Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Another of our lost roads, a music school and that car park

The two remaining houses, 2014
There will be few in Chorlton who will remember that once Manchester Road crossed Wilbraham Road and continued down through what is the car park and on past the Undertakers and the Library and off towards Upper Chorlton Road.

Today two solitary houses are all that are left of what were once a set of eight grand properties with large gardens to the front and even larger ones at the rear.

They stretched from the junction of Wilbraham Road down to what is now Nicholas Road and were home to some of the more comfortably off families of Chorlton including businessmen a retired tradesmen and those on private means.

The eight houses in 1894
And like other large establishments at the beginning of the last century, number 23 was also a private school run by Adelaide and Eva Breweton.  Adelaide  described herself as a music teacher while two of her sisters listed themselves as school mistresses.

Theirs was one of the fourteen private schools operating in Chorlton in 1911 which ranged from small businesses run from one room of a private residence to large establishments like that of Mr Dadley’s Grammar School stretching across two properties on High Lane which specialized in training for “Law, Medical Accounts, Prelims, University, Civil Services Exams” and much more.

I am not sure exactly when the Surbiton School at 23 Manchester Road opened, but it was receiving students by 1903 and was still there eight years later.

On the corner of Manchester Road looking down Nicolas Road in 1958
And as these things happen there are people who remembered a private school on Manchester Road later in the last century but whether it was the Surbiton has yet to be established.

Either way the houses went when the car park and precinct were built and today only the two remain.

As ever I am indebted to Andy Robertson who ventured out on one of those sunny March days and recorded the last of the eight.

I just wish he had been on hand to record the other six, but that said he is doing a grand job of recording the bits of Chorlton which seem close to disappearing.

Back in 1959 Mr Downes came close to recording them but moved on along Barlow Moor Road.

Pictures; from the collection of Andy Robertson and detail of Manchester Road from the OS for South Lancashire 1894, courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://www.digitalarchives.co.uk/ and West side, corner of , Manchester Road, Nicolas Road, Barlow Moor Road A H Downes, 1958, m18046, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass


  1. Hang on, buggerlugs, I think there's still a few of us youngsters who still remember this - I remember walking along Mcr Rd to or from school prior to the dropping of Graeme Hse & the precinct from a great height. Quiet road, big houses nicely set back. Remember their gardens getting a bit unkempt, but all part of the Chorlton character before the new development descended.

  2. Apologies MCW ........ I will send the packet of Woodbines and a copy of the Daily Herald on later today.

  3. Excellent, I'll enjoy those as I sup my Watneys Party Seven.