A FOOTBALL Association chief has discovered a 100-year-old advertisement map of Altrincham in his home in Bowdon.

Eighty-two-year-old Noel White, who is a life vice-president at the FA and one of the founding architects of the FA Premier League, found the map while clearing out a number of old football programmes.

The map – dated 1911 to 1912 – is surrounded by 16 advertisements for local companies, including shops, tailors and hotels.

The only business which is still in existence today is now called The Mercure Bowdon Hotel – which Noel owned between 1968 and 1986.

Noel, who also owned White and Swales music shop in Altrincham, said: “When I found the map, I could not believe it was 100 years old. I did not realise that sort of advertising was done on the back of a map.”

In 1911, the hotel on Langham Road was a spa, and was called the Bowdon Hydropathic Establishment.

Noel bought the hotel in 1968 and extended it, before selling it and retiring in 1986.

As far as Noel is concerned, the fact that so few of the local businesses exist any more proves that they are in decline in general.

He said: “In the 50s and 60s when I owned my shop, Altrincham was bustling.

“Now there are so many empty shops.

“It’s obviously a well-known, accepted thing that these mammoth and gigantic shopping centres are killing trade in areas like Altrincham.

“It is a real shame that the one-man business is becoming a thing of the past.”

Noel passed the map on to the Altrincham and Sale Chamber of Commerce as he was once a member there.

Tony Collier, president, said: “There are few organisations that have been around quite as long as the Chamber of Commerce (now in its 103rd year).

“We were delighted with the map, which highlighted some of the local businesses back in 1912. Indeed the Mercure Hotel, previously the Bowdon Hotel shown on the map, remains a Chamber member.

“The Bowdon Hotel holds happy memories for me as that is where my wife and I held our wedding reception 31 years ago.”