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GRIMY, GREY, DEPRESSING... and quintessentially Manchester, these monochrome views of the Ashton Canal near Ancoats recapture a little of the atmosphere of Manchester as it was in Victorian times.

The two photographs are taken from almost the same spot - the picture top left dates from 1997 and the larger one was taken in August 2001.

The tall buildings in the top left corner of the older picture are still there today, but a significant landmark disappeared in the year 2000. What was it?

ARDWICK GREEN IN BLOOM, with the Apollo Theatre on the right and the site of a once famous theatre on the left.

Hyde Road extends straight ahead, and Stockport Road goes off to the right.

But what of the name of the famous theatre. Here's a clue: up till 1935 it was called the Ardwick Green Empire. (Thanks to Berne Leng for this information)

TIB STREET MANCHESTER 4, now there's a name to conjure with. This narrow street leads from the top end of Market Street to Swan St, close to the corner of Oldham Road. It's famous for its pet shops and there's a cheap and friendly Filipino cafe named Cebu City that's well worth visiting!

But who, or what, was Tib, and what is the possible connection with Rome?

THE THING ABOUT WATER FEATURES is that they require lots of maintenance. This one in Exchange Square is generating as much foam as the murky Irwell once did through chemical pollution.

The abundance of foam is probably due to kids emptying washing up liquid into the water for a laugh.

Manchester city council workers have to spend time every day removing debris from this water feature, which commemorates a stream which used to flow along here.

This street, now incorporated into Exchange Square, has a medieval sounding name. What is it?

MARKET STREET is Manchester's main shopping thoroughfare, and is named after the nearby market, now incorporated into the Arndale Centre.

Here we see three street signs, showing different styles of print. The upper and lower left signs are probably early 20th century. The blue and white enamelled sign lower right is one of the Northern Quarter signs, put up in the 1990's as part of the public art project in that part of the city centre.

The red plaque upper right states: "Site of the Royal Hotel: Royal Mail coach inn. First booking office for Manchester Liverpool railway.

In what year did the Manchester Liverpool railway, the world's first scheduled passenger train service, start operating?

COUNTY OF CHESHIRE OR CHIBA PREFECTURE? This Japanese garden looks very authentic, and is one of the most famous of its type in the UK.

It was created in the first decade of the 20th century, when 'japonisme' or mania for all things Japanese, was at its height. It fell into disrepair and was restored in 2001. Sadly, there is less access to the restored garden, though this is probably to protect it from 'visitor erosion'.

Here we see the summer house, set in lush greenery and tall trees on an artificial island. We are looking across a pond with water lilies and skating insects.

In which National Trust property will you find this garden?

THIS BEAUTIFUL PARK is not far from Manchester University and just a stone's throw from Rusholme's busy 'curry mile'.

I had just come out of an exhibition of Japanese art works at the nearby gallery when I took these pictures.

Autumn is just starting to make its presence felt, though most of the leaves are still green.

What is the name of the park? It's also the name of the gallery.

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