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EWM: HIGH LEVEL VIEWS. In this edition of Eyewitness in Manchester we take a look at some amazing views over the conurbation captured from a variety of high level points, including multi-storey car parks, blocks of flats, the viewing plaform at the Imperial War Museum and Winter Hill.

MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE seen from the council flats off Chapel Street, Salford extends from the CIS Building on the left to the rear facade of Sunlight House Quay Street on the right. Other familiar landmarks include the sloping roof of No1 Deansgate, the yellow tiled exterior of Arndale House, Sunley Tower in the centre, and the clock tower of the Town Hall, once the tallest building in Manchester, on the right. The weather is cloudy but not dull.

In the enlarged part we can see the John Rylands Library lower left, the Town Hall clock and Portland Tower in the centre, and part of the Town Hall extension on the right. In the lower right, scaffolding shrounds the art deco tower of Northcliffe House on Deansgate prior to demolition. The distance to the city centre is about three quarters of a mile (1km).

EWM says: Viewing from the west, it's amazing how close the Pennines appear. The sloping hill on the right is Coombe edge, above Glossop, some 12 miles east of the city centre.

Tech: Composite panorama captured using the Nikon Coolpix 990 digital camera

PART OF MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE seen in zoom view from the top of the Lowry car park in Salford Quays. On the left is the CIS Building, then the white rectangular concrete form of the Ramada Hotel. The sloping glass structure in the centre - enlarged in the lower picture - is the exclusive residential building Number One Deansgate, designed by Ian Simpson Architects. The white building with dark rectangular windows is Albert Bridge House, main offices of the Inland Revenue in Manchester city centre, and in the upper right, the Arndale Centre tower. The three roof sections in the lower part of the frame belong to The Anchorage, Salford Quays. Distance to the city centre is about two miles (3km)

EWM says: Just imagine, if you live in No1 Deansgate, someone in Salford Quays with a very strong telescope can see into your living room! No 1 Deansgate reminds me of the buildings I used to make as a child out of transparent plastic Lego bricks - it's a quality I like.

Tech: Photo taken with Nikon D100 digital camera and 300mm zoom lens (equivalent to 450mm with this camera)

THE NEW PICCADILLY is seen here from the podium of Piccadilly Plaza underneath the Hotel Piccadilly. In the upper left is the CIS Building. In the upper centre are the varied facades along the north east side of Piccadilly. In front of us is the concrete outer wall of the pavilion designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It forms part of Manchester City Council's controversial redevelopment of Piccadilly Gardens, completed in 2002. In the lower part of the picture, a Metrolink tram gathers speed after leaving the Metrolink stop.

EWM says: The new Piccadilly looks slightly less ugly by night than it does by day. On the left can be seen the plain, bland shop front which replaced the Moorish style facade of the former Lyons Tea House, built 1910 demolished 2002.

Tech: Fuji F601 camera

ST MARY'S CHURCH HULME is one of the few buildings to have survived the two transformations which have taken place in Hulme since the 1960's, though it is now no longer used as a place of worship. In the lower right is Loreto School, now Sixth Form College. In the distance, on the left we can see Manchester University, and on the right, St Mary's hospital. Though we are close to the centre of Hulme, the block of flats we are looking from is located in what used to be Stretford, now part of the Borough of Trafford. It's a grey and drizzly day.

EWM says: You can reside in council blocks in and around Manchester for a tiny fraction of the cost of living at No1 Deansgate, though your postal address won't sound quite as prestigious.

Tech: Nikon Coolpix 990 camera.

OLDHAM CIVIC CENTRE can be clearly seen from our viewpoint on the top level of the Lowry car park in Salford Quays. In the upper left is Blackstone Edge on the A62 to Huddersfield. The hilltops above Oldham and the valleys on the other side belong to Saddleworth, the Yorkshire district located on the Lancashire side of the Pennines. Since 1974 Saddleworth has been part of Oldham MBC.

In the lower right we can see the rounded tower of the church of St Philip with St Stephen (C of E) off Chapel Street Salford, and on the far right, the tower of St Chad's (RC) church on Cheetham Hill Road Manchester. Oldham Civic Centre is about 8 miles (13km) away.

EWM says: It's amazing that Yorkshire in its original boundaries comes within 6 miles or so of Manchester city centre.

Tech: Nikon D100 and 300mm (450mm) lens


All photos and articles © Aidan O'Rourke

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