The Former CWS Printing Works

The CWS Printing Works once occupied most of the block bounded by Dickenson Road, Hamilton Road, Stamford Road and Rainforth Street.  It was built in the 1890s to accommodate the Co-operative Society's burgeoning printing and bookbinding needs.  The society's annual report for 1900 makes referencing to this new development in its business.  It said that, "So large had the requirements of the Wholesale for printing, bookbinding etc grown, that it was deemed advisable to establish a Printing Department. In January, 1895, work was commenced in Holgate Street, Manchester, where very soon over 150 employes were busily engaged.  A distinct success from the beginning, the building in Holgate  Street was soon found far too small, and in July, 1898, the business was transferred to the new works which had been erected at Longsight, about 2 miles away. The new building is 220ft. square, and consists mainly of one great room, divided into three portions by low partitions. The first contains the heavy litho-graphic and letterpress printing machines. These are of the most modern type, capable of turning out very quickly the best class of work. The second portion is occupied by the compositors, and the third is used by the ruling and bookbinding departments. A large basement, excavated under the composing and binding rooms, is used as a paper stockroom and for packing. Heavy machinery will also be put down here ultimately. The front of the building in Hamilton Road is two-storeyed, and contains the offices, the artists' room, and the Pattern-card Making Department."

"All the machinery is driven by electricity, generated by powerful dynamos, each machine having its own motor. The same dynamos also supply the electric lighting. Many advantages are obtained by this system, not the least of which is initial economy, there being no gearing, shafting, and belts. All these are done away with, with the result that there is a remarkable freedom from dust and dirt and oil, and there is considerably less risk of accident to life and limb."

"The publication of the "Wheatsheaf" is no light task. The circulation has now risen to over 170,000 copies monthly. The "Annual" for 1897, 1898, and 1899 were printed and bound in the Society's works, and gave further proof that the work turned out is second to none."

Below is a photograph of the workforce of the Longsight Printing Works in the early 1900s

Here is a view of the inside of the Printing Works.

When the aerial photograph below was taken, in the 1940s, the complex was still intact.

Today, if you wander off Dickenson Road down Hamilton Road or Rainforth Street, you will still find the remnants of the print works.  What is left is rather the worse for wear and the section which once ran along Stamford Street is long gone and replaced by a parking and loading/unloading area.  What remains of the building, minus the chimneys, is being used by a variety of commercial enterprises as a Longsight business park.

Hamilton Road

Stanford Road

Rainforth Street

Notice that the base of the chimney still remains on the roof.