Saturday, 19 May 2018

Wondering about the history of this place on Wilbraham Road

Bridge Garage, 2014
I have been wondering about this place.

It is one of those buildings you just take for granted half tucked away on Wilbraham Road hard by the tram line.

For as long as I can remember it has dealt with motor cars but it was there by 1907 and must have had an earlier use.

Usually such buildings were connected to big houses and served as a stables and carriage shed .  But in the case of this one I am not sure.

There were no fine house nearby and anyway and this stretch of Wilbraham Road was still open land as late as 1894.

What once might have been a park, 1907
Two years earlier  it was the subject of one letter to the Manchester Guardian calling for it to be developed into a park.

But parks cut little commercial consideration and with in less than a decade the northern side of Corkland Road along with that part of Wilbraham Road up to the railway were built up and a start made on those little roads including Chatsworth and Sefton.

And it will have been at this time that our buildings were constructed and I say buildings because the large property was one of three which formed an L shape.

So I rather think we are dealing with either workshops or some other industrial units.

Now by 1903 Yapp’s Laundry Company Ltd, dyers & cleaners, were operating from the first of the premises on Wilbraham Road after the railway bridge and next to them was Charles F Sarll printer.

Either or both might well have used our units.

But that is as far as I can go at present.

A ghost sign, 2012
Of course I could follow Andy Robertson who took the picture and wander around the garage and it may well be that someone has some idea of its earlier history, a little of which can still just be made out from ghost sign fast fading on the main wall.

All of which just leaves me to make that oft repeated appeal for everyone to snap away and continue to record our buildings.

And for the eagle eyed amongst you to point out that Corkland Road was once Cavendish Road and Chatfeld was Chatsworth.

Bothnames along with many others survived until the middle of the last century before being changed.

Some like Regent Road can still be seen incorporated into the new road sign but that of course is a different story and is for another time

Picture; Bridge Garage, 2014, courtesy of Andy Robertson, and the side of the building showing the ghost sign, 2012, from the collection of Andrew Simpson, and detail from the OS map 1907


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