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SOME MORE PICTURES straight off the Eyewitness in Manchester image 'production line', taken during the spell of hot sunny weather which Manchester enjoyed during mid-July 2000.

BAR 38 is one of the most exciting and successful of Manchester's new cafe bar developments. Constructed along Peter Steet and overlooked by the Great Northern Railway Goods Warehouse, this site was until recently occupied by a row of grimy buildings which many Mancunians will remember as the home of 'the Gallery' night club and music venue, as well as a kebab shop and an 'adult' book store.

In 1998, the buildings were demolished and a new two level wedge-shaped glass fronted cafe-bar was built. The wedge shape continues the line of Windmill St, leading (left) towards the junction of Deansgate and Peter Street. The contrasting but complementary corner towers of Sunlight House (1932) and Royal London House(1904) form a superb classic centre piece to this otherwise ultra-contemporary scene.

It's one thirty on Friday the 21st of July 2000, during a long-awaited spell of sunny, summery weather, and Bar 38 is crowded with young 20-something professionals who have come from the surrounding offices to spend their lunchtime here.

DUNHAM MASSEY is one of the most superb stately homes in the UK and is owned and administered by the National Trust.

Here we see the interior courtyard and ornamental fountain, viewed from four sides.

This precious relic of aristocratic life in past centuries was a private home until 1978 when the owner died and left it to the National Trust. It's situated just 12 miles (17km) south west of Manchester near Altrincham (Cheshire/Trafford MBC).

I captured this picture using the Nikon Coolpix digital camera set to black and white mode.

IT'S FRIDAY 21 JULY 2000, almost eight years to the day since Metrolink was opened by the Queen. Today, the extension from Broadway to Eccles has been officially opened.

For the first time, the trams are running along a road - Eccles New Road - and mingling with traffic - for me, a tram isn't a tram unless it does this. Most of the Metrolink system to date uses former railway lines.

Here, an Eccles-bound Metrolink tram passes Eccles New Road depot, currently vacant but previously used by buses and many years before that... trams. The old tram lines can still be seen in the side street on the right.

THE NEW TRAM STOP at Eccles Town Centre was officially opened for passengers on Friday 21st July 2000. This is the terminus, and this tram will shortly be making the return trip via Eccles New Road and Salford Quays to Piccadilly.

On the left is the The Eccles Cross pub, which like many properties overlooking the new line, has had an exterior renovation job.

ARDWICK GREEN is seen here on the morning of Thursday 20th of July at about 9.30am. It's the city centre's 'front garden' to the south east, gateway to Manchester from Hyde and Stockport, and yet in mid-2000, it's in a run-down state and like many local parks, mostly deserted. The only people I saw were a friendly early-morning alcoholic and a thoughtful pensioner sitting on a bench.

Once a fashionable residential district, Ardwick became industrialised in the 19th century, but remained a lively and characterful place. In the post war years, surrounding factories, houses, theatres and other buildings disappeared and weren't replaced. The 1930's telephone exchange (left) and the factory building with the square chimney, are among the buildings which have survived. A new wine store, and two garages are just behond the trees, across the road.

This area deserves to be fully regenerated. New housing and business premises should be constructed on the empty patches of grass around the Green.

PHILIP'S PARK CEMETERY is seen here late on the afternoon of Thursday 20 July 2000. The metal framework of the gas holder on the opposite side of the road casts an eerie shadow over the scene.

Though the Council have renovated the stone setts, and installed contemporary style metal posts, the building on the left is roofless and open to the elements.

I hope that these buildings will be restored by the time of the Commonwealth Games, which will be taking place just across the road.

THIS GAS HOLDER is one of two at the gas installation at Beswick, next to the Commonwealth Games site

Regarded by some as eyesores, I find these giant metal structures visually fascinating.

The surrounding latticework of metal girders provides an envelope for the giant metal cylinder, which is designed to rise and fall as gas reserves increase or decrease. The gas is stored underneath the cylinder whose weight also provides a constant gas pressure.

Previously, gas was made from coal, but since the 1970's, cleaner natural gas has been piped from under the North Sea. Nowadays, the piston rarely rises above the level we see here.

A LANE IN LEAFY SURREY? Or how about Wilmslow, Bowdon, or maybe Knutsford? In fact, we are just two miles (3km) south of Manchester city centre, only five minutes walk from inner city Longsight, and ten minutes away from busy Rusholme, and its colourful 'curry mile'.

This is Daisy Bank Road, Victoria Park, an area many people have never heard of, and think is either Longsight or Rusholme. Created in the early Victorian era as an exclusive residential compound for the rich and influential, it's now a place with many student halls of residences, either converted Victorian mansions or purpose built blocks.

This Rolls Royce just happened to be driving past - that's not the real number plate by the way.

This scene proves that 'inner city Manchester' isn't always quite what you expect it to be.


Longsight Memories

Longsight Memories, by ex-Longsight resident David Boardman, now living in Canada, is an excellently researched and superbly illustrated study of Longsight as it was during the 1950's and 60's.

Old photographs are compared with contemporary views, and aerial photographs taken in 1953 give a fascinating view of the street layout as it was before demolition and redevelopment of the 1960's.

A section on the neighbouring area of Victoria Park illustrates the amazing contrast between the leafy grandeur of this enclosed Victorian residential suburb, and the cobbled back streets of the author's home district.

THE EDGAR WOOD CENTRE, formerly the First Church of Christ Scientist, is one of the most distinctive and unusual buildings in Victoria Park, if not Manchester, and was built in the first decade of the 20th century.

It is named after its architect, Edgar Wood, () who worked in and around Manchester, as well as Germany. The style is inflenced by William Morris's Arts and Crafts movement, which rejected mass production and advocated a return to the simpler and more robust values of the pre-industrial period. The conical roof reminds me of a medieval palace, and yet its plain exterior has a feeling of modernity.

The building was derelict for many years, but was restored for use as an educational facility.

'NEW MOTORWAY, OPENING SUMMER 2000' say the signs put up by the Highways Agency, and yet the north eastern 'missing link' in the Greater Manchester orbital motorway is on Saturday 15th of July 2000 still under construction.

Here we see it as it sweeps under the A635 Manchester Road bridge, west of Ashton-under-Lyne.

Just before the Stockport to Denton section of the motorway was opened in the late 1980's, walkers and cyclists were allowed onto the motorway for one day. I wonder if the authorities are planning a similar event prior to the opening of this part of the motorway.

My older A-Z map of Manchester says this road is due to open in 'Summer 1996', so it's way behind schedule. The way things are looking in 2000, it seems this is likely to be the last major motorway to be built in the Manchester region.

THE M60 MOTORWAY encircles the central part of the Manchester conurbation, passing through eight local authority districts. To the north east, it runs through Tameside and Oldham MBC before touching the City of Manchester boundary at Heaton Park.

Here we are looking north from the A635 bridge west of Ashton-under-Lyne towards Oldham town centre. Oldham Civic Centre can be seen in the distance centre left, with St Thomas's Church, Coppice standing out on the hill to its left.

It's Saturday 15th of July 2000, and the motorway is still unfinished.

TAMESIDE CANAL FESTIVAL happens every year in July, and is part of the Millennium Waterfront series of festivals.

It takes place at Portland Basin, Ashton-Under-Lyne. The top left hand picture shows the reconstructed warehouse, housing a fascinating museum about local life in the area which became Tameside.

Canal boats come from quite far away - this one has come from Warwick, around 100 miles away. We are standing on the bridge, which carries the canal high above the River Tame.

Many more pictures are in preparation and will be added soon.


Join Aidan on his Manchester Photo Walk.
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