Monday, 23 November 2015

Four years telling the stories of Chorlton in words and pictures

I am not a great one for anniversaries which for someone who spends his time writing about the past is all a bit odd, but there are some that are well worth dusting down and bringing back out for another trip around the block.

And so with that in mind I have been reflecting on the Glad to be in Chorlton project and the continuing partnership with local artist Peter Topping.

We have known each other for well over thirty years in which time we have shared countless Chorlton parties, swapped stories about our kids and gone from aspiring young men to two chaps enjoying a bout of retirement.

I say retirement but we have both commented that we are just as busy today as we were when we were off every morning in the pursuit of gainful employment.

And one strand of that busy activity has been the partnership which began four years ago when I asked to use one of Peter’s paintings for a story and as more stories and paintings followed it led to the Glad to be in Chorlton project which aims to record Chorlton’s past and draw attention to the ways the township continues to change.

At the centre of the project are the history trails which tell the story of different parts of Chorlton and come in the form of a panel which includes old pictures, a painting by Peter and a story by me unique to the spot where it is on display.

You can find these panels across Chorlton in shops, bars, restaurants and pubs.

They can be read individually or as part of the trail which culminated with Chorlton’s own history wall.

This was an 80 metre installation on Albany and Brantingham Roads designed to allow the reader to walk the story from the village green in the 16th century to the Chorlton of the 21st century.

It had been commissioned by the developers McCarty and Stone and fronted their construction project for almost a year until the building was finished.

Since then Peter and I have gone on to collaborate on two books and a series of talks and walks for Chorlton Arts Festival and the Friends of Hough End Hall.*

And the latest of our history trails will soon be unveiled at the Phoenix Deli on Oswald Road.

Painting;  © 2012 Peter Topping


Facebook: Paintings from Pictures

Pictures; courtesy of  McCarthy & Stone

*Hough End Hall The Story, 2014 and Didsbury through Time 2013

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