Sunday, 25 June 2017

Watching the Meadows change ......... June 1965

I wonder just how many people remember this scene?

We are on the Meadows, and according to the caption this was “June 16, 1965, Clearing Water Street Cleansing Department, View of Hardy Depot”.

It is one of the photographs generated by Neil Simpson who “is working on the Town Hall Photographer's Collection Digitisation Project, in the Central Library, which currently is Volunteer led and Volunteer staffed.

The negatives in the collection are dated from 1956 to 2007 and there are approximately 200,000 negatives to be digitised at three minutes a scan.

The plan is to gradually make the scanned images available online - initially on the Manchester Local Images Collection Website.”*

This is an image I have never seen before and I am guessing the building must be Hardy Farm.

That said I am puzzled by the bit of the caption referring to Water Street and am not too arrogant to admit to being stumped by it.

I have never come across the name during all my years in Chorlton, or in the research I have done.

So this is one to turn over to anyone who remembers the scene, walked that bit of Hardy Lane or can offer an explanation to the name.

Of course there might be a clue in the buildings in the distance which don't suggest we are looking at where Hardy Lane runs out on to the Meadows.

I wonder whether were instead on Turn Moss with Stretford in the distance.

And that just leaves me to open up the debate, which no sooner had I posted the story and Bill Sumner replied, with,

"I think the view above is taken from the bottom of Bradley Lane next to the water treatment/sewage works. the line of electric pylons is correct and is still there today, but the gas holder is not the one at Gorse Hill Stretford but the one at Dane Road Sale. 

Looking on Old Maps I cannot find a Water St either. The Dane Roadd Gas Holder was built in 1935 on the old sewage works site and was built as an extension to Stretford Gas Co that also supplied Sale and Ashton on Mersey. 

The gas holder in Stretford would have been out of sight to the left of photo. The old cottage would have disappeared because the Stretford Works was enlarged and a row of staff houses built here in the 1960's, probably the reason this photo was taken. Thanks for the new view"

And quick as a flash Neil also responded with "I can answer some of your questions Andrew. 

This image was in a set taken for Manchester Corporation's Cleansing Department, who were based at a huge site on Water Street near MOSI in Manchester. 

They had a Destructor on that site (is an incinerator) and roughly sorted the refuse collected into 'for burning' or 'tipping'.

Some of the refuse for tipping was taken to Hardy Lane Farm as they were using it to 'reclaim' land.

Bill Sumner was quite right in saying that the Gasholder was the one at Dane Road as I worked that out earlier."

And the final word goes to Ann who spotted the obvious, "have just read your comment, think the quotation should read ' Cleaning water, Street Cleansing Dept' Comma missing. Explains why there isn't a Water Street in Chorlton."

Not much more to say than thank you,  Bill, Neil.and Ann

Location; the Meadows

Picture; June 16, 1965, Clearing Water Street Cleansing Department, View of Hardy Depot, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council,

*Neil Simpson, Manchester Local Images Collection Website,


  1. fascinating! I wonder if you'll be writing another story following this up?!!

  2. Who knows, Lo it grows by the minute!