The Plaza Tour and the Air Raid Shelters

HMIS members have enjoyed a super social day out in Stockport arranged by member Dave Cunliffe. We started off with a tour of the Stockport Plaza Super Cinema and Variety Theatre. You may have visited the Plaza for a show, if you get the chance, take a guided tour.
From the depths of the basement dressing rooms to the heights (a fair few stairs) of the projection rooms it was fascinating. The most fascinating fact of all – there were no crosshead screws (Phillips, Pozidriv type) used in the construction of the theatre or in its restoration. The Theatre opened in 1932 and it was only in 1932, that a recessed cruciform screw was patented and a year later in 1933, a screwdriver for it! A Grade II* listed building must be restored as originally built.
We moved on to the Air Raid Shelters for a tour of the network of underground tunnels carved into the sandstone cliffs. Opened in 1939, the shelters were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in Britain. Originally designed to provide shelter for up to 3,850 people, they were extended to accommodate as many as 6,500. We noted not an awful lot of toilets for the number of people sheltering!
Then it was on to the Arden Arms for a great lunch and a touch of light refreshment.
Thanks to Peter & Banksy for the pictures.

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