Buxton Road in 1934, showing the
approximate position of the photographer.
Inspired by the old picture, we have looked into the story
of the buildings in the background of the view and nearby.
Houses were developed along this part of Buxton Road, shown
as 'Mile End' in early directories, from the 1880s on land
formerly used as an orchard, probably by the Carrington
family who for many years operated the Mile End Nursery
based on the other side of the road.
The previous landowner, from whom the Carringtons would have
rented the land, was Charles William Galwey Dysart
(1861-1896), whose father Thomas had been born in
Londonderry, Ireland. The land came down to him from the
late William Dysart, one-time owner of Mile End Hall, along
with much land on that side of the main road. (William's
last surviving son Samuel died there in 1859, aged 24). The
family is commemorated by Dysart Street, not far away in
In earlier years the Hall and land are thought to have been
been part of the estate of the Davenports of Bramall Hall.
To the north of Corbar Road stood a large villa with 13
rooms. By 1891 the householder (probably the first)
was Yorkshire-born solicitor Charles Edward Lake
(born 1839), who served 35 years as Clerk to the Magistrates
for Stockport. Living with him was his wife Mary Alice Lake,
four children and four servants, four un-married daughters
and a servant. Their only son, Lionel Charles Lake, also
became a Solicitor; he died in 1911. The house was named
'Leverington' after the Cambridgeshire village where Mrs
Lake was born. Mr Lake died in 1916; Lake Street in nearby
Great Moor is probably named after him.
In the late 1930s No. 175 was home to chemical manufacturer
Edward Hardcastle, a director of Kay Brothers.
Ater World War II the house became, with a large extension,
the Mile End Hotel, later renamed Davenport Park Hotel. The
hotel was sold to new owners in 2014, and re-named 'The
Davenport', before closing in 2017.
It has since been demolished and replaced by a block of 39
apartments, built in a red-brick style.
177 and 179
The pair of large semi-detached houses with tudor-style
decoration 177 and 179 Buxton Road. was named 'The
Orchards', Residents over the years included a number
of important Stockport people:
Henry Sutton of hatting firm Sutton & Torkington,
whose factory was in Lord Street, Stockport, was at 177 in
Frank Robinson, cotton manufacturer, single, with two
servants, lived at no. 177 in 1911.
177 and 179 avoided the conversion to flats which many large
houses suffered. The final private residents of 177
were Stockport-born Arnold Pickering and his family,
who moved in to 177 in the 1950s and stayed until at least
1968. Mr Pickering (1909-84) was an accountant who also
served as an Elder of the Christian Brethren church
community which met at Crescent Road Hall in Stockport. A
friend and fellow Elder was Professor F.F. Bruce of the
University of Manchester.
Charles W. Macara (1845-1929), Managing Director of
Bannerman's, cotton spinners of Manchester, apparently could
be found at no. 179 in 1893, although this may not have been
his permanent address.
Herbert Ernest Corbyn, Stockport's Medical Officer of
Health, was living at no.179, unmarried, with one servant in
1911. He was the author of science textbooks for medical
students; during World War I he joined the army and served
as Medical Officer of Heath for Baghdad in 1917-18. He died
Wlliam Bramley Lowe, born in Salford in 1888, was the
son of a decorator. By 1911 he was working for the the
Heaton Norris Council as a Surveyor's Clerk; probably he
later continued his career with Stockport Council after it
merged with Heaton Norris. He lived with his family at no.
179 from about 1950.
William died in 1962, and no. 179 had no electors in the
1965 electoral register; it had been left empty. His
grandson has kindly prepared some notes for us: see the
No. 185 'Peak Lodge' was, from its building in 1892,
the home of John Cash Arnfield (1858-1931), son of
Mr. Joseph Arnfield, J. P. of New Mills, Derbyshire.
He married Mary Eliza Dunkerley in 1882.
He served his apprenticeship with chemists Kay Brothers of
Stockport; he set up his own business in Ashton-under-Lyne,
until in 1887 he sold that shop and purchased the Stockport
retail and wholesale business of Kay Brothers, who
thereafter operated solely as a manufacturer of
J.C.Arnfield & Sons, Ltd, Pharmaceutical Chemist and
Druggist, operated from the Kay's former shop at 7-9 Lower
Hillgate (later in Princes Street) and had a
laboratory in Harvey Street.
