Stockport (U.K.)

2017-04-26 14:27:22 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Manchester city centre, where the River Goyt and Tame merge to create the River Mersey. The town is the largest settlement in the metropolitan borough of the same name.

Historically, most of the town was in Cheshire, but the area to the north of the Mersey was in Lancashire. Stockport in the 16th century was a small town entirely on the south bank of the Mersey, and known for the cultivation of hemp and manufacture of rope. In the 18th century the town had one of the first mechanised silk factories in the British Isles. However, Stockport's predominant industries of the 19th century were the cotton and allied industries. Stockport was also at the centre of the country's hatting industry, which by 1884 was exporting more than six million hats a year; the last hat works in Stockport closed in 1997.

Dominating the western approaches to the town is the Stockport Viaduct. Built in 1840, the viaduct's 27 brick arches carry the mainline railways from Manchester to Birmingham and London over the River Mersey. This structure featured as the background in many paintings by L. S. Lowry.

Governance

Civic history

Stockport was a township mostly within the Macclesfield Hundred within the historic county of Cheshire with a small part on the north side of the Mersey in Lancashire. The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 made Stockport a municipal borough divided into six wards with a council consisting of 14 aldermen and 42 councillors. Under the terms of the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, Stockport Poor Law Union was established on 3 February 1837 and was responsible for an area covering 16 parishes with a total population of 68,906. Stockport Union built a workhouse at Shaw Heath in 1841. In 1888, its status was raised to County Borough, becoming the County Borough of Stockport. In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Stockport amalgamated with neighbouring districts to form the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport in the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester.

In 1986 Greater Manchester County Council was abolished and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council assumed many of its functions, effectively becoming a unitary authority.

In 2011, Stockport bid for city status as part of the 2012 Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, but was unsuccessful.

Parliamentary representation

There are four parliamentary constituencies in the Stockport Metropolitan Borough: Stockport, Cheadle, Hazel Grove, and Denton and Reddish. Stockport has been represented by the Labour MP Ann Coffey since 1992; Mary Robinson has been the Conservative MP for Cheadle since 2015; and William Wragg has been the Conservative MP for Hazel Grove since 2015. The constituency of Denton and Reddish bridges Stockport and Tameside; the current member is Andrew Gwynne for the Labour Party.

Economy

Stockport's principal commercial district is the town centre, with branches of most high-street stores to be found in the Merseyway Shopping Centre or The Peel Centre. Grand Central Leisure has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a ten-screen cinema, bars, a bowling alley, health complex, and several restaurants. Stockport is six miles (10 km) from Manchester, making it convenient for commuters and shoppers. In 2008, the council's £500M plans to redevelop the town centre were cancelled after construction company Lend Lease Corporation pulled out of the project, blaming the credit crunch.

Culture

Stockport's museums include the Hat Works in Wellington Mill, a former hat factory, and Stockport Air Raid Shelters in the underground tunnels dug in the Second World War to protect inhabitants in air raids. Staircase House, a Grade II listed medieval townhouse, houses the Stockport Story Museum.

The Plaza is a Grade II* listed Super Cinema and Variety Theatre built in 1932. It is the last venue of its kind operating in its original format, making it of international significance.

Strawberry Studios at No. 3 Waterloo Road was a recording studio from 1968 to 1993, partly owned and used extensively by 10cc, as well as many other major artists including Joy Division, Neil Sedaka, Barclay James Harvest, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Paul McCartney and St Winifred's School Choir.

Local writer Simon Stephens' play Port is set in and around Stockport. The play has been performed at the National Theatre, London.

The painter Alan Lowndes featured Stockport scenes in his work.

The indie pop band Blossoms are from Stockport.

Paul Eastham, the front man of folk rock band COAST, was born in Stockport in July 1981 at Stepping Hill Hospital.