The former owner of the recording studio and community centre where cult comedian Frank Sidebottom made his hilarious music has described plans to bulldoze the building as ‘a tragedy’.

Plans have been submitted to Trafford council asking permission to demolish the former Riddings Community Centre in the Timperley area of Altrincham in order to build five homes..

It was in the basement of the Riddings that musicians Howard Woolley and Dave Cartwright ran the ‘Meek’ recording studio.

There they recorded Frank making his quirky tunes, including the hilarious ‘Panic on the Streets of Timperley’, along the similar lines to The Smiths’ hit ‘Panic’.

Howard and Dave also took rare photographs of Sidebottom without his paper mache head as he played guitar and sang his tunes with a clothes peg on his nose.

The duo, who lost more than £150,000 when the studio eventually went bust during the financial crash of 2008, are offering to give the photographs to any relatives of the late comedian/singer who may come forward.

Frank was also known as Chris Sievey, front man of the band The Freshies in the late 1970s and 1980s. They shot to fame with the hit ‘I’m in Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Mega Store Check-out Desk’.

But Frank/Chris died aged 54 in 2010 and his son Harry Sievey, 24, died in a road accident in 2017.

“We don’t know whether there are any other relatives,” said Howard. “But if there are any out there, we’d be happy to share these photographs with them.”

And he went on: “We had a great time recording with Frank between 2002 and 2008 until we got into financial trouble. We would spend half the time recording and the other half falling about laughing. They were great times.”

But he said the Victorian Riddings building on Park Road, a former library and police station, was plagued by damp.

“To demolish it would be a tragedy,” said Howard. “The place really needs tanking [a well-known treatment for damp buildings].”

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat councillors in Trafford are also campaigning to save the building and a 500-name petition has been raised on

The Lib Dems have ‘called in’ the planning application, which means it must be decided by the Trafford planning and development management committee.

The applicant bidding to pull down the building and replace it with five homes is PIC (Park Road) Ltd and its agent it Euan Kellie Property Solutions, based in Cheadle Hulme.

In the application, architect Coda Studios says the plan is ‘an opportunity for the site to contribute towards the strategic objective of the Trafford Local Plan in helping to tackle the area’s need for housing’.

However, there have been more than 60 letters of objection to the plan from nearby residents.