St Michaels Middleton

St Michaels Middleton

St Michaels Middleton is the parish church for Tonge and Alkrington and has been situated in Townley Street since 1839. The original church was pulled down and the foundation stone for the present one was laid in 1901.

There have been a number of changes to the existing building since then, there was a nave built in 1912, the tower was added to the main structure in 1926, also at that time a daughter church was built on Kenyon Lane called the “Holy Innocents’ Church”. To specifically serve the people of Tonge. Holy Innocents’ Church remained open until 1978, but its congregation was forced to join those at St Michael’s. St Michael’s and the Holy Innocents’ Chapel and Memorial area were completed in 1981.

In 1990, the vicarage or “Old Vic” as it is known, was purchased by the church to be used as a community centre and the vicarage was relocated to Kirkway.

Both of the following photos are from our past but clearly show the building before and after sandblasting which took place around 1977, please give us your views with regards to which “look” you prefer.


St Michaels Middleton
Taken 5th August 1976
Kindly supplied by Harold Howarth

And after:

St Michaels Middleton
Taken March 1977 photo kindly supplied by Harold Howarth

Which do you prefer?

Queensway Rochdale

Queensway Rochdale

Queensway Rochdale

 Photo from Harold Howarth

  Gordon Monks Look at the cigarette price (under 1p a ciggie)!
18 November 2013 at 18:18


  Rochdale Past, Present & for 10p lol
18 November 2013 at 18:19


  Gordon Monks This must be around 1968; I remember Stuyvesant 100s (luxury length) were 5/- for 20 – very expensive!
18 November 2013 at 18:21


  Rochdale Past, Present & Future.after decimalisation that though, was it 12 pennys to a shilling, thay would be 46 pennies? glad I wasn’t around or at least responsable when that happened, I still don’t get it is a shilling 5p or 12 pennies lol
18 November 2013 at 18:22


 Gordon Monks Before decimalisation (February 1971) 12 pennies to the shilling (now 5p), therefore 3/10 = 46d; for comparison, 48d = 4/- = 20p.
18 November 2013 at 18:27


  Mark Conroy Marvellous picture. But it rams home yet another glowing example of our woefully inept council. Dual carriageway all the way through. And what did our wonderful council do to improve traffic flow?? That’s right, made it single file carriageway right up to the motorway. Genius.
18 November 2013 at 18:25


18 November 2013 at 19:30


  Rita Whitfield Agg I new were it was right away brings back memories nice to see Rochdale whith living in Brighton
18 November 2013 at 18:51


  Jan Ratcliffe I know, I’ve just said to Les, it looks like a little country road!
18 November 2013 at 18:11


  Jan Ratcliffe I’m guessing that Mr. Doyle ran the Post Office at that time.
18 November 2013 at 18:09


  Ken Bf Buckley And i ran into the dicken green pub ,most nights
18 November 2013 at 18:17


  Ken Bf Buckley And mr & mrs dale ran the spar shop next door
18 November 2013 at 18:16


  Ken Bf Buckley That guess is spot on jan
18 November 2013 at 18:15


  Valerie Hoyle My mother was born on the farm down the lane behind it.
18 November 2013 at 19:06


  Jan Ratcliffe Does anyone remember the little green hut of a shop, on the lane at the side of the Dicken Green? Really tiny, but sold everything from potatoes to shoelaces, tinned peas to ice cream?
18 November 2013 at 18:49


  Alison Penketh Check out the triumph parked outside
18 November 2013 at 22:28


  Tab Warne We lived on Darley rd… dad used to send me to Fawthrops for 10 Woodbines and a 1/4lb of coconut mushrooms every week …I was only 8 or 9 years old and they always served me lol.
18 November 2013 at 22:14


  Lorraine Blake No real change there still looks the same
18 November 2013 at 19:38


  Chris Hilton I remember the little hut that sold things. I also remember that the Dicken Green had a little shop just inside the front door
18 November 2013 at 19:26


  Joanne Thirsk my uncle David got knocked down in front of this shop…God Bless him but he made a full recovery…
18 November 2013 at 19:17


