(Above: looking towards Harvey Nichols, Marks and Spencer and Selfridges along New Cathedral Street)

For over two decades, the centre of Manchester was only a short journey from our offices in the rapidly changing landscape of Salford Quays – then a barren set of post-industrial docks whose only offering to the 1990’s was a floating wine bar, soon to be burned to a hulk of floating black wood because it’s owner wouldn’t pay protection money to the neighbouring Ordsall gangs.

The developers of Salford Quays made a bold move when they staked their future on the vast and dirty remnants of what had been the end of the Manchester Ship Canal: the huge waterway that freed the businesses of Manchester from the charges of the Liverpool docks.

(Above: Vincenzo’s Trattoria, St Anne’s Street; one of our favourites)

The office location on Salford Quays served us well, but our favourite times were driving into the centre of Manchester, perhaps once a fortnight, and having our lunch there.

(There’s a ball of Limoncello in the centre of that ice cream)

Snack or sit down meal, street cafe or department store, it didn’t matter. The centre was vibrant and growing in the 90s.

(Above: the old Corn Exchange building. Now mainly restaurants)

So it was great to go back. An appointment in the city for Bernie gave us a good reason to travel by rail from Kendal to Manchester to make a day of it. I made industrious use of my free time wandering round and taking shots of our old haunts.

(Above: St Anne’s Square. The decorations are left over from the Chinese New Year)

Manchester has a large and vibrant ‘China town’ and the new year festivals go on for several days. There were still remnants of the fun, such as the red balls visible in the trees of St Anne’s Square.

(Above: And a final short of the old Corn Exchange, close to Victoria Station)

For me, the old Corn Exchange building, now a mecca for fusion cuisine, is representative of the best of the surviving Victorian age; a period in which the city achieved international fame and wealth.

©Stephen Tanham 2023

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

4 Comments on “A return to Manchester

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