I can be found on the Internet Chess Club. My handle is holtmild. Very fond of both main Holt's ales and a visit to Manchester is unthinkable without getting a pint. It did happen once, some years ago when I took my dad up to his brother's funeral and a visit to a pub was neither possible nor perhaps entirely appropriate.
I grew up with Holt's. The bitter really is genuinely quite bitter to those who do not expect it, and indeed that was once the traditional style of the area. The mild is excellent and thankfully they still do hand-pump rather than the smooth mild.
I'm in Robinson's territory now, and you don't see mild as much.
"People may say what they like about the decay of Christianity; the religious system that produced green Chartreuse can never really die."
Excellent, concise summary there for one of in my opinion most badly named constituencies in the country. Unpronounceable and doesn't represent the melting pot of diversity in between the two named places. Manchester North (and Broughton/Salford East) it ought to be. The name also precludes most from knowing even which city it is in, yet it just about includes Manchester Arena, the location of the tragic attack of 2017. For a City seat it also has swathes of green space in Heaton Park (one of the largest urban parks and features the highest point in the city, as well as hosting Parklife, which brings as much grief to local residents annually as much as the economic prosperity it may well bring) and Boggart Hole Clough, an ancient forest closer to the city. There is everything here from opulent detached houses in leafy Broughton Park to inner city deprivation and degradation in Harpurhey - once ranked the most deprived ward in the country. There is also the Irish World Heritage centre on Queen's Road (next to Metrolink HQ if I'm not mistaken) and a fair few Polski Skleps around the place. Cheetham Hill is trying to become a North Manchester equivalent of Rusholme, while Leicester Road is undoubtedly Manchester's answer to Golder's Green high street. Cheetham Hill also features a Driving Test Centre with one of the lowest pass rates in the country, at 33%.
There is no doubt Mr. Stringer has been part of the furniture here long before his election to Parliament and his majorities reflect his personal standing. A Brexiteer, fitting for a place that was estimated to have narrowly voted Leave - I can imagine all wards but Kersal voting leave. Turnout is now the lowest of all the Manchester constituencies and one of the lowest in the country. It wasn't uncommon to have less than half turnout in the old Blackley seat, and in 2019 at 52.8% was the 5th lowest in the country - managing to do worse than Manchester Central which is usually the lowest in Manchester (and the country). Part of this may be the dubious name (residents of Cheetham would not identify with or have any engagement with neither Blackley nor Broughton) and lack of student vote in this area, which of course has been going up recently and must've helped pull Central's turnout up.
There are five constituencies in the UK which cover parts of two cities. In the case of the Cities of London and Westminster, and Newry and Armagh the clue is in the name; Morley and Outwood contains parts of the Leeds and Wakefield metropolitan districts, both of which have city status; and Belfast West extends outside the Belfast city limits to take in areas which were previously administered by Lisburn city council (since replaced by Lisburn and Castlereagh). Rather like London and Westminster, the fifth one in this list covers a single urban area which has been divided by a rather arbitrary line between two cities: Salford and Manchester. Welcome to Blackley and Broughton.
The Broughton ("Brawton") area refers to the parts of Salford within the modern constituency - the Broughton and Kersal wards, which are cut off from the rest of the city by the River Irwell. Lower Broughton runs seamlessly into the Strangeways area of Manchester and was part of the Manchester-Salford urban sprawl from an early date; Higher Broughton and the Cliff to the north are rather more upmarket areas, with the Broughton Park area being home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the UK. This is included within the Kersal ward, which is named after a riverside area to the west. Kersal is the number 1 Jewish ward in England and Wales, with a Jewish population of 41% at the 2011 census; Broughton makes the top 30 with a Jewish population of 14%, but is very different in character to Kersal in that a majority of its housing is socially-rented.
Much of the Victorian housing in Broughton has been cleared over the years, and we can see the effect of this depopulation in that these two wards cover a very similar area to the Salford North parliamentary constituency of 1885-1950. This seat started off as a closely-fought Liberal-Conservative marginal. At its first election in 1885 Arthur Arnold, one of the outgoing Liberal MPs for Salford, was defeated by former Conservative MP and businessman Edward Hardcastle with a margin of 176 votes, which was cut to 157 votes a year later. Hardcastle stood down in 1892 and Salford North was gained by industrialist and Liberal candidate William Holland, who lost his seat three years later to new Conservative candidate and millowner Frederick Platt-Higgins. Platt-Higgins won his seat by a margin of just six votes, 3,787 to 3,781.
In the Liberal landslide of 1906 Platt-Higgins was defeated by Sir William Byles, editor of the Yorkshire Observer newspaper and very much on the radical wing of the party - Byles had fought Leeds East in the 1900 general election for the Labour Representation Committee on an anti-Boer war ticket. He died in office in 1917, and the resulting Salford North by-election broke the mould with the easy victory of one of the most high-profile figures in the labour movement at the time: the dockers' union leader Ben Tillett. Because the wartime by-election truce was in effect, Tillett stood as an unofficial Labour candidate.
