The Bradford Hotel was one of the last remaining Victorian Public Houses in Openshaw, Manchester when is was demolished in September, 2010. Sadly succumbing like so many before it to planning and the latest in a long line of regeneration plans for the area. It appears that the building and its fine architecture and history were nothing more than an obstacle on a CAD drawing.
The Bradford Hotel had served Openshaw well for over 100 years and it is seen in the pictures in 1964 at the very heart of the community and was still in use some months before the owner sold the property to those who only sought to demolition it in 2010.
Yet another piece of history gone and with it another rare resource in this part of Manchester. However, demolition in this area was nothing new and we can also see that in the picture from 1971 that “slum clearances” had already started has they had already in other areas throughout Manchester. Policies and destruction that would forever help to destroy whole communities.
Instead linking these rare assets together and seeing the virtue in keeping them, connecting communities, whilst forces outside the reach and control of the community have always been too quick and ready to move and demolish them. Opting to start from scratch rather utilize what assets communities already have, in particular historic assets. They know full well that once it’s gone, people move on. What these forces do not understand is that by losing these historical and social assets, the communities become fragmented, people lose the very things that enable us all to bond and be human – the necessity to communicate and interact. It is in our nature to do this and yet these forces do their upmost to destroy these fragile and most important backbones of our communities.
If justification for demolition of historic buildings including the Bradford Hotel can ever be justified it is only by providing the community with a superior replacement, both in quality, aesthetic beauty, function and it’s ability to engage the community. Time will only tell if this is the case and in the meantime, people will just have to endure, blighted by such policies, sometimes for decades in the hope that regeneration” brings community betterment.
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