Below you will see a description of each section of the road. If you click on the link below each section it will show you an image from the Manchester Central Library Collection. Note: This involves accessing the Library site and sometimes it isn't available. Once you see the opening page you can click on the image to increase its size.
Stanley Grove to East Road - East Side
In a three storey, almost Arts-and-Crafts, building with tall gables and first and second storey bays, on the corner of Stanley Grove was Dents Store. Dents occupied most of this detached block.
Here was Platts, Crightons, Greenwoods - clothing store, and further along Woolworths that in the 1950s was a big deal, our Trafford Centre.
Paul Seaton, the author of "woolworthsmuseum.co.uk" and 'A Sixpenny Romance, celebrating a century of value at Woolworths', says of the Longsight Woolworths, store number 481, "... Before it opened on 30 June 1932 there was a debate about whether the area was too upmarket, because Longsight was famed for its large villas, high level of owner occupation, and generally high household incomes. .... In fact it performed very well from opening through until the 1950s, but lost out spectacularly when Stockport capitalised on its innovative pre-war work to build the A57 over the River Mersey, by re-routing the road and developing the Merseyway Shopping Centre. Woolworths had early warning and had rebuilt Store 48 to have dual entrances on the A57 side as well as Princes Street before any other development work on the shopping centre began, and became a huge draw for shoppers from a ten mile radius. ....
Like so many the building was designed by B.C. Donaldson, but using his standard template for a fast, cheap build, adapted to a comparatively wide frontage. At the time the local authority had plans to widen the road, reserving the right to convert the A6 into a dual carriageway, with a further service lane at the sides, and a dual tramway reservation in the centre of the road. (In its way this was the precursor of the Mancunian Way, and to be honest would have dramatically improved that section of the A6 in a way that would still be appreciated today.) As a result the main store build was set back to the proposed new building line, with a 'temporary' flat-roofed arcade section, which could be simply and cheaply removed without loss of trading when the road scheme went ahead. The idea was to 'make hay while the sun shines' rather than requiring shoppers to walk through a 50 foot void to enter the store.
History shows the road scheme never happened, and, judging by your photo, ....
.... the flat-roofed arcade has survived pretty much intact 85 years after being erected by Woolworth's own workmen, which isn't bad considering it was only expected to last from 1932 to 1935!"
Beside Woolworths is the Spring Bank Pub. Today the Woolworths building has been converted into "Farmfoods" and the Spring Bank has closed and is being redeveloped. Beyond the Spring Bank there was a small terrace of houses. Then another Ridings Department Store.
The Queens cinema was here. I always thought of it as just that bit posher than the other Longsight cinemas but films were often augmented by the sound of trains rushing past directly behind the cinema. I remember that we saw The Ten Commandments here and we had to "book" - very posh! Just beyond the Queens was Gore Brook a stream that ran through Birch Fields Park before disappearing underground only to reappear here briefly.
In my day it was often decorated with rubbish. Adjacent from the Queens was the Crown Pub, another large white building, which, like The Queens, is no longer with us.
Two more short terraces with street level shops complete this section of Stockport Road before you reach the railway bridge. They include Ena's of Longsight - Home Furnishers and the contractors Schofields. The gap between the last building and the railway is a grassy bank today but in my day advertising hoardings bridged the gap.
The railway acted as a dividing line through the community. Ironically much of the housing south and east of the railway survived the clearance of the 1960s/70s including the big houses built around Crowcroft Park. Two blocks of shops on Stockport Road served that community along with those on North Road. Included among the shops were Parkinson's High Class Grocers, Greenwoods, Howarths and Jean-Paul Children's Clothing.
East Road to Dickenson Road - West Side
At the junction of Slade Lane and Stockport Road a toll booth once stood. By the 1950s the toll booth was gone and a small park replaced it. If you stood here today the view would be little changed. The Royal London Insurance company occupied the corner.******
Two blocks of shops are separated by a newer and much lower building occupied by the Trustee Savings Bank.
Among the shops were Walter Ashworth
and Bryce Electricians.
he shops continued beyond Stamford Road and among them were Leons the Tailors, George Glass and Edwards the Butchers.*********
Loretta Modes, Stanton Shoes, Lowes, Edwards and Boots complete the shops in the main terrace. At the corner with Dickenson Road a slightly taller building completes the block. At street level is John Williams and Sons "Self Service Food Store"
a forerunner of the Lidl that now stands across the road from it.