Still Standing! Blackley Tramway Office

Another trip to Greater Manchester for this latest edition of “Still Standing!”.

This edition is a bit of a possibility as there is no evidence that this was definitely used as a tramway building but what is known is that it was at this location  in 1915 (according to OS maps) with a tramway crossover immediately outside. It was also known as the Tramway Office in the local area which suggests that either it was called that because it was by the tramway or did have some use for the tramway at some point. It is located on Rochdale Road in Blackley.

An image of the building on Rochdale Road. (Photograph by Keith Chadbourne)

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2 Responses to Still Standing! Blackley Tramway Office

  1. Mike Baron says:

    This is correct. But like all these Manchester Corporation Tramways buildings, it was known as either “Blackley Tram Office” or simply “Blackley Office”. The same use was noted all over town (Chorlton Office etc). There was an Inspector/Timekeeper stationed there, a W.C and also a time clock. At one time, Blackley Office sported an awning too – cast iron with a glass roof and very useful in the rain. It was opened when the electric trams reached this point in 1901 and was also the stop for the local park, known as “Boggart Hole Clough”. What isn’t easy to see is that the ground behind Balckley Office falls away sharply (you can see the angle of the little black car on the left going down hill towards Blackley Village) and the main road to the left, after the traffic lights, climbs quite steeply and was known as Valentine Brew. The road, incidentally is Rochdale Road. When the routes were numbered in 1914, this was the terminus of the 18, while the 17 continued to Middleton. After 1928 when the last Manchester tramways extension was built to Heywood (via Middleton), the Heywood route was numbered 18 and the car to Blackley Office became 18E. There were in the end five tram services using this stop – 18E High Street to Blackley Office; 18 High Street to Heywood; 17A High Street to Middleton; 17 High Street to Rochdale and 15 a complicated U-shaped half-circular that ran from Greenheys to Victoria Avenue with alternate cars travelling outward via either Rochdale Road or Cheetham Hill Road and inward vice versa. The Rochdale Road routes were abandoned from 1932 with the closure of the Rochdale route and the remaining tracks went in 1935 with the closure of the 16 Middleton to Middleton Junction route whose cars were stabled at Queen’s Road. Until Manchester dispensed with Guards (conductors) in the late 70s, they would all call out “Blackley Office” as an important stop serving three major hospitals as well as ICI and Connolly’s Cables.

  2. John Hibbert says:

    There were a number of these offices – I recall the one at Edge Lane, at the Droylsden/Manchester boundary. They also served as offices for the MCT Parcels Dept service. My memory is that it survived into trolleybus/motor bus days.
    Also, well into the 1970s at least there was a sign on a former traction pole at Belle Vue, at the site of a siding on Hyde Road, which read “Motor vehicles must not be parked on the siding”.

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