Albert Vincent Reade, 1864 - 1940
Holy Trinity Platt Church, Platt Fields, with a field Gun & a British Mark IV Tank , 1929

inscribed and dated  on the reverse "Platt Church / from/ Platt Fields/ June 1929"

pencil and watercolour
19.50 x 28 cm. (7.3/4 x 11 in. )


Platt Fields, and Platt Hall were used both during WW1, the 17th Royal Field Artillery were based at Platt fields from August 1914. The 2nd Brigade of the East Lancashire RFA at Platt Fields. The whole of the Brigade – 680 men, 500 horses, and 12 guns with ammunition – is now quartered there. There was a military presence there until the end of WWI. The Manchester University Officer Training Corps, used Platt Fields for training and There was also,a German prisoner-of-war camp in the same grounds. It is possible that the Field Gunn and Mark I Tank were locatd at Platt Fields to commemorate the military personel who trained there and subsequently lost ther lives. The watercolour is dated June 1929 so we can be sure that these items of military hardware were there 12 years after WWI ended.  The tank had the home service number (HSN) 100 painted on the side in large white numbers at the front. It was cut up for scrap metal in 1929. There is only one photograph that  is currently known of this Manchester 'presentation' tank so this painting is historically important even though you can only see the tip. The tank was a Mk.IV male tank (the female tanks only had machine guns the males had a 6 pdr gun and machine guns).

Holy Trinity Platt Church (also known as Holy Trinity Church, Rusholme), is in Platt Fields Park in Rusholme, Manchester, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Hulme, the archdeaconry of Manchester, and the diocese of Manchester. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building. It is the second "pot church" designed by Edmund Sharpe, so-called because the main building material used in the construction of the church is terracotta.

The church was built in 1845–46 to a design by the Lancaster architect Edmund Sharpe. It was built for Thomas Carrill Worsley of Platt Hall. The Worsley family chapel had been Platt Chapel, but this had become a Unitarian chapel early in the 19th century. Thomas Worsley planned to build an Anglican church, but in this he was in competition with a neighbour, a Mr Anson of Birch Hall, to build the first Anglican church in the area. Anson built St James' Church in Danes Road, Rusholme, but Worsley arranged for Holy Trinity to be consecrated before its building was complete. Worsley chose the dedication to the Holy Trinity to show his opposition to the Unitarians. The church cost £4,000 (equivalent to £380,000 in 2018) (excluding the stained glass), and when built it could accommodate between 650 and 700 people.

Sharpe's first "pot church" had been St Stephen and All Martyrs' Church, Lever Bridge. The terracotta for the body of this church was supplied, as before, by the Ladyshore Coal and TerraCotta Company, which was owned by Sharpe's brother-in-law, John Fletcher. However, there was a dispute with Fletcher about the costs; Fletcher supplied the terracotta for the body of the church, but the material for the spire was provided by a different manufacturer, Fletcher's brother-in-law, Edmund Peel Willock. The church was consecrated on 26 June 1846 by Rt Revd John Bird Sumner, Bishop of Chester, although the spire was not completed until 1850. The terracotta for the spire proved to be inferior to Fletcher's material, and the spire had to be replaced in 1912. In 1966–67 a church hall was built and attached to the east wall of the church.

Terracotta is used as the facing material for both the interior and the exterior of the church. It is made to imitate stone, even to the use of masons' marks. The roof is in slate. The architectural style of the church is Decorated. Its plan consists of a five-bay nave with a clerestory, a southwest steeple, north and south aisles, a two-bay chancel, a west porch, and a south porch contained in the tower. The tower is in three stages with angle buttresses and it has a south doorway. Its middle stage contains three-light windows with crocketted gables, above which are paired bell openings. The summit of the tower has an embattled parapet and corner pinnacles. On the tower is a tall octagonal spire supported by flying buttresses. The west window of the church has four lights, and the east window has five lights containing elaborate tracery.

Internally, terracotta is used even for the piers of the arcades. The font is in stone and has an octagonal bowl. The stained glass in the chancel forms a memorial to the Worsley family and dates from 1849–50. In the north aisle is a window dated 1871 with glass made by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake.

