The Vault Regulars

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Photos around Manchester City Centre before lockdown ends.

Sheila and I took the opportunity of a walk around Manchester Town Centre. Prior to the shops opening again in 4 days time. Many things have changed during our lockdown since March. Many building projects started, roads closed, high rise flourishing. If you know it, The old Boddingtons brewery site which was a very handy huge car park is now a new building site. Parking prices had risen at other city centre sites.

There was so many Police and Security walking and driving around the city centre. We've never seen anything like it and Sheila has worked in the city centre all her life.
Generally people were keeping apart and I guess it was 50/50 people wearing face masks. It was fairly obvious that most BAME folk wore masks, while white locals didn't. There was exceptions to both.

I have purposely kept the text to a minimum and let the photo's tell the story of our trip.

The coat of arms located above the entrance to Chethams Music school. Founded 1655. 
The building also houses the oldest free public reference library in the UK. It has been in continuous use since 1563. I have never been in. But I need to put that right. 

The Mitre at the Mitre Public House and Hotel.
Built in 1815 as The Old Church Tavern. It changed its name and gained the Mitre in or around 1867. I wondered what was in the space prior to the mitre.?

The Old Wellington Inn built in 1552 (right), Manchester's only remaining city centre Tudor building. Sinclairs Oyster bar (centre), The Mitre (left). 
The Wellington and Sinclairs were demolished and rebuilt 300 metres from their original position. They were re-built at 90 degrees to each other to form a square with the Mitre in 1999. A modern corner section was added.

"The last shot". Boer war memorial in St Ann's square.
The cotton boll (Bud) fountain in St Anns square.
 Opened by Tony Blair in 1996 to commemorate Manchester's long standing with the cotton industry and also the area becoming pedestrianised. Its designer was Peter Randall-Page. The bud is sandstone and the base, granite.
Statue of Richard Cobden. 1804 - 1865.
Manufacturer, radical and liberal statesman. Founder of the Anti corn law league with John Bright. Manchesters first Alderman.
Plaque outside St Ann's church.

St Ann's association with The Jacobite Rebellion. 

Homeless Jesus. 
Represents the problem in Manchester of the homeless. Installed in Manchester after Westminster City council refused planning to site it near the Houses of Parliament. Sculptured by Timothy Schmalz
Coat of arms of Benjamin Heywood's family who had their bank in St Ann's square. 
Built in 1848 by John Edgar Gregan.
Heywood's Bank now RBS.
                                                                 Fryderyk Chopin, 
Played one of his last gigs in Manchester, 1848. He was ill when he played here. He died in 1849. This commemorated the fight for freedom of the Polish people.
Outside Manchester Science and Industry Museum. 
A Crossley 2 cylinder engine designed to run on wood gas. Converted later to diesel and was working until 1970. Its a type SE220. 
A blue post box?
This post box was brought into service painted blue and it used to have an oval steel plate on its lid saying AIR MAIL. It was to do with letters being sent to armed service personnel before and during WW2. It's still in use today but for normal post. 
The founder was McDowell Stevens and co, London and Glasgow. Most of these boxes were manufactured when the company foundry was at Laurieston Ironworks around 1912.
Signage of what the box would have had years ago. (photo from Wiki)

The Britons Protection. 
Something we need more of in todays climate of numpties trying to rule.
This pub has a long history. Built between 1806 and 1811 depending on what you read. 
Murals inside commemorate the Peterloo massacre along with its 1930 style decor. It's name goes back to its days of being the venue for army recruitment.
One of many gymnast sculptures called "Up there". On First Street Avenue. Created by Colin Spofforth.
This sad building was Medlock Mill, a cotton mill, built on the river of the same name in 1801. 
It was bought by the Percy Brothers around the turn of the 20th century and turned into a printing press works. Now completely derelict and will probably become apartments soon.
If you want to look inside click on this HERE.
The Refuge.
A couple of shots of where Sheila worked all those years ago. The Refuge Insurance building.
Now a hotel.
The chimney of Bloom Street power station taken from Whitworth street.
It used to be known as Winser street power station. It was built canal side (Rochdale Canal) so that narrow boats could be offloaded and coal put directly into bunkers.
It used 4 off 1800Kw vertical engines from Musgraves and ran Westinghouse generators. It provided heating as well as power for the area.
Canal side view.
A Manchester Great.
Alan Turing, Mathematician, Computor scientist, Broke the German Enigma Code during WW2. 
And more...
Another Manchester Great.
Vimto. Something I drink every day. Made here on Granby Row in 1908 by J.N. Nichols.

