The Old Garratt – Manchester

127 Princess St Manchester M1 7AG.

Once there was a hall that’s all – The Garratt Old Hall.

Seen here in this well preserved glass negative print of 1910 – I assume that the hall was demolished around this time.

The surrounding area also boasted a Garratt Dye Works, Mill and Bridge.

Then rather confusingly the Old Garrick pub appears in 1844 – demolished in 1965.

1973 and the Old Garratt opens as a Boddington’s house.

Seen here in its original flat-roofed concrete and glass, brewery branded glory – typical estate pub architecture, though sadly lacking an estate to speak of.

Alongside on the railway viaduct is a poster for the then ubiquitous and iniquitous Tartan Bitter. Happily the Garratt sold a great pint of Boddington’s Bitter on cask, a milky pale pint that went down so cheap and easy.

On one occasion we all met up after work to have a drink before going to the The Carousel on Plymouth Grove to see The Pogues – we never made it, I assume Shane and the lads did.

Time changes everything the Cream of Manchester is now a somewhat sour subject, the Old Garratt has dropped the old in favour of Ye Olden Days, a look which it clearly lacked.

Modernity is now dragged up as a cut price stage set coaching house caprice, replete with lamps, black and gold lining, columns and pediments.

The pub that thinks it’s a pack of John Player Specials.

Add a little neon and faux grass and voila – a dog’s dinner for two or more.

At least it’s still open for business.

Archival photographs from the Local Image Collection

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High Bank Inn – Openshaw

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High Bank Inn 138 Ogden Lane, Openshaw, Manchester, M11 2LZ.

Years ago, I came by here on the bus, the 169 or 170 on my way from Ashton to Belle Vue – seeking the thrills and spills of the Speedway or the wayward, way-out musical fare at The Stoneground on Birch Street Gorton, former Corona Cinema, turned loopy left-field hang out.

The area was always a busy mix of industry, housing, shops, markets – and pubs.

Forty five on Ashton Old Road alone.

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There are now only a handful – the High Bank sadly, is no longer amongst them.

Upheavals in the fortunes of East Manchester mean that the familiar hustle and bustle of densely populated streets and industrious industry, are now the stuff of memory.

It closed in 2015, had been sold on and seems unlikely to reemerge as a pub. Once a well used Boddington’s house, the cream of Manchester has well and truly soured.

On my recent visit mother nature had already begun to take over, and the tinkers had taken the waney lap fence.

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Photograph Matt Wilkinson Flickr

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So if you’re passing, tip your cap, raise an imaginary glass and a smile – here’s to high times at the High Bank Inn.

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