Al Faisal – Thomas Street Manchester

Things, as we know, come and go – by 1807 Thomas Street had arrived.

roper 1807

At the heart of the new Manchester – providing dwellings, shops, pubs and manufacturing premises for the masses.

One of the earliest architectural complexes of the Industrial Revolution.

1905

1908

2445_l

Pifco – Manchester Manufacturing

1938

1938

1970

The Millstone 1970

bay 70

Bay Horse 1970

Both pubs have survived and the street is home to several relative newcomers, including the Richard Goodall Gallery and celebrated men’s outfitters Oi Polloi.

Also the location of my most favourite shop in the whole wide world.

P1110739 copy

From the 70’s onwards the area had been at the centre of the Asian garment trade – and so it came to pass some 26 years ago the Al Faisal arrived, one of several curry cafés, feeding the faces of the passing parade.

I’ve eaten there for most of that time, fed very well indeed thank you very much, for way less than a king’s ransom.

Yesterday I popped in at teatime, for my tea – posters proclaimed an imminent move.

P1290999

The whole block is to be demolished and a hotel to be built – there is naturally a suspicious resistance to such change, what was a protected area of historical interest, is fast becoming a deregulated playground for the avaricious developer.

A Manchester council spokesman said:

Our building control officers have been engaged with owner of the property on Thomas Street for some time.

The condition of the building means there is an imminent danger of collapse and a potential threat to pedestrians. Unfortunately, the poor weather has only served to add to our concern over the safety of the building.

A conservation specialist will be on site working closely with the building owner to ensure as much of the fabric of the property can be retained as possible, and only parts that are unsalvageable will be removed to ensure public safety.

Manchester Evening News

Rumours have also been rife concerning the fate of the nearby This & That – an essential part of the heartbeat of the city – the affordable independent trader.

I sat and ate happily, and was privileged to be given a tour of the kitchens by owner Tariq, recording for posterity a site of some culinary and social consequence.

Let’s take a look around and look forward to a meal just across the road real soon.

P1300012

P1300013

P1300014

P1300015

P1300016

P1300017

P1300019

P1300020

P1300021

P1300022

P1300023

P1300024

P1290997

P1300008

P1300010

 

 

Farewell Grand Central – Stockport

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and hell, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

We have seen things come and go in, on and around Stockport Station’s little acre.

From coal drops to tear drops.

1921

Before

32150409_10211361729907095_2053268313387040768_n

During

32151652_10211361731187127_591730808444682240_n

32169802_10211361731267129_7236074038882205696_n

32266781_10211361732587162_1190410895449128960_n

Archive photographs courtesy of John Eaton

After

The post-industrial leisure complex has come almost full circle – overwritten by the complex needs of the modern day service-worker –  Holiday Inn, Espresso Bar and Mini-mart complement the hot-desked, twenty-four hour online access all areas open-plan office operative.

Gone now the Laser Quest, Super Bowl, Multiplex, Theme Pub days of old.

 

50807

53566

53567

53568

53569

53570

Photographs from Stockport Image Archive

Time has been called on the post-modern film-set, cast and clad in plastic, brick, steel and concrete.

The future is here today and it means business.

P1240988

P1240991

P1240993

P1240995

P1240996

P1240997

P1240998

P1240999

P1250001

P1250002

P1250003

P1250005

P1250006

P1250008

P1250009

 

Covent Garden – Stockport

Last time I was here it was there:

Covent Garden Flats Middle Hillgate in Stockport.

A small but important group of post-war council houses – very much in an inter-war European manner, homes to a settled community of cheerful, chatty residents.

screen-shot-2016-04-14-at-17-20-211

The local authority tinned them up some year ago, ahead of a series of redevelopment proposals – last week that redevelopment reached its logical conclusion.

Demolition.

Whilst accepting the necessity for change, I also recognise the need to preserve what is best of the past, rather than replacing it with the present day architecture of cautiously consensual pastiche.

p1030551-copy

P1230650

nuvu living for the nouveau be-tartaned riche:

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 13.37.36

So heavyhearted I circumnavigated the perimeter fence, recording forever that which was no longer there – their there replacing our there.

P1230601

P1230611

P1230613

P1230618

P1230624

P1230626

P1230630

P1230636

P1230639

P1230641

P1230633

P1230645

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 15.14.01

 

ICL Tower – Gorton Manchester

Designed by architects Cruikshank and Seward in the Sixties, to house the cutting-edge computing power of the time, the ICT later ICL Tower, towered over Wenlock Way, Gorton in East Manchester.

A landmark for many from bus, train, car, Shanks’s pony or low flying VC10.

A place of work for thousands.

7500908638_b289e691ec_b

At a time when modern technology looked a little like this:

res49d

resi

Sadly ending like this:

S1031451

Two weeks into the demolition process the east elevation is no more, revealing a concrete honeycomb of torn steel and fresh air.

A few weeks time and it will be little more than so much dust and memories.

P1240074

P1240078

P1240079

P1240080

P1240084

P1240088

P1240089

P1240091

P1240092

P1240093

P1240099

P1240102

P1240105

P1240107

P1240108

P1240110

P1240113