The Technology Arch.
Art by Axel Wolkenhauer at Manchester uni.

Sculpture of Archimedes by Thompson W Dagnall. 1990.
Signifies Archimedes at the point that he discovered the law of buoyancy while in his bath.
The tower of the old fire station on London Road. 1906. 
The station is currently undergoing a complete refurbishment, as a place to work, rest and play. 

Glad to see that the original frontage of Picadilly Station has been kept.
Statue of the great Duke of Wellington.
Raised by the people of Manchester 1852 by Matthew Noble. It was unveiled in 1856. Surrounded by four allegorical figures and four relief scenes from his life. (below)

The Great British Queen. Victoria.
Seated and robed, she sits with St. George and the dragon on the plinth above. Sculpted by Onslow Ford.
James Watt by William Theed. C1850.
Watt was a Scottish Inventor, Engineer and chemist. Best known for his work surrounding the Industrial Revolution. Especially the steam engine.

Sir Robert Peel
By William Calder Marshall. Peel founded the modern Police Force. Prime Minister and brought about laws to stop women and children from working underground. Erected by public subscription.

The infamous Piccadilly wall. 
The sooner this monstrosity gets taken down the better. It's an eyesore.
Removal of the wall will further enhance the view of the tree of remembrance. For Manchester people killed in WW2. located in 2005.
An old Victoria Reigns post box on Mosely Street. Probably not used today as there is no collection plate, but also the slot is not sealed so maybe it is..
The contract to make these boxes was given to W.T. Allen and Co. London Founders. The name is just visible at the bottom of the box. However, the boxes were actually made by a sub contractor James Maude and Co of Mansfield who was originally a farming machinery founder, and worked for W.T.Allen. Maudes foundry was working up until 2004.

Portico Library.
This is a rare subscription library designed by Thomas Harrison and built between 1802 and 1806. Notable members include, John Dalton, Sir Robert Peel and Eric Cantona.
I just loved the name of this restaurant. It's not meat free either.
Manchester Cenataph.
Inside The Arndale Centre.
Facade of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Station.
Manchester Victoria.


Sir Hugh said...

An important record I think and super photos. One wonders about all the statues especially where philanthropy and noble actions clash with more dubious activity. I think they should stay but with more informative well constructed cast plaques attached detailing the bad along with the good. It is wrong to airbrush history.

Good to hear from you both - best wishes.

AlanR said...

Hi Conrad. Sheila said it all yesterday. History is not one of her favourite subjects but she said its been a good day and I've learnt so much. History cannot be erased. It will always come back. For me i find the whole statue protest a pathetic waste of public money at a time that the economy is struggling. Statues were mainly paid for by public funding, so some people have short memories. What WE are led to believe is that it was the white people who were wrong and black people persecuted. Yes, but what about all the very rich black organisers on the west coast of Africa who did the majority of the kidnapping. As i said earlier, history cannot be erased. There may be a civil war if Baden Powell statue goes. Rant over.

Thanks for your comment on the pictures. I have a new camera which i am just getting to grips with. Its not easy.

Phreerunner said...

Excellent pictures, Alan. Which camera are you using?
Refuge Assurance was the first client I visited after starting work in July 1971. I remember roomfulls of comptometer operators, and burnt fingers from re-sealing mortgage documents and property deeds with wax in the basement, in what resembled prison cells.

AlanR said...

Thanks Martin. Hope you are both ok during this awful time. Camera wise I used the Olympus OMD EM5 mkiii with the 40mm-150mm lens. Its superb and ideal for an interested beginner like me. I have spent hours during lockdown getting the hang of the menus and settings and watching lots of YouTube video tutorials. I am very pleased with my results but remembering everything is difficult.
Sheila worked upstairs for 9.5 years. She remembers the wonderful interior and the basement had a stage and dance floor. Its now a hotel and we will stay there one night and have a look around.

AlanR said...

Sorry the lens should have read 14mm-150mm.

Phreerunner said...

Very nice Alan - a step up from my 'point and shoot' Lumix!

AlanR said...

It is a step up and worth the investment. My Nikon developed a fault on the power switch so I almost always had a flat battery. I paid for a repair which wasn't cheap and it went faulty again inside 2 weeks. They are going to repair it FOC when I drop it back in to the shop. But now I will never trust it again.
I had been talking to one of the tech guys in Jessops and he showed me some results he had got from the camera and that persuaded me to have a think about getting one. For me it was a lot of money but I managed to pick a time when they were doing a sale. I went back the following week and bought it. The good thing for hiking is that its not stupid heavy, its waterproof and dustproof and well built.

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