The Lord Tom Pendry Stand, Bower Fold.

An Absolute Beginners Guide to Watching Non-League Football

Or: How I Ditched Premier League Football and Saved Thousands of Pounds a Season

Association Football is England’s National Sport. It brings billions to our economies, whether at the turnstile, public house or towards our broadcasters. The top clubs pay eye watering salaries to their players, and the fans pay equally eye watering amounts for the privilege of seeing City, United, Liverpool or the like. Historically, it has sold newspapers, satellite dishes and broadband packages.

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Hip to See Squares: Ten Great Focal Piazzas

Our Latest Not So Perfect Ten looks at a fistful of focal piazzas outside London

In the last fifteen months, many of us have become more aware of their surroundings thanks to lockdown conditions. Exercising and trips out for essential items have been a local affair. Working from home has meant more people knowing their way around the local Co-op (other convenience store chains are available) instead of city centres or business parks.

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Bower Fold backdrop

Book Review: British Football’s Greatest Grounds

Not only a coffee table book for groundhoppers; a must for any football fan

  • Title: British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues;
  • Author: Mike Bayly;
  • Photography: various contributors including David Bauckman, Paul Paxford, Colin McPherson, Andy Nunn, Stuart Tree, Ben Webster,
  • Publisher: Pitch Publishing Limited (2020);
  • Recommended Selling Price: £30.00 (hardback).

At this moment in time, you may be missing your football fix if you often go out to see your favourite team. Due to the lockdown, only Elite League football teams (National Leagues North and South upwards) can continue their season. In what is now known as The Trident Leagues (Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian leagues), league football has been suspended till further notice. Likewise with its regional feeder leagues.

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Manchester Arena by Matthew Hartley, 2012

Is Manchester Ready for Two Indoor Arenas?

East of the M60 asks, “Is Town not big enough for both of them?”

Manchester’s credentials as a musical centre of the universe is unimpeachable, though it is a claim that could be disputed by our friends in Liverpool. For many listeners, Liverpool is associated with The Beatles, the muse for Burnage’s finest musical export. Greater Manchester could also claim The Hallé Orchestra as well as Oasis, New Order and Stalybridge Old Band (the oldest brass band in the world, no less).

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Chadderton Mill, off Fields New Road, Chadderton

An Absolute Beginners’ Architectural Guide to Oldham Cotton Mills

A potted guide for beginners about a dwindling part of Oldham’s landscape

Ever since my formative years, the cotton mills in Oldham and Tameside have been a source of fascination for me. What piqued my interest was the sheer size of the buildings. Also how the early cotton mill architects predated Mies van der Rohr in building such vast structures for commercial usage.

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Why Redrock Stockport Deserves Its Carbuncle Cup Award

It may look great inside but the complex gives a poor outward approach to a great Cheshire town

Before I start my architectural pontifications/criticism/rant, I shall own up to one thing: I have never been to Stockport’s Redrock complex. I have passed it on numerous occasions by train, by coach, and on the 330 bus out of Mersey Square. Each time I have passed it, I have felt deflated.

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Castles in the Sky: Lost Architectural Projects of the Tameside Area

A potted look at lost Tameside’s construction projects missing in time

There are several reasons as to why many people choose to set up home in the Tameside area. One selling point is its proximity to the Peak District as well as Manchester city centre. By car it takes just as long to get to Buxton as it does to get to the intu Trafford Centre. Another factor may be house prices in comparison with other parts of Greater Manchester.

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Reality Estates That The Heroes Got: 4. Primrose Bank and Crete Street Tower Blocks

Montrose House and Primrose House: Partington’s short lived twin towers, on opposite sides of Ashton Road

Montrose House, Oldham
Montrose House, Hathershaw: a black and white view of the tower block. Image © 1974 Paul Thorpe.

Throughout the United Kingdom, local authorities were given incentives to build taller tower blocks for slum clearance schemes. As well as heights, there were incentives to adopt experimental building systems. For example: Sectra, Bison, and Jespersen. As well as speeding up the slum clearance schemes, a lot of builders made a packet. Continue reading “Reality Estates That The Heroes Got: 4. Primrose Bank and Crete Street Tower Blocks”

The Glory Days of the Payphone

A look at Tameside’s payphones, past and present

When Vince Met Giles: two K6 telephone boxes in central Manchester, seen outside the Town Hall Extension. A chance meeting between a creation by Vincent Harris and two of Giles Gilbert Scott’s finest. One of Tameside’s best known K6 boxes is the one on Bow Street and Market Street behind Ashton-under-Lyne’s indoor market hall. Image by Ian Livesey, 05 March 2016 (Public Domain).

In the last thirty years, the way we kept in contact with our friends and loved ones have changed dramatically. In 1987, having a mobile phone meant you were: 1) pretty loaded; 2) the head of a drugs cartel; or 3) a bodybuilder able to pick up the damn thing. Whilst City types were cavorting in and out of London in flash cars with car phones, the average Ashtonian struggled to find ten pence for the phone box outside Woolworths.

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Oldham ODEON: A Look at Oldham’s Newest Cinema

From town hall to multiplex conversion

I had promised myself a trip to Greater Manchester’s latest addition for filmgoers. With The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic being away from home, this gave me a good excuse to call in to Oldham’s new ODEON cinema. Continue reading “Oldham ODEON: A Look at Oldham’s Newest Cinema”