Cheadle and Civic Society news and updates archive
July to december 2009
Civic Trust for England closes
The Civic Trust for England, a body which, for many years, united many similar organisations to the Cheadle Civic Society, recently went into Administration. The Trust was formed in 1957 with the aim of improving the environment around the areas where people live and work and until recently counted more than 750 smaller organizations amongst its membership. It was claimed the main reason the Trust was forced to close was because the recent economic downturn meant local authority budget cuts resulted in insufficient funds coming to the organization. While the closure won't directly affect any activities in Cheadle, what we will lose is the opportunity to learn about policies and practices elsewhere and share our own experiences with similar groups in other parts of the country. The Chief Executive of the Town and Country Planning Association said the closure of the Civic Trust for England is a major loss to the charitable sector, and one which deserves support if it is to deliver the quality we want to see in our towns and cities.
Anyone with an interest in specialty foods will welcome the opening of the Village Delicatessen in the centre of Cheadle. Located at 55 High Street, close to the telephone exchange, the new deli stocks a huge range of cheeses, jams, meats, olives, preserves, locally made bread and many other goodies. Owner Keith Jenkins, who describes himself as a cheese monger by trade, used to have a stall in Stockport market, but believes a site in the heart of Cheadle is much more appropriate. He says his aim is to stock a wide variety of high-quality products which are not generally available in the main supermarkets. We wish him well.
St Mary's Cross new findings
New research has recently been undertaken into the origins of the famous pre-Norman cross which is now in St. Mary's church. The research was part of the Cheshire Anglo Saxon Sculpture Survey which was undertaken by history researchers at Durham University. Having thoroughly examined the cross, the research team concludeit was probably produced sometime between the end of the 10th Century and 11th Century, making it slightly older than many people had previously believed. The researchers also claim that it was probably not originally located around the grounds of the current St. Mary's church, but sited on high ground somewhere towards the River Mersey and was used as a church boundary marker. This iswitharea where the cross was discovered in the 1870s when construction work was taking place for the new Barnes Convalescent Home. According to Rob Munro, the currentSt. Mary's church, the location of the crosstypical of awhere local peoplehave worshippedthe open air at the time before any churchin Cheadle.
White Hart advertising boards
The Society has been concerned about advertising boards which have appeared on the front wall of the White Hart pub. As the pub is a listed building in a conservation area, it was believed planning permission was required before there can be any significant external change to the appearance of the building. However, council officials say the boards are a "permitted development" although the society believes this is an issue which needs to be looked at again as it is felt they are an unwelcome eyesore on one of Cheadle's most important buildings.
We have long opposed any graffiti in the village and have been particularly disturbed recently by the graffiti which is on now on the Broadway High Mill electricity substation. We plan to work with the council at the earliest opportunity to ensure this, and other graffiti, is removed.
Anyone who attended the Society's last AGM in May would have enjoyed a fascinating talk by Manchester's County archaeologist Norman Redhead. In front of a nearly packed hall, Mr. Redhead provided much revealing information about the history of Cheadle and many of the archaeological finds which have happened over the years, and in particular the 1870s period when there were a number of findings of early coins and other artifacts in the Massie Street area. At present, Mr. Redhead and his team are looking at the possibility of doing a more extensive archaeological survey around Cheadle Green which could also prove very revealing. A decision will be taken shortly and if it does go ahead, we will provide more details in future newsletters. In the meantime, for anyone with Internet access, further information about the work of Manchester's archaeological unit can be found at: www.gmau.manchester.ac.uk
As we reported in the previous newsletter, a new Tesco supermarket opened in Cheadle in November. The location of the store is the old Sommerfields supermarket, opposite the Post Office. The store will be open seven days a week, between 6am and 11pm, and will immediately become the largest food retailer in the village. However, rather than threaten the existence of other local shops, it is claimed the new Tesco could help them by bringing more people into the village who may previously have done their shopping at one of the larger out-of-town supermarkets.
Improvements to Cheadle Green
Plans have been put forward to radically improve Cheadle Green, which celebrates its bicentenary in 2010. The Cheadle Green Focus Group, in collaboration with Stockport Council, have put forward a number of proposals which it is hoped will help to make the Green the centre of village life again, after years of neglect. Amongst the ideas are removal of all the rubbish and debris from the pond, which is at the back of the Green, regular removal of duck weed and overhanging shrubs from the pond, installation of appropriate new plants in the pond, a fountain reinstated into the pond, as there used to be when it was built, and also improvement of lighting in the pond.
Other proposals include repairing damaged paving stones, repairing the Green's footpaths and removing or drastically cutting back some of the green's many trees, some of which are now so large there is very little light below which is killing the grass and wildlife.