  Darren Eves Triumph dolomite
18 November 2013 at 18:07


  Mark Healey I remember having my first Saturday job in this shop when i was 13/14. That was in 1978. It was owned by Rod Fawthrop then and his wife was the sister of Tony @ Tony’s chippy.
19 November 2013 at 11:49


  Mike Royds Looks an absolute mess now
18 November 2013 at 20:05


18 November 2013 at 19:26


  Derek Davis Is that Jayne going home from work….
18 November 2013 at 19:23


  Elaine Chadwick Did a newspaper round here for many years before and after school, it was my first job
18 November 2013 at 19:21
  Melanie Jones Mr Doyle did run the post office and for a time before I left school I worked in the Spar shop next door
18 November 2013 at 18:17


  Gary White Fawthrops
18 November 2013 at 18:14


  Paul White Its the one near dicken green gaz
18 November 2013 at 18:24


  Gary White ahh rite, course it is. im thinkin its tuther end ov queensway….1ovthemdays
18 November 2013 at 18:27


  Darren Eves Look 2 lanes 1 car, now 1 lane 50 cars!
18 November 2013 at 18:10

First Car in Rochdale

First Car in Rochdale

First Car in Rochdale

Karen Cheetham posted this wonderful photo to our Facebook Page. 
First car in Rochdale? My mum’s grandfather Albert Wright worked for a doctor and initially drove him around by horse and cart. This was upgraded to a motorcar and the tale passed down the family was always that it was the first car in Rochdale.
24 March at 19:05


  Karen Cheetham He was aged 22 in the 1901 census and his occupation listed as doctor’s coachman. I’m guessing the little girl in the picture is one of his daughters, either Edith or Gladys – Gladys married a man called James Whitaker, my mum has a copy of his autobiography telling how he started in the slums of Edinburgh, then down to the docks at Liverpool, and his first thoughts on coming to Rochdale – his opinion was that it was a dump of a place but the people were wonderful and had a humour like he had never before encountered 🙂
24 March at 15:38


  Tricia Ayrton His name was Samuel Jackson
24 March at 19:30


  Tricia Ayrton That’s really interesting! I was always told that my Great Grandfather owned the first car in Whitworth – and his daughter Ada (my Grandmother) was the first woman in Whitworth to have a driving licence
24 March at 19:30


  Tim Murphy Nice story but your grandad was a bit small to be driving a doctor around,wasnt he?Different times i suppose.Only joking.Genuinely like it
24 March at 14:02


  Susan Buckley great photos
25 March at 08:40


  Karen Cheetham The 1911 census has Albert’s occupation as Chauffeur (domestic ) so that would date the picture between the two censuses
24 March at 22:40


  Elizabeth Macpherson Superb x
24 March at 19:31


  Bernice Rhodes great info also great pic,
24 March at 18:54
  Annette Warburton Lovely family story. Great photo thank you Karen
24 March at 18:30

Honouring Our Fallen Heroes

Honouring Our Fallen Heroes

(Remembrance Services)

Honouring Our Fallen Heroes

Remembrance Day services to be held across the Borough

Residents across the borough will have chance to pay their respects to those who have given their lives in defence of the country at this year’s Remembrance Day Services.

Commemorations to salute the nation’s war heroes will be held on Remembrance Sunday (9 November), with six parades across the borough.

Representatives from the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will join veterans and civic dignitaries for the parades, which will take place in Rochdale town centre, Heywood, Littleborough, Middleton, Milnrow and Wardle.

Members of the public are invited to attend to show their gratitude to servicemen and women down the decades.

Remembrance services - PAYING RESPECTS

The Mayor, Councillor Carol Wardle, said:

“This year will be particularly poignant as we will be commemorating 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. As we remember all those who gave their lives and made huge sacrifices, the current operations in Afghanistan is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices our armed forces continue to make in order to preserve our freedom and I hope as many people as possible will join us for these ceremonies.”

And at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (Tuesday 11 November) the Mayor, Councillor Carol Wardle, will lead a two minute silence, with prayers given by Reverend Canon Shackleton, at the town’s war memorial opposite the Rochdale Town Hall.

