Wythenshawe Hall set to re-open six years after devastating fire

Pic: MCC

Historic Wythenshawe Hall will be re-opened to the public next weekend (September 10th) after being restored to its former glory following an arson attack six years ago.

The long-anticipated repairs to the Grade II listed building in Wythenshawe Park, have now been completed.  

The hall was forced to close due to an arson attack in 2016. Manchester City Council has carried out over £6.7 million of extensive refurbishment works and have enhanced security upgrades to the hall, to protect it from further damage and to allow the public to enjoy the magnificent building once again. 

Manchester City Council with partners Conlon Construction, have been working to ensure that the building is brought back to its former glory and so future generations and residents can enjoy the Hall.   

As part of the restoration works, the entire roof of the hall has been replaced. The Main Hall has seen the refurbishment of the ceiling and conservation of the timber panelling, which have been delicately cleaned and repaired to ensure the unique and historic designs were protected.  The timeless stained-glass windows have been replaced and the artistry has been mimicked to best represent the original windows on the building.  

Pic: MCC

The restoration of Wythenshawe Hall won a Civic Trust Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC) Award in 2021. The project was one of just two to receive the AABC Conservation Award at national level, which recognises projects that demonstrate the highest standards of historic building conservation and make an outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment. In addition, RIBA North West Award 2021, RIBA North West Conservation Award 2021 were also won by Buttress Architects for the restoration work on the Hall.  

Now, the Hall is ready to be dressed and restored to its former glory. It will be reopened to the public on  10 September  to celebrate the Friends of Wythenshawe Park’s 10-year anniversary.   

Councillor Lee Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods, said:  “It brings me great pleasure to see that the Hall has reopened and restored to its former glory after the devastating incident in 2016. As custodians of the building the Council have been working over the past few years to protect the Hall and we have also carried out major improvement works to ensure the building is better suited for the future.  

“Despite the gruelling and long repair process, we have been able to preserve many of the building’s original features and characteristics- which is a wonderful achievement. I also want to thank our Construction partners Conlon for all of their hard work in repairing the damage.  

“Wythenshawe Hall is a beautiful building that harbours lots of local history and cultural value and I am pleased we have repaired the damage that was done.” 

For more information on tours conducted by the Friends of Wythenshawe Park visit: https://wythenshawehall.com/www_main/index.html

Local elections: Greens win another council seat in Woodhouse Park

Astrid Johnson with Rob Nunney

The Green Party has taken another seat from Labour in this year’s Manchester council elections.

Astrid Johnson took the council seat from Labour’s Sarah Judge who had represented Woodhouse Park for Labour since 2015.

Sarah Judge

Ms Johnson joins fellow Green, Rob Nunney who was elected to represent the ward last year.

This year’s result was close with the Greens taking the seat with 1345 votes against Labour’s 1345. The turnout in the ward was 24 per cent.

The Green victory in Woodhouse Park was the only change at Manchester City Council where Labour remain firmly in control. Elsewhere in Wythenshawe Tommy Judge, Paul Andrews, Sue Cooley and Angela Moran won for Labour in Sharston, Baguley, Brooklands and Northenden respectively.

In Trafford, Labour retained control, with the Conservative Group leader losing his seat in Timperley to the Liberal Democrats. Labour and the Greens also took a seat each from the Conservatives.

In Stockport, the council remains in no overall control with a swing to the Liberal Democrats.

Nationally, it was a bad night for the Conservatives, who lost control of nine councils with the former Tory strongholds of Westminster and Wandsworth councils falling to Labour. Labour gained five councils and Liberal Democrats two.

A full list of Manchester’s council results can be found here.

Police hunting man who attempted sex attack in woman’s Wythenshawe home

Detectives have released an E-fit image in an investigation into an attempted serious sexual assault in Wythenshawe.

the incident happened on Tuesday (April 26) at about 3.55pm at a house in Malling Road. Police say the woman occupant discovered a man in her kitchen who attempted to commit a serious sexual assault.

The man is described as being white, in his 40s and approximately 6ft tall with a balding head. He was wearing a black scarf around his neck.

The woman who was left shaken by the incident is now being supported by specialist officers.

Detective Superintendent Chris Downey, of GMP’s City of Manchester division, said: “As part of our investigation, we have safeguarded the victim and deployed extra officers to the area to prevent any further crimes, whilst keeping the community safe.”

Officers conducted house to house enquiries and have reviewed CCTV footage and images. Det Supt Downey added: “It is crucial that anyone with information shares it immediately. We are particularly interested in hearing from anyone with dash cam footage from Malling Road, Firbank Road, Millbrook Road, Belsay Drive or Whitburn Road.”

Anyone with information should contact police via 0161 856 6063 or https://crowd.in/YO2PbI quoting 2135 26/04/22. Information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Woodhouse Park candidates line up to face the public in hustings event

Candidates fighting to represent Woodhouse Park in the May local elections will be facing voters at a hustings session on Wednesday (20th April 2022).

The hustings will begin at 7.30pm at William Temple Church, (Robinswood Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester, M22 0BU).

The candidates fighting the seat are Anna Hablak for the Liberal Democrats, Astrid Johnson for the Green Party, Sarah Judge for Labour, and Stephen McHugh for the Conservatives.

Labour are defending the seat and will be hoping to fend of a challenge from the Greens looking to secure their second seat in the ward.

Last year the Greens pulled off a shock victory, unseating Labour’s Brian O’Neil, securing their first seat on Manchester City Council in 13 years.

Anyone attending the the event can submit questions ahead of the hustings by email: hustingswhp@gmail.com

Tributes for Wythenshawe health justice campaigner Pete Mossman

Tributes have been paid to Peter Mossman who campaigned tirelessly to get justice for victims of a NHS treatment disaster which led to the deaths of thousands of people.

Mr Mossman, from Baguley, Wythenshawe was one of about 7,500 patients, who had been given blood transfusions infected with contaminated blood products. He died last month, aged 78.

The scandal, in which victims contracted hepatitis and HIV as a result of the contamination, was described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. A public inquiry into the scandal was set up by the government.

Mr Mossman was treated with contaminated blood and infected with hepatitis C in 1985 after discovering bruising on his leg. Immediately afterwards he became desperately ill  and later suffered worsening bleeds and severe liver damage. 

Continue reading “Tributes for Wythenshawe health justice campaigner Pete Mossman”