Bradford Hotel – 461 Mill St – Openshaw – Manchester – M11 2AD

12 Aug

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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13 Responses to “Bradford Hotel – 461 Mill St – Openshaw – Manchester – M11 2AD”

  1. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Save Britain’s Heritage Hello again,

    please can you send me pics of this building too for possible ‘scandals’ section and any more information? I can credit you for the photos. Email again is rhiannon.tracy@bristolalum​ Thanks!
    08 October 2010 at 15:35


  2. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Philip Bell second good call
    18 September 2010 at 07:07


  3. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Jon Garry Bow, you are absolutely 100% correct xxx
    18 September 2010 at 01:39


  4. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Bowler Bowles I’m sure the Council if it wanted to, could find a loop hole somewhere and if that fails, there seems to be a lot of arsonists in Manchester!
    17 September 2010 at 20:08


  5. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Philip Bell grade 1 listed..can’t be touched EVER…
    17 September 2010 at 19:41


  6. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Bowler Bowles I’m probably referring to the Victorian architects that built the City. I can imagine most of them are on a leash so to say, the same as most of us. Real shame really as we could have some truly astounding architecture on our skylines. We m…See more
    17 September 2010 at 18:42


  7. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Philip Bell Civic Archirects are the lapdogs of the Chief Executive, its not the Architects that calls the shots, its the developer and the fiscal outcomes. My brother tells me that Architects when allowed to design `can` but too often they are out gunned by a commitee ie the Ancoats Health Centre, they had to redesign the development 7 X, until it was unrecognisable from its primary drawings…never again he said.
    17 September 2010 at 18:12


  8. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Bowler Bowles Would love to hear what the architects would say. I imagine for most of them it’s not very glamorous at all and that very few ever see their work built. I think it’s a shame the Council’s don’t employ civic architects no more. I think Leeds is the only one in the country. I’m sure there is loads of politics involved as in every line of work, but it’s a shame, but creativity isn’t expressed in the new builds. I would be hard pushed to name a decent housing project in Manchester. Beetham Tower is a disgrace and what a waste of a golden opportunity to put Manchester on the map properly and not imaginary like the Council like us to believe. Beetham Tower is certainly no Chrysler Building.

    I know of Stephenson Bell. I like the pavilion they built.

    If Manchester is going to destroy it’s past then it’s future as to be much bolder, braver and creative that what we are getting so far. I just positive we’ll fail on this!
    17 September 2010 at 16:51


  9. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Philip Bell good call, excellent, you need to hear the views from an Architects perspective as well, my brother has a company called Stephenson and Bell. Look it up on google.
    17 September 2010 at 16:37


  10. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Bowler Bowles Evolution? I don’t think so. It’s called stripping an area of every asset it as, destroying any history it as, fragment the already fractured community even more. Force people into their cars so they can drive to Council promoted Asdas/ Tescos, which no doubt many Councillors and MPs have a personal stake in. It is land grabbing in poor, neglected areas where there is little resistance since the communities that reside there have been there before, notably when 1 in 3 people in Manchester were forcibly moved in the slum clearances in the 1970s and 1980s. Did communities gain then? Were any lessons learnt? Did Miles Platting benefit? Did Openshaw or Collyhurst benefit? Progress is one thing, taking two steps back is another, which Manchester City Council and consecutive Governments are very good at. Manchester is not a world city, it will never be as it’s only interested in a narrow vision of it’s self, that is, just the so called City Centre. People call Manchester “Town” for a reason, because it’s small, quite insignificant. It was more a city in the Victorian age! Manchester never learns to build on what it as. It thinks it can just spawn communities. Did the experiment of Wythenshawe work? Utilize what communities have and then build on that foundation. Embrace it’s history and embellish it with greater achievements. In replace of the Bradford Hotel Public House, do you think Openshaw will get anyone as radical as Gaudi or Sir Christopher Wren or even closer to home Middleton son, Edgar Wood who designed the arts & craft inspired, First Church of Christ Scientist in Daisy Bank Road, Rusholme. The answer is no. If it is to be replaced by new housing it will very basically and just about ameliorate poor living standards endured in the area. It won’t however inspire, it won’t be a civic building that the community can take pride in, it won’t be a building that showcases the community, it won’t be beautiful – if people don’t think beauty isn’t important then they are disillusioned – it won’t connect the community either. It will however, be cheaply built, poorly designed. built not to last. Built not for the community, more to simply just tolerate them. Built for personal gain, rather than for the interest of the community. It will not be built to lift the moral and spirit of the community or engender a sense of creativity. All of which architecture can do. Like most buildings in Manchester built today, it will rise simply for function of which it’s residents become the cogs, just like when our ancestors were herded into the hell on earth which were the mills….
    17 September 2010 at 10:26


  11. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Jules Ingham ITS CALLED EVOLUTION my friend 😦
    17 September 2010 at 04:41


  12. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Bowler Bowles Yeah, just snapping though. Camera a tad limited. Just worth documenting rather than any artistic value.
    16 September 2010 at 23:59


  13. historyme August 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Karina Douglas were you the photographer? Very good
    16 September 2010 at 23:56


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