The Ace – Fitton Hill Oldham

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Fircroft Road, Oldham OL8 2QD

Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil,
Going with the flow, it’s all a game to me,
Seven or Eleven, snake eyes watching you,
Double up or quit, double stake or split,
The Ace Of Spades

Subsequently curtly shortened to – The Ace.

Lying two miles south of Oldham town centre, the Fitton Hill Estate was built during the Fifties and Sixties on previously undeveloped moorland with scattered hamlets and farmsteads.

The layout of the estate obliterated all traces of the old landscape.

Wind whips the streets above the Lancashire Plain – swirling down and around the high hills above the city below. It was once an area rich on the pickings of cotton and coal, regular work and pockets almost full of cash, slipping carelessly into the landlords’ tills

Oldham has suffered the fate of many of Manchester’s satellite towns, their energies and opportunities absorbed by the centre of the voracious city centre, as attempts to invest and regenerate flounder on the swelling tide of decline.

The Ace all high angles and Anglo Saxons continues to fight on, serving larger than life sports TV, lager and lounge music to the locals.

There are two handpumps on the bar, but according to the landlord, they tried selling real ale for a while, but it didn’t sell and they had to throw it away.

Pushing up the ante, I know you wanna see me
Read ’em and weep, the dead man’s hand again
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die
The only thing you see, you know it’s gonna be
The Ace Of Spades, The Ace Of Spades

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The Garratt – Longsight Manchester

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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.

1904

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.

1895

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.

1948

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.

1965

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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

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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.

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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

 

The Woolpack – Salford

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Belvedere Road, Pendelton.

 

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Once one of five pubs to serve the area, an area of newly built and bustling estates, The Woolpack has finally called and served its time. Despite local residents’ moves to revive this once busy pub, it now stands lost and alone .

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Gene Houghton of Sycamore Court, Pendleton, said:

It was and will always remain the best pub in Salford.

When these doors closed last year a community closed with it. People come from near and far, everyone knew each other and it was a pleasure to go to.

The entertainment was second to none, especially on a Sunday afternoon. It was a fantastic place.

Bez Salford Garden photo by Steven Speed (2)

Even the well intentioned intervention of Happy Monday’s Bez and co has seemingly failed to halt the forces of free market economics and industrial decline

So in area now awash with the great unwashed and ever expanding student population, whose social needs are quite possibly met elsewhere, it remains decidedly:

Closed.

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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 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

 

The Valley – Collyhurst

Glendower Dr, Manchester, Greater Manchester M40 7TD

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The Vine – became The Valley.

A pub by the River Irk, on the edge of an estate.

The Valley it seems ran dry, there was little or nothing to be said:

“When I visited this pub it was called The Vine, this pub is on an estate that seemed fairly quiet when I went here. This pub is a typical estate type pub with a bar and smarter lounge I had a drink in the bar and this was a decent enough room to have a drink in.

This pub used to be a Boddingtons tied house and there was only one real ale on the bar this was Boddingtons bitter and this was a decent enough drink.

This was one of the better pubs I have visited in collyhurst.”

Somebody was dead:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/stabbed-man-dies-after-pub-888756

 

The doors closed.

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