When I wrote about the Morecambe and Wise drama yesterday, I should have mentioned that quite a lot of it was filmed in Stockport where I live. I recognised the art deco lamps and the steps that appeared quite early on during the wartime scenes, but it was later that the town played a bigger role.
The scene at the end when the duo were appearing at the Ardwick Hippodrome was filmed at the restored 1930s Plaza Theatre, as were the outside shots when Eric’s parents drove away from the front of the building.
It is quite a splendid ongoing £3 million restoration project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the North West Development Agency and Stockport MBC. I wonder how long funds will continue once the ConDems have finished abolishing the NWDA, slashing council spending and diverting lottery funding to prop up mainstream government budgets.
We were in Stockport today to pick up a few things for our South Africa trip and were on the lookout for some decent luggage. Our search took us into Chestergate department store. We knew it was due to close soon, but hadn’t anticipated the sad sight it would be.
The first floor was more or less open space with just a few tables of goods at knockdown prices. Alongside these were shop fittings, office furniture, tables from the staff canteen, all with hastily scribbled price tags. It really was a case of everything must go.
And what do we get to replace it? Primark is taking over the store, or so the rumour goes, another outlet for cheap, throw away tat, but at least we’ll be helping to keep child labour going somewhere in the world. It really is sad in more ways than one that our shopping centres are coming to this.
I’m not sure what Frankie Vaughn would have made of the place since he sang Stockport: that’s where it’s at.