Mr Arnfield lived with his wife, two sons Thomas Owen
Arnfield and Harold Arnfield, and two servants at 5
Woodbine Crescent, Stockport until the new house at 185
Buxton Road was built; they named it 'Peak Lodge' as a
reminder of John's former home town in the Peak
District. After their son Harold moved out, John and
his wife moved to a more modern house, 'Southwold' on
Broadway in Bramhall. His wife died in 1930 and he died in
The next occupants of 'Peak Lodge' were William Edward
Hamnett, who was in the painting and decorating business,
and his wife Clara. They moved to 'Peak Lodge' from
'Erlsdene', Offerton Lane.
By the 1920s William had changed professions to become a
solicitor. He died in 1931; Clara, who must also have been a
woman of some standing as she is recorded in 1934 as a
Borough Magistrate, stayed in the house, but had moved away
by the time of her death in 1950. and was living at 37
Perseverance Street, Sale. No.185 was abandoned and
left to decay.
Many years later, in 1969, it was purchased and converted
after to a social club for the Ukrainians who had come to
live during and after the war in the Stockport area, which
still operates under the ownership of the Association of
Ukrainians in Great Britain, founded in 1946, one of
28 branches around Britain. The club, which had
previously operated in a building on Turncroft Lane; the
Club remains at no 185 in 2018.
No. 187 & 189
No. 187, 'Greystead' was the home in 1911 of Jesse
Ainsworth Stott, a member of the firm Stott &
Son, architects and engineers who built many of the
cotton mills in the Manchester region.
No. 189, 'Strathmore Lodge', was in 1911 the residence of James
Smith, a Solicitor with a office at 39 St Petersgate.
His family included his wife Stella, and his
step-children Claudius Stephenson, Douglas Buchanan
Stephenson and Norah Geraldine Stephenson. A few years
later, both Claudius and Douglas died in action in the First
The two detached houses 187 and 189 were bought and
converted to a hotel by Leslie Acton Tipping (1903-1989), a
Manchester-born entrepreneur. He named it the 'Acton Court
The hotel was later run for 30 years from 1976 by Jack
Trickett, a colourful character and boxing promoter who
famously welcomed sportspeople, singers and silver screen
superstars. He retired in 2007, and the hotel was sold
to 'two un-named businessmen'
It is shown in the Google aerial view of that year, but
closed in 2011 and was demolished soon afterwards, to be
replaced (after some traffic-related issues with the
planning authority) by a completely new building for
the the 'Kids Allowed' nursery chain.
Contributions are very welcome at at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tramcars never travelled along Bramhall Lane through
Davenport, although Stockport Corporation did obtain
Parliamentary powers to build such a line. They did,
however, run for nearly half a century between Stockport and
Hazel Grove along the eastern boundary of the area, a few
minutes' walk down Kennerley Road. Photographs of trams on
this section are rare; the view above, taken in the late
1940s by Frederick Noel Trevor Lloyd-Jones (1922-2011) who
took many local tram photographs in the period post-war
period. The entrance to Davenport Park estate is to the left
of the white van, with Kennerley Road beyond.
The tram is Stockport Corporation's no. 75, the last of a
batch of ten 56-seat cars built by Cravens in 1923; one of
Stockport's most modern vehicles, although the basic design
concept changed little in the 50 years that Stockport's
electric trams operated. The first trams on the Hazel
Grove route were horse-drawn, run by the Stockport and Hazel
Grove Carriage and Tramway Company which began operating in
1890. In 1905 Stockport Corporation bought the company and
converted the line to electric operation, and extended it to
meet Manchester's line, allowing trams to run through
between Hazel Grove and Manchester. Manchester Corporation
tramcars shared this track with Stockport's.
The picture is full of interest. Note the double track in
the centre of the road; in some places they rails are still
there today under the tarmac. At stops, passengers had to
make their way across between the other traffic on the road;
hard to imagine in today's conditions. Following the tram is
an Austin K-series delivery van of Rylands textile
merchants, the firm founded by John Rylands, known today for
the memorial library created by his widow. Sadly the name on
the van to the left cannot be read.