The 1820 Ordnance Survey map shows Platt Hall close to the road which ran south from the city centre to Fallowfield and beyond. However, the Platt Estate had been on that spot for several hundred years by the time that map was published. As far back as the 12th century, the land was owned by the Knights Hospitaller of St. John's of Jerusalem and in 1190 it passed from them to Richard de la More. It was his descendents who, whilst owners of the estate, took the name of Platt.

In the 1600s the estate was sold to Ralphe Worsley and his son Charles, who was Manchester's first Member of parliament. The Worsley home on the estate was a half timbered structure but in the latter half of the 18th century it was demolished and replaced with the brick and stone structure you can see today. Platt Hall was built in the Palladian style. In 1845, Worsley was responsible for commissioning Holy Trinity Anglican Church within the Platt Estate along Platt Lane. The architect was Edmund Sharp. Pevsner says of this church that it was, "the second of Sharp's terracotta churches" which were disrespectfully referred to as "pot churches". In 1947 the Hall itself became home to the Gallery of Costume, the first institution in the country to be devoted to the exhibition of a collection of exhibits and research material on the history of clothing. The Gallery says of itself that, "The Gallery of Costume houses one of the most important costume collections in Britain, second only to the V&A in London. It contains over 20,000 fashion items from the 17th century to the present day. The gallery continues to collect pieces to enhance the collection." It reopened in March of 2010 after an extensive redevelopment costing £1million.

Platt Fields Park is a large public park in Fallowfield, Manchester, England which is home to Platt Hall. Fallowfield lies to the south and Wilmslow Road runs along its eastern edge.The centrepiece of the park is a large pleasure lake, which is used for boating and fishing. The lake has an island sanctuary in the middle, as well as a lakeside visitors' centre and a boathouse. The park also contains part of Gore Brook and part of the Nico (Mickle) Ditch.

There are gardens of different kinds, including community orchard gardens, which contain ferns, roses and heathers. There is also an educational garden and an environmental area, as well as Elizabeth II Jubilee gardens and an Eco Arts garden near to the boating lake. There is a Shakespearean garden located in the Ashfield part of the park in the south east corner that was designed to have only plants mentioned in Shakespeare's works. The Ashfield area also has an arch from the nave of Manchester Cathedral, which was previously located at Manley Hall, Manchester for a time. Ashfield was added to the park at a later date: it was formerly the site of Ashfield House and was donated to the City by Edward Donner.

There is a labyrinth and picnic area, a Veterans' pavilion and a pair of children's playgrounds. One playground is for toddlers up to age 5, with the other for kids up to the age of 9. Both are located near to the Lakeside Centre. Sports facilities include a pair of bowling greens and courts for basketball, five-a-side, roller hockey, tennis, as well as a mini soccer pitch, cycle pathways and a skate park. A new BMX track was completed at the South end of the park in the summer of 2008. The old boathouse is now the location of Platt Fields Bike Hub, a community project involved in bicycle repairs, bike hire and other cycling-oriented projects activities. There are three dedicated show fields in the park, which have the infrastructure to host large and small scale national and local events. Events hosted in the park have included the Manchester Mela and Eid Festival, as well as annual fireworks and bonfire displays. Until 2003 the site hosted the Manchester Flower Show. Facilities-wise, the site has a car park with disabled parking and toilets. The site also has a park office.

The first known mention of the area is from 1150, at which time the "lands of Platt" were given to the Knights of St John by "Matthew, Son of William". Gore Brook is mentioned as being present at the time. The Platt family obtained the estate in 1225, and owned the land for the next 400 years. In 1625 it passed to the Worsley family, and was then a country park bordering on the Cheshire Plain, and called the Platt Hall Estate. The park was landscaped by William Emes in 1768. The Worsley family owned the estate until 1907.

By the early twentieth century, the site was a country park with a mansion, though the estate was gradually surrounded by ever-increasing housing, causing Elizabeth Tindal-Carill-Worsley to put the estate on the market in 1907. It soon became apparent that the park was at grave risk of being sold for development and there was even mention of tearing down the Hall and using the bricks for housing. William Royle was prominent in mobilising support for the Corporation to purchase the estate in order to save the park and house for future generations. This led to the Lord Mayor of Manchester calling a town meeting, at which it was decided to purchase the estate for public parkland, leading to its purchase in 1908 at a cost of £59,975.