Honouring Our Fallen Heroes


Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces said:

“The Royal British Legion does fantastic work, which it is really important to support and is encouraging everyone to wear their poppy with pride:

“It is so important we stop to remember the sacrifices made in the two wars and subsequent conflicts especially in this centenary year. The message of remembrance needs to be passed on to future generations. In Britain we remember those no longer serving, including those who have died for their country. It is a fundamental characteristic of human nature to remember and commemorate the fallen, not merely for the sake of our own peace of mind, but for the instruction of future generations that they might recognise the price of freedom.”

“Of course what we choose to remember, defines us both individually and collectively.
Remembrance functions on a number of levels, some deeply personal. It will mean different things to the comrade, the spouse, family, friends, children and grandchildren, – not forgetting the ordinary member of the wider society paying homage to the sacrifice of the fallen.”


Honouring Our Fallen Heroes

From the last week of October until 11 November the Royal British Legion will hold its annual poppy appeal. The money raised by the sale of poppies is used to support British servicemen and women. They can be bought at Rochdale Town Hall, online at and from shops, supermarkets, pubs and other locations across the borough.

Councillor McCarthy Added:

“As the generations that fought our two World Wars pass, the tradition that connects us to these events fades by degrees and the duty of remembrance devolves to those of us who thankfully have not known war. Until the day comes when nations learn how to resolve their differences without the exercise of military force, remembrance will be a permanent feature of our existence. The sacrifice of those who earned our freedoms is not forgotten.”

.At the Rochdale service a very special piece of innovative artwork will be unveiled – the ‘21st Century Cenotaph Viewpoint’ project produced by local artist John Cooke based on the Rochdale Cenotaph. Commissioned by Rochdale Township, the artwork will soon be available as a mobile display for local school and colleges.

Parade details as follows:


10:15am Parade meets at the Heywood Public House on Tower Street,
Heywood (anytime from 09.30am)
10:30am Parade sets off from Tower St, left to St James’ Street, right onto Bridge St, along Market Street, Market Place and right onto Hind Hill Street, left into Heywood Memorial Gardens.
10:45am Parade arrives at Hind Hill St and the Gardens
10:55 to 11:15am Remembrance Service at the Memorial Gardens
11:20am Parade sets off for march past from Hind Hill St, via Pine St, Hornby St, Church St (for salute) and march back up Market Place, Market Street, Bridge Street, St James Street back to the Heywood Pub.


10.30am Assemble at Council Offices, Hare Hill Park.
10.40am Parade leaves for Cenotaph.
10.55am Service at Cenotaph.
11.20am Parade returns to Hare Hill Park.


10.15am Assemble facing the Harbord Harbord on Long Street.
10.25am Parade leaves for Middleton Remembrance Gardens.
10.45am Service begins.


10.30am Assemble at Milnrow Library, Newhey Road, Milnrow.
10.40am Parade leaves for Cenotaph.
10.55am Service at Cenotaph.
11.20am Parade returns to Milnrow Library.


10.15am Organisations assemble in Mere Street, Rochdale.
10.30am Parade leaves for Cenotaph via Drake Street.
10.45am Ward Councillors, Magistrates, Officers and other civic guests assemble in the Town Hall Exchange.
10.50am Service at the Cenotaph. At the end of march past, Mayoral Party returns to Rochdale Town Hall and parade goes to Packer Street.


2.15pm Assemble at Village Square, Wardle.
2.30pm Parade leaves for Cenotaph.
3.00pm Service at Cenotaph.
3.30pm Parade returns to village square.

The council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012, aimed at encouraging communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate armed forces personnel back into civilian life. Current or ex Armed Forces personnel can register for help or get more information by visiting If they encounter difficulties when accessing services from the council or its partners email or call the council on 01706 926989.
The Royal British Legion has a weekly base at Number One Riverside in Rochdale. Every Thursday from 10am to 1pm each Thursday their Advice and Information Officers provide face to face advice and support to serving personnel, veterans and their families. The legion can also help them access other welfare services, financial support, property matters, education, retraining, bereavement counselling and membership enquiries.