The picture is not dated, but there are clues to be found.
The white markings on the pole would have been painted to
help pedestrians in the blackouts of the 1939-45 war.
Tramway service to Hazel Grove ceased on 14 January 1950, by
which time Manchester's tram lines had already closed and
the route ran between Hazel Grove and the Manchester border
at Crossley Road; perhaps the photographer was aware of the
coming closure when recording the scene for posterity. Trams
finally vanished from Stockport with the end of the
Stockport - Reddish route on 10 April 1951, and No.75
survived until the end.
For our 2014 view of the same area we stood a little further
back, in order to show what is behind the trees which are
now very mature. The bus working route 192 Manchester -
Hazel Grove is Stagecoach Manchester's no. 12213 (MX13 FNK)
of Stockport depot a 77-seat Alexander Dennis 'Enviro 400H'
Hybrid built in 2013. Hybrid buses have batteries
which are kept charged by the diesel engine, and
automatically provide extra drive power when required. This
means that a smaller engine, running at a more more
efficient constant speed, is needed.
The general background scene has not changed greatly except
that the Private Hotel and several of its neighbours have
been replaced by the Clifford Court housing development,
seen on the right. This has a history of its own, which is
181 and 183 Buxton Road
'Sunnyside', No. 181, has only its sign and
gateway in the picture. A detached residence with 14 rooms
(not including bathroom and lobbies), it was the home of
John Smith, joint owner of Higher Hillgate mills, one of
Stockport's 'doubling' firms, specialising in 'fine gassed
yarns, heald yarns and sewing cottons. 'Employees: 450'
according to a 1914 listing.
John Smith was living at 'Sunnyside' in 1911 with his wife
Emma, daughter Ellinor, son John (29, partner in the firm)
and general servant Minnie Humphries. The family had been
there since the house was new in the 1890s, and it remained
in the Smith family for many years. The residents in 1945
were Bessie Brown Smith and Kathleen Emma Smith. Shortly
afterwards it was sold to Wesley Haddock, who converted it
to the Sunnyside Private Hotel; His story and that of the
hotel, continues below.
'Thorncliffe House', No. 183, was, at least until the 1920s,
the home of Lincolnshire-born William H. Robinson,
tobacco manufacturer, and his family. The firm of Robinson
and Sons had premises in Stockport at 9 St Petersgate and in
the Market Place. The company passed to his son Arthur
Robinson, and was eventually taken over in 1936 by
In 1956 this house also became part of the Sunnyside Private
Wesley Haddock and Sunnyside - by John Ratcliffe
Wesley Haddock, born in Winwick, Lancashire in 1899, grew up
at Barnes Convalescent Hospital in Cheadle, where his
American-born father was chief engineer. He bought
Sunnyside, 181 Wellington Road South, in 1947, and converted
it into an hotel, the 'Sunnyside Private Hotel'. We
are indebted to his grandson for the following notes about
Wesley's eventful life and times.
The hotel became a popular place for commercial travellers,
many of whom became regular guests, returning often. As well
as catering for those who stayed overnight with bed,
breakfast and an evening meal, there was also a side of the
business that provided for Wedding Receptions and Funeral
Parties. It turned out that the Hotel business was mainly
run by Wesley's wife, Agnes Hilda Haddock, because Wesley
had other business interests that needed to be attended to.
Wesley Haddock started his career by going to sea in 1915 as
an apprentice cook and baker. Through the Great War, he
served on ships crossing the Atlantic, bringing supplies and
troops from the USA and Canada. After the War, he also
served taking those troops back. In the early twenties, he
also did several voyages past India and onward to Japan,
calling in at many cities on the Asian coast.
In December 1922, he married Agnes Hilda Preston, left the
sea, and became a Pastry Chef and confectioner at the
Midland Hotel in Manchester. At some time around 1930, he
bought a bakery and shop, and at some point between getting
the bakery and 1947, he became the licensee at the Red Lion,
During World War II, because of his catering experience, he
was asked to take on the management of a canteen for an
engineering works, as well as his other business interests.
