Friday, 8 June 2018

Simpson’s of Urmston ........ the story moves on

Now when I first came to Manchester I was intrigued by the brand of ready made foods made by Simpsons of Urmston.

I am no relation and spent long tedious hours in the college bar explaining that there was no connection between me or the firm and that I couldn’t get discount on their pies or find summer jobs for my fellow students.

More recently I passed the factory on the way to the Trafford Centre, but by then it had closed down and was waiting for something to happen.

The story of the firm features in the new book on Urmston by Michael Billington which is due out later in the year.*

And I am looking forward to reading about the company and the part it played in the life of Urmston.

All of which makes the news that the building is about to be demolished all the sadder.  It provided work for local people and allowed the name of Urmston to been on the shelves of shops across the country.

I knew the building was empty but still got a bit of a surprise when Andy Robertson sent over a series of pictures adding that,

“Simpsons ready meals on Stretford Road, Urmston is being demolished. It was established on this site in 1910 by William Simpson”.

I suppose I could go looking in Trafford’s planning portal to find out what will be built on the site, but for once I am going to wait, secure in the knowledge that Andy will be going back at key moments, recording the progress of the demolition team, the moment the builders break the ground and the rise of whatever is scheduled for the site.

And I am fairly confident that there will be people who share photographs of the factory in its heyday and offer up their own stories of the place.

Well, I hope so.

Location; Urmston

Pictures; Simpsons of Urmston. 2018, from the collection of Andy Robertson

* The story of Urmston, Flixton and Davyhulme, Michael Billington, 2018, the History Press

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