Stock Liquidators Rochdale

 Stock Liquidators Rochdale

 Stock Liquidators Rochdale (Cheetham Street)

Cheetham Street by Eileen Thwaite

  Eileen Thwaite posted to ‎Rochdale Past, Present & Future. Stock Liquidators Rochdale
 6 February 2013


6 February 2013 at 19:55 


  Eileen Thwaite St Marys church and Toad Lane on the other side it led onto Spotland Road.

6 February 2013 at 19:59


  Eileen Thwaite Stock Liquidators sided onto Red Cross Street I think.

6 February 2013 at 20:00 


  Joyce Jones Cheetham Street – Ladies only gym and cake shop opposite now?
6 February 2013 at 20:45 


  Eileen Thwaite yes Joyce course it is couldn’t remember xx
6 February 2013 at 20:46 


  Tim Hatton There was a stock liquidators on Yorkshire st , near we’re Chris paulsons is now . You could get everything there !!!

6 February 2013 at 20:48 


  Eileen Thwaite I think it moved there when they demolished the shops to make the road x
6 February 2013 at 20:49 


  Mike Grinsewood So the buildings we can see, what is in there place now? Struggling to pinpoint exactly where this is.
6 February 2013 at 20:50 


  Karen Cheetham The one on Yorkshire street is the one I remember going into with my mum when I was little
6 February 2013 at 20:50


  Eileen Thwaite Brickcroft is behind the stock liquidators x the road going down is still there it leads to the little car park
6 February 2013 at 20:52 


  Mike Grinsewood Figured it out now after looking at some other pics of old Cheetam St!
6 February 2013 at 21:04


  Tara Morton Jones Am still lost, what’s there now or what’s at the end of the road now to give me a better idea?
6 February 2013 at 21:06 


  Tara Morton Jones Think I,ve Sussed it
6 February 2013 at 21:07


  Irene Marsh Seeleys bathrooms just were the kerb is Tara Morton Jones
6 February 2013 at 21:08 


  Tara Morton Jones Yeah I Sussed it right thanks Irene x
6 February 2013 at 21:09


  Karen Cheetham So this is where St Mary’s Gate is now?
6 February 2013 at 21:10


  Tara Morton Jones Yep, well that’s what I think anyway x Karen did you get a chance to dig out the pic of the big slide in falinge park ? X
6 February 2013 at 21:11


  Karen Cheetham Hi Tara, Had all the pics under the bed out on Sunday, and no luck. Still got to check out the suitcase in the loft yet, but obviously that’s a bigger job. It will be done though x
6 February 2013 at 21:13 


6 February 2013 at 21:17 


  Karen Cheetham Ah ha, so is that chimney and corrugated building in the distance, the old Holroyds, that is where Dunhelm is now?
6 February 2013 at 21:18


  Eileen Thwaite yes that’s right
6 February 2013 at 21:18 


  John Lord The road at the bottom right leads to the Reed Hotel car park. Kays fishing tackle shop and a plumbers were across from the Stock Liquidators.
6 February 2013 at 21:48


  Nigel ‘Idolfrets’ Pickering @tim hatton, used to get my fireworks upstairs there. Now an asian food supplies.
6 February 2013 at 22:14 


  Nigel ‘Idolfrets’ Pickering Talking of Falinge park does anyone have a pic of the old bandstand? Do you remember it?
6 February 2013 at 22:16


  Greg Beckett I remember it being near Chris paulsons, like Nigel ‘Idolfrets’ Pickering,says it`san Asian food supplies now, was great for overalls, tools, I remember the bandstand, no pics tho sorry, I remember Anthony Hallsworth, throwing a Tokai strat into the air at a gig there many years ago
6 February 2013 at 22:26 


  Nigel ‘Idolfrets’ Pickering Really Greg? We did a photo session on it mid 80s, wish I still had pics.
6 February 2013 at 22:31 


  Greg Beckett was it Rock in the park ? i can`t recall, but Shanghai played , along with quite a few other bands
6 February 2013 at 22:32 


