Sunday, 4 October 2015

Out in Chorlton .............. pondering on the fate of some old buildings

Now I am constantly surprised at how buildings I long ago thought were destined for demolition cling on in the old village.

And so it is with Mr Sharpe’s once fine house on Beech Road beside the old Wesleyan chapel.

It dates from the early 19th century is a place I have written aboutt plenty of times and continues to prompt discussions and questions about its past and its future.*

The latest flurry was last week and focused on the planning application to develop the property which seemed to be on target with the stripping of the roof extension and the dismantling of the stairs up to the front door.

But all has stopped, and in the same way nothing seems to have moved since the For Sale sign went up on the old stables on Stockton Road.**

I say stables because it looks to have once been a stable, with the hay stored at the top and the horse and carriage below. It is just possible to make out on the south elevation what would have been the entrance in the first floor for loading the hay into the building, and inside there would have once been a hatch to drop the hay down to ground level.

To the left the old entrance to the coaching area is still visible as is the half bricked up door giving access to the stables.

For as long as I can remember the building has been a motor repairs business, but despite being curious I never knocked on to get a look inside.

I had assumed that after Andy Robertson took a picture of the place last year things would have moved on apace, but apparently even once planning permission has been granted it can be years before anything happens.

Not so the little book exchange scheme on Beech Road which I had spotted ages ago but never took in.

Now book exchanges are more common than I thought and down in Lewisham there is one situated in an old red telephone kiosk.***

I like the idea and for years frequented Brian the Book on Beech Road partly because his collection of second hand books were always cheap and interesting but also because I liked the idea of recycling a book someone had enjoyed.

And that pretty much is it ............ another of those observations on what we choose to save.

Pictures; Beech Road, Stockton Road on a September day 2015, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

*Daniel Sharpe and 133 Beech Road,

**That stables on Stockton Road, soon to be no more,

***Down in Lewisham with an old telephone kiosk, Lewisham Micro Library and reflections on all those private lending libraries,

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