand new homes.

The Railway Hotel reappeared, a brand new Boddington’s house for brand new people in their brand new homes, neat sleek and well, new.

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Through the 70’s, the final death throws of late industrial capitalism required far fewer hired hands, no more thirsty work for tired lads and lasses.

No more Railway Hotels.

Railway Hotel Berigan St

Tinned up and turned into a mini-market.

Through a succession of owners, the building has survived, as a retail outlet and multiple occupancy residential homes.

There are now virtually no pubs left in the area.

Making things poorer and poorer for the pourer.

Thanks to Dan Granata:

http://manchester-estate-pubs.blogspot.co.uk

http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

 

Jack and Jill – Brinnington

Brinnington Rd, Stockport SK5 8AD

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High on a hill, above Stockport town centre sat the Jack and Jill.

Built in 1954 to serve the emerging nearby social housing estate.

A curved brick frontage overlooking the Goyt Valley.

Classical Moderne with a splash of Brut – it’s all over.

In happier times it served the Community.

 

 

I returned to find:

Tinned-up doors and windows, no sign of a sign.

No sign of signs of life, save the landlord of eight years packing up to leave for pastures new, The Friendship in Romiley.

“I want flat caps, darts and dominoes, its got a bowling green too!”

I asked if the Jack and Jill was to be demolished?

“It’s up for sale.”

No amount of vinegar and brown paper, I fear, will put Jack back together again.

Jill perpetually tumbling.

After.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Swinging Sporran – Manchester

78 Sackville St, Manchester M1 3NJ

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South of the border down Manchester way, on the wrong side of the Tweed:

– sat The Swinging Sporran, closer to the culverted Medlock than thee.

What’s in a name?

The decontextualised allusion to outlandish Bamforth innuendo and Caledonian capers.

The Swinging Sporran now, no longer swings.

It began as an abrupt end to a multi-storey car park that wanted to go on forever.

A sociable adjunct to the Umist campus and a suitably Modernist companion in both style and demeanour, bunker like brick blocks just about topped by a residential core.

It became home to live music and DJs of every stripe, enough to induce spots before your very, very wavy eyes.

With thanks to http://www.mdmarchive.co.uk

The Swinging Sporran becomes The Retro Bar, having acquired a kiosk and coffee bar along the way, and an over elaboration of signage and detail that incautiously disguises its original spare aesthetic.

You can if you wish, escape through a door, climb the stairway to the stars, and gaze at the campus below, hurry though.

Nothing lasts forever.