Industry, Education & Religion (Churches and Church Schools)
This page is dedicated to the many local companies that operated in the 1940's 50's & 60'. I have also included Education as a sub- section on this page. Levenshulme was primarily a working class suburb of Manchester during this period, and most large Industrial & Manufacturing premises were located elsewhere. However, Levenshulme did have a number of factories & light industry, as well as locally based bakeries, dairies, coach operators, removal companies, coal merchants, municipal yards and small holdings & farms. Also now included on this page are Churches, Church Schools and other religious establishments.
Barbers Removals. 2 Broom Lane
Many older residents will be familiar with the name of Barbers Removals situated at the Stockport Road end of Broom Lane. Number 2 Broom Lane was the location of the office & yard. Jack Barber & his family also lived there until the mid-1960's. Barbers were also a local Coal Merchants. The business was started by Jacks father. Prior to Broom Lane, the business address was 4 Alma Road.
The above two photos show Barbers vans in the 1940s. The first could be at the rear of the Grand Cinema. Did Barbers have a yard there prior to the Broom Lane address? I remember playing there as a child, and it looks familiar. It was a kind of stable block. I remember putting stones through a number of those windows!! Second photo shows the Barbers fleet at the Broom Lane yard. Note the varied vehicles & different styles of company titles!
This is the house, No 2 Broom Lane, which was used as the Barbers Removals headquarters until the firm was sold in the 1980s. Do you remember the lighted sign with the moving removal vans?
This Photograph shows a Barbers Guy Vixen van 1940's or 50's. Yet another style of signage & a Heaton Moor phone number. Were all phones in South Levenshulme connected to the Heaton Moor exchange?
Barbers moving a piano in Gorton, possibly Mount Road, in the early 1960s. Andrew Barber sitting on the tailgate. (All photos via Andrew Barber.)
Barbers No 2 Broom Lane. Photo, taken 1940s, shows a flat bed lorry with a crated load destined for Dublin. The second photo shows No2 Broom Lane in the 1930's. The house next door was called Ivy Mount. It was demolished at a later date.
This photo could belong to the same period as above. It shows Barbers van at the corner of Broom Lane & Stockport Road. Note cobbled roads and the large houses on Broom Lane where Grasmere Old Peoples Home now stands. This may be a pre-war scene.
Terry Haslam, a one time resident of Levenshulme, sent me this slightly "worse for wear" photo of his Dad Jeff Haslam. The photo was taken in 1957, and shows Jeff in front of a Barbers Austin truck. Terry says Jeff worked for Barbers Removals at this time and was involved in carrying TV sets to Scotland in the wake of the Independent Television boom. Jeff Haslam also worked as a bus driver for MCTD, based at Birchfields Depot. (via Terry Haslam)
The Jackson Brick Company & "The Brickie"
The above section of the 1956 Ordnance Survey Map shows the vast area known by generations of Levenshulme kids as "The Brickie". The land was used to extract clay for the manufacture of bricks for the building industry. The clay pit and brick works existed at the turn of the 20th Century, and by the 1950s was being operated by the Jackson Brick Company. Jacksons also had a similar clay pit & brick works in Longsight, just over the Levenshulme boundary, off Matthews Lane.
The " Brickie" was an exciting adventure playground for the local children, but it could also be an extremely dangerous place! The excavations were dotted with numerous ponds & small lakes, and it is likely that some children were drowned or badly injured while playing there. The large pond close to the brick works & the railway was known as the "The Brickie Pond", and contained fish! In many ways " The Brickie" resembled a miniature Grand Canyon, and I spent many happy hours with my friends playing " cowboys & indians" and " British & Germans", among the hills and valleys of the clay pits. In the 1970s "The Brickie" was used as a landfill, and is today a kind of unkempt Country Park. Does anyone have any photos of "The Brickie" or the Jacksons brick works?