This was seen by the Ministry of Supply, who were
controlling such things during the war, as so successful
that more work's canteens were put under his management, and
at the end of the war there were seven canteens in this
enterprise. The canteen at Cravens Engine Works stayed with
him until he was taken ill, shortly before his death in
In 1947 he bought the large Victorian House, Sunnyside, at
181 Wellington Road South. This was converted into the
Sunnyside Private Hotel. There were 10 bedrooms for guests,
a dining room for guests, as well as two lounges, one of
which was private. By the use of large partition doors, the
two lounges could be opened into one large room in which
parties for up to maximum of seventy people could sit for a
In 1955 there was sufficient demand for extra accommodation
that when the house next door, number 183, came up for sale,
it was bought with the deal being completed as the year
turned to 1956. At this point, it was decided that Wesley
and Agnes's daughter Marjorie (my mother) would be brought
into the business, with this extra family (Marjorie, husband
William, and two children, John and Barbara) to live in part
of the new house. Conversions were carried out to give an
extra six bedrooms for guests, and a covered walkway was
built between the two houses.
Number 183, the second house, was called 'Thorncliffe
House'. As I recall, the previous owners had the surname
McDermot. At the time of the sale, I believe there was only
one resident, an elderly lady, whose family lived elsewhere
in Stockport and they decided she could no longer live on
her own, so she went into a nursing home. This house was
built with staff in mind. There was a second staircase
giving staff access to the bedrooms, and a butler's pantry,
as well as a main kitchen, a scullery, and their own toilet
and washroom. The house was wired for bells to call staff to
the bedrooms, the two reception rooms, and the dining room.
The dining room had a fully sprung dance floor, and was
large enough to do it justice.
Both houses had extensive cellars, with cold slab storage,
and substantial hooks for hanging game or other meat. There
were laundry rooms, and storage for both coal and coke, with
boiler rooms for the central heating.
At the rear of these two houses were extensive gardens, both
decorative and for the kitchen. Behind 'Sunnyside' was a
bowling green, which survived until some of that area was
required for parking. There was also a substantial stable
building with a hay loft. There were also two garages with
wooden floors, one of which had a pit for doing maintenance.
There was a legend about the house that it was where the
first motor car to come to Stockport stayed, being garaged
in the rear reception room, which had french windows that
opened sufficiently wide to allow access. Behind 183 the
lawn was of sufficient size as to accommodate a full sized
tennis court, with concrete sockets for posts for the net.
There was no surrounding fence for the court, so it was
obviously only for recreational purposes.
In 1960, Wesley Haddock died after a period of several
months being housebound due to illness. His health had been
declining for several years, making it difficult to fulfill
his commitments to the canteen business. After his death,
the Hotel business carried on until 1969 when Agnes' health
became such that she could no longer carry on, and the
changes in the demand for commercial hotel accommodation
suggested that closure was the best option, as the strain
was also telling on Marjorie.
For such large and imposing houses, it is noteworthy
that of all of the houses from Corbar Road to Mile End Lane,
only Sunnyside had provision for vehicular access from
Wellington Road. 177/179 had a stable block with a small
yard which had access off Corbar Road.
William Bramley Lowe and no. 179 - by Mike Booth
I remember very little about my grandfather, William Bramley
Lowe, as he died when I was two years old; My full name is
Michael William Booth, the middle name after William Lowe.
Before moving to No. 179 Buxton they lived in St Lesmo Road
in Edgeley after the war. As well as the two daughters
mentioned above there was an older son, Brian Ashworth Lowe,
who, by the time of the 1955 register, would have moved to
London to train with the Post Office. He went into
telecommunications and was laterpart of the team at
Goonhilly in Cornwall that received the firsttrans-Atlantic
satellite TV broadcast in 1962.
The younger daughter, Joan Mary Lowe, was my mother. She
trained as a pharmacist and worked at various local
pharmacies including Stepping Hill Hospital and the Co-op
store on Chestergate. She and my father moved into 31,
Davenport Park Road in 1959, purchasing it for the princely
sum of £1900, and lived there for the rest of their lives.
