Apollo Inn – Heywood Street

79 Heywood Street Cheetham Hill Manchester M8 0TX

Somewhat akin to a more than somewhat neglected child, there only appears to be one tiny photograph of your younger self.

Not a million miles away from you space age cousin in Miles Platting.

In your first incarnation as an Inn – a Holts tied pub in an up and coming area, the detritus of the earlier Victorian era having been cleared away.

And a brave new world assembled in the 1960s.

I can find no reference online regarding your upbringing, later years or final demise – you passed it seems without trace.

You had a later flowering as an Islamic Centre, as did full many other an estate pub.

Though this too was short-lived as the Al-Falah moved on up the road.

Where sadly a suspected arson attack was made.

So now you stand forlorn, all alone and unloved – surrounded and bound by chipboard and railings, as nature reclaims your site.

Was there ever a former glory, an untold story or two?

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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.

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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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Lowes Arms – Woodley Stockport

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18 Hyde Road Woodley Stockport SK6 1QG

I passed by for years on bike and bus, never stopping for a pint but intrigued by the distinctive Sixties architecture, an exciting adjunct to the adjacent Woodley Precinct.

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The physical embodiment of the post war brick and concrete optimism which permeates the post-war period. When full employment in a plethora of manual trades ensured a steady flow of post work-customers, expecting a steady flow of Robinson’s draught beers.

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Then one day I passed by bike and you were shuttered up, sat silently on Hyde Road, the windows of your soul staring blankly at the passing parade.

When I pass by all the people say, just another pub on the lost highway.

 

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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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