Two views of Jacksons Brick Works on Broom Avenue. The small building was the site office, and the large building with chimney was the main brick ovens. There were no fences or walls around any part of the works, which was surprising considering the dangers associated with brick making. The local clay was very good for brick making and did not lay very far below the surface, as local gardeners will attest!! Once the clay was exhausted the clay pits were used as a landfill site. (Manchester Libraries)
This Photo shows one of the familiar red Jackson Brick Company lorries. This could be the Levenshulme works. The photo would be from the 1960s. The second photo shows new bricks " fresh from th'oven".
Inside a brick kiln, before firing the bricks.
A real Jackson Brick. Marked J.& A. J.( J & A Jackson)
Jacksons Clay Pits. I am not sure whether this is the Broom Lane " Brickie" or the Matthews Lane site. The view does not look quite right! The Chimney could be the UCP, though it looks too tall!! Any ideas? ( Manchester Libraries)
Dowson and Mason Engineers, Alma Works, Levenshulme
I do not have much information on this company whose premises were located alongside the LMS railway in South Levenshulme. They built various products including cremation ovens and diesel oil refueling systems. They ceased to trade in 1987 after being taken over by the Swedish firm TABO.
The original office block at Dowson & Mason. Now part of an industrial park.
An early Dowson & Mason advertisement. ( Brian Carter via Internet)
A makers plate found on an internet auction site. Was W F Mason Limited the predecessor to Dowson & Mason? (via Brian Carter)
Reclaiming the Brickie sites. Broom Lane and Matthews Lane.
After all the usable clay had been removed from the two clay pits on Broom Lane and at Matthews Lane on the Longsight/Gorton border they council began to use the sites for landfill. I am not sure when this started but I would guess from the late 1960s! Eventually the pits were completely filled in and the areas were grassed over and used for leisure purposes.
This image shows the entrance to the Matthews Lane landfill site. The building and chimney belong to the UCLA laundry on Hemmons Road. Note the re-erected Pre-fab building! ( Manchester Libraries)
Tipping at Matthews Lane 1970s. ( Manchester Libraries)
Highfield Country Park ( formerly the South Levenshulme "Brickie")
Over the last few years, since the "Brickie" landfill site was completely filled, the area has been transformed into a country park. There are now ponds, paths and protected wildlife areas. A previous neighbour of mine in Crayfield Road took the following photos of the park earlier in 2009.
This fence is, I believe close to the old lattice foot bridge, thus looking south east near to where the pig farms used to be.
I am not sure where these two location are. It looks like there had been some rain recently!!
Creative carving near the lattice bridge, and the park entrance looking north over the lattice bridge to the old UCP site.
Most local children received their primary education in the local schools, namely Alma Park, Chapel Street, St Peters, St Marks, St Andrews, St Marys & Levenshulme Girls High School. Did I miss any? Some of these schools offered secondary education after age 11. When the 11 plus exams were introduced, most pupils moved on to either Secondary Modern, High School or Grammar School depending on their pass marks in the exams.
Alma Park Primary School
Located on Errwood Road/Alma Road. This was the local school for children living on the West side of Stockport Road.
Alma Park School buildings 1907. When was the school built? ( Manchester Libraries)
A nice view of Alma Park School. This is early 20th century, shortly after the school was built. Note newly planted trees! (via internet Cheshiredeltiology?)
Class Photo Pre-WW1.
Class photo 1928.
Class photo 1931
Class Photo about 1950.
Chapel Street County Primary School
Chapel Street County Primary School is located on Chapel Street, and celebrated its 100th Birthday in June 2003. This school catered to children living on the East side of Stockport Road. This was my primary school (See Reunion Page)
The school sign in December 2007.
These views of Chapel Street School was taken in 2002. Did somebody say Colditz Castle?? Just joking, but it does look like they are trying to keep the kids in, in a "serious" way! (Photos. Laurence Halstead )
Two photos taken in June 2003, during the 100th Birthday celebrations. Some futuristic additions to the "big school"! The second photo shows my old classroom, 4A 1961< as it looked in 2003. Are those the same radiators? Remember milk warmed on the radiators?
