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THERE ARE PANORAMIC VIEWS over east Manchester from Ardwick station footbridge. Here we are looking north towards the City of Manchester Stadium. The disused railway viaduct which linked Piccadilly (London Rd) in the south and the line north towards Victoria has long since been out of use. The other spur, leading east towards Guide Bridge is still in use. Oldham Civic Centre can be seen on the distant hilltop on the right.

EWM says: Who says there are no picturesque views in Ardwick?!

PANORAMIC VIEW OVER THE DISUSED RAILWAY VIADUCT, and the scrapyards and flytips of east Manchester. Under the arches are car repair and paint spraying workshops. We zoom in to view the CIS building on the right and the main railway viaduct on the left.

EWM says: Much of inner city Manchester - and Birmingham and London too - still appears like this - a bleak, post-industrial wasteland.

THE MANCHESTER TO LONDON railway line near Ardwick junction is used by thousands of rail passengers every day. The line to London has been electrified since 1960. The Ardwick junction footbridge is on the far left. Graffiti on the walls is evidence that young people are trespassing on the line.

EWM says: The railway line through Ardwick captures an essential part of the character and feel of Manchester, a pioneering railway city since the 19th century. The line and viaduct were first built in the early 1840's and are used every day by hundreds of trains.

FOUR VIEWS OF ARDWICK from a train arriving at Piccadilly Station - The tower of Nicholls Hospital (upper left) is seen over the roof of the Devonshire St bus depot. The tower of St Thomas's church (upper right) rises up above houses built probably in the 1970's. As we near Piccadilly Station, we have a view (lower left) over the top of older industrial buildings towards UMIST George Begg and Reynold Buildings, with the BT building on the right. Finally (lower right) we look over the same industrial buildings in the opposite direction towards Ardwick, and the commercial buildings which overlook the north of Ardwick Green, with the square chimney on the right.

EWM says: In the Central Library Local Studies Unit there are some stunning rooftop views from around 1902 of old Ardwick taken from the railway viaduct. They show the ramshackle houses people lived in, with their slate roofs, chimney stacks and uneven brick walls, all seen through a smoky haze.

IN THIS UPDATE OF EYEWITNESS IN MANCHESTER I have merely scratched at the surface of Ardwick and its intriguing and hidden character. To find out more, take a look at 'The Illustrated History of Manchester's Suburbs', by Glynis Cooper, published in association with Manchester Libraries. And of course you can view the remarkable collection of old photographs at the Central Library Archives and Local Studies Unit, the best place to find out all about Manchester.
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