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READER MESSAGES Early June 2001 (Late June / Early July 2001)

Name: David Bleicher
From or connections with: City Centre
Present Location: Carrboro, NC, USA
Subject: A few comments
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
Thanks for printing my previous message. I just checked in to your website and saw it posted. On the subject of skyscrapers, I think the old city centre has enough already, and I agree with you that Salford Quays would be an ideal place for new skyscrapers. However, many American cities have learnt that creating a dramatic skyline does not necessarily create a pleasing urban environment. Dallas, TX, looks fabulous from a distant highway or an aircraft coming in to land, but walking down the streets, even on a busy workday, is rather depressing. There are no shops, few other pedestrians, few street trees or street furniture, and no "human scale" buildings. Even parts of New York and Chicago are worse off for the addition of skyscrapers: the scale of the streetscape is not as intimate as older neighborhoods with 4-12 storey buildings.

Architects of the new Manchester don't have to design everything in nostalgic styles, but there are timeless rules of architecture that enable buildings to become part of a pleasing, pedestrian-oriented urban fabric.

Skyscrapers can be intimidating, but I loved New York, with its amazing skyline. The area around Wall St and Battery Park seems to retain charm on a human scale even though some of the highest buildings in the world are here. The tallest building set to be built in Manchester city centre is the new apartment tower next to the Great Northern Warehouse (image upper right). We'll have to wait and see whether it's a success or not. I have a feeling it will be.

Name: Ray O'Neill
From or connections with: Cheetham hill
Present Location: portland oregon, USA
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan You are quite welcome to visit this beautiful City of Portland and see haw the city fathers are building it up to be even more lovely. By all means come and be my guest and I will take you on the best pub crawl outside of Manchester. Ray

I look forward to that very much. I met up with Ray in Manchester and was impressed by his photographs of Portland Oregon. It looks like an interesting place with many parallels to Manchester.

Name: Peter Foy
From or connections with: Oldham but Policed the North side of Manchester
Present Location: London Ontario Canada
Subject: Sudell St and Oldham Rd
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Reader Message: Dear Aidan, I have just gone through your recent message pages and on one of them you show a building that is what I would call Flat Iron shaped and you say it is at the corner of Sudell St and Oldham.Myabe you should recheck that if my memory serve me right that particular corner is in fact Rochdale Rd and Sudell St. I think my friend Ray O'Neill would also say that this intersection is Rochdale Rd and Sudell St.Anyway good to see that you are still working hard and that Manchester is a hive of interest no matter what part one goes.
Are you planning any trips on stories around some of the old Police Stations. A trip to the Police Museum on Newton St might give you ideas.
Cheers Peter Foy

Apologies for the silly mistake - this is of course Rochdale Road, not Oldham Road - I ought to know I drive up that way often enough. This is the only remaining building of a row which extended along Rochdale Road. I hope to visit the Police Museum on Newton Street some time soon.

Name: Jill Porter
From or connections with: Brooklands, Sale, Cheshire
Present Location: Albany Oregon USA 97321
Subject: Castle and Falcon Pub, Balloon Street,Manchester
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Reader Message: Dear Aidan, I worked at CWS Balloon Street, Manchester in 1954/55 and was friends with a girl who lived at the Castle and Falcon Pub which I passed every day on the way to work. It had been a prison at one time and the kitchen door had a number on it. I asked you about this when I discovered this site but never got an answer. Can you take a picture of this pub and find out more about it? The people who ran it then were the Blacks but I am sure they are not there any more. Is the CWS still there? I went to the Secretarial School there and then worked in the Opticians Department. I made two pounds seventeen and six a week which I got in a brown pay envelope in cash.Thought I was rich! Jill Porter.

I'm not familiar with the Castle and Falcon pub - Can anyone out there help? I wish I had an encyclopaedic knowlege of Manchester - unfortunately I haven't! The CWS still there on Balloon St, though the Co-Op Bank is housed in a building constructed in the 1980's. Thanks for your message.

Name: Chris Lomax
From or connections with: Prestwich, Central & more or less everywhere
Present Location: Cambridge UK
Subject: Arndale questions
EWM Photo: 001ewm/tn/DSCN0767.jpg
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
Re: the odd facade in the Arndale on Market Street: - I've sent you a seperate e-mail telling you a book that might answer your question.
The road off Market Street that Tescos is would have carried on and cut right through where they built the Arndale. In my opinion they should put it back by a bit of internal modification - giving the Arndale a X - walkway structure with Winter gardens / glazed arcades along both covered walkways and linking directly to the new transport hub.
(the other walkway is Cannon Street - the vanished Street is either Duke Street or Brown Street???) - They've got a brilliant opportunity to do this now C&A AND the bus-station have gone, which radically alters the situation their original post-bomb plans faced. Get on to the Pru!
What about remodelling the Arndale tower? - It could include some addition to the top to make it the "landmark" skyscraper you've talked about. The plans they've released are pretty tame - and will be out of style by the time they come to build anything. Adding to the tower should be possible if you remove all the dead weight its carrying in the concrete pre-fab tiled panels. Prudential are dragging their feet over it - probably because they want to redevelop the shopping space fronting Exchange square first. After the ridiculous Free Trade Hall fiasco, the council should make sure the Arndale tower is re-done so it says "Manchester" when you're photographing it in 2010!
They called this building Europe's biggest public toilet, but it makes you realise how little (ie superficial) modification is actually needed to make it the best, most popular and most useful building in Manchester.

