Gatley’s war memorial is situated on Gatley Green, though the original World War I memorial is the clock tower at the junction of Altrincham Road and Church Road. Following many years of in-operation, a Clock Fund was started in 2011 with the intention of repairing and restoring the clock tower and clock. In mid-2012 work began on restoration, with completion in late 2012. The fully restored clock tower now boasts a fully working clock, however, its four faces are no longer illuminated at night.
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There is also what remains of the Tatton Cinema, originally built in the 1930s, but now only the front facade still stands. For decades, the cinema was the centrepiece of Gatley, but closed in early 2001 due to the increase in multiplex cinemas, particularly the nearby Parrs Wood Cinema complex which lies 2 miles (3.2 km) away. There have been plans to turn the old cinema into a supermarket outlet (such as Tesco or Sainsbury’s) but nothing has been done so far due to the recent recession. Two planning applications have so far been placed (as of 2010) to build sheltered housing on the vacant land behind the facade and to create a supermarket at the front. The first supermarket plan envisaged the demolition of half of the facade and the building of a modern edifice to the same scale. The second supermarket plan envisaged the conversion of the same half of the facade. Both planning applications met with opposition (from established local retailers and councillors), and were rejected.
Gatley Recreation Ground (informally known as GatleyPark) is a small park area between Church Road and Northenden Road. It has a bowling green, a hard-surface tennis and basketball court, a children’s playground area, and a purpose-built skateboarding area with several ramps. Maintenance of the park is the responsibility of Stockport Council and a local community group called SPRING (Supporters of Parks and Recreation IN Gatley) support the council by fundraising, enabling continued investment in park facilities.
Walter Stansby Memorial Park is a small tree-lined park area running between Church Road and Northenden Road, near to the Recreation Ground (the two are separated by a children’s day nursery). In contrast to the Recreation Ground, it has been designed to be a tranquil nature spot with tended lawns and plants, several memorial benches, and a path that extends through the park.
At the south-western end of the village, close to the boundary of Manchester, is Gatley Hill House, next to which is the WilliamScholesPark which includes several large playing fields partioned by small woodland areas. Far larger than Gatley Recreation Ground, this was developed in the early 1960s with money from the William Scholes Foundation. Scholes was a Gatley resident and estate agent who died in 1927. The track circuit opened on 19 May 1962 and was the first home of Cheadle and Gatley Athletics Club, before it merged with Stretford Athletics Club in 1966. Currently, the fields are used for many Gatley events – from the annual Gatley Festival to Sport Relief – and are used regularly by local running clubs as well as local teams for cricket in the summer and football in the winter. A children’s playground was opened in February 2011 at the Foxland Road corner.
Gatley Carrs is a nature reserve at the north-west corner of the area (bounded to the north and west by the M60 and M56 motorways and the Stockport-Altrincham railway line). A local community group, Gatley Carrs Conservation Group, help to maintain the reserve in conjunction with the local authority.
Gatley Festival is an annual summer event. It is a celebration of village life and includes a carnival parade and a family fun day which are held on the first Sunday in July each year.
The festival is believed to have started in the early 1930s as the Gatley Rose Queen Parade. The current festival format of a large parade and then a funfair and stalls was started around 1986 and was originally held in what is now known as Gatley Recreation Ground before moving to the much larger ScholesPark next to Gatley Hill House. The festival still maintains the tradition of crowning a Rose Queen.
Gatley Music Festival is a non-profit annual event bringing live music to the village of Gatley, while at the same time raising money for local charities. It runs in March for one week each year with something for every age and taste, including classical, jazz, brass, choral as well as local indie, acoustic and rock. It has its roots in “Music at St James”, set up in 1989 by the Rev. Brian Lee (curate of St James in Gatley) and Len Mather. The success of those concerts inspired the establishment of a festival of music in 2005.
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