It was with sadness that I heard Pat Burke had died on the 26th November 2014. Pat Burke had been active in Ancoats for many years, recently supporting Ancoats Dispensary Trust, in its efforts to save Ancoats Dispenary.
She was involved, with other Ancoats residents in the occupation of Ancoats Casualty, which took place between February 1987 and March 1989. They were fighting to stop the closure of the casualty department, which the local Health authority had decided, had to close. The story of the sit-in, is told in ‘Stitched Up! – Action for Health in Ancoats’ (Dunne, M.C., 1993). Pat was one of the editorial group, along with Phil Burke, Joe Cromer, Jean Grey, Cathy Jackson and Craig Russell, which met regularly between 1991 to 1993. There were two copies of ‘Stitched Up!’ available in the reference section of Central Library.
The last of years, she has been supportive of the Save Ancoats Dispensary Group, now Ancoats Dispensary Trust, in their efforts to save the old building from demolition. Pat Burke’s Health Profile from ‘Stitched Up!, is below;
Dunne, M.C. (1993) Stitched Up! – Action for Health in Ancoats, Rochdale Alternative Press. 1993 Church Action on Poverty.
Here in Manchester, Manchester City Council has taken a very different approach. This can be seen clearly in Hulme, with its redevelopment in the 1990s, an ASDA was one of the first retail units built. The other smaller retail units and the very small market were built later, and as such have struggled to exist. In fact, the market is now a B&Ms, with a few ex-stallholders still having a presence. The council repeated their mistakes in Bradford, with the area being renamed New Eastlands and a large ASDA being built near to the stadium. A large supermarket is to built in Ancoats, now referred to as New Islington, with very few local business still in existence. The gentrification of Manchester has been a total failure but politicians still enthuse about Manchester’s success!
Simple steps towards local prosperity
From Urban Splash’s own site: New Islington you can see from their images from their master-plan, they had no intention of preserving Ancoats Dispensary.
Looking towards the centre of this image, just to the right of the grey and blue building is the site of Ancoats Dispensary but it has been replaced by another building.
And in this image, just to the right of centre, the Chip building can be identified. And in front of the Chip Building, Ancoats Dispensary has been replaced. These images are from an Urban Splash web-site dated 2011, which shows Tom Bloxham and Urban Splash were not being truthful, when they said they were looking at options for Ancoats Dispensary. It is obvious to most people, that they had other plans for the site of Ancoats Dispensary. And if you view the time-line for Ancoats Dispensary, the roof was damaged as far back as 2005 and no attempt made to repair it. Nor did Manchester City Council exercise their powers to repair and compulsory purchase powers to remedy such deliberate neglect/