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Steve Cliffe, a former Stockport councillor was the founding member of Stockport Heritage and Stockport Heritage Magazine circa 1987. He and his late wife, Jean, co-ordinated the efforts of Stockport Heritage to persuade English Heritage and the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council to support the purchase and restoration of semi-derelict Staircase House, a 15th-century merchant's townhouse, as the town museum.
The house was finally restored with a £4 million grant and opened to the public in 2005 as a living example of the development of vernacular architecture. It has since won Civic Trust and architectural awards[which?].
In his book, Stockport History & Guide, published in 2005, he details the struggle to get the project off the ground.