During a time of high unemployment during the winter of 1908 and 1909, over 700 men relaid the park, including planting banks with shrubs and trees, diverting the Gore Brook and creating a lake and island covering just over 6 acres (24,000 m2). Local legend speaks of a tunnel running from the boat house, underneath the lake (only a few feet deep) to somewhere on the island, though this was, in fact, never true. Access to the island was only ever possible by boat. The park, named Platt Fields Park, was formally opened on 7 May 1910 by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Sir Charles Behrens. The Main Lake was provided with a large boat house and wood covered slipway. It housed not only a fleet of large, clinker built rowing boats and skiffs but also a fine motor launch, the Archie Littlemore, which gave rides during the summer months. 'Twice Around the Island'. At some point over the following five years, a half acre, kidney shaped paddling pool was constructed, on the Hart Road side of the main lake. On the side of the paddling pool away from the Main Lake, two further model boating lakes were constructed. The largest was the home of Platt Fields Model Yacht Club, which had a large, veranda fronted boathouse adjacent to the lake. Alongside was the children's boating lake. This shallow, circular lake was constructed entirely above ground, with raised concrete sides. This meant that children could safely sail, without any danger of falling in. Moving away from the model lakes, towards the Hart Road entrance, the long, narrow field on the right hand side of the path was home to the local model engineering society, which installed a triple gauge track for large model railway vehicles, including 'live steam' locomotives. The track was raised above the ground on concrete pylons, drivers and passengers riding astride the track. In the centre of the circuit of track stood a wooden club house. Moving on from this point, anti clockwise around the main lake brought you to the Platt Fields Lido. A 25 yard long, open air swimming pool, with changing facilities. The plunge depth was 3 to 6 feet. In later years the Lido was closed, the plunge filled with soil and surrounded by a fence. This became a rabbit warren, the centre piece of a Pet's Corner. The changing and ancillary buildings were converted into cages for small animals and birds. In latter years, all traces of the former Lido have been removed and the area landscaped. The park was used for a variety of sports, including tennis, football, bowling and cricket. More work was carried out during another time of high unemployment, between 1919 and 1925, when the park and playing fields were levelled, and bowling greens and tennis courts were constructed. Beside the path which leads from the corner of the Main Lake, towards Platt Hall, a large circular amphitheatre was sunk into the ground. At its centre a stage, with covered band stand, was surrounded by terraced seating. No trace of this installation remains today, unless you consult an aerial photograph. The position of the amphitheatre is now clearly delineated by a ring of trees which have grown up around the buried structure. A Speakers' Corner was once located near to the adjacent Holy Trinity Platt Church.

The park had a tennis pavilion, which was built in 1926, but was demolished in January 2006 after being empty for several years while waiting to be converted for use by disabled children by the Social Services Department. The park also used to have a Pets Corner and Animal Park, as well as a children's playground, a cafe, and rose gardens and herbaceous borders.Part of pets corner was actually set in a rectangular sunken area. This area was originally the open air swimming pool.

In 1980, with both model boating lakes long removed, two brothers, Stuart and Paul Yearsley, who had known the park since childhood, decided to see if it might be possible to reintroduce model boating to Platt Fields. They contacted the authorities, seeking permission to hold an exploratory regatta. Provisional permission was granted, on the conditions that those attending be well behaved, kept the park tidy and created no disturbance to the local residents. And so, following an inaugural meeting at the nearby Methodist Church, The Platt Fields (silent) Model Boat Club was born and an enormously successful event held. Catering for all classes of model electric, steam and sailing boats, the club, now renamed South Manchester Model Boat Club, continues to meet at the lake on Sunday mornings and is a major attraction to the park.

Artist biography

Albert Vincent Reade was born in 1864, he was a portrait, landscape and still life painter. He studied at the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and Colarossi's Paris, He exhibited  between 1901 and 1933 and lived in Manchester.