  Greg Beckett Anthony Hallsworth, or Noddy’s Puncture, might remember
6 February 2013 at 22:36


  Greg Beckett I must dig out the pics I have of your bultaco sometime
6 February 2013 at 22:37 


  Nigel ‘Idolfrets’ Pickering I vaguely remember playing on it Greg but this was for itchy feet promotional purposes. It got burnt down many moons ago. I used to get mice & goldfish to feed my snakes at Fred Kays aquarium, then used to work on his cars at my dad’s garage. @timhatton weren’t you a table tennis wizz at Greenhill school? If so do you remember me?

6 February 2013 at 22:43 


6 February 2013 at 22:47 


  Greg Beckett yes i have some pics somewhere, it has your name wrote on tank sides
6 February 2013 at 22:48


  Greg Beckett in Gold I think, with red tank
6 February 2013 at 22:49


  Nigel ‘Idolfrets’ Pickering Must be mine then lol
6 February 2013 at 22:49


  Tracey Tuksa Still not clear on this pic, need help ! 1. Is it Cheetham st ? 2.What is the building at the end on the left ? 3. Was the green painted shop a pet shop ? I’m well confused, I do recognise it but can’t place it, help please x
7 February 2013 at 00:12 


  Hilary Warne Gradziel I remember going in here with my dad.

7 February 2013 at 00:27 


  Noddy’s Puncture I like that big old cloud in the distance – fuck ‘Stock Liquidators’… hehe… sorry…;c)
7 February 2013 at 00:48 


  Anne Dawson I think it is Cheetham Street. Not sure about the old building at the bottom on the left but I am sure the Salvation Army Hostel was behind this row on Rope Street?
7 February 2013 at 03:59 


  Tara Morton Jones its what is st marys gate now, none of the shops are there now, there is also a then and now pic on here somewhere
7 February 2013 at 07:41 


  Stephen Barrett Yes its Cheetham Street. My mum worked in the cafe at Bamfords Furniture shop. You can see it about four shops down from the Stock Liquidators
7 February 2013 at 11:54 


  Pamela Coren Oh gosh, the things we used to buy in Stock Liquidators . . .
7 February 2013 at 14:04


  Peter Lord I bought my first sleeping bag from Stock Liquidatore ready for my first camping trip to Anglesey With Kirkholt Cubs. Vicar Vanstone took us. Graham Cowerd and Neil Craven, who has sadly just left us, were some of the OLDER Scouts. My mother-in-law was cashier at Bamford’s and my father-in-law was sales manager there. Jack and Olga Lumb nee Southey. My mum and dad bought all their furnitue from Bamfords for years.

7 February 2013 at 22:58 

  Alan Lord Buliding could be Townhead Mill


8 February 2013 at 11:13 
  Eileen Thwaite yes I think my brother said it was cos my gran worked there
8 February 2013 at 11:32 
  Jacqui Halliday dont remember this?????????
8 February 2013 at 19:26 

St Chads Snowing

St Chads Snowing

St Chads Snowing by Ajmal Afridi‎

St Chads Snowing by Ajmal Afridi

  Ajmal Afridi‎ posted to Rochdale Past, Present & Future. 16 January 2013
  Rochdale Past, Present & Future. Have you taken this Ajmal you have quite an eye, keep em coming?
  Ajmal Afridi Yeah i took this the morning it was snowing! And thanks
  Charma Force Love this picture Ajy!
  Ajmal Afridi Thankss
  Rochdale Past, Present & Future. He’s good isn’t he Charma?
  Charma Force Yeah very good! Just out of curiosity who is it who runs this facebook page?
  Charma Force really? anymore identification? do I know you?
  Neil Myers I have seen this here! good shot
  Diane Sutcliffe Thats the best modern photo I have seen of St Chads.
  Karen Cheetham Great pic
  Irene Marsh Beautiful picture !
  Margaret E-Banham Lovely photo
  Chris Morris Awesome photo.
  Gail Watson Awesome Photo, I have lived in the Tropics for 20 years and this photo brings me right back!!!