It was as Lord Bradley said a “unique partnership which had brought the history wall to Chorlton.”
I don’t think there is anywhere in the city where a developer a local artist and a historian had come together to tell the story of a place.*
And that was what McCarthy and Stone, Peter Topping and I set out to do.**
McCarthy and Stone build “later life” properties and Peter paints the pictures and I tell the stories.
The project was simple enough and was about bringing the story of Chorlton from its rural past to the present day touching as we went on the major developments in between.
And because we were on a building site it seemed sensible to design it as a walk. So along the 80 meter stretch from Albany Road round on to Brantingham you could walk our history.
It started on the green in the 16th century, moved on to Wilbraham and Barlow Moor Roads taking in many of the late 19th century buildings and finished with the next phase in the history of Chorlton.
Peter called it a “history wall” and that aptly summed it up.
Here were stories of the old parish church, the Horse and Jockey and life in the village and on Beech Road.
There were also tales of how New Chorlton developed in the 19th century and references to our first cinema, Cosgrove Hall and the coming of the tram.
All of this was superimposed on Peter’s paintings of contemporary Chorlton.
The wall was officially opened in September by Lord Bradley and the ceremony was attended by school parties, our City Councillors, the MP, and a host of other people including the Civic Society and Chorlton History Group.
Not to be out done the film company Hardy Productions UK offered their services and filmed the day and since then it has remained a bit of a talking point and even became a tourist attraction.
But there would come a time when the display came down, and sadly by Easter that will be the case.
Not that this is the end. It will resurface in Chorlton High School and perhaps even for a while feature inside the new housing development.
In the meantime there are still plenty of opportunities to walk the walk, from Albany Road in the 17th century with the Horse and Jockey on the village green round to Brantingham Road with the coming of the railway, our first cinema and now the new tram line.
Pictures; courtesy of Peter Topping, McCarty & Stone and Tom McGrath
**See the film of the exhibition at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-EAGuWaNs
Read the blog,http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewSimpson41
& facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/#!/ChorltonHistory
See the film of the exhibition at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-EAGuWaNs
Ring me on 0161 861 0105
The story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy is now available