Piccadilly graffitiHi Aidan,
Just thought Id drop a quick note as I thought people would be interested
to know that Ive noticed today the first bits of graffiti appear
on the wall of the Pavilion at Piccadilly Gardens. Its a shame really
that no attempt to stop this happening has been made, and that graffiti
is appearing even before the gardens are finished and open to the public.
I generally think the design of the new Piccadilly Gardens is actually
quite good, and that I can see it actually getting used a lot more than
the old gardens had done in recent years. Its just a shame it appears
that none of the architects, planners and council folk put much thought
into what would happen if you were to put a blank concrete wall in centre
Keep up the good work!!
for letting me know. I have been keeping an eye what's happening in Piccadilly
- The official opening is later this year. These photographs give an indication
of my impressions. The photo upper left shows the new concrete wall seen
from near the Mosley St corner - the photo upper right shows the same
scene in 1996 from slightly further back. In the lower left and centre
pictures, I've taken some actual graffiti from the Berlin Wall and through
the magic of digital imaging, pasted it onto the Piccadilly 'Wall' to
see how it looks. The picture lower right shows the view of Queen Victoria's
statue through opening in the pavilion near the Metrolink stop. In March
2002 people have already been writing in to the Manchester Evening News
letters page complaining about the use of concrete in the new design.
It appears I am not alone. To read my views on the new Piccadilly in more
detail, see the March 2002 City
From: Gordon Simpson
Dear Aidan have you any information on Gorton monastery, especially what
it was like in its heyday prior to ruin? I would be grateful for all items
received.The monastery is near my girlfriend's sister's house and we see
it regularly. It is a pity such a fine building is no longer used as sacred
houses and are merely a target for vandals and decay. What do you think
about this? Another church is the Holy Name on Oxford Road which nearly
closed and St Luke's in Cheetam Hill which has closed and many other churches
besides. Do you remember St Aloysius Ardwick and the St Lawrence OldTrafford.
What do you think about church closures? Do you think more money should
be spent on the upkeep of these buildings or like everything else is it
a sign of changing times? Thanks a lot, good luck, and by the way what
do you look like please? Download a photo if you can yours truly Gordon
Monastery, the church of St Francis, was once a thriving place at the
heart of the local community. Sadly it went into decline and after the
building was vacated in the mid-80's, it became neglected and vandalised.
Now it is being renovated and will open again not as a church, but as
a spiritual meeting place, part of a conference centre and hotel. I think
this is a good use for unique building that was nearly lost. The photo
upper right shows the Church of St Francis in silhouette. Next (from right
to left) is the Holy Name, now serving the Roman Catholic community of
Manchester University - by the way, those trees, seen from Upper Brook
St, have now gone. The church at Ardwick Green looks the same as it has
always done, but St Georges, near Hulme, seen here with scaffolding, is
being converted into an apartment building.
don't mind churches being converted for office use, but I don't think
it's right to use them as places to live. I don't remember the two churches
you mention, I'll have to look them up in the Local Studies Unit at the
Church closures are inevitable - churches closed and were demolished 100
years ago, e.g. St Peters Church,, but as much as possible I think they
should be retained - even if it's only the shell, as in St Marks, Cheetham,
and that church on Wellington Rd North, in Stockport. Let's not forget
that some new churches have been built in recent years. Churches and other
places of worship are among the most important features of the landscape.
How about this Hindu temple on Wilbraham Road - looking up at the tower's
you'd almost think you were in India!
can see my photograph in the article 'Aidan
Untangles the Web' which appeared on 15 March 2002 in the Jobs section
of the Manchester Evening News. The article is part of the series 'Me
& My Job'. The photo was taken by MEN freelance photographer Tony
Redmond. Thanks for your message.
Subject: SEARCHING FOR RELATIVES
Hello; My name is Terri Smith and I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.
I am looking into our family tree, and have tracked one of my ancestors
to England, where he used to teach Ice Skating around1929-1952. He was
a Silver Medallist of the National Skating Association. He was originally
from P.E.I., Canada. He married an English lady by the name of Miriam
Dennis of London. [My great Uncle's name by the way was Harry Lund.] They
produced three daughters: Dorothy, Margaretta and Joan. We actually have
an address where they used to live: 41 South Avenue, Horbury, Wakefield,
Yorkshire. I came upon the article on the Manchester Ice Palace, and was
also told that this was the only ice rink around at that period in time.
I was wondering if you could give me anymore insight, or put me in the
right direction where I could fine out more information.
Thank-you for your time. Sincerely, Terri Smith
not an expert in family history, but I'm sure that someone out there will
be able to help. You could also get in contact with 'In Touch' and they
can print your message in the Manchester Evening News on a Saturday. I've
heard that people have had very good responses from that. Hope you make
progress in your search
I took some photographs inside the Hacienda just before the demolition,
could you put a notice on your website asking if anyone would be interested
OK - The
film '24 Hour Party People' is scheduled for release during 2002. Unfortunately,
people now won't find any trace of the building where it all happened,
as the remaining facade of the Roundhouse on Whitworth St was demolished
by Crosby Homes to make way for the apartments they are building on the
site. Another piece of the mosaic of Manchester has been chipped away.