Tillett was re-elected easily in 1918, this time as an official Labour candidate; but the return of the Conservatives at the 1922 election led to a photofinish. Tillett prevailed over the Tories' Samuel Finburgh by 11,368 votes to 11,349, a majority of 19. He slightly increased his majority in 1923, but the third round of Tillett v Finburgh in 1924 resulted in a win for the Conservative by 1,136 votes.
Samuel Finburgh was Jewish, and during his one parliamentary term he spoke up for Jewish applicants for British naturalisation - many of whom lived in his constituency. He stood down in 1929, and once and future Labour MP Leslie Haden-Guest failed to hold Salford North against a returning Ben Tillett who won his final parliamentary term.
Tillett was soundly beaten in the 1931 Labour wipeout by new Conservative candidate John Morris, a stockbroker who had served in the Great War with the Royal Engineers. Like his predecessor Samuel Finburgh, Morris stood up for his Jewish constituents. In 1933 he was one of the first MPs to highlight the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. He stood down in 1945 and Salford North comfortably returned to the Labour column: the new MP was William McAdam, a railway union official. McAdam's seat disappeared in the 1950 redistribution, which cut Salford's representation from three seats to two, and he retired.
We now turn our attention over the city boundary to Blackley ("Blakeley"). Blackley and Crumpsall have been part of the city of Manchester since 1890, which was too late for the great redistribution of 1885 which created the single-member constituency system we have today. Accordingly the villages of Blackley and Crumpsall were included at the time within the Prestwich constituency, which sprawled around the north-eastern side of Manchester to include Failsworth, Droylsden and Mossley. Much of this area is now built up, and Crumpsall in particular still retains much of its Victorian housing stock. Areas in the southern end of the present seat, such as Cheetham Hill and Harpurhey, were incorporated into Manchester earlier and accordingly have been in Manchester constituencies since the 19th century; Cheetham Hill was placed in Manchester North West, Harpurhey in Manchester North.
Cheetham Hill used to be a strongly Jewish area, but Islam has now taken over there; 43% of the residents of the 2004-2016 Cheetham ward are Muslim, which is in the top 60 figures in England and Wales. The Crumpsall ward to its north comes just outside the top 100 Muslim wards. Further north from there are the council estates and high-rises of Blackley proper, which were developed by Manchester Corporation between the wars; the two wards covering this area, Higher Blackley and Charlestown, are white working-class areas with high levels of social housing. The fifth Manchester ward in the seat, Harpurhey, is demographically similar, but Harpurhey and parts of Crumpsall have been subject to slum clearance and redevelopment over the years, resulting in generally newer housing stock. The Higher Blackley ward also includes the constituency's largest open space: Heaton Park, which was sold to Manchester Corporation by the Earl of Wilton in 1902 and since then has formed one of Europe's largest municipal parks.
The 1918 redistribution created a Manchester Blackley constituency based on Blackley and Crumpsall, which remained little changed until the addition of Broughton in 2010. All three of the candidates for Manchester Blackley at its first election in 1918 became MPs in due course. First out of the blocks was Conservative candidate Harold Briggs, director of a firm of soft goods merchants, who won the inaugural Blackley election quite comfortably with 55% of the vote. Second in that election with 25% was Arnold Townend, who would go on to win the 1925 Stockport by-election and served in that seat until the 1931 wipeout. Third was Liberal candidate Philip Oliver, a barrister on the radical wing of the party who had done good work with the Red Cross during the war; he was appointed CBE for that in 1920. Both Briggs and Oliver were supporters of the coalition government, which decided not to choose between them for the coupon.
That was the first of five occasions in which Harold Briggs and Philip Oliver fought each other for Manchester Blackley, which turned into a competitive seat with strong votes for all three main parties. The Liberal Oliver won comfortably in 1923 (when he was not opposed by Labour) and by the narrow margin of 888 votes in a three-way marginal contest in 1929. In 1931 the Tories nominated a new candidate, John Lees-Jones, who defeated Oliver comfortably; and there was almost no swing in 1935.
The 1945 election broke the mould in Manchester Blackley, as Labour came from third place to win the seat for the first time. The new MP was Jack Diamond, an accountant from Leeds for whom this was the first step in a long political career. He won in 1945 by the safe margin of 4,814 votes, but that majority was cut to 42 votes in 1950 when Diamond defeated the Conservtive candidate by 21,392 votes to 21,350.
In 1951 the Conservatives' Eric Johnson defeated Diamond by 2,272 votes, and a rematch between Johnson and Diamond in 1955 saw the Conservative increase his majority. Diamond subsequently returned to the Commons by winning the Gloucester by-election in 1957; he served in Cabinet from 1968 to 1970 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and later led the SDP group in the House of Lords.
