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WE NOW GO BACK IN TIME and see how the Quays looked in previous years.

THIS IS THE LOWRY UNDER CONSTRUCTION as it looked in 2001 viewed from Trafford Wharf west of the Imperial War Museum site. Behind it Victoria Point is under construction. The Lowry Bridge is in place on the right. A flock of birds is crossing the water

EWM says: The curved panoramic window at the western end of the Lowry is a great feature.

Tech: Nikon Coolpix 990 digital camera

THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM is here under construction. We are looking from the next building lot, currently used as a car park on match days. The concrete columns and crane of Victoria Point can be seen on the left. The Imperial War Museum was designed by Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind.

EWM says: The Imperial War Museum can present problems to photographers due to the very bright highlights reflected from the curved metal exterior.

Tech: Nikon Coolpix 990 digital camera

THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM NORTH is here seen under construction at dusk during 2000. We are looking from a point behind the Lowry, which can just be seen on the left. The sky over Trafford is a mixture of grey clouds, blue sky and reddish sunset.

EWM says: The barbed wire on the right echoes the theme of the museum.

Tech: Nikon Coolpix 990 digital camera

THE WHITE AND RED SUPERSTRUCTURE of an ocean-going ship can be seen rising up above a concrete wall and a perimeter fence next to the Manchester Dry Docks on Trafford Wharf. In the foreground, in front of a barbed wire perimiter fence, daffodils are growing on the grassy verge.

EWM says: This is the final ship to be worked on at the Manchester Dry Docks. At the time of writing (May 03) the last working dock in the former Manchester Docks is empty and its future appears uncertain.

Tech: Equipment Nikon Coolpix 990

THE MAIN SPAN OF THE LOWRY BRIDGE was installed on the weekend of the 30th and 31st of January 1999. Here it is pictured on Monday 1st of February. It was assembled at the nearby Manchester Dry Docks and then floated to its permanent location.

EWM says: I'd love to ride on the bridge after it has been raised and photograph a ship passing underneath - not possible due to safety regulations!

Tech: Kodak DC20 digital camera

IN THIS QTVR PANORAMA we are looking across the Manchester Ship Canal in July 1999 at the Lowry, currently under construction. Panning round to the right, we see the Lowry bridge and in front of it, HMS Bronington. Further along Trafford Wharf is the gold-tinted glass exterior of Quay West, head offices of Peel Holdings. The empty site in front of the Rank Hovis grain facility will soon become the Imperial War Museum North. Looking north west down the canal we can see the cranes of the Manchester Dry Docks on the left and straight ahead, one of the Ship Canal towers with its pointed roof. On the northern side of the canal is North Wharf, and in the distance blocks of Salford council flats.

EWM says: Wouldn't it be great to have panoramas from 1969 and maybe 1909!

Tech: Equipment Agfra E-Photo 1280 digital camera

"THE FUTURE TAKING SHAPE in Salford Quays and Trafford Park Manchester", with the Lowry under construction on the left, and Trafford Wharf on the right, before the arrival of the War Museum. The towers which support the new footbridge on either side are in place. The main span was added at the end of January 1999. The new bridge is contemporary in style, but its shape echoes Trafford Road Bridge built 105 years earlier. The map shows how the Lowry bridge provides a new pedestrian-only link between the Lowry in the City of Salford and the War Museum in the Borough of Trafford.

EWM says: Seeing the process of transformation was very exciting.

Tech: Nikon F50 and negative film, Kodak DC20 digital camera

THE LOWRY ARTS CENTRE, BRIDGE AND SHIP CANAL are now a major tourist attraction in the Manchester area. In the summer months, people can ride on an Amsterdam-style tour boat from the city centre to the Quays and back. Here it is passing under the Lowry Bridge on its way back to the centre.

EWM says: I would like to see lots more boats on the water in Salford Quays.

Tech: Equipment Nikon Coolpix 990

CROSSING THE LOWRY BRIDGE on 29th of April 2000 there were dramatic weather conditions over Trafford, with rays of sunlight shining down through banks of dark grey clouds. The Rank Hovis grain facility is silhouetted against the spectacular sky, which along with the outline of HMS Bronington is reflected in the dark, glassy waters of the Ship Canal.

EWM says: The War Museum would look great silhouetted a sky like this!

Tech: Nikon F50 composite of two images

LOOKING ALONG TRAFFORD WHARF to towards the new Lowry footbridge, not yet complete, and the Lowry arts centre currently under construction. It's the 29th of January 1999.

EWM says: This is where as an 8 year old I visited the submarine Grampus with my mother. The year was 1967. I keep mentioning it - I must be getting old! You can still occasionally visit Royal Navy vessels in Salford Quays today.

Tech: Nikon F50 film camera

SUNSET OVER THE SHIP CANAL and Lowry Bridge with the Lowry under construction on the right. One of the ball-shaped lights has already come on, and is set against a watery blue dusk sky.

EWM says: The scene has an empty feel, which would soon change.

Tech: Equipment Agfa E-Photo 1280 digital camera

THE LOWRY GALLERIA is under construction on the other side of the water - We are looking from Trafford Wharf. The cranes on the left have just started work on the new Victoria Point apartment building.

EWM says: The Lowry Galleria took shape remarkably quickly during 2000 and 2001, such is the speed of modern building methods. It was opened in late 2001 by the then Mayor of Salford Cllr Jim King - See his feature in Eyewitness in Manchester, linked from the home page.

Tech: Nikon Coolpix 990

THE LATTICEWORK RIVETED GIRDERS of Trafford Road Bridge make an interesting geometrical composition when viewed up close, as here. The bridge is painted bright red and white. Like all swing bridges along the Ship Canal, the name of the bridge is given on both sides in big white letters.

EWM says: All the bridges crossing the ship canal both new and old are fascinating pieces of engineering and would make great subjects for pencil or charcoal drawings.

Tech: Nikon F50 with 200 ASA negative film

SHINY NEW OFFICE BUILDINGS ON EXCHANGE QUAY stand next to Trafford Road Bridge, opened around the time of the completion of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894. The concrete shape in the water is the base of the Detroit railway bridge which was later moved to the location dividing Huron Basin and Erie Basin, formery Dock Number 9 on the northern side of the Quays.

EWM says: Here we have futuristic offices overlooking what in 1894 must have seemed a futuristic bridge. The concrete base is a clue to a later bridge, since removed. On the right are railings and lights installed in the 1980's. Unlike the old swing bridge, they are starting to look dated!

Tech: Nikon F50 with 200 ASA negative film

All photos and articles ©Aidan O'Rourke

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