This report from 1931
The Rochdale Canal was bordered by either warehouses or factories. Industries included cotton,chemicals and various engineering works as well as the Bradford Road Gas Works
The bulk of the ward was inhabited by less well paid members of the working class composed of small drab streets in monotonous rows, often in narrow streets and between 60-80 years old. Towards the south there were slums, old damp ill ventilated and verminous
The authors were scathing of the facilities, a small bowling green, a considerable distance away from where the majority live and an area of wasteland. There was no secondary school and therefore not many children received any secondary education, there was also no public library
Smoke was a big problem, carried on the west wind from the rest of Manchester, from many of the industries in the area and from the burning f raw coal in the home as well as the noxious odours of chemical origin.
The report concluded that the district is one which reached few standards acceptable today, its houses practically all cramped, small, and lacking any comfort or convenience, some of the worst damp or insanitary hovels.
Miles Platting, part of the township of Newton, was a product of the Industrial Revolution in this part of East Manchester, not mentioned at all before 1820 and the origins of its name uncertain.
Growing up alongside the Rochdale Canal, it became a hub of industry, mills, chemical works and a tannery were all established by the second half of the nineteenth century with the most famous of the mills, Victoria, still standing today on Varley Street, although they closed in the 1960’s.
Designed by the famous Bolton architect George Woodhouse, it was built for William Holland who moved his textile business to Miles Platting from his Adephi Mill in Salford. Today the six storey building is used for apartments, the NHS and community office space.
Miles Platting was also home to the Tripe Colony, the name given to the streets of terraced houses bordered by Clifton Street, Lord North Street and Hulme Hall Lane, built by the Pendlebury family who owned the local tripe factory and shops. Many of his residents worked in the tripe industry and the cottages were only finally demolished in the 1990’s.
Hardman and Holden were a chemical Company and will be forever assocaited with Miles Platting’s blue pigeons, with the colouring caused by consuming the coal, the result of contamination with a by-product of the purification of coal-gas which not only turned the pigeons blue but also the resultant streets.
Frank Pritchard in his memories of East Manchester also describes the area
“the workers were housed in hundreds of rows of smoke blackened dwellings. Engineering factories, foundries, chemical works…pumped an endless stream of foul-smelling fumes into the atmosphere. The state of affairs was tolerated for the simple reason that it was the livelihood of most of the inhabitants.”
Nearly all has gone, fire and demolition saw off the last of the remnants of that industrial culture, the Ace of Diamonds Public House on Oldham Road, the Playhouse Theatre, the Unitarian Chapel, the railway station and the Empress Electric Theatre all have vanished in the last twenty years
Stretching from Great Ancoats Street and lying south of Oldham Road up to its junction with Hulme Hall Road, today much of the old has been swept away, part of the East Manchester regeneration area and has benefited from new social housing developments, a library and a swimming pool