Thursday, 19 July 2012

Two days in Manchester

And it's only rained on one of them! We've spent a relaxing couple of days in Castlefield Basin, right in the heart of the city. You couldn't pay to get a better location for a visit – and of course as boaters we don't have to. So I won't grumble too much about the slightly dishevelled look of the place compared to last time we were here. Some weeding and cleaning is badly needed.
Yesterday it was summer again and we spent the morning looking around the magnificent Museum of Science and Industry. Five halls converted in part from the world's oldest surviving railway station cover everything from the city's sewers to nuclear power to railways, aircraft and a whole hall of steam and beam engines, several of which were in glorious action. It all gives powerful evidence of what a might impact Manchester has had on our industrial history.
Only one thing was missing: the canal system (which of course originated on the edge of the city) was scarcely given a mention. Shame!
In the afternoon we strolled around the huge shopping centre, rebuilt after it was destroyed by an IRA bomb, admired some of the old Victorian buildings around its glass and stainless steel and walked down the River Irwell where we discovered a decaying lock to the long disused Manchester and Salford Junction Canal lost among yet more fancy new developments.
Today we walked to Salford Quays, Manchester's equivalent of London's dockland redevelopment, where the former basins of the Ship Canal are now surrounded by apartment blocks, offices, the huge Media City where the BBC has relocated much of its broadcasting, and the Lowry Centre where there's a gallery of the artist's unique work – as well as a "Lowry Outlet Mall" next door. Maybe the old boy would have seen the funny side of such a sacrilege and painted a picture of the matchstick legged  shoppers rushing in and out.


Across the canal by footbridge is the spectacular steel building by Daniel Libeskind that houses the Imperial War Museum North. Only time for a brief look around, sadly, before we headed back along the towpath to escape increasingly heavy (yes you've guessed it) rain.

9 comments:

davidoakesimages said...

Manchester has always been a bright place....even when it was dark and dirty prior to the smokeless air act. It had all the vibrance of the industry and commerce that created the grime, but even then much bright art showed through, be it music or graphic, it found a home in the City. I can still remember the thrill of seeing the Ocean going ships in the heart of the city.

kb said...

Not sure how to contact you,but interested to know when Star was built. We have a a very similar tug,built by MCC/Stenson in 1989.
Many thanks

Starman said...

Ours was built in 1994/95 - 5 think Stenson did a small series of them. What is yours called?

kb said...

Sentinel 40ft so a bit smaller than yours. A fine looking tug.

scott davidson said...

As an art student researching the work of the Impressionists, I have big help from this site called wahooart.com. It's like a good art library, where, convenient for me, works of artists are divided into art movements in history. Some of the works I had never seen before.
As the canvas prints are affordable, I ordered online a little size canvas print of my favorite,
http://en.wahooart.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8EWE3X, by Claude Monet.

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Maria said...

It is a pity not to visit Imperial War Museum North. I really would like to examine all its exhibitions if Manchester was close.