Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look in 2017.
This week it’s the turn of Manchester Road in Chorlton-cum-Hardy and the familiar landmarks of the former Gaumont Cinema, now the Co-op Funeral Home, and the former snooker hall, now the Sedge Lynn pub.
Our first picture dates from 1958 when the Gaumont’s feature film was the murder drama The Whole Truth, starring Stewart Granger, Donna Reed and George Sanders.
A policeman helps uniformed schoolchildren cross the road which was much quieter in 1958 – there were far fewer cars then! There’s a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights in the same spot now. And the tree in front of the Gaumont has grown quite a lot in the 59 years that separate our two photos!
The snooker hall, now the JD Wetherspoon pub the Sedge Lynn, started life in 1907 as a very different kind of watering hole – a Temperance Billiard Hall! It was one of a number of similar halls built in Northern England and London. The Temperance movement campaigned for complete abstinence or teetotalism and pressed the government to pass stringent laws on the availability of alcohol.
Chorlton Library is to the right of the Sedge Lynn. It was built in 1914 to a design by Manchester City Council architect Harry Price and was funded by a £5,000 donation from steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It was one of about 3,000 Carnegie libraries around the world.
Both the Sedge Lynn and the library are Grade II listed buildings.
If you have any memories of the Gaumont or this part of Manchester, we’d love to hear them. Just contact the M.E.N. or leave a comment on the iNostalgia Facebook pages.
*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.
It’s on sale at £14.99 including postage and packing. Order your copy online at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.