That's right - with just a little modification, the Arndale Centre could be transformed. It doesn't alter the fact that it should never have been built, at least not on such a massive scale. It's a relief to walk around Dublin, Leipzig, Minneapolis, Dubai and other city centres, which have a selection of smaller competing shopping centres and arcades, rather than one huge one. I use the Arndale Centre most days, and I'm depressed by the bare concrete passageways, the lack of style, the overbearing size and the fact there are no other, competing shopping centres to go to, apart from the Trafford Centre. However, the complex could easily be remodelled into something really impressive.

Name: Ian Yates
From or connections with: Ashton under Lyne
Present Location: Los Angeles
Subject: Your first picture
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
What was the first (Manchester Related) picture you posted on the internet?
Ian Yates

This was the first picture on the very first update of Eyewitness in Manchester, filename 00/00.jpg - It's a composite panorama of Manchester Airport Terminal 2. Not one of my best, but you have to start somewhere!

Name: Rita Cowan Nee Hewitson
From or connections with: Pendleton, Salford, Irlam oth Height, Sale, Timperley, GORSE HILL
Present Location: Perth West Australia
Subject: Old Pals never forgotten
EWM Photo: ewm/ic5/60tnm.jpg
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I have been a viewer of M. o. line for 2 years. It affects me when I see messages & pictures of places I used to visit as a child!
I paint & some of my painings have been of Delamere Forest bluebells! I remember with great fondness Alderley Edge. My first sweetheart took me there for a day trip. He was Bill COLE Johnson of Chorlton. His brother Sonny drove a Manchester Cab.
I have just found my teacher & some school pals from Wellington St School (class of 1949). My teacher Mrs Robinson, said on the phone recently" You kids from Whit Lane had holes in your socks but not in your brain", many Salford kids migrated to achieve more for thier future. However "We ALL miss our happy days".
email me

Thanks for your reminiscences. I've included your chosen EWM photo, plus three recent pictures taken on Alderley Edge during a spell of not so sunny weather. Perhaps you might consider doing a painting based the photo (upper right) of the field to the left of the footpath as you're walking towards Castle Rock (view lower left). On a recent visit there I noticed the carving (lower right) by JL made apparently in the year 1939. The inscription is just next to the edge of the rock. I'll include this photo in the next picture update and maybe some day JL, or someone who knows them, will contact!

Name: Suresh Kannan
From or connections with: the university
Present Location: atlanta, ga
Subject: manchester and dubai
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I grew up in Dubai, UAE, and ended up at the university of manchester (owens) back in 1992. I lived in fallowfield and finally at 1 Denison Rd. Victoria Park. I enjoyed my stay in manchester. With regards to dubai, although I grew up there, I can hardly recognize it. The last I visited Burj-Al-Arab was at half its present height.
Good work.

Thanks very much for your message - Glad that my photos have captured two places that are important to you - they're important to me too! You also used to live just round the corner from me here in Victoria Park.

Name: Peter Livesley
From or connections with: Born in Bridgewater Ave. Salford (off Liverpool Street.)
Present Location: Christchurch. New Zealand
Subject: Enjoyment of your site.
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I have been away from Salford 30 years and have only visited twice in that time. Each time I noticed the changes but never thought that Piccadilly Gardens would ever be changed. I understand that there are hardly any terraced houses left in Salford and many of the streets where I played have gone, forever. If you have any photographs of the Red Reck or West Liverpool Street School, which I attended as a child, I would be delighted to see them.
A very informative site and am really pleased that I found it.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Peter Livesley.

Thank you very much for your message - It would be wrong to say that there are hardly any terraced houses left in Salford, though in the area around Langworthy, many are boarded up and have been or are about to be demolished. Does the view upper right ring a bell? It's the view along a rear passageway from 'Chimney Pot' Park, Salford.

From or connections with: GEE CROSS, HYDE
Present Location: DARLINGTON, CO. DURHAM
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
Whilst looking through your early May messages, I came across the one from Frank Pearson about the Manchester Hippodrome. Regarding the Hippodrome, there seems to be some confusion as there were actually two! The Manchester Hippodrome [formerly Ardwick Empire] stood on the corner of Ardwick Green & Hyde Road, directly opposite where the Apollo is now. Hulme Hippodrome, an entirely separate set-up, stood on Preston Street, Hulme, not far from Stretford Road. It was always there and never moved from anywhere else. In a book of old photographs of Manchester [not yours!] I have read that the Apollo was formerly the Manchester Hippodrome - it wasn't, the Hippodrome was over the road. There was the theatre on one side and the cinema [Apollo] on the other. Hope this helps!
I previously corresponded with you about High Street Baths and its featuring in Prime Suspect 5. At the beginning of that same programme a block of seedy-looking flats was featured, where a murder had taken place. This week in an episode of Coronation Street, where Kevin Webster visited the nurse, Molly, at her home, there appeared what looked like the same block of flats and I wondered if it was. If so, where is it?
Thank you for the lovely views of Werneth Low which you included with your reply to my last message, and for all your photographs, which are a real treat for someone who is away from home.
Susan Jaleel

