Friday, 20 May 2016

Remembering the lost names of Chorlton-cum-Hardy................... CHORLTON-CUM-HARDY: NOW, THEN .......... three exhibitions to see during Chorlton Arts Festival

I have never lost my fascination at the way place names so familiar for centuries can fall out of use and within a generation become so completely lost that it is as if they had never existed.

Pretty much everyone will know that once we were Chorlton-cum-Hardy and appeared so on all official documents.

When we lost the Hardy is still up for debate but I suspect the fact that there was a third bit of Chorlton-cum-Hardy is now not so well known.

This was Martledge and it vanished within two decades at the end of the 19th century, replaced by the title New Chorlton or the New Village.

These names have now also gone as has Kemp’s Corner, Lane End and Brundretts’s Corner.

Of course the places are still there it is just that the names are not.

That said some like Kemp’s Corner where the HSBC stands retained its name long after Harry Kemp’s chemist shop had closed which had much to do with it being a popular place to meet with the added advantage of having a large clock above the door.

Many of these names owe nothing to planners or the wealthy owners of the land but arise from common usage.

So what was Kemps’s Corner has become the Four Banks where the banks are clustered and Lane End made perfect sense given this was where Barlow Moor Lane, High Lane and Moss Lane all met.

And often these popular names push out the official ones, so while somewhere in the Planning Department there will be a map which refers to Chorlton Cross most people will tell their friend that the bus has just passed the “Four Banks.”

Now regular readers of the blog and my book will be familiar with Martledge, Kemps’s Corner and the tiny lost hamlet of Hardy.*

Many will also have seen the exhibitions ranging from the 80 meter History Wall to the smaller ones which are located in shops bars and restaurants across Chorlton.

They are a mix of paintings by local artist Peter Topping, many iconic old photographs and some stories by me which together celebrate the history of the township.

And now we have decided to mount three brand new exhibitions called CHORLTON-CUM-HARDY: NOW, THEN.

The exhibitions will run during Chorlton Arts Festival at three venues each of which has been chosen because of its own unique connection to our collective past.

They are the Lloyds Hotel, Ken Fosters Cycles on Barlow Moor Road and Morrisons Supermarket.

The Lloyds which was opened in 1870 was itself the venue for some important events in the story of Chorlton.  Ken Fosters Cycles can track its history back well into the last century and Morrisons which began as a small business in Bradford is on the site of the old railway yard which was established when the railway came to Chorlton in 1880.


Location: Lloyds Hotel, Ken Fosters Cycles on Barlow Moor Road and Morrisons Supermarket

From: Friday May 20, 2016 to: Sunday May 29, 2016

*The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy,

**Chorlton Arts Festival,

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