Tel: 01666 861110
Hi Once again, Eyewitness comes to the aid of a expat Mancunian. I've
been troubled for some time about the Grosvenor Picture House - for all
sorts of reasons I've always had great fondness for the building, and
every time I go back to Manchester I look it up to see if it has fallen
down! Your website has put my mind at ease - I'm so pleased to see it
actually being used for some purpose. The last time I entered the building
as a cinema was 1966 - I think it closed down very shortly after, although
the basement was a snooker hall for many years.
By the way, Scruffy Murphy's is, in fact, the former admin. offices of
Duncan and Foster's Bakery, which I'm sure no longer exists. The actual
bakery was on the street immediately after what is now Scruffy Murphy's,
and Duncan and Foster's shop was on Oxford Road, just after Barclays Bank
around the corner.
I was also interested to see that all the shops on Oxford Road, facing
All Saints Park, have now been demolished. I don't know how long you've
been in Manchester, but you might remember two of the shops; Johhny Roadhouse
was a second hand junk shop which bought and sold everything (he had a
sign in the window which said 'From a Pin to a Rolls Royce') and next
door was Carrol Arden's. Carrol was a very fey ladies' hairdresser/greengrocer
with a pouting lisp and a great line in pink cord trousers. He was a sort
of downmarket Austin Powers (though much older) and his main claim to
fame was that the lady who played Ena Sharples in Coronation Street came
to him for hairstyling (and, possibly, brussel sprouts - there was no
dividing line between his two enterprises - you could reach down and select
a cabbage whilst having your split ends done). This may be childhood imagination,
but I'm pretty sure the actress - I've just remembered her name, Violet
Carson - used to turn up for her appointment in a chauffeur driven Bentley.
Carrol would greet her at the car with a low bow, and then close the shop
in her honour whilst working on the great lady's barnet.
Thanks once again for the website - invaluable.
you very much for your appreciative comments. A great story there about
another Manchester character. It's great to have this on record. It helps
to preserve the kaleidoscope of Manchester, which is being constantly
chipped away. One or two points, not all the shops facing All Saints Park
have been demolished. The former post office was renovated and is now
a pizza takeaway. With the passing of the Irish pub fad, Scruffy Murphy's
has now been renamed 'The Pub'. And 'On The Eighth Day' vegetarian restaurant
has moved into a portakabin round the corner, and since I took this photo,
scaffolding has appeared around the building and it is about to be demolished.
your gr8 photos and messages of early Manchester
I got so excited when I saw the attached photo. Its the street where My
Family used to rent a house circa 1965-1990 approx We lived at #7 Oxton
Street Higher Openshaw, just facing the tennis courts in Delamere Park.
Many happy hours were spent frolicking in that park, after we moved from
further down the Ashton Old Rd in Erin (aka Ellen) Street, just opp the
The the year your photo was taken Feb 1999, was just 3mths before I was
able to take a trip back to the UK after 24 yrs in Australia/NZ. I felt
like a tourist, although I did do the 218/219 bus run from Piccadilly
to Ashton-u-Lyne, stopping off on the way at Oxton St, and taking a look
at the 2 pubs next door to each other on the main Rd, The Crown and The
Grove (The large & the small).
So much has changed. Thanks for the memories Aidan
Julie Goss (nee Brophy)
glad you like that photo - I didn't grow up there, but the scene captures
the mood of childhood years. If you're interested in seeing any old photos
of that area, it's always worth visiting the Local Studies Unit at the
Central Library. They have a fantastic collection of old photographs.
Go to http://www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries/arls/ Thanks for your kind
I enjoy seeing the photos and stories of Manchester that appear on your
website. I was born an grew up in Manchester, but have not been back since
I left England in 1966 to live in the USA. I have been trying, unsuccessfully,
to locate some old school friends who attended Manchester Central High
School for Girls (Whitworth Street) who were there between 1945 to 1952.
Apparently the school is no longer in existence. Do you, or any of your
readers, have any information regarding when the school was closed, and
is the building in Whitworth Street still there? I would love to know.
Joan Harvey (Bratby), New Jersey, USA
The building is there - it is Shena Simon College, now part of MANCAT
- Manchester College of Arts and Technology. The part close to Canal St
has been converted into apartments, I believe. Hope you find your friends
- can anyone out there help. You could also contact 'In Touch' via the
main Manchester Online website.
Good morning Aidan I emailed you a while back re longsight/ moss side/
rusholme I have now seen the Ancoats feature. My great grandad had a
business there His name was Simon Robino, sometimes spelled Rubino He
came from Italy originally and I believe his buisiness was in Jersey St
He was my Nana's dad He made barrel organs and wrote music I know I have
some Robino Cousins in Salford somewhere and would love to contact them
Anyway, your pictures are so cool They make me laugh and cry Keep up the
you very much for your comments! Hope you find your cousins! I keep thinking
about your comment about my photographs and how they 'make me laugh and
cry' - It encourages me to go out and take lots lots more!
I must be destined to see your photographs, I asked Google for details
on Denton, and up pops Crown Point looking towards Manchester, have you
taken any of Gorton?
Cheers Win Grimshaw Lewis
confess I don't have many of Gorton, but here's one of Gorton Monastery,
currently being renovated. Google seems to index my photographs and features
very well. When I'm doing research, I often find my own pages coming up,
which isn't very helpful when I'm looking for new information!