THE LATEST PICTURES
in Eyewitness in Manchester are taken using my brand new Nikon
Coolpix 990 digital camera, illustrated on the masthead, upper
right. Released in May 2000, It's a far cry from the first
camera I used, back in the early 1960's, a Kodak Brownie identical
to the one above on the left.
Seen from the Trafford
Centre, the Good Year airship floats gracefully above the
Manchester Ship Canal.
Here's an excerpt
from the Manchester Evening News of May 1930:
giant airship R100 passed over Manchester in brilliant sunshine
soon after 11.30 today...
When the airship
appeared over the city, Manchester was taken by surprise.
She was flying so low that the noise of her engines drew thousands
of people... The airship's number could be plainly seen. In
the suburbs, housewives ran to their doors..."
(Sent by local
history author Bill Jones)
The career of the
airship ended in disaster in the late 1930's but soon it may
make a comeback. I'd love to travel on an airship along the
Manchester Ship Canal from Manchester to Liverpool, and take
lots of aerial photos. Watch this space...
In 2000, rail travel
in north west England still leaves much to be desired.
Delays and cancellations
are a daily frustration for thousands of passengers, addressed
patronisingly as 'customers' in station announcements.
The train on platform
14 here at Piccadilly Station is about to depart for Liverpool,
but these 'customers' are waiting for another train, which
has been delayed.
Follow Metrolink's example and address passengers as 'passengers'.
company which owns stations, rail lines and associated property,
are carrying out a major refurbishment programme on station
buildings all over the UK.
In 1999, Piccadilly
Station's 1842 train shed was completely refurbished. And
in May 2000, new signs were unveiled, sporting a new colour
scheme of blue, purple and grey.
The circular logo
depicts a train crossing a railway viaduct, presumably the
one in Stockport, used every dat by trains travelling between
Manchester Piccadilly and London Euston.
Purple is said
to be the colour of the millennium, but when it comes to trains,
I prefer red.
A Virgin Trains
electric locomotive stands on a central platform of the recently
refurbished Piccadilly Station.
Despite the company
name, this train is far from spotless: The front of the locomotive
is covered in dirt and insect remains, and it's at least 20
years old. Can
any railway buff provide details please? (See reply from Jim
It began its working
life under British Rail, which was split up and privatised
by the Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. Britain's
most famous entrepreneur Richard Branson obtained the franchise
to operate trains on the west coast line between London and
the north west.
Within a couple
of years, tilting high speed trains will be introduced, cutting
the journey time between Manchester and London from 2 hours
and 30 minutes to around one and three quarter hours.
These three axle
Dennis buses with their bone-shaking suspension are operated
by Stagecoach subsidiary Magic Bus.
This 143 has just
taken on some passengers and is about to continue
its journey to Piccadilly.
The 'student corridor'
along Wilmslow Road from Didsbury to Manchester city centre
is heavily used and very lucrative for bus operators.
Fares on Magic
Bus are lower than on Stagecoach services. In May 2000, a
Stagecoach 'Megarider' weekly ticket costs £5.70 when
purchased on a Magic Bus and £6.70 on a Stagecoach bus.
On Magic Bus, the fare into Manchester from this stop is 45p.
This long straight
road is lined with rows of typical late 19th century terraced
From their front
bedrooms residents have a view over the playing fields of
flat-topped street lights are over 40 years old and unique
to this road, which is named after a famous 18th century landowner
whose name was also given to a street in the city centre,
and a road in Trafford park.
Can you name this
road? E-mail info (at) aidan.co.uk
In 2000, traffic
congestion in Manchester city centre appears to be getting
worse all the time. Ever increasing numbers of cars on the
road, exacerbated by bus lanes, road narrowing, road closures
due to construction work, and pedestrianisation of city centre
streets, all add up to more and more traffic jams, such as
this one on Oxford Road, captured at about 5.20pm on Wednesday
Two east-west transport
arteries cross over Oxford Road in this view - the Oxford
Road to Piccadilly railway line in the foreground, and the
Mancunian Way (A57M) in the distance. In the far distance
can be seen the Manchester University Precinct Centre, built
above Oxford Road.
Red and green are
the dominant May colours in the suburbs of Manchester and
other British cities - the red brick of the houses in bright
sunshine, and the lush green of the grass and the leaves,
which have only recently appeared.
This view was made
possible by the removal of a house which used to stand on
this site, now grassed over.
Recognise the location?
E-mail info (at) aidan.co.uk
This green and
pleasant spot will be obliterated by the office block set
to occupy this end of Piccadilly Gardens after the City of
Manchester local authority have implemented their controversial
historian Professor John Archer remarked recently, this tree-lined
view of the former warehouses designed by Edward Walters,
architect of the Free Trade Hall, is one of the finest in
Enjoy it while
it's still there.