|Graeme House and Safeway, 1971|
I guess it is simply because we take it for granted and don’t even see it as history.
Added to which it is sometimes quite difficult to track down the story.
So when I washed up in Chorlton in the mid 1970s the shopping precinct, Graeme House and that car park were a done deal, but only just.
They had replaced a set of houses and cut Manchester Road in two leaving just two properties as witness to what had once been.
|Shops to let, 1971|
And to date I have found just a handful of photographs recording the demolished houses which ran along Wilbraham Road, Manchester Road, and Barlow Moor Road.
Part of the problem is that such developments don’t warrant being recorded in history books, so Mr Lloyd’s two books skip over the building of the precinct and the book written by Cliff Hayes has just a picture.*
|From the Guardian, 1973|
All of which just leaves the local newspapers which will have recorded the events.
|Graeme House and car park, 1973|
Sadly I am no nearer to knowing why it was called Graeme House.
Intriguingly I did come across Graeme Shankand who was a planning consultant and architect who worked on projects in the North West.
It is a tenuous link but in the process did introduce me to a very interesting architect, who played an important part in founding the William Morris Society.
|The precinct, 1973|
So for now I shall close with the memory of shopping in Safeway not long after it had opened in the precinct.
It was bright, busy and at the time the biggest supermarket in Chorlton, and for a while continued to operate after its bigger store had opened by the old railway station.
Now that should have been the end but to reaffirm that simple observation that history is messy, only hours after I posted the story Ste Passant suggested that the office block may have been named after Henry John Greame Lloyd who cropped up on a legal document.
Now I rather think that he was part of the Lloyd family that owned a large part of Chorlton coming from the same area and leaving £151,021 10s on his death in 1919.
All of which just leaves me to go off and search the records.
Pictures; the Shopping Precinct and Graeme House, H.Milligan, 1971, m17408, m19763, m17832, m17405 and Graeme House, The Guardian, October 22, 1973, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass
*The Township of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, 1972, Looking Back at Chorlton-cum-Hardy, John M Lloyd, 1985, CHORLTON-CUM-HARDY, Cliff Hayes, 1999
** Graeme Shankand, John Kay, http://www.morrissociety.org/publications/JWMS/W84-85.6.2.Kay.pdf
*** Buldoze and be damned, Terence Bendixson, the Guardian January 8 1969