The block of flats you mention is Victoria Square, Ancoats. The complex was built around the turn of the 20th century and is one of the first examples of municipal housing in the country. The picture shows the Oldham Rd facade on a recent sunny evening. The brick looks magnificent in the evening light. This building wouldn't look out of place in Knightsbridge or St John's Wood, London - yet this complex of apartments was built by Manchester Corporation for poor families. It's located on Oldham Road, just up from Great Ancoats Street. You're right about the Manchester and Hulme Hippodromes! Thanks for your kind comments.

Name: Steve Winder
From or connections with: Salford
Present Location: Hopwood, Heywood
Subject: City of Salford (your proposed new site)
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Reader Message: Dear Aidan,
Just a "Niggly" little point.You refer to Salford as "Just another extension of Manchester" on your proposed new page? Aw, c'mon mate, Salford was a City long before M/C was. Being a proud Salfordian, (and equally proud adopted Manc, it still "riles me" when the old place gets a "Bad Press" etc! When i think of the number of times i've had to tell people (some Mancs??) that Salford is a City in it's own right!!!!! lol. Most think it always was a Suburb of Manchester?
Keep up the good work. Regards.

The status of Salford is uncertain - It is part of the Manchester conurbation and yet it isn't part of Manchester. It's a separate city and yet it it's an integral part of the urban area. The fact that Salford has an identity crisis is shown by their sign which with its 'Close Encounters' font and two shades of blue skies, presents images with nothing specifically to do with Salford - apart from the mast-like Trinity Bridge. When I wrote 'Just another extension of Manchester' I seem to remember putting a question mark after it, so it would provoke a response - it seems to have. Thanks for your contribution!

Name: Pete Thompson
From or connections with: Manchester City Centre
Present Location: Little Hulton
Subject: Salford outside of Manchester???
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I have just read your column for thr first time, and was very impressed. Although I have lived in Little Hulton all my life I didn't really know Manchester until I started working in the City Centre, so I cannot really comment on the changes going on at present but I do agree with all your readers over the cock-up in Piccadilly Gardens. What I really wanted to say is that the idea of Manchester expanding its boundaries to take in Salford etc. is a good one. As a Little Hulton resident I come under Salford City Council, but un-noticed before I read your article, Salford is unintentionally overlooked when talking to people from other areas. For example, my address is Little Hulton, MANCHESTER. my postcode is M38, and also when asked where I come from? my answer is of course MANCHESTER.
I feel I live in Manchester not Salford. I think a lot of people will feel the same way.

I am coming to the conclusion that Salford is actually a city within a conurbation - the conurbation is Manchester. The fact that people living further out than Salford put Manchester in their address seems to indicate this. There's no doubt that Salford has a character and identity of its own, distinct from Manchester - I'm not sure how I'd define it though. The picture shows the view from above the River Irwell at Castle Irwell looking towards Manchester city centre.

Name: bill williams
From or connections with: gorton
Present Location: brisbane queensland australia
Subject: Old Gorton,
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I stumbled across your page by accident,and Im glad I did, I think its fantastic. Ive e-mailed quite a number of ex-Mancunians living over here,and the replies Ive had back all agree with me.
Ive been over here since 1957, so I wouldnt recognise the old places now.
I grew up in Gorton, just off Queens Road.I spent many happy hours swimming in Gorton baths, playing cricket in the park, and soccer on the Red Wreck. I used to go to the local cinemas for the penny crush,the Corona, Savoy, Essoldo, Olympia and the Cosy Cosmo. On saturday night it was either the wrestling or dancing at Belle Vue.I have one of your pictures I downloaded of the sixteen arches at Reddish Vale, I had some great times there as well.
I went to All saints school on Queens Road and have just heard the church was burnt down and destroyed, could you tell me how and when this occurred?.
Thanks again Aidan for the pleasant memories and making the net more interesting

Thanks for your kind comments - I don't know anything about the church on Queens Road - can anyone shed any light on this? Very glad indeed you enjoy Eyewitness in Manchester.

Name: Wyn Cummings
From or connections with: Ancoats, Beswick. Bradford
Present Location: Sacramento. California
Subject: Just to say Hi! and Thanks.
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan,
Hi! Hope you enjoyed your vacation. I suspect it was a working vacation
.Through your EWM I have received many Emails, made new friends, and renewed old aquaintances.
All sing your praises!. I log onto many sites, but must give you credit for being the best. I enjoy, through EWM, what I refer to as my "Mini vacations"
Please continue your endeavors and know that they are much appreciated.
Hello and best wishes to everyone.

Your message made my day! I'm glad that the pictures and articles have the effect of bringing people together. Yes, the stay in the United Arab Emirates certainly was a working vacation - Due to the lack of interruptions, I got a lot of work done and uploaded much of it directly from there. Thank you very much for rating my site so highly, even with its many faults!

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