About Me

Sunday, 12 March 2017

My Northern City

A northern lass, my nearest city is Manchester. A city I love dearly. Powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution and commercial hub for the now defunct Lancashire Cotton and Textile Industry, these days Victorian grandeur sits side-by-side with modernity.

Catching the train from Horwich Parkway, it takes around thirty minutes to reach Manchester Piccadilly, the city's biggest railway station, whose electronic boards and crackly announcements signal national as well as local trains. Yet, as I arrive, on a dull, overcast Saturday, the station seems quiet and suspended, like a lone traveller sitting on a bench between trains. 

 I take the tram to the Northern Quarter, passing from one side of the city centre to the other courtesy of one of Europe's best tram networks. As a nation, we abandoned trams in the late 40s and 50s believing  them to be an old-fashioned method of transport. Prompting light hearted entertainers Flanders and Swann to develop this daft little ditty:

  Last of the trams

In the 1980's Manchester, always a forward thinking city, reintroduced the tram making it easy, along with the free metro shuttle buses, to get around. I am lulled by their gentle swaying motion and soft choo-choo whistle, alerting pedestrians to be aware trams are passing through the city's streets.

 Stepping off at Shude Hill, I make my way to the somewhat trendy Northern Quarter, where hipsters mingle with Stag and Hen parties at weekends and where the fa├žade of the old fish market has been conserved as a wall around blocks of recently built apartments.

(Old fish market)

Walking through the narrow streets and back alleys ...

(RSPCA Charity Shop)
...I soon arrive at my destination...-

Manchester Craft Centre
(Wonderful craft centre)

...and my favourite jewellers

RA Designer Jewellery

where I purchase two pairs of earrings and then amble back across the city toward King Street, with its imposing architecture.

Sadly, as I make my way across the city, I notice far more homeless people than I have noticed for many, many years, since the 1980's in fact and wonder how much this has to do, as in the 1980s, with having a well established Conservative government.

I make way my way to Waterstones on Deansgate, where I get carried away and buy five books before settling down in the cafe for a piece of flap jack and a large Americano
(Although I have posted on a Sunday, I will forward this for T is for Tuesday via Bluebeard and Elizabeth, as I work on Tuesday making it difficult to post a longer entry on that particular day.)
  T is for Tuesday (even on a Saturday afternoon :) )

Finally, I head for Manchester Victoria Station, which has recently undergone further modernisation (I am old enough to remember when they changed the access to the platforms in the late-mid 1980s; I preferred it when there were tunnels rather than overhead steps but they must have had their reasons.) The new upgrade is very much in keeping and effective, giving a smarter feel to the station and a more space for the busy tram stop. As part of the refurbishment, the tiled wall map of the old  Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway has been restored, as have the old shop fronts.

I read one of my books on the train as the not so dull, dull day turns to evening as I travel homewards.

Related posts:

Second visit to London


chrissie said...

Wonderful photographs of Manchester. I change trains at the station often but never think to go into Manchester. Must make an effort as we have trains from the East Coast straight through to there.

Happy T Day

Love Chrissie xx

Meggymay said...

Fantastic photos of Manchester, I enjoyed seeing the sights and buildings, its a place I have never visited either.
Happy T day
Yvonne x

kathyinozarks said...

thank you so much for taking us along on the Tram with you-enjoyed the story and all the photos. the craft and jewelry center sound like a great place to explore.
Happy T day Kathy

Valerie-Jael said...

Lovely to see Manchester again, haven't been there for many years no, I used to be there a lot when I lived in St Helens. Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

Linda Kunsman said...

what fabulous architecture! I have never been to this part of England but surely would love a visit. Sounds like you had a perfectly lovely day. Thanks for sharing and happy T day!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Manchester is on my must see list if I ever make it to England. You have enticed me with your incredible photos of the city and its lovely architecture. I really enjoyed taking a trip with you to Manchester and the various shops you visited. I especially enjoyed the Americano and the cake. Odd that you call it a flap jack, since in the US, we call pancakes flapjacks.

Again, thanks for taking us on the trams and trolleys around Manchester and to Waterstones for coffee and a treat. I so enjoyed this and love that you joined us again for T this Tuesday. It may have been a gray day, but it brightened mine.

Krisha said...

What a wonderful photo story.....I loved every photo!! Manchester is now on my list of want to see!
Happy T-day

Let's Art Journal said...

Thanks for the tour around Manchester, the architecture you captured looks amazing and you visited some interesting places! I enjoyed reading about your journey too - Happy T Day! J :-)

Divers and Sundry said...

Your public transportation is functional! It makes me jealous, and I'm wishing we had near the coverage y'all do. Thx for sharing your photos :) Happy T Tuesday!

jinxxxygirl said...

Just love all the architecture Bailey... Thank you for taking us on your excursion across town...Happy happy T day! Hugs! deb

My name is Erika. said...

Baily, I adore being an arm chair traveler and I certainly enjoyed my trip today. Happy T day! Hugs-Erika

Carol said...

Your outing sound marvelous and I love seeing all of the photos of your day. I fear that here in America we will be seeing more and more homeless folks as the funding for the help centers are sure to be cut right away.
I love seeing all of the old buildings with their beautiful elements. Modern architecture sometimes leaves a lot to desire. Thanks for sharing your day with us. Happy T Day!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow! Thank you for this photographic tour of my city(adopted by marriage!) You visited some of my favourite places too - we catch the metro to Shude Hill, although now the new link is open Exchange Square is sometimes handier! We still haven't been to the new Victoria station. Happy T day! Chrisx

CJ Kennedy said...

I don't know much about Manchester. A football team, Manchester United. I saw the movie United with David (Be Still My Heart) Tennant about the tragic loss of the team in the late 1950s. And a saying about something redundant: Carrying coals to Manchester. So thank you for the armchair tour and broadening my horizons. It certainly looks like a vibrant and modern city. Happy T Day

Dianne said...

Love the photos of your day out and about! Architecture and interesting, artsy destinations are always fun to me. thanks for sharing tea with us! happy T day!

Lisca Meijer said...

Thank you somuch for taking me on a tour through Manchester. Although my sister lives outside Manchester, I have only been a couple of times. Once inthe 70s to buy a dress (M&S) and once to celebrate my graduation, many years ago in a hall that I have forgotten the name of, and once to get my passport renewed at the Dutch consulate (that was in the outskirts though). You have whet my appetite to see more and we will definitely plan a visit to the city when we are in the area this September.
Lovely photos, thanks again,
Happy belated T-Day,

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

That was a very interestng tour of Manchester. It seems like quite an eclectic city of new and old. Some of the architexture is really beautiful.

Happy T-day, Bailey! xox Eileen

Bailey Jones said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I hope you post a new T post in the future. J x