The aim of the improvements is to ensure that the green can once again be a safe, clean and attractive environment which all Cheadle residents can enjoy, as opposed to the run-down, neglected place it has become in recent years.
With 2010 being the bicentenary, it is hoped some form of fete or event may also take place in the summer which will celebrate the value of the green to Cheadle.
The Cheadle Green Focus Group will shortly seek funding to ensure the changes and improvements can be put in place as quickly as possible. In the meantime, anyone with additional suggestions for improvements to the Green can send them to: Brian Nash, District and Neighbourhood Regeneration, Stopford House, Stockport SK1 3XE or firstname.lastname@example.org
Traffic calming proposals
As a way of improving traffic flow on High Grove Road and at the bend on Gatley Road, new traffic calming measures may shortly be introduced. We understand the options being considered include on-street cameras and "sleeping policemen" being placed in the roads.
Cheadle Royal stained glass windows
A set of six beautiful stained glass windows from Cheadle Royal Hospital will shortly go on display at the Stockport Story Museum. The windows were produced between 1909 and 1915 by renowned decorative arts company, Morris and Co, and placed in the Cheadle Royal Hospital chapel. But having been sold to a private dealer several years ago, they have now been brought back into public ownership with grants coming from independent charity, the Art Fund, in collaboration with the Museums Libraries and Archives Council—Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, along with Stockport Council.
It is expected the windows will be placed on permanent public display from December at the Story Museum, which is located in the heart of Stockport.
Cheadle parking problems
The Society has been pressing for an improved on-street parking policy in Cheadle recently. In particular, we have been making representations to the council to ensure there are double yellow lines on all strategic roads in the centre of the village, as opposed to a single yellow line which is now the case in many places. Questions have also been asked of the council as to why previous double yellow lines were replaced by single lines, without any advance notification, but so far we have not received any satisfactory response. We have also been pressing for more rigorous enforcing of the current parking regulations as this will help to improve the movement of traffic in the area and thereby reduce congestion.
|January to June 2009
New Tesco supermarket
There has been a lot happening behind the scenes recently which should result in a number of noticeable changes in the months ahead. One important development is that the Society has helped St. Mary’s Church in getting new owners for the old Summerfield supermarket. Tesco have now signed an agreement and should be refurbishing the building shortly. It will have similar access as before and will provide local residents with the opportunity to buy essential supplies seven days a week until late in the evening
The Society has also been monitoring all other recent council planning applications and has opposed any which we feel will have a detrimental effect on local life. One was for a new “takeaway” on the premises of the old Chester’s estate agents on the High Street. Our view is that any fast-food establishment on this site is likely to result in constantly parked cars on the adjacent side streets which will inevitably cause traffic problems for residents and other local road users, but unfortunately, the application has now been passed. We have also opposed the erection of new mobile telephone masts in the village due to what we feel will be a negative effect on the environment.
The Society has also been working hard with the Cheadle Village Partnership (CVP) on several new initiatives which could soon see a number of notable benefits. One is likely to be the creation of a Cheadle Traders Association which could help to reduce crime around the High Street, as well as ensure that local shops are better promoted to a wider market. Any trader interested in joining the association should contact Andrew Taylor on 428-1875.
The CVP is also currently helping to establish a “Friends of the Village Green”. For years, many people have been complaining that the Green has become badly neglected and it hoped this new group will help to facilitate a range of improvements. These are likely to include improving the pond at the back of the green; pruning the trees, encouraging more natural wildlife to the area, as well as ensuring there are ample amounts of rubbish bins in place which will be emptied on a regular basis.
We are happy to say that the £1000 donation we made to Cheadle Library, via a joint BBC / national government initiative called “Breathing Space” has already resulted in a better environment inside the library. This is particularly encouraging as the library is becoming ever more popular amongst reading groups of all ages and a better place to read and enjoy books is something which should be warmly applauded.
The Old Mill
There are also developments at the Old Mill, behind The Alexandra Hospital. Planning permission has now been approved for a block of flats to be built on this famous historical site, although the old chimney and a few other remnants from the mill will remain as a permanent reminder of Cheadle’s important industrial heritage.
At long last, good news on Church Street. After all our efforts to improve access on the road and stop the regular damage to the lychgate and the cemetery wall, a one-way street will be starting very shortly, with vehicles exiting Church Street onto High Street. We have protested for a long time about the damage which has been caused in the past from the excess of traffic on Church Street, especially to the lychgate, and we are very
Historical photos online
After a lot of hard work by many volunteers, Stockport Council Library’s Heritage Centre has now created a new web site which contains wonderful old photographs from throughout Stockport –including Cheadle. More pictures will be added in due course, but anyone who wants to see what is there now needs to go to: