My father was planning to write this article with a photograph of 41 Longford Place taking the place of the drawing. But we don't have such a picture in the family archives and a check of the street using the Google street maps website revealed that Longford Place has started to go the same way as Brunswick Street.
The first shock is that the impressive towers for the toll gates at the Plymouth Grove end have gone. The familiar houses are still there at the start of the street, but the terraces have gone further down the street, which is not a good omen for the home of the Turner family from the 1930s to the 1950s.
Maybe, one day in the near future, the developers will come back and gone will the cellars once filled with the Great Deville's magic equipment and his giant posters, gone will be the attic rooms, which once provided a headquarters for the Manchester Interplanetary Society, and gone will be the massive bulk of the concrete air raid shelter, which used to fill most of the back yard. [If the current resident or a predecessor hasn't reclaimed the space already.]
And gone will be any chance of installing a blue plaque on a building which, it could be argued, should be as iconic to Northern SF as The Flat which Arthur Clarke & Co. occupied in London until World War Two got in the way. ■
41 Longford Place photographed in mid-January 2012 by the local historian and blogger Gurbir Singh, the author of Yuri Gagarin in London and Manchester
(reproduced by permission).