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The Trams of Stockport Road, 1924

Local History

The Trams of Stockport Road, 1924

Stockport Road in Longsight now sees some of the busiest traffic in Manchester. But it was a very different story back in 1924.

The Number 37 tram, which once ran along the route to Stockport, had no difficulties with vehicle hold-ups or congestion.

Stockport Road with tram cables and tracks visible and Ardwick Empire advert to the left, and Slade Lane to the Right
Stockport Road with tram cables and tracks visible and Ardwick Empire advert to the left, and Slade Lane to the Right – Source: The Changing Face of Manchester, iNostalgia Publishing / MirrorPix

Manchester Corporation had gradually electrified its trams and there were more than 200 miles of tram tracks by the mid-1920s.

Then, in 1930, Manchester became the first city to start replacing its trams with motor buses.

All the trams had gone by 1949 and none were seen here until Metrolink in 1992.

Buildings line the junction with Slade Lane in our original image which clearly shows the power lines and tram tracks over the intersection.

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Modern-day Stockport Road with Slade Lane (right)
Modern-day Stockport Road with Slade Lane (right)Source: The Changing Face of Manchester, iNostalgia Publishing / MirrorPix

All the low-level Victorian buildings have now gone to be replaced by green verges although the rebuilt rail bridge remains.

In the 1924 photograph, a large billboard on the left advertises a night out at the nearby Ardwick Empire, which was situated on the corner of Stockport Road and Hyde Road.

Opened in July 1904 with a variety show by the Fred Karno Company, the Empire was designed by renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham.

It operated part time as a cinema in the early 1930s, but was refurbished and renamed the New Manchester Hippodrome in 1935.

The original Manchester Hippodrome, also built in 1904, was demolished after being sold to the Granada cinema chain.

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Written By

Former daily newspaper editor and group editorial director for leading national media brands, Malcolm is a regular contributor to the iNostalgia National History with a love for our national heritage.

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