This article appeared in the Manchester Evening News in late November 2015 and is on the subject of new squares in the city centre. It’s an example of how the city is constantly developing, altering and reinventing itself. Sometimes this process isn’t always for the best. Generally I like to keep the tone upbeat and positive, with some suggestions of my own and maybe the odd mild criticism.
Manchester is the city that likes to reinvent itself. One aspect of this is the creation of new squares. It happened in the past: St Peters Square came into being after the church was demolished over 100 years ago. Exchange Square appeared in the late 90s. Today in the heart of the NOMA district, a new pedestrianised square is nearly complete. They asked the public to choose names. I suggested ‘Co-operation Square’ but the panel chose ‘Sadlers Yard’. James Sadler made the first manned balloon flight in Manchester in 1785. In Spinningfields there are several squares including Irwell Square but I can’t find any street signs marking them out. Spinningfields Square is the open space by the John Rylands Library but the sign says ‘Spinningfields’. In the First Street area there’s Tony Wilson Place but I can’t find any street sign with that name, only direction signs. Here’s my suggestion for a new square: the open space between Motor Street and St Mary’s Parsonage. Why not call it ‘Motor Square’, or maybe some would like to call it ‘George Best Square’ as his boutique was there. If you’d like to explore Manchester and learn photography come on one of my photo walks: £25 for MEN readers. Gift vouchers available. More information on www.aidan.co.uk