Friday, October 19, 2007

Coordinates: 53°24′30″N 2°08′58″W / 53.4083, -2.1494
Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. Situated 7 miles (11.3 km) south east of the city of Manchester, it is the largest settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, and has a population of 136,083 (2001 Census), with the borough as a whole having 281,000. This makes the borough 23rd most populous district in England. There have been several bids by the council for city status.
The River Mersey begins in Stockport, at the confluence of the Rivers Goyt and Tame.

Stockport is first recorded as "Stokeport" in 1170.

There is sufficient evidence that a fortified stronghold existed in the vicinity in ancient British times, and that Agricola in AD 79 recognised its strategical advantages and fortified Stockport to guard the passage of the Mersey.

Early history
In 1967 the Stockport air disaster occurred, when a British Midland Airways Argonaut crashed in the Hopes Carr area of the town, resulting in the deaths of 72 passengers.
In recent years, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council has embarked on an ambitious regeneration scheme, known as Future Stockport. The plan is to bring over 3,000 residents into the centre of the town, and revitalise its residential property and retail markets, in a similar fashion to the nearby major city of Manchester. Many ex-industrial areas around the town's core will be brought back into productive use as mixed-use residential and commercial developments.

Recent history
Most of the town is within the historic county boundaries of Cheshire, although Reddish and the Four Heatons lay within the historic county boundaries of Lancashire.

The 1835 Municipal Corporations Act made Stockport a municipal borough divided into seven wards. 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.

Civic history
There are four parliamentary constituencies in the Stockport Metropolitan Borough: Stockport, Cheadle, Hazel Grove, and Denton and Reddish.
Stockport has been represented by Labour MP Ann Coffey since 1992.
The Liberal Democrat Patsy Calton was elected in Cheadle in 2001 over long-standing Conservative member Stephen Day by the smallest margin of any constituency in the country. She died in 2005, a month after increasing her majority to over 4,000 in the 2005 election; in the following by-election the Liberal Democrat Mark Hunter defeated Stephen Day. This is despite the huge campaign launched by the Conservative Party, which involved much 'American style' politics.
Andrew Stunell has been the Liberal Democrat MP for Hazel Grove since 1997.
The constituency of Denton and Reddish bridges Stockport and Tameside; the current member is Andrew Gwynne who holds the seat for Labour with a 14,000 majority.

Parliamentary representation
Further information: Demography of Greater Manchester
The town had a population of 136,082 according to the 2001 Census, with the wider borough having a population of 284,528. Although suburbs such as Woodford, Bramhall and Hazel Grove rank amongst the wealthiest areas of the United Kingdom and 45% of the borough is green space, districts such as Adswood and Brinnington suffer from widespread poverty and post-industrial decay. Opinions on the general quality of life in Stockport greatly differ. In its favour, some highlight its proximity to Manchester, and its abundance of amenities; but its perceived grittiness and loutish youth culture earned it 12th place in the internet-based 2004 guide Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places To Live In The UK (however, given that its fellows on this list were places such as Oxford, Winchester, Liverpool (European Capital of Culture), and tiny London commuter belt villages, the relevance of the list is disputed).

Stockport's principal commercial district is located in the town centre, with branches of most high-street stores to be found in the Merseyway Shopping Centre. The Grand Central Leisure Park complex boasts an Olympic sized swimming pool, a ten-screen cinema, bars, a bowling alley, health complex, and several restaurants. Stockport is located six miles (10 km) from Manchester city centre, making it convenient for commuters and shoppers.

Stockport is home to the following:

Bramall Hall is a superb example of a 'Cheshire Black and White' timber framed manor house, with origins dating back to Medieval England. The property is lovingly cared for and presents the visitor with a marvellous historic record spanning six centuries.
Stockport's last The building is listed Grade II*.
Stockport Air Raid Shelters is a museum based around the underground tunnels dug during World War II to protect local inhabitants during air raids
Vernon Park. This is the main municipal park, located a short distance to the east towards Bredbury.
St. Elisabeth's church, Reddish, and model village. Mill community designed in the main by Alfred Waterhouse for the factory workers from Houldsworth Mill, at the time the largest cotton mill in the world. Places of interest
The M60 motorway and A6 road cross over at Stockport. Stockport railway station is a mainline station on the Manchester spur of the West Coast Main Line. Manchester Airport, the busiest in the UK outside London, is located five miles (8 km) southwest of the town.

The town of Stockport is twinned with the following towns:

Flag of Germany - Heilbronn, Germany. since 1999
Flag of France - Beziers, France, since 1972 Notable people

Stockport Air Disaster

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