Chapel Street School, March 2004. From this angle it looks much like the school that I remember. The last class that I was in 4A, was situated in the nearest classroom to the camera on the second floor. Question? Did the building have cellars? If it did, what were/are they used for? ( Photo. Carole Daniels )
The Foundation stones at the front of Chapel Street School. The lower one is hard to decipher, but the upper one reads:-" Memorial Stone. The .... School Erected by the Levenshulme School Board Was Laid By The Revd. George Bradley Jones. Chairman of the Board. March 21 1903". Photo taken December 2007.
Chapel Street 100th Anniversary 2003
Photo from the MEN June 2003. Recognize anyone? ( Photo via Cliff Garratt)
Front page of the 100th Anniversary Programme. Admission Pass for the 1940 -1954 Social Evening April 25th 2003. ( Above items via Cliff Garratt, who attended the reunion.)
A photo supplied by Peter Southall of his class of 1946-1948 Some of the names are as follows:- Back Row:- Ben Reed , Alf McKinless, Brian Longden, Bobby Gaunt, Peter Southall, 2nd Back Row, Middle Miss Lightfoot, 3rd Front Row, Les Kay, Brian Napler, Vic Pollard, Alec Coppella, 2nd Front Row, Doreen Kay, Mr Massey, Front Row, Jim Sullivan Ralph Hayes, Alan Inskip, Eric Jebb, Norman Holland.
Another photo from Peter Southall showing a class of 1954 Top Row L-R :- William Tydesley, John Kettle, Tony Derbyshire, William Couse, Terrance Hattie, Harry Doran, Alan Sutton, Gordon Margetson. Middle Row:-Robert Morley, Gordon Southall, Alfred Mather, Sylvia Taylor, Mavis Saunders, Ian McDonald, Spencer Roberts, Pauline Bridges ( Teacher), Jean Henshaw, Iris Hampson.
Another class photo. Which class and what year? Late 50s I would think!
St. Peters Church School
Located behind St Peters Church on Barlow Road. This was a Church of England School.
St Peters Church School Barlow Road, 1965. This view looking towards Stockport Road. What was the old building with the staircase on the left of the image. (Manchester Libraries)
The school is now the Madina Mosque.
St. Marks Church School
Located on Barlow Road, opposite St Marks Church, the school was built in a similar style of attractive red & white brick. The school was recently demolished. I went to Sunday School there until 1960, when we got our first TV!
St Marks School building, now sadly no more. Note cobbles on Barlow Road. ( photo via Ken Musgrave)
This is the site of St. Marks School in December 2007. New housing being constructed. The site looks much smaller than when the school was located there!
The same corner in 1965. (Manchester Libraries)
An early photo showing a Helms Dairy cart delivering milk by hand, no milk bottles. The photo was taken in Molyneaux Road off Barlow Road with St. Marks School in the far background. (Manchester Libraries)
. St Marks Church, Barlow Road (Photo. Aidan O'Rourke)
A recent side view of St. Marks Church.
St. Marks Church postcard view 1920s? (via Ebay)
This large house on Mount Road was used as the St. Marks Church Vicarage. Does it still serve that purpose? The Vicars that I remember were Rev. Simmons and Rev. Guiniver. ( Photo via Sherri Harrison)
St Marks Vicarage, on Mount Road, in the 1960s. Taken from the south side. There was a brook running through the grassy area in the foreground. Factory wall on the right hand side ( Manchester Libraries)
St. Andrews Church School
St Andrews was the only Levenshulme school actually on Stockport Road. Situated next to St Andrews Church, it was also demolished in recent times.
This is the new property built on the site of St.Andrews School. The Church has also been converted into apartments. December 2007.
The rear of St. Andrews Church showing the beginning of the school area. ( Manchester Libraries)
Another view of St.Andrews in the 1960s, from the south side. (Manchester Libraries)
The above series of photos were taken in 1986, and show the old St. Andrews church school. The school has since been demolished and a new school built on Broom Avenue. The land is now occupied by flats. ( Manchester Libraries)
St Andrews Scouts and Cubs, photo taken by the Bandstand in Errwood Park 1950.
