Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Oxford above, Rochdale below


All is quiet on the Rochdale canal towpath as Oxford Street goes about its business above, where there are some fine examples of late 19th and early 20th century architecture. The white building is St. James', built 100 years ago.  It was once a theatre and music hall, home to the dance troupe the Tiller Girls and their infamous dance routines. The 9th floor was evidently made up entirely of executive toilets...

I sometimes work in the office building on the the left, Churchgate House (built in 1898) and will share its dramatic looking frontage another time...  

Linked to the Our World Tuesday blog

15 comments:

  1. I like this picture a lot, the perfect light, the canal and the charming facades...perfect image!
    hugs
    Léia

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I would have taken a very long time to pick this as Manchester – it’s a city I simply don’t know.

    Cheers

    Stewart M - Australia (late of UK)

    ReplyDelete
  3. i like the perspective on this and that white building is beautiful..funny, a whole floor dedicated to exec toilets?! can't wait to see more of the brown building :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very nice Chrissy. Love the buildings.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ... and the Tiller Girls are?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wikipedia: The Tiller Girls were among the most popular dance troupes of the 1900s, first formed by John Tiller in Manchester, England, in 1890. Whilst on visits to the theatre, Tiller had noticed the overall effect of a chorus of dancers was often spoiled by lack of discipline. Tiller found that by linking arms the dancers could dance as one; he is credited with inventing precision dance. Possibly most famous for their high-kicking routines, the Tiller Girls were highly trained and precise.

      Delete
  6. Wonderful that the buildings are taken much care of. Please have a good Wednesday ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, what a place, love that canal. Do you walk there @ lunch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a lovely, and historical, walk under the streets and along the canal down to Castlefield Basin, where my weekly top shot was this past week Madge.

      Delete
  8. The buildings have withstood the test of time and are in great condition. They must get lots of loving care. - Margy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great,
    Best regards from France,

    Pierre

    ReplyDelete
  10. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I used to work in St James Buildings in the early 1960s when it was the headquarters of CPA (The Calico Priters Association). The inside was superbly ancient with marble and dark wood everywhere. To cap it off there were rickety old lifts (elevators)with a magnificent entrance hall. CPA had been the UK's largest producer of printed textiles and their factories and mills were dotted around Lancashire, Cheshire and north Derbyshire plus one or two in Scotland. I remember evocative names like Loveclough, Carrbrook and Strines.Their printworks factory at Newton Bank (Hyde)is still there but seems in decline.PS I remember the executive toilets but not sure if I ever ventured in there.I think the security vaults they had may still function.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful memory you have- do you have any photos you could share of the building back then in the Sixties?

      Delete
    2. Sadly, I have no photos, Chrissy, but not quite sure if you mean of the outside or the inside of the building. On the Manchester City Council website, there is a link to their photographic archive. I found some quite old photos of Oxford Street on there (1940s and 1950s) mainly by looking for the Odeon cinema. You may find St James Buildings on there also. Incidentally, I recall the company dining room which was (I think) at ground floor level and you got to it down a corridor round the back of the lifts and reception area. The walls were painted scenes (murals). I can't recall the theme but it was either "travel" or "industry". I think "management" were kept apart from "the workers" in the dining room but memory is somewhat vague. The company really was vast and something of a machine as it merged and bought out its rivals. I could reminisce at some length of the characters I worked with but perhaps some other time. Invite yourself in there some time and have a nosey. I only rarely get into Manchester so it will be some months before I get down there. I'll let you know what I find.

      Delete