A 2016 statement submitted to Barrow Borough Council by Shepherd Architecture and Surveying, of Barrow, said: "The proposal will breathe new life into a much-loved landmark, which has grown into a state of disrepair, by improving the commercial viability of the premises.” "This would be achieved by incorporating retail to the ground floor and modern office accommodation to the basement, hall and upper storeys." Under the plans, the ground floor would feature two retail outlets and an entrance and lobby serving the new office space. The types of shop have not been specified. Office space would be created in the basement, hall and upper storeys. The applicant also hopes to demolish the entrance extension leading on to Michaelson Road. The building was constructed in 1882 and is in the Barrow Island conservation area. It was formerly used as an administrative space and canteen for the shipyard, in 2005 became the Canteen Media and Arts Centre, when it was transformed into a thriving venue for live music, comedy and cinema by Barrow entrepreneur Gary Robinson. By the time it closed in September 2010, it had attracted household acts such as Idlewild, Enter Shikari, and British Sea Power, and then-up-and-coming comedians including John Bishop and Kevin Bridges. More recently the building, which had been re-named the Porthole, has been used for rehearsals and recording, but the council has been told the income from that is not sustainable. The statement submitted to the planning department said: "At present, the media and arts centre is not generating sufficient revenue to maintain the upkeep of the property, which is slowly growing into a state of disrepair. A change of use is needed to secure the future of the property. "The proposed alterations to the property will serve to faithfully restore the existing property as far as is practicable through the demolition of non-original and aesthetically undesirable extensions, re-pointing of brickwork, reinstatement of windows in a style similar to those that would have originally adorned the building , along with other necessary restorative measures." We shall see, anything would be an improvement on the buildings present state.
The older pictures are mostly from the late 19th & early 20th century. Some are Sankey postcards kindly loaned to me by the late Doreen Cleasby (ex-Postmistress). The more recent pictures are SpikePix.
Osbourne’s Bakery on the Coffee House corner, (the corner of Bridge Rd & Michaelson Rd). In the 1920's it became a cinema inevitably nicknamed ‘the Bun Hut.’
It has also been a shipyard canteen & latterly an events venue predictably called, ‘The Canteen’ and has played host to some top Indie bands.
OSBORNE & Co owned The Old Barrow Bakery, it won a succession of awards including the Trophy for the finest bread with the Gold Medal and Diploma for "Crusty Cottage," given at the National Exhibition of Bakery and Confectionary held in Manchester, 1897; and at the Annual Exhibition in the Royal Agricultural Hall, London, 1899, the Silver Medal and Diploma was awarded. Adjacent to the bakery is, (right) the Coffee House from which the nearby tram and later bus stop took its name.
ABOVE: The Coffee House was Bryden’s Chemist in the 1950s, later it became Dixon’s confectioners.
Once a busy Cake Shop, mass shipyard redundancies put paid to passing trade. Today the Coffee House lies derelict.
© Joseph Warner
Osbourne Cinema aka The Bun Hut
Buxton Street a continuation of Devonshire Buildings named no doubt after the area where the Duke’s main residence, Chatsworth House, is situated - well he couldn’t name everything after himself.
St Patrick’s Church (1933) in the background & the building on the right have appeared. This derelict building has over the years housed a printing firm, shipyard Technical Author’s office & years ago it was a doss house!
Island Road Co-Operative Store c.1890, enlarged to it’s present size in 1905 [RIGHT]
Some years ago the Co-op lost its butchers on the right and I believe there was a Drapery dept as well.
The government stole the railings during WWII to build the first ever cast iron Spitfire.
The ‘new’ updated Co-op was officially opened by my Auntie Betty - One of my very few claims to fame.
Artist’s impression of Devonshire Buildings (Buxton Street) from Michaelson Road complete with Express Coach to the Town Hall.
The buildings don’t change much but transport moves on. My old wagon had 400 horse power.
LEFT: 2 close Devonshire Buildings, the Addams Family gather for a family photo for the mantlepiece, (it’ll keep the kids away from the fire)
RIGHT: Looks like Buxton Street VE Day? Or maybe Empire Day. Britannia stands proud complete with trident & shield on the first landing.
Ramsden Dock Station closure in the 1930’s, meant the tram lines to it fell into disuse, as did the trams. This meant that surface air raid shelters could be built on the tracks. I would have rather taken my chances in the cellars of the sandstone tenements.
There is no trace today of the air raid shelters. This picture which was taken in the 1960’s from the other end of Ramsden Dock Road with the slipway cranes in the distance.
An earlier view across Ramsden Dock Rd. Looking down Ship Street on the right & Devonshire Bldgs on the left. The correct postal address is Devonshire Bldgs, Michaelson Road, so this is the back of Dev Bldgs. Honeyman’s shop is on the right & the Devonshire Hotel on the left. He really couldn’t resist naming things after himself.
A more recent view of the same place. Where are all the people? In the Dev? Well it is open. Fine ales, open all day!
Egerton Buildings 1908: Now known as Egerton Court. Like changing the name of Winscale to Sellafield, it gives a nice warm feeling. Except for the residents both places remain basically unaltered.
Local feeling would like this place demolished but while the landlords can squeeze a few more bob out of the place, it remains & declines.
During World War I soldiers pass Devonshire Buildings, on their way to the docks? And who knows where?
A more peaceful scene today, they’ve turned the tramlines into the inevitable car park.
Maybe an Edwardian Coronation parade, a certainly very floral display makes its way past Devonshire Buildings.
An AS90 Propelled gun clears the street of unlicensed Hansom Cabs, floral dancing & other such nonsense.
This c.1925 aerial photo shows the grid formation of the ‘Scotch Model’ buildings. Note the two trams at the Coffee House, one turning right into Ferry Road for Walney. The other is heading straight down to the Tea House and Ramsden Dock Station and not a car to be seen!
Some of the younger buildings inhabitants of Devonshire Buildings. Three brave mothers [back, left], are there to control this unruly mob. (C.1930?).
However, I think this unruly mob of flat capped hooligans are beyond a mother’s love. (Jeremy Corbyn’s grandad is 4th from the left, back row.) At the TOP it says they are the, ‘Old Barrow Parliament’ LEFT side, it says, ‘Up the Reds’ [don’t think they mean Man Utd]. RIGHT side, ‘Down with the Capitalist’ A favourite tactic was to disorientate the Capitalist Running Dogs er…. victims, with clouds of pipe smoke then beat them senseless with their sticks. They then evaded the Peelers by making a getaway in the highly tuned Bath Chair to the Royal   … their hideaway.
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