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Stockport Pyramid
Stockport Pyramid

The town had a population of 136,082 according to the 2001 Census, with the wider borough having a population of 284,528. Although suburbs such as Woodford, Greater Manchester, Bramhall and Hazel Grove rank amongst the wealthiest areas of the United Kingdom and 45% of the borough is green space, districts such as Adswood and Brinnington suffer from widespread poverty and post-industrial decay. In the north-west of the borough are the relatively prosperous areas of Heaton Moor and Heaton Mersey, which together with Heaton Chapel and Heaton Norris comprise the so-called Four Heatons.

Opinions on the general quality of life in Stockport greatly differ.[citation needed] In its favour, some highlight its proximity to Manchester, and its abundance of amenities; but its perceived grittiness and loutish youth culture earned it 12th place in the internet-based 2004 guide Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places To Live In The UK (however, given that its fellows on this list were places such as Oxford, Winchester, Liverpool (European Capital of Culture 2008), and tiny London commuter belt villages, the relevance of the list is disputed).

Stockport Central Library
Stockport Central Library

[edit] Economy

Stockport's principal commercial district is located in the town centre, with branches of most high-street stores to be found in the Merseyway Shopping Centre or The Peel Centre. Grand Central Leisure boasts an Olympic sized swimming pool, a ten-screen cinema, bars, a bowling alley, health complex, and several restaurants. Stockport is located seven miles (10 km) from Manchester city centre, making it convenient for commuters and shoppers.

[edit] Places of interest

Stockport is home to the following:

The Market, Stockport
The Market, Stockport
  • Bramall Hall is a superb example of a "Cheshire Black and White" timber framed manor house, with origins dating back to the Middle Ages. The property presents the visitor with a historic record spanning six centuries.
  • Stockport boasts the UK's only hat museum, the "Hat Works" based in Wellington Mill - a thriving hat factory in Victorian times.[8]
  • Stockport Viaduct is one of the western Europe's biggest brick structures,[9] the 111 feet (34 m) high, four-track railway viaduct over the River Mersey on the line to Manchester which represents a major feat of Victorian engineering, built in 21 months at a cost of £70,000. Eleven million bricks were used in its construction, opening in 1842. The foundation stone was laid on March 10, 1839.
  • Staircase House is a Grade II* listed medieval townhouse in the Market Place. The building has been modified several times, but is probably the oldest secular building in Stockport.[10]
  • Stockport Story Museum, detailing over 10,000 years of Stockport's history. This museum has free admission and is housed within Staircase House.
  • Stockport Town Hall, with its ballroom, described by Poet Laureate, John Betjeman as 'magnificent' containing the largest Wurlitzer theatre organ in Britain designed by Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas.
  • Stockport College with sites in the town centre and Heaton Moor
  • Underbank Hall in the centre of Stockport is a late 16th century timber framed building, built as the townhouse of the Arderne family from nearby Bredbury. It remained in the family until 1823, and since 1824 has been used as a bank. The current main banking hall lies behind the 16th century part and dates from 1915.[10] The building is listed Grade II*.
  • Stockport Air Raid Shelters is a museum based around the underground tunnels dug during World War II to protect local inhabitants during air raids
  • Vernon Park. This is the main municipal park, located a short distance to the east towards Bredbury. It was opened on September 20th, 1858 on the anniversary of the Battle of Alma in the Crimean War. Named after Lord Vernon who presented the land for the park to the town.
  • St. Elisabeth's church, Reddish, and model village. Mill community designed in the main by Alfred Waterhouse for the workers from Houldsworth Mill, at the time the largest cotton mill in the world.

[edit] Transport

The Manchester orbital M60 motorway and A6 road to London cross at Stockport. Stockport railway station is a mainline station on the Manchester spur of the West Coast Main Line. Manchester Airport (Ringway), the busiest in the UK outside London, is located five miles (8 km) southwest of the town.

[edit] Sports

Stockport is home to two professional sports teams, both of which play at Edgeley Park stadium. Stockport County FC play in Coca-Cola Football League Two; their claim to fame is that they currently hold the record for the most consecutive Football League wins without conceding a goal with nine, achieved in 2007.

Sale Sharks Rugby Union Club share use of the stadium; they won the Guinness Premiership title in 2006 and boast current England internationals Mark Cueto, Charlie Hodgson, Andrew Sheridan and Andy Titterrell; Scotland's Jason White as well as capped overseas stars including Sébastien Chabal, Sébastien Bruno, Ignacio Fernández Lobbe.

Stockport Metro Swimming Club, based at Grand Central Pools is the most successful British swimming club, through the last 3 Olympic Games, Stockport Metro swimmers have claimed 50% of British swimming's medal haul. In the 1996 Atlanta games Graeme Smith won bronze in the 1500m freestyle and in the 2004 Athens games Stephen Parry won bronze in 200m butterfly.

Stockport has three Athletics Clubs, which are Manchester Harriers & AC, Stockport Harriers & AC, and DASH Athletics Club. Manchester Harriers train at William Scholes' Playing Fields in Gatley, and they organise highly-regarded schools cross country races throughout the winter. Stockport Harriers are based at Woodbank Park in Offerton, and have several International middle-distance and endurance athletes including Steve Vernon. DASH Athletics Club are the newest Club in Stockport based at both Hazel Grove Recreation Centre,and the Regional Athletics Arena at Sportcity in Manchester. In 2006 DASH AC Coach Geoff Barratt was UK Athletics' Development Coach of the Year, and in 2007 the club won England Athletics North West Junior Club and North West Overall Club of The Year accolades.

[edit] Notable people

As one of the larger towns in the UK, Stockport and its surrounding villages have had many notable residents throughout their history including dashing weatherman Chris Fawkes, actor Dominic Monaghan, best-known for his role in the movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings (who attended Aquinas College in Stockport), John Amaechi, NBA Star and activist, novelist Christopher Isherwood, engineer Sir Joseph Whitworth, tennis player Fred Perry, judge John Bradshaw and architect Norman Foster. Distinguished first-class cricketers Fred Ridgway and Maurice Tremlett were born in Stockport and played test cricket for England.[11][12]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. , a b Arrowsmith (1997), p. 23.
  2. , a b Mills, A D (1997). Dictionary of English Place-Names (2nd ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280074-4. 
  3. , a b Local History. Stockport MBC web pages. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
  4. , Stockport Castle. Pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved on 2008-01-05.
  5. , Old Stopfordians' Association. Stockport Grammar School web pages. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
  6. , Engels, Frederick [1845] (1969). "The great Towns", The Condition of the Working Class in England. Panther. “Stockport is renowned throughout the entire district as one of the duskiest, smokiest holes, and looks, indeed, especially when viewed from the viaduct, excessively repellent.” 
  7. , Twin towns. Stockport.gov.uk. Retrieved on 2008-05-19.
  8. , Hat Works Web Site
  9. , Stockport Railway Viaduct.
  10. , a b Arrowsmith, Peter (1996). Recording Stockport's Past: Recent Investigations of Historic Sites in the Borough of Stockport. Stockport: Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. ISBN 0-905164-20-2. 
  11. , Fred Ridgway player profile. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-27.
  12. , Wisden Cricket Monthly. Maurice Tremlett player profile. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-27.

[edit] Bibliography

  • Arrowsmith, Peter (1997). Stockport: a History. Stockport: Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. ISBN 0-905164-99-7. 

[edit] External links

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