Saturday, 5 August 2017

When little stirred on Hardy Lane ......... October 1966

Now I first came across Hardy Lane on a warm sunny day sometime in the summer of 1976.

I hadn’t long been in Chorlton, had the day off and went exploring.

And if you have to come across Hardy Lane, a warm sunny day is the right time.

Then and now I was struck by just how wide the road is and the way it seems to offer a bit of an adventure as it runs out onto the meadows.

On my chosen day the place was deserted and despite the large number of houses on both sides seemed very quiet.

I now know that once a long time ago it had been much narrower and lead off to Hardy Farm with just a block of cottages off on the eastern side which were popularly called the Block.

There had been plans to run Corporation trams along it and later still a major highway was mooted to take traffic off over the open land across the Mersey and on to beyond.

None of those plans came about and Hardy Lane remained almost a backwater, quite enough for a big street party for the Jubilee in 1977.

I have a delightful picture in the collection which Caroline Standish was kind enough to share, showing the kids, and the long trestle tables beside that grassed island in the photograph.

And I bet there will be plenty who remember Hardy lane as a quiet spot or the road road that took you off to adventures on the meadows.

That said I bet there must have been times when the lane was very busy with the sound of big lorries transporting “stuff” to be dumped on the site of Hardy Farm after it was demolished.

Likewise the major construction work to build the metro line must also have been intrusive.

So instead I prefer to remember it like this, in the October of 1966.

And for the curious the image is one that has been revealed during the course of an exciting new project which  Neil Simpson tells me is from  "the Town Hall Photographer's Collection Digitisation Project, which is Volunteer led and Volunteer staffed, is in the process of systematically scanning the 200,000+ negatives in the collection dating from 1956 to 2007.

The plan is to gradually make the scanned images available online - initially on Manchester Archives+ Flickr and later on other Archives+ digital platforms.""**

And that is all I have to say other than a thank you to Neil and the team.

Location; Chorlton

Picture; Hardy Lane, 1966, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council,

*On Hardy Lane on June 7 1977,

**Manchester City Council Archives+ Town Hall Photographer's Collection Flickr Album...

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