August 11th, 2015


Manchester trip -- Day 3: Round and about in the city centre

After breakfast in the apartment we set off to wander around the city centre and visit the Castlefield Museum (see separate post). G wanted to investigate the canal which runs near the apartment building. Unfortunately, it was rather insalubrious. Though it had been restored and made navigable, it's obviously not patrolled enough. It was full of rubbish and stank of male pee.

At one point I found myself walking through a group of four dodgy looking men who were hanging around in this sort of canal underpass. They looked started to see me and at this point, I realised I was alone! G had stopped to read an information board! I doubled back and then we passed the men together. Nothing untoward happened, but it had set off all my alarm bells and I rejected the idea of further canal exploration.

We wandered around and found the Great Northern Warehouse, a building I just do not remember from my youth. It now contains a casino, cinema, health & fitness centre and an Escape Room place.

Great Northern Warehouse

Great Northern Warehouse

Old Central Station

Old Central Station, Manchester

Further wandering took us to the Castlefield Museum and thence up Deansgate.

Bottom end of Deansgate

Bottom end of Deansgate, Manchester

To my delight, the music shop Forsythes is still there! And it looks much the same. It was like meeting a long lost friend. We progressed up Deansgate, past what is now House of Frazer (previously Kendal Milne where my mother once worked for a short time). Then we passed the cathedral and looked across at a huge development going on on the other side of the river, the 101 and 100 Embankment office buildings. I was too gobsmacked by the scale and the radical changes to take a photo. And that was before I stepped inside Victoria Station...

From the outside, it looked unchanged. And part of it was just as I remembered...

The old ticket offices.

Old Victoria Station, Manchester

And the rest was not!

New Victoria Station, Manchester

By now it was getting to evening meal time, so we went to the Bella Italia in Piccadilly for pizza before exploring Tib Street (no longer full of pet shops) to the Northern Quarter and the craft workshops. G surprised me by spotting a ceramic pendant that he thought I'd like and insisting on buying it. It just shows, he's not totally unobservant as it was indeed exactly the sort of thing I like to wear and in my favourite colour.

Then, finally, we walked back to the apartment past the old Daily Express building, which is now to let. I must admit that I thought it was much newer than it is. It was built in the 1930s and is Manchester's youngest listed building. I remember it all lit up at night with the presses rolling, but the Daily Express moved out in the 1980s.

Manchester trip -- Day 3: Castlefield Museum

I've just made a separate post about the museum because the previous post was already pretty photo-heavy.

We'd never been to the Castlefield Museum before, though my Dad had taken our children when they were younger and they'd really enjoyed it. There was plenty to see, including old textile machinery, old computers and the oldest railway station in Britain.

Castlefield Museum, Manchester

We spent a good few hours there and there's a decent café where we partook of a cup of tea and a sandwich.

Castlefield Museum & Hilton Hotel, Manchester

I was a little tempted to clone the Hilton Hotel out of the photo above, but then the contrast is just so very typical of Manchester, so I didn't! :)