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.
Upper Plymouth Grove to Grey Street - East Side
Upper Plymouth Grove was the access road for children walking out of Longsight to Plymouth Grove School. We crossed Stockport Road at this point via the zebra crossing and lollypop man. On the northern corner was John Williams and Son, grocers.
Williams and Son also had a "self-service" grocery shop, the closest thing we had to a supermarket, on the corner of Stockport Road and Dickenson Road. Beyond John Williams lay The Music Centre, Wardles and, on the next corner, The Westmoreland Arms pub.
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I have heard unsubstantiated claims that the Moors Murderer, Ian Brady, lived on Westmoreland Street with his mother. J. Thomas and Sons - Printers, stood on the corner of Westmoreland Street and Stockport Road
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This block is dominated by the Raven Flour Mill at the Ducie Street end. From there to John Street is a long terrace of small shops. The terrace had rather elegant pairs of rounded windows and were topped with dormers. The businesses included F. Bullocks, grocer; J. Price - "Clothes of Taste"; and a bicycle shop. It should be noted that during this period Ducie Street became Dillon Street and John Street became Halsbury Street.
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Four substantial business premises made up the next block. Starting with George Thompson, Pawnbroker at the John Street end. My father's suit visited there on a number of occasions. Next door was Sharp's Luxury Coaches. Sharps and Bullocks dominated the coach trip business in our part of Manchester. Just beyond was the ornate terracotta front of the Beswick Coop. I don't know the function of the last building but the barred windows perhaps give a clue to its use.
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Gee's, the Chemist, stood on the northern corner of Wood Street. In the 1895 directory there was a Gee's Hairdressers located just a little further south on Stockport Road. Whether there was any connection isn't known. The third building along the block was a sub post office and at the end where Grey Street meets Stockport Road stood the Atlas Brewery which eventually became the Sarson Vinegar Works.
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Upper Plymouth Grove to Grey Street - West Side
The great Victorian pile of the Lancaster Pub stood on the corner of Plymouth Grove West during the time when the north side of that street was lined with a rather grand terrace of houses. The pub survived into the 2000s but is now no more.
Next door was Coleman's the chemist sporting the words "NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE" on its sign. It was once George Edwards - Allopathic & Homeopathic Chemist. Further along was Manchester Motors. Beyond this, but not shown in this photograph, was a chippy; E. Norton, butcher; G. Stone, Cutler and Grinder; and J. L. McAdam, Clothier and Drapers & Household Furniture.
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Beyond Royds Street was an unassuming row of small shops starting with Thornley Food Supplies. Then E. N. Crayfield Wholesale General Warehouseman offering a wide variety of stock including hardware. I remember going there to buy bricketts when there was no coal for the fire. In the middle of the block was Blackburn's Hair Styles.
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Another row of small shops spanned the distance from Downton Street to Molyneux Street. It included a newsagents.
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The only building along this stretch of Stockport Road to have survived into the present day is the pub on the corner of Molyneux Street. It was the Wellington Pub and my mother was a cleaner there in the 1950s. Today it is called The Gold Cup, although I'm not sure what its connection is to Cheltenham. Beyond was Franks the paint and wallpaper shop, Jesson's the opticians with a window that sported a spectacle shaped display window. At the Etruria Street end of the block was Deans clothing shop.
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Ridings department store dominated the next block along. Ridings offered "Everything on Weekly Payments". Long before the credit cruch families like mine depended on the "Never-Never" to buy things at places like Ridings. At the end of the block was a branch of Martin's Bank. Martin's had a long history stretching back to its founder, Sir Thomas Gresham in the 16th Century. Its emblem was the grasshopper. Martin's was taken over by Barclays in 1969.