This is part of the new St. Andrews School on Broom Avenue. ( Mike Berrell)
St. Marys Catholic Primary School
Located on Claire Road. This was the only Catholic school in Levenshulme.
A painting of St. Marys Church on Clare Road. Date unknown.( Manchester Librairies)
A photo taken in 1912, which corresponds to the above painting. The convent and school have been added by this date. Note the railway bridge in both pictures. ( Manchester Libraries)
A postcard view of St. Mary's Church School, probably pre-WW!. Taken from the south side of what is now Claire Road. (via Ebay)
This postcard view shows the interior of the old St Mary's Church on Clare Road.
This photo shows St Marys Church Whit walks procession in May 1921. On Stockport Road, Manchester Street in the background. Note the cobbled road surface and tramlines. The photo would have been taken almost opposite South Levenshulme Station.
Levenshulme Girls High School
Situated on the Levenshulme/Burnage boundary at Errwood Road. This school was the only dedicated secondary school in Levenshulme.
The school entrance drive shortly after the school was built.
This photograph of Levenshulme High School dates from the early 1950s, before the canteen block was added. Are there other schools of this design in Manchester, or was it a one off? In recent years the school buildings have featured in several episodes of "Coronation Street", as Weatherfield Comprehensive!!( Photo via Julia Wallace)
Levenshulme High main drive 1920s
Levenshulme High the same view in the 1950s. ( Both images via Manchester Libraries)
An aerial view of Levenshulme High in the 1930s. Note lack of trees, new council houses and the edge of Errwood Park. Also the children's day nursery, on the corner of Errwood Road, was not built at this time (Manchester Libraries)
The above images show the interior of some of the areas of Levenshulme Girls High School around 1920. Shown are the assembly hall, dining hall, laboratories, library and gymnasium. ( Manchester Libraries)
A postcard view of Levenshulme High School, date unknown, but probably the 1930s. (via Ebay)
Famous pupils of Levenshulme High School
I do not know whether Levenshulme High School had a reputation for Drama, but several of the pupils who attended in the 30s and 40s went on to have careers in film, TV and stage.
Dorothy Bromiley lived in Levenshulme, Delamere Road, and attended the school in the 1940s. ( Read more on Dorothy on the Cinema page)
Beryl Reid was born in Hereford, but grew up in Manchester, and attended the school in the 1930s. Apparently used her Levy High blazer in her act playing a schoolgirl!
Pat Kirkwood lived in Burnage and attended the School in the 1930s. She was best known for her stage musicals, but she did have a brief career in Hollywood. She officially retired in 1972, but continued to perform after that date. The photo was taken in 1946.
Judith Chalmers was a pupil at Levenshulme High School. I do not know when she attended the school, probably late 1940s and 50s. She went on to become a TV and Radio announcer and latterly was one of the hosts of the travel programme " Holiday". I do not know whether she lived in the Levenshulme area!
Levenshulme High School Photograph May 1943
In May 1943, wartime, the whole of Levenshulme Girls High School was captured on film by a company called Panora Ltd of London W.C.1 The future actress Dorothy Bromiley Should be in this lineup. The photo was supplied from the school archive and was sent to me by Doreen Lococo who is somewhere in this photo. (Photo via Doreen Lococo. Doreens surname at school was Needham)
This type of school photo was the norm at Levenshulme High School for Girls. Did they take class photos also?
Private Schools in the Levenshulme Area
Apparently there were privately run schools in the Levenshulme area. The only one that I have found so far, Aug 2009, is called Dymsdale School, and was located somewhere in the Albert Road area.
This photo of the Dymsdale School was taken in 1930. The school was operating during the Second World War. Any further information would be appreciated. Someone has tried to colour part of this photo. Update:- A recent correspondent pointed out that this house is the building currently used by the Levenshulme Catholic Club. The building, 58 Central Avenue, was run as a private school until around 1948. The owner/operator of the school was Miss Katherine Lovett. The electoral rolls for 1940 and 1945 show a Mr. Walter Lovett & Mrs. Lilian Lovett. The Catholic Club took over the building in 1951.
