Down Our Streets #2: Along Self Aggrandisement Avenue

Two streets named after building systems

Every town centre has a number of streets named after local councillors, MPs and landmarks. Some housing estates have streets named after picturesque locations or battles (for instance, Tintern or Gallipoli).

In two parts of Lancashire (I am referring to pre-1974 boundaries here – and this would no doubt please our fellows at the Friends of Real Lancashire), there are two streets named after something more unusual. I am referring to prefabricated building systems, used in housing estates:

  • Rowcon Close, Audenshaw;
  • Jespersen Street, Oldham.

The Building Systems:

Rowcon: was a prefabricated building system with dwellings characterised by shallow pitched roofs. It was popularly used on low rise and medium rise deck-access housing. There was two versions, with the second version allowing for medium rise flats and maisonettes.

Jespersen: another prefabricated building system, promoted by Laing Construction. This was a modular system with proprietary components. A less proprietary version (which in today’s language would be ‘open source’) followed known as 12M Jespersen. Each component included power points, coaxial points and light fittings.

The Streets

Rowcon Close, Audenshaw:

Rowcon Close is actually in three parts and is, more than anything, access routes to flats and maisonettes on the Stanhope Street estate. Part of it is pedestrianised from its more westerly point off Stanhope Street. The easterly end of Rowcon Close is a cul-de-sac, providing road access from the western part of Hope Street. The northern part, accessible by road vehicles is off the end of Pine Close and is connected with a northern pedestrian only part of Rowcon Close.

Both the pedestrian only and access roads are linked to a cluster of low rise flats, maisonettes and bungalows. The low rise flats and maisonettes date from a mid-1960s development from Audenshaw Urban District Council, whereas the bungalows on Hope Street seem to be of slightly older 1950s origin.

Today, Audenshaw UDC’s Stanhope Street development is part of New Charter Housing Trust. In more recent times, housing has been refurbished. Vehicular through access between Stanhope Street and Hope Street has been blocked to avoid this section from becoming a rat run, either to avoid the traffic lights at The Sun Inn or a quick way to St. Anne’s Road.

Jespersen Street, Oldham:

Elsewhere on East of the M60, we have gone into greater detail on the estate which Jespersen Street was on. Just to reiterate briefly, Jespersen Street was part of the County Borough of Oldham’s St Mary’s Estate scheme. Alongside Jespersen Street was a number of mid-rise deck-access flats and maisonettes, linked to other blocks by interconnecting walkways.

Today, Jespersen Street is absorbed by new housing development. At the end of the former street was a number of terraced houses built to the 12M Jespersen system. These are accessed via Poppy Street and Scoltock Way. The former street has absorbed Kranj Way, also part of the St. Mary’s Estate of the mid-1960s and named after Oldham’s twin town in Slovenia.

*                       *                       *

Any Further Examples?

If you can find any more streets named after prefabricated building systems, feel free to comment! I know for sure there’s a Reema Road in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire. If anyone suggests a Camus Avenue, Unity Drive or a Bison Place, I wont accept these entries as they could be named after authors, human attributes or animals rather than building systems.

S.V., 19 November 2013.

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One thought on “Down Our Streets #2: Along Self Aggrandisement Avenue

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  1. hello Stuart
    horrendously, my family were one of the first to move into the Shaw Road estate (Wastwater Street), before the rest of the estate had been built – we used to muck about in the half-built houses. Our English teacher lived in one of the flats opposite. I had to race down those bloody concrete steps to get the gbus into town from Shaw road every morning – although 2p a ride was a decent subsidised fare, I often used to choose to slog over Oldham Edge and spend my busfare on jammie dodgers..My mum had a tights and knicker selling round in the flats – me and my sister had to trudge around them every Friday night delivering various nylon undergarments. To be fair, I hated Oldham and left as soon as I could.

    Like

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