Monday, 16 May 2016

Be careful not to miss the changes ............... down on Withington Road in Whalley Range

Now you ignore changing Whalley Range at your peril.

By which I mean like any place you live and take for granted it is often too easy to miss how the place is changing.

It could just be the removal of a telephone box, the demolition of an old run down house which was once someone’s pride and joy.

But whatever it is its passing is another little bit of history gone forever.

Of course you can get over precious about an old fashioned bus sign or a rundown garage but sometimes even these unloved bits of street furniture and boring buildings have a story to tell.

And this was clearly uppermost in Andy Robertson’s mind when he wandered down into Whalley Range yesterday afternoon.

The sun was shining and what better subject than the old tram depot on the corner of Withington and College Road.

When he last sent me some pictures I wrote about it and have been inspired to do again given that in the space of a few years some bits have changed.*

But once it belonged to the Manchester Carriage and Tramway Company and extended along Withington Road and round on to Range Road.

The company had been formed from a merger of two transport businesses in 1880 and for over 20 years operated horse drawn tram services throughout Manchester and Salford.

At its greatest extent in 1900 it ran services over 140 route miles, using 515 trams and 5,244 horses housed in 19 depots.*

And our building was one of those depots with another close by on Chorlton Road.

But by the early 20th century local authorities were showing an interest in operating their own Corporation transport services and the Manchester Carriage and Tramway Company ceased trading in 1903.

So while in 1894 our building was one of their depots by 1911 it had moved with the times and was home to the Provincial Motor Cab Company Ltd.

And that is all I am going to say other than point you to the original story.*

Location; Whalley Range

Pictures; down on Withington Road in 2014 and again in 2016, from the collection of Andy Robertson

*On Range Road in Whalley Range with the Manchester Carriage and Tramway Company depot,

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