Early one morning – just as the sun was rising.
I took to the sunny Sunday October streets of Sheffield, bound I knew not where.
In search of something and nothing, which I possibly never ever found.
Following secret signs, symbols and words, doors and gates shut in my face.
Before I knew it I was back where I started.
This is a journey through time and space by bicycle, around the rugged, ragged streets of East Manchester.
Undertaken on Sunday September 2nd 2018.
This is type travel – the search for words and their meanings in an ever changing world.
The Star Inn – former Wilsons pub
Devonshire Street North
Former Ardwick Cemetery
Great Universal Stores former mail order giant
The River Inn abandoned pub
All Souls Church – listed yet unloved
Pollard Street East
The Bank Of England abandoned pub
Ancoats Works former engineering company
The Lunchbox Café Holt Town
Upper Helena Street
The last remnants of industrial activity
The little that remains of Raffles Mill
Old Mill Street
Ancoats Dispensary loved listed and still awaiting resuscitation
New life New Islington
Former industrial powerhouse currently contemporary living space
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth passed by in 1942
Former School the stone plaque applied to a newer building
The last of the few Blossom Motors
Former fruit merchants – refurbished and home to the SLG creative agency
Marshall Street and Goulden Street area
The last remnants of the rag trade
All that’s left of Alexandra Place
Entrance to the former Goods Yard
Back St Georges Road
Where once the CWS loomed large
Ragged but right
Soft wind blowing the smell of sweet roses to each and every one,
Happy to be on an island in the sun.
An island in Wakefield.
An Island in a sea of dual-carriageways.
Sixties built municipal modernism, hovering on slim stilts above the ground level carpark, complete with pierced brick screen.
The future was bright the future was red – for a short while.
Over the horizon came Sir Ian Kinloch MacGregor KBE.
Lady Thatcher said:
He brought a breath of fresh air to British industry.
The fifth horseman of the industrial apocalypse – bringing pit-closure, redundancy the deindustrialisation of a whole area.
Offices and citizens are tinned-up, brassed-off and abandoned.
This is now the architecture of civic optimism eagerly awaiting repurposing.
There is talk of conversion to housing, talk is cheap.
A planning application has been drawn up requesting permission to change the use of Chantry House from offices to one and two bedroom residential units. The application has been submitted by The Freshwater Group, the development arm of Watermark Retirement Communities.
Currently home to the determined, hardened daytime drinker, street-artist and curious passerby.
There’s a world going on underground.
At ground level.
Fenced off, rather poorly though.
Not much here to deter even the faint hearted urban explorer.
Find a gap and get in.
Join the taggers and lollygaggers,