With Neil New­ton Echoes of past glory to be found in ed­i­fices of to­day

Midweek Visiter - - News -

WE are for­tu­nate in South­port to have an in­cred­i­ble se­lec­tion of his­toric, of­ten listed build­ings.

No mat­ter what you might think about new con­struc­tions, plan­ners down the decades have been (pretty) good at pre­serv­ing our past.

There are how­ever a few ex­cep­tions.

The sub­ject of this week’s South­port Top 5: You know it now, but what did it used to be?

At Five: Carnegie Court, Birk­dale. Hug­ging the junc­tion be­tween York and Weld Road re­spec­tively, is this a red-bricked high rise apart­ment block.

Op­er­ated as so­cial hous­ing by the Re­genda Group, this prime site wasn’t al­ways ac­com­mo­da­tion.

It opened in 1905 as a li­brary and was de­mol­ished in 1970; its name­sake, phi­lan­thropist An­drew Carnegie.

This place of learn­ing boasted an im­pres­sive clock tower, not dis­sim­i­lar to the Atkin­son on Lord Street.

Such a shame it’s gone, maybe you bor­rowed reading ma­te­ri­als from here?

At Four: Gen­eral Regis­ter Of­fice, Trafal­gar Road.

We stay in Birk­dale for our sec­ond sub­ject mat­ter, that of Smed­ley Hy­dro.

I have many friends who are civil ser­vants and work here, it’s still known as Smed­ley to this day.

As the pic­ture shows, a lot of the NHS records are kept and pro­cessed here, back in the day it was a grand affair.

Smed­ley Hy­dro opened as a ho­tel in 1876 for wealthy Vic­to­ri­ans to take the sea air and the wa­ters. The grand ball­room still ex­ists. The Gov­ern­ment took over in 1991.

At Three: An­other for­mer Ho­tel, this time it’s the Palace.

Stand­ing on site now is the su­perb Fish­er­man’s Rest Pub.

Re­puted to be built the wrong way around, haunted and the back­drop to count­less films, it’s only the orig­i­nal coach house that re­mains – this is the modern day ‘Fish’.

Syn­ony­mous as the ‘morgue’ dur­ing the Mex­ico Lifeboat Disas­ter, they still raise a glass to com­mem­o­rate that dark and stormy night.

At Two: Mecca Bingo. Eyes down, who can tell me what this Lord Street gem used to be?

Well done if you said The Gar­rick Theatre.

It’s still got to be one of the most glam­orous bingo houses in the UK, back in the day it played host to the likes of Lau­rel and Hardy.

At One: The Moulin Rouge/Tif­fany’s Ains­dale.

In 2018 it’s the home of the roast, thanks to the Toby Carvery... back in the day it was where Sand­grounder’s tripped the light fan­tas­tic.

Orig­i­nally the Moulin Rouge, com­plete with wind­mill sails, it be­came Tif­fany’s in 1975.

Th­ese days the roast spud and York­shire pud are king, back then it was danc­ing ga­lore!

Did you meet your part­ner there or like me do you re­mem­ber it as the Nat­ter­jack in the 1990s?

So there you have it, my South­port Top 5 of now, but what did it used to be?

Con­grat­u­la­tions them right.

You can fol­low me on Twit­ter @ pre­sen­terneil An­other South­port Top 5 next week. if you got

Gen­eral Regis­ter Of­fice, Trafal­gar Road – still known as Smed­ley to this day

Above, Mecca Bingo on Lord St, once the Gar­rick TheatreLeft, Moulin Rouge/Tif­fany’s Ains­dale, now Toby CarveryRight, Carnegie Court, Birk­dale

The Fish­er­man’s Rest pub – part of for­mer ho­tel the Palace

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