The Gamecock – Hulme

Booth Street West – Boundary Lane Hulme Manchester M15 6GE

Manchester Local Image Collection

1964 the old Hulme, the old Hulme of tight dense dark terraces, shops, industry and hubbub.

Swept away by the waves of progress that washed over the area in the 1970s – a system built concrete haven, for a brave new world.

Thus heralding the birth of the Gamecock in 1974 as a Wilson’s house – very much in the Estate Pub manner.

The pub survived the demolition of the brave new Hulme from 1993 to 1995.

As fresher waves of progress heralded the expansion of Higher Education.

Seen here as a Belhaven house in 1993 – The Gamecock ever in the shadow of one of the few remaining housing blocks.

Photograph Alan Winfield.

Nobody knows precisely when it ceased to be a pub, suffice to say that at some point, it sadly ceased to be a pub.

It now stands abandoned, slowly reclaimed by nature – as bramble and dock scramble over its sharp interlocking volumes of brick and once bright white cladding.

The Apollo Inn

2 Varley Street Miles Platting Manchester M40 8EE

The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the sun and light, poetry, and more. 

Better known to us through the NASA space programme, from whom I assume the Inn got its name – we were rocket mad in those days.

Many thanks to Mr David Dunnico and his photograph for confirming my suspicions – whatever happened to the sign one wonders?

For after all pubs are by their nature Dionysian relating to the sensual, spontaneous, and emotional aspects of human nature rather than the more rational and ordered Apollonian – enough however of Teutonic dialectics.

The area having been cleared of it victorian terraces.

Then proceeds to reconstitute itself with a surprising space-age alacrity.

Apollo son of Leto and Zeus is born with a big block of flats for company.

A typically functionalist boozer with a two storey pitched roof home at its core with outrigger bars and commodious car park.

Thanks again to Alan Winfield for his neat appraisal:

An  estate pub that had a large block of flats next to it. The pub had two rooms, I had a drink in the bar which had a very rough edge to it. The Apollo was a Boddington’s tied house so I was pleased, there were two real ales on, I had a drink of Boddington’s Mild which was a nice drink, there was also Boddington’s Bitter on.

Sadly now closed down.

A familiar tale of demolition and rebuilding, empty plots of land, shifting demographics and economic downturns, state enforced austerity and stasis.

Welcome to the low paid, low skilled world of the tinned up local.

The unnatural history which fails to learn from itself and endlessly repeats ad nauseam.

The land of buddleia, barbed wire, ragwort, willow herb and grass cracked tarmac.

The final indignity the theft of your apron of paving stones.

A suspected thief was spotted ripping up nearly 200 flagstones and loading them into a shopping trolley.

He took his time tearing up the paving stones from the front of a derelict pub in Miles Platting.

A Police Community Support Officer spotted the suspected thief pushing a trolley loaded with flagstones away from The Apollo pub on Varley Street.

One local resident said: They’ll take anything round here if it’s not nailed down.

Cleaner Claire Bevan, 38, a mother-of-two, said: I’ve heard about a lot of things but never that.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose.

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

The Mermaid – Handforth

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Delamere Road Handforth Cheshire SK9 3RB.

When is a pub not a pub?

Not at the moment in this instance, it would appear.

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A residents group in Handforth is being blocked from converting a derelict pub into a community centre because of a 50-year-old rule.

The Spath Lane Residents Association wants to convert The Mermaid, in Delamere Road, into a facility for the community, but the group has been told the site must remain a pub.

As Mancunians were relocated from their homes in Ancoats and Hulme to Handforth in the 1960s and 1970s, it was agreed by Manchester City Council that the Mermaid would be built as a pub for the village’s new residents – and that it would stay that way.

Knutsford Guardian

 

So caught in a double bind – a pub that nobody wants remains un-let, the community resource required remains unrealised.

Meanwhile The Mermaid quietly falls apart, tinned up and seemingly unloved, from as far back as 2005:

A feisty group of Handforth pensioners, whose lives have been blighted by booze fuelled nuisance from their local pub, successfully blocked its application to open late. The group of five pensioners live near The Mermaid Pub on Delamere Road.

They said they have to live with fighting, loud music and antisocial behaviour spilling out of the pub onto their streets.

One man said: “The music from the pub is very, very loud and at times I have to compete with my TV against the volume of it.”

Macclesfield Express

The Mermaid remains all washed up with nowhere to go.

Let’s take look at the forlorn walls, jagged eaves and faded signage.

The Four Heatons aka The Moss Rose – Stockport

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63 Didsbury Road, Heaton Norris, Stockport, SK4 2BA.

Do not let the unusual design of the exterior put you off visiting this pub. When it first opened it was called the Moss Rose. An extensive refit had very considerably improved the interior decor of this once welcoming pub, with its pleasant vault and well appointed lounge.

Quiz is on Wednesdays and a Disco on Saturdays.

Lunches twelve until three.

Do not let the fact that the pub was demolished on the 26th of November 2013 deter you from visiting – we still have our memories and a few surviving snaps.

I have lived almost opposite the site for sixteen years, though ever so local it was never my local, but it provided a convenient and comfortable bolthole for the odd pint every now and again.

Once it looked just like this.

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Opened in 1971, it was and always was a Hydes pub.

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Stockport Image Archive

It had a distinctive architectural style and layout all of its own, an asymmetric timber clad dwelling at the core, complemented by a fan of single story rooms extending into the car park.

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The name was changed subsequent to the tragic and unfortunate gangland killing that took place in September 1999. It never seemed to recover from such a damning reputation,  and though well used by the many residents in the well populated surrounding area, the offer of hard cash for the site. must in the end have proved irresistible.

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The doors closed the windows boarded up – no more karaoke, no more Northen Soul, no more free pool – no more nothing.

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The hoardings went up – the pub came down.

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Now it’s a Co-op, with flats attached.

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Bradford Inn – Manchester

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112-114 Bradford Road, Manchester M40

Welcome to Miles Platting Manchester.

Early one Sunday morning I was on my way cycling somewhere else and had time to rest a spell and take some snaps.

Good traditional pub, makes a refreshing change from all these trendy wine bars, close to the Etihad stadium so a City pub. Beer was good and staff were friendly enough.

Trip Advisor

A million miles from a trendy wine bar, but ever so close to a gas holder.

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And the site of the former  Bradford Pit.

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Along with the rest of north and east Manchester,  the area has survived slum clearance, deindustrialisation, the building of ever newer homes and the arrival of fresh faces from almost everywhere.

At its heart it prevails, a newly refurbished community boozer with a clear role and identity, customers – whose ranks are swollen on match days by home and away fans, from the ever so almost nearby Etihad Stadium – Home of The Blues.

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So if you’re in the area pop in for a pint of Joey Holt’s and enjoy one or more of the entertainment opportunities – open every day all day.

Currently in the grip of World Cup fever!

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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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