Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Following the Gore Brook south from Gorton towards Chorlton

I am looking at some splendid pictures of the Gore Brook which were taken by JBS and posted on the facebook site MANCHESTER A PICTORIAL AND FILM HISTORY.

Now I know some people still deride social networking sites like facebook but they are a wonderful way of communicating with people across the planet and have that other benefit that they are almost instant.

What I also like about them is the opportunity that provide for people to post historical pictures which might not otherwise be seen by more than a handful of people.

The MANCHESTER A PICTORIAL AND FILM HISTORY site is particularly good because it also attracts those who want to share their own images.

And so to those of the Gore Brook by JBS, posted recently.

The Gore Brook is I think the longest of our small rivers staring at Gorton Reservoir and making its way south and west till it eventually joins our own Chorlton Brook but these are fed by smaller streams which rune in from Ashton, Denton and Droylsden*

All of which is less about showing off my knowledge of our water courses or for that matter representing the research of others and more about emphasising the large number of streams brooks and natural gutters which crisscrossed south and east Manchester.

These of course were vital when the area was still open fields and provided water and a natural set of boundaries.

Most are now buried deep underground and come up in short stretches.  Our own Chorlton Brook flows in the open from Hough End to the Mersey.  The Gore Brook or Platt Brook is also open for some of its length.

But all of them are lost for some of their journey, and a few are so completely lost that they have been forgotten about entirely.  The Rough Leech Gutter which meanders from Sandy Lane across Chorlton and out to Turn Moss is just one such water courses, others like those that flow across what is now Chorlton Park have vanished.  They may have dried up or bubbly away in some old brick culvert.

And some have yet to pass out of living memory.  The local historian Philip Lloyd remembered, that in the 1940s the Longford Brook flowed above ground by the Swimming Baths on Manchester Road, and again across part of Longford Park. And his mother told him that on quiet Sundays at the start of the twentieth century the enclosed Brook could be heard as it flowed under the road by Egerton Road North.

Pictures; between Old Hall Lane and Brighton Grove via St James Church Rusholme in Birch Park and the entrance to Birch Park ,Brighton Grove, courtesy of JBS, May 2013

*Dick Lane Brook from Aston, the Moss Brook from Droylsden and an unnamed one from Denton, Ashworth, Geoffrey, The Lost Rivers of Manchester, Willow Publishing, 1987.

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