Levenshulme Churches and Places of Worship
Levenshulme had, and has, many churches and places of religious worship. The oldest place was probably the Weslyan Chapel on Chapel Street. As the community grew and prospered many new churches were built. Today,2007, the ethnicity of Levenshulme is changing and to reflect this a new Sikh temple, Gurdwara, is currently being built on the land where Wesley Street Church Hall used to stand. I will try and add to this section all the Levenshulme churches still in use in the 1950s and 60s. Those still remaining in 2007. And any new churches and places built since those early days
Levenshulme Methodist Church, Stockport Road
The Methodist Church, then known as the Wesleyan Church, early 20th Century. Note how the tower has been altered. When did this happen? (via Ebay)
This is a fairly recent photo of the Levenshulme Methodist Church on the corner of Stockport Road and Woodfold Ave. Question? Was Woodfold Ave originally known as Wesley Street?
St Mary's Catholic Church Stockport Road 1958.
St Mary's Church , school and convent were originally located on Clare Road in 1958 the church moved to new premises in the former cinema " The Grand" on Stockport Road.
This photo shows the interior of the new church, formerly a cinema. The building soldiered on after a brand new church was built on Elbow Street. It became a second hand furniture store and an antiques store before being demolished in 2006. ( Manchester Libraries)
The exterior and interior of St Mary's new church on Elbow Street. When was the church built? ( photos Mike Berrell)
Cromwell Hall Christian Centre, Marshall Road
The Cromwell Hall Christian Centre has stood on this site since 1959. Previously the church had premises over Estelle Modes dress shop, on the corner of Cromwell Grove. It took its name from Cromwell Grove.
The building where Cromwell Hall had its initial premises still stands today. Looking in great shape. Estelle Modes famous dress shop used to occupy the ground floor.
St Peters Church. On the corner Of Stockport Road & Barlow Road
St. Peters Church on Stockport Road was, to my mind, the most attractive of all the Levenshulme churches. It had a kind of Lytch Gate, which also served as a War Memorial for both World Wars. In fact this is the only Levenshulme War Memorial.
St. Peters from the Barlow Road Corner 2006. The second image shows St Peters church in 1900. The entrance was on the corner at that date. (Manchester Libraries)
St. Peters Church postcard view early 20th century. (via Ebay)
Levenshulme Weslyan Chapel. Stockport Road
The Weslyan Chapel in 1860. This building still exists, although it is hemmed in on both sides by shop premises. It is due to go through extensive renovations in the near future. ( Manchester Libraries) Is this the same building as The United Reformed Church? I am confused!!
Levenshulme United Reformed Church. Stockport Road
The United Reformed Church on Stockport Road is being converted into a community centre and apartments. You can find out more by going to this link:- http://www.lev-inspire.org.uk/
Levenshulme Christian Spiritualist Church. Carrill Grove East.
This is a view of the Christian Spiritualist Church in 1964. Looking a little "run down"! Does anyone know anything of this churches history? The spire of St. Peters is in the background. ( Manchester Libraries)
Christian Science Church. Moseley Road.
This is the Christian Science Church and reading room in 1971. ( Manchester Libraries)
Levenshulme Baptist Church, on Elmsworth Avenue
This is a church that I nearly forgot, just off Broom Lane on Elmsworth Ave. A fairly small church, it looks to have had some modifications in recent times. I remember going in the church, once for a film show on the life of Christ. The film was very old and probably silent!
West Point Assembly Rooms
West Point Assembly Rooms. I am not quite sure where this building is situated. Is it on Albert Road, or West Point? (Mike Berrell)
Seventh Day Adventist Church
Again I am not to sure of the location, but it looks like it is on the corner of Stockport Road and Claire Road. (Mike Berrell)