179 Buxton Road was indeed left empty after William’s death
in 1962 when his widow, Mary Lowe, and the unmarried
daughter Jean Emily Margaret (always known as 'Peggy') also
moved into Davenport Park Road at No 26. There are
photographs of my brother and I in the grounds of the empty
house in 1965/6. I believe it had been sold to the builders
of Clifford Court who were waiting to get possession of No
177, but I don’t know this for a fact.
After Mary Lowe died in 1971, Peggy moved across to the
other side of Davenport Station, buying a flat in Fircroft
Court on Bramhall Lane. She was a teacher, and became
headteacher at Heaton Moor Infants School which to her
delight was using the very same buildings that her father
William had worked in when they were council offices in the
Brian Lowe also returned to Davenport toward the end of his
life when he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and moved in
to the converted upper floor of my parents’ home in
Davenport Park Road. Thus at the start of the new millennium
all 3 of William Lowe’s children were once again living just
a stone’s throw from Davenport Station.
Clifford Pott and his Court
This Google view from about 2010 shows the large square of
Clifford Court with its central gardens.
In 1963 Clifford Pott, who ran an Estate Agency in
Disley, established - assisted by his wife Joy - North
Cheshire Housing Association Ltd. Their aim was to provide
decent, quality rented homes for local families and older
people in housing need. Edward Barker, a Stockport
solicitor, handled the associated legal work and the firm
was based in Stockport at Barclay’s Bank Chambers, on the
corner of Higher Hillgate and Wellington Road. Air Vice
Marshal Johnnie' Johnson, the British fighter pilot and
Second World War hero, was a friend and associate of
Clifford. After his retirement from the RAF, in 1965, he and
Mr Pott formed a business association which would see them
working alongside each other, for the next 10 years or so.
Early schemes were based on co-ownership, but by 1968 North
Cheshire had moved on to developing Housing Corporation
funded schemes for rent, including Clifton Lodge in
Davenport Park. The site of 177-183 Buxton Road was procured
at this time for their most ambitious project to that date,
Clifford Court, comprising 99 new homes, a mix of
flats for rent and a 38-unit sheltered housing scheme.
In 1974, two flats in Clifford Court were converted into
offices for Clifford Pott, Joy Pott, Johnnie Johnson,
Desmond Oxley (Development Manager) and Gordon Hankinson
(Accountant). In 1976, North Cheshire Housing Association
and Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust went their separate ways;
North Cheshire, which was expanding its operations to cover
other parts of the country, relocated its headquarters to a
large Victorian house not far from Clifford Court at
'Fulstone', 130 Mile End Lane, which became 'Fulstone House'
and remained their headquarters until a move to Cheadle
Hulme in 1998. (Mr Pott had retired in 1987.) In 2014
Fulstone House is a day centre offering treatment for
individuals and their families affected by addiction.
Later projects in our area include Fulstone Mews (behind
'Fulstone'), Devonshire House in Davenport Park (1977),
Swanbourne Gardens, Edgeley (for Pott's newly-formed Equity
Housing Association), the conversion to housing of the
former Royal Oak Brewery in Cooper Street (which took
several years to come to fruition) and the nine properties
for supported living plus nine shared-ownership flats on the
site of the former Adswood Lodge in Stockholm Road, Adswood.
Information on Clifford Court is from '50 Years of Equity', available online as PDF, with thanks
to the compilers of that very interesting booklet.
(From April 2020 Equity became part of Great Places Housing Group.)
To School by Tram - by Mike Booth
This Stockport Corporation Transport 'Scholar's Voucher' was
issued to my father, the late Leslie Booth, for travel by
tram to and from and from school (he obviously failed to
comply with the conditions on the back by returning it
to the transport department on attaining the age of 17). He lived
in Edgeley and went to Stockport School at Mile End, and the
voucher allows travel, by tram only, between Greek Street
and Woodsmoor Lane. It cost six old pence for his seven
years of travel which sounds like a bargain even in those
He would therefore have been travelling on the tram route
shown in the heading photo on this page, daily during school
terms between 1942 and 1949, and at the end of this
time, would have been passing on one side the house where
his future wife was living (Joan Lowe at 179 Buxton Road)
and on the other side the entrance to the road where they
were to live for all but the first two years of their
married life (Davenport Park Road).
Compiled by Charlie Hulme, 2015.
Updated April 2020.