Friday, 23 June 2017

A Chorlton bank and a pub ......... “no one expects the Spanish Inquisition”

It remains one of my favourite Monty Python throw away comments and it struck a chord as I came across these pictures taken by my old friend Tony Walker.

They are familiar enough places but both look very dated and are as remote from today as any one of those early 20th century postcards I often post.
But back in the the 70's I just took them for granted and then they had changed.

I used the bank from time to time and in the same way  fell across the doors of the Lloyds when we were eating at the little Italian restaurant on Wilbraham Road or for a thank you drink on election night.

Now my branch of the Midland was in town so I only used it only occasionally and of course in those days before internet banking your branch of a bank was still an important place.  The staff knew you and the bank manager was privy to your innermost financial secrets.

In the same way my local had been the Trevor where we were known, served a little quicker and on occasion when Stan felt like it allowed to stay just a tad longer after closing time.

All of which meant that the Lloyds was another place which was a different experience.  It still had the small rooms off the main staircase and a bar which from memory was quite small.

And in the way of things I didn’t expect either to change.  They were what they had always been since I arrived here in the winter of 1976.

Looking at the two pictures and comparing them with what they had looked like just sixty years earlier it is clear that they had been done no favours by the respective design teams and builders.

In 1975 the bank was just an anonymous slab from which to display its name, and the Lloyds despite the summer sun looks tired and ugly.  As Kemp's the Chemist the building on the corner of Barlow Moor and Wilbraham Roads had something while the Lloyds back in 1900 looked impressive.

Still both pictures are now history and just perhaps in another fifty years there will be those who see something about the two.  We shall have to see.

Pictures; from the collection of Tony Walker

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