The Garratt – Longsight Manchester


In 1892, during excavation work in connection with the building of the Manchester-Sheffield-Lincoln railway line, a stone axe was found in the Gore Brook area. It probably dates from the Neolithic or New Stone Age (3500-2000 BC) and is an indication of how long this area has been settled by man.

Continued occupation of the area is evident as the line of Hyde Road is believed to be a Roman Road. It would have been constructed during the occupation from 79 AD until around 390 AD, after which it fell into disrepair until coming back into use in the 19th century.

It says so here.

Alas, I came too late – the Neolithic and Roman citizens having absented themselves sometime earlier, I assume. Gore Brook we are told was christened by the subsequent Danish inhabitants – filth they found to be the most apposite name for a brook.


Had I arrived in 1905 I would have found an area strewn with mature trees, picture book cottages and sylvan glades. Along with the emergent network of railways and attendant industries, hot on their heels.


The population increased from 3,000 in 1845 to 13,500 in 1890, and again to 27,000 in 1900. The Gorton Works of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln railway opened in 1848.


So the heady, carefree days of postwar expansionism, filled the area with industry, homes and people – a largely white working class population, with an Irish heritage.



I came in search of a pub The Garratt – alas again too late was the cry, this former Holt’s pub, with extensive decorative tile work and etched glass windows, depicting its railway connections was long gone – along with Beyer and Peacock and their enormous locomotive – now immobilised in the Museum of Science and Industry





So here we have Manchester’s History in microcosm, boom and almost bust, a short lived period of wealth that was never evenly distributed and eventually disappeared in a puff of locomotive steam. Hard working workers no longer slaking their thirsts, following a hard day’s work.

Lively atmosphere, and somehow it struggles on.

Ignore the Mild pump as they do not sell it.











The building is currently in use as a mosque

The Gorton Works of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway closed in 1963, Gorton Foundary closed in 1966.

Archive material Manchester Local Image Collection


Melandra Castle – Gamesley

Winster Mews, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 0LU

melandra map

The second of the Gamesley pubs, again with  Roman pretensions , again closed.

The pub was said to be doing well, until the owners Enterprise Inns ceased trading on the site.

Standing close by the estate’s main row of shops sadly boarded up awaiting a future, any future.

As too were the pub’s retail companions, save a community café – which was doing a brisk trade.

The building is sound, classic Estate Pub design single storey bars, two storey living accommodation – solid brick and tile construction.

It has been up for auction with a guide price of £40,000 – there are no signs of for sale signs, and signs of some positive activity around the property. It seems unlikely to reopen as a boozer, my recent acquaintance in the picture expressed a preference for a nursery.

“Something for the kids, that would be good.”

Only time will tell.

“Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore”.

As they say in Gamesley.

The Centurion – Gamesley

Melandra Castle Road, Gamesley, SK13 6UQ

centurion map

High in the hills above Manchester – close to Glossop and Hadfield is the Gamesley Estate.

Created in the late 1960’s by Manchester City Council, to alleviate city centre overcrowding and perceived poor housing and environmental conditions – one of many so-called overspill estates.

It feels remote and uncared for, there is little by way of employment, few if any diversions. The public amenities have a bunker-like quality and local shops run down to almost nothing.

There were two pubs built to accommodate the newcomers – both are now closed.

That includes The Centurion – named for its proximity to the Melandra Roman Fort.

A stern white palace of a boozer, stood slightly aloof from the estate ring road, long low pitched roof facing the prevailing westerly wind.

Fortress like slit windows anticipate wild times.

But they’ve been and gone, an invasion from within, local behaviour has defeated the local.

“A couple of drinks and they wanted to fight the world, you could hear it streets away.”

A group of Rumanian workers, based in West Bromwich, are stripping out the interior the morning I arrive.

It’s going to be a shop.