Jill’s Jaunts – Manchester part 3

Old stuff, new stuff

In part 1, I posted pictures of some of the fantastic old buildings down Manchester’s Whitworth Street, and in part 2 briefly discussed the decline and regeneration of Manchester’s canals. Part 3 is the final part of a few hours spent in an awesome and culturally diverse northern city which mixes a history of textile industry with shopping, leisure and the arts.

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Chimney stacks down Deansgate. This vast building, now with lots of modern shop units underneath, once housed the LNER Goods Depot (London & North Eastern Railway, once one of the Big 4 railway companies)
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This picture shows the contrast between traditional and modern. The same buildings as previous picture, with the Hilton Hotel looming above. Personally speaking, I think the Hilton is hideous

Manchester today is a very busy shopping area, housing lots of designer, eclectic, independant and High Street shops, and the Arndale Centre. The city is full of museums. Depending on your taste you can visit The Museum of Science and Industry, The National Football Museum, The Lowry Museum (famous local artist L.S. Lowry who painted industrial scenes of ‘Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs’), The Manchester Museum, the Peoples’ History Museum, plus a police museum, a transport museum, various art galleries around the city.

Although the city is very vibrant and multicultural, there is also the great football divide: the red and blue halves of Manchester; United and City, both Premiership high-fliers. I know which half I stand in (as well as my own home town team Huddersfield Town of course!)

Manchester is also well-known for its music scene. The 1990’s ‘Madchester’ explosion saw bands such as The Chemical Brothers, The Happy Mondays, Oasis, The Stone Roses and The Verve take over what Joy Division, New Order and The Smiths had started in the 80’s. Other notable Manchester bands include The Hollies, Freddie and the Dreamers, Simply Red, Take That and Herman’s Hermits.

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Some older history

 

Above shows two sides of back ginnels*. Traditional local red brick, and more recent metal fire escape.

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One of the impressive entrances to the John Rylands Library…
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…and again with the obtrusion of the new…
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…I suppose it was designed to be lighter and airier
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Old and new reflected in the windows of the Sawyer’s Arms, a beautiful example of a Victorian style ‘backstreet boozer’
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And back to concrete blocks, this is Piccadilly Gardens where we ate our sandwiches and drank our much-needed take-out coffee. Managed to transfer it to monochrome (photo, not coffee), thought it may look better…
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Goodbye to Manchester. Here is some roof detail in Piccadilly Station. The station originally opened in 1848

So there it is, a very brief whizz round one of my favourite cities, which successfully combines tradition and cutting-edge technology, old eating establishments in grand settings with modern chain restaurants and trendy bars. Like I said earlier; diverse, eclectic and vibrant. I hope you’ve enjoyed the quick potted history jaunt as much as we did.

*ginnel. This is an alleyway or passage.

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