Eric Johnson was to date the last Conservative MP for Blackley. He was defeated in 1964 by Labour MP Paul Rose, a left-wing barrister and humanist who won that year with a margin of 1,222 votes. Aged 28, Rose was the youngest Labour MP at the time of his election. In his subsequent parliamentary career Rose was only one seriously challenged at the ballot box in what became an increasingly-Labour seat - in 1970, when his majority over the Tories was 2,599 votes.
Paul Rose retired from the Commons in 1979 after being successfully sued for libel by the Moonies, and went back to the law - he ended up as a deputy circuit judge and coroner for Croydon. His replacement in the Commons was Ken Eastham, an engineer and Manchester councillor whose position on the green benches was shored up by the 1983 redistribution which brought Harpurhey into the seat. Since then, Labour have not seriously been challenged here. Eastham's last re-election came in 1992 with a 12,389 majority over Conservative candidate William Hobhouse, whose wife Wera is now the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath; William and Wera both defected to the Lib Dems in 2005, and William fought Blackley and Broughton again in 2010 as the Lib Dem candidate.
Ken Eastham retired in 1997 and was replaced by a high-profile local figure very much in the same left-wing political mould. Graham Stringer, who has served as MP for Blackley ever since, was the leader of Manchester city council from 1984 to 1996. (His successor in that role Sir Richard Leese, councillor for Crumpsall ward, remains in situ to this day.) In that election he defeated Conservative candidate Stephen Barclay, who some years later came to prominence as the final Brexit secretary.
Stringer failed to make the transition from local leader to national leader, and has generally remained on the Labour backbenches through a Commons career of more than two decades. He campaigned for Leave in the 2016 referendum, and was a prominent Labour eurosceptic in the subsequent Brexit debates.
Stringer's constituency is mostly dominated by Labour at local election time, with one prominent exception: the Kersal ward of Salford. This had targeted by the Conservatives for many years, and they finally broke through in a March 2017 by-election amid a perfect storm of controversy over Jeremy Corbyn's party's antisemitism and Salford council annoying the ward's gentile vote by failing to get to grips with issues surrounding Salford City football club, whose stadium is in the ward and whose rapid promotion through the league system has suddenly brought severe matchday traffic problems to Kersal. The Tories won a second seat in Kersal at the 2018 local elections with 59% of the vote, even higher than traditional Conservative Salford wards like Worsley; the by-election winner, rabbi Arnold Saunders, was re-elected similarly comfortably in 2019. The last Labour seat in Kersal has been vacant for more than a year.
In 2019 Graham Stringer was re-elected for a seventh term of office as MP for Blackley and Broughton. He defeated the Conservatives by 62% to 25%, a majority of 14,402 on the fifth-lowest turnout in the UK, just under 53%. Stringer turned 70 in 2020. While there is a strong possibility that the Boundary Commission will make major changes to his seat next time round, there's no reason to believe that the successor to the Blackley and Broughton constituency will not elect a Labour MP at the next general election.
Post by Robert Waller on Mar 23, 2021 10:43:58 GMT
Owner-occupied 36.5% 625/650 Private rented 23.6% 79/650 Social rented 37.3% 17/650 White 68.0% 583/650 Black 8.3% 60/650 Asian 17.0% 57/650 Jewish 7.2% 7/650 Managerial & professional 19.0% Routine & Semi-routine 30.8% Never worked 11.1% 10/650 Degree level 19.8% 524/650 No qualifications 31.8% 63/650 Students 11.4% 109/650 Age 65+ 11.2% 586/650
General election 2019: Blackley and Broughton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Graham Stringer 23,887 61.9 -8.6 Conservative Alexander Elias 9,485 24.6 +3.0 Brexit Party James Buckley 2,736 7.1 Liberal Democrats Iain Donaldson 1,590 4.1 +2.3 Green David Jones 920 2.4 +1.3
I had no idea until this morning that Moston had a colliery until 1950, and that therefore Manchester was a coal-mining city
Also, close to the city centre, was Bradford Colliery. Closed in the late '60s due to subsidence rather than running out of coal, the site was redeveloped for the Commonwealth Games and is now home to the Etihad Stadium. A council ward named Bradford survived until the 2018 boundary changes.
The NCB paid a lot of compensation to St. Patrick's, Collyhurst for work that was required to be done due to the pit tunnels that ran under the Church. Some of it helped to pay for the Centre for the Deaf. When I worked at the Little Sisters' of the Poor Nursing Home, Longsight, for a while during the miners strike, several of the old residents were ex-miners, which made for some forceful shushing by the nuns when our coach to Walsingham was stopped on the Nottingham border by police.