Chorlton-cum-Hardy is a suburban area of the City of Manchester, North West England, known locally as Chorlton. It is situated about southwest of Manchester City Centre. Historically, Chorlton was a village on the southern border of Lancashire, separate from Manchester but was incorporated into that city in 1904. Chorlton-cum-Hardy should not be confused with Chorlton-on-Medlock, which is a different area close to the centre of Manchester.
Chorlton ward is represented by two Labour councillors - Sheila Newman and Val Stevens - and one Liberal Democrat councillor - Paul Ankers. Chorlton Park ward (which incorporates the Mersey Bank and Nell Lane estates of east Chorlton) is represented by three Liberal Democrat councillors - Tony Bethell, Norman Lewis and Bernie Ryan.
The area is also frequently used by film crews for TV dramas and comedies, as it retains much of its original Victorian architecture.
Every year on a Sunday at the end of June, Chorlton is home to a summer event called the Beech Road Festival which resembles garden fêtes of old. On the day of the festival stalls are set up along a large part of Beech Road, selling arts, crafts and foods of all kinds and on Chorlton Green itself a traditional tug-of-war game is played between teams from most of the older pubs around the area. In Beech Road Park, at the opposite end of the road to the Green, there are more stalls, a small fairground, and a stage with live music. In recent years these festival days have proved highly popular with large crowds turning out, especially on hotter days.
Another event, called the Unity Festival takes place soon after the Beech Road Festival in Chorlton Park, but has a more political purpose; to encourage racial and cultural unity in the area. The event includes performances by young dancers, musicians and singers and has a small collection of stalls also.
Other local residents include Dunstable-born artist and musician Damon Gough, known as Badly Drawn Boy. In a recent interview with the Manchester Evening News, he was quoted as saying "Chorlton's where home is. It's the place I would want to be if the world ended".
Another recent musician to base himself in Chorlton is Jim Noir, who recorded his album 'Tower of Love' in his own house. The members of the indie-rock band Polytechnic are also residents of the area.
Other notable residents have included locally-born actor Warren Clarke who lived at 8, Grindley Avenue, former Manchester City footballer Nicky Reid, who was also brought up locally, and Freddie Garrity (of Freddie and the Dreamers). The area also attracts many soap actors who often stay temporarily in the area due to its reputation, such as Naomi Radcliffe, Craig Charles and Julie Hesmondhalgh.
World-renowned photographer Harry Goodwin who worked on Top of the Pops for many years and photographed many world-famous stars such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cher, Jackson Five and also sports stars such as Muhammad Ali, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Alex Ferguson is also a resident of Chorlton. A few of his photos are on display at Chorlton High School: the opening was attended by Sir Alex Ferguson and many stars.
It was in Chorlton-cum-Hardy that George Best lodged when he first came to Manchester, also on Sibson Road in the house next door but one to Doris Speed's house.
Quentin Crisp died in Chorlton-cum-Hardy shortly before his 91st birthday, on the eve of a nationwide revival of his one-man show. His body was cremated with a minimum of ceremony, and his ashes flown back to New York and scattered over Manhattan.
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