Saturday, 23 June 2018

Home thoughts of Ashton in the 1970s ..... part 6 putting the bits together

Now sometimes one image draws many things together and this is what Peter’s painting of the councils offices have done for me.

The view is from the car park of IKEA and across from Wellington Road is the bus station, the Prince of Orange, and the council offices and all in their way remind me of just how much the town has changed in 40 years.

Of course the hills far off in the distance remain a constant although not quite, because a few years ago I went back to Hartshead Pike looking to show off the Collier’s Arms only to discover that it has gone.

Such is the fate of anyone wanting to relive his past.

That said those council offices were never part of my Ashton.

The decision to build them was taken by the Conservative administration just as I was ready to leave and the building opened in 1980.

So completely are they not part of what I remember that when I first saw them I had to think very hard about what had been there before and I have to confess I can’t remember.

But then someone will tell me.

And now they are about to go after just 35 years.

Already the packing has begun and pretty soon the corridors, offices and in the internal garden will be no more which will just leave the film made by Vanessa Dixon as a lasting reminder of what once was.*

That and of course Peter’s painting.which was painted from that IKEA car park which didn't exist 40 years ago, and takes in a slightly different Wellington Road and bus station, leaving only the hills, the two churches and the Prince of Orange as marker for what I remember.

Painting; Tameside Offices, and Prince of Orange, Ashton-Under-Lyne, © 2015 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures,
Facebook:  Paintings from Pictures

*Tameside Council Offices, February, 2015, 

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