Friday, 19 June 2015

Manchester (Part 1 : City Centre)

I was convinced that I had already covered Manchester in this blog, but looking back, the last time I visited the city was just before I started Clock This. Posting number one, which was very much an experiment for me in being a contributor to the web rather just a consumer, covered Eccles but not the rest of Manchester. Therefore I had not prepared myself for a thorough hunt for public timepieces amongst the streets, squares, lanes and alleyways, with the result that this survey might not be as comprehensive as it could be.

So what you get is what you get (which may or may not be what you see). And re the picture below, I would love to get the chance to see bar food dancing - twiglets doing the tango perhaps, po-going peanuts or break dancing pork scratchings.

Sorry, off on a mad tangent again. Focus on the clocks. This is the Palace Hotel on Oxford Street.

Built in phases between 1891 and 1932, it includes this 66 metre clock tower.

Heading south now to the Victoria Baths on Hathersage Road, another gorgeous Victorian building.

What I love about these buildings are the traces of past social order. The entrance below is marked for "Males 1st Class", with similar entrances for "Males 2nd Class" and the equivalent ones for females. It would be interesting to know what differentiates a 1st class male from a 2nd class one.

At the other end of Hathersage Road, at its junction with Oxford Road, is St Mary's Hospital. the picture below is the view from Hathersage Road.

...whilst this is the Oxford Road frontage.

Opposite the building is the excellent Whitworth Gallery, part of the sprawling Manchester University complex. And next door to St Mary's is the Royal Infirmary.

Manchester Victoria railway station is having extensive rebuilding works, partially to provide better interchange with the tram network. This work has also opened up the view of the clock above the booking office.

Whilst outside, the station has two further clocks, one in the middle of the frontage on Victoria Station approach:


....and the other on the corner of Long Millgate.

From this point you can also look across to see this clock in Balloon Street.

The Printworks was, as you can probably guess, once the home of newspaper publishing. It is has since been converted into an entertainment venue.

The not so subtle Printworks sign looms above the city centre, detracted from the clock above.

The Royal Exchange is much more low key. The building is the latest in a long line of financial exchange buildings on the site, with this current incarnation being completed in 1921.

The building ceased its trading function as long ago as 1968, and now houses, amongst other things, a theatre.

Next door is the church of St Anne, consecrated in 1712. This side of the tower has a very plain clock face...

...whilst the opposite is much more ornate.


I always thought that Manchester Piccadilly station was sterile ground for clock hunting. But on travelling down to the tram, I found this clock buried in the bowels of the station complex.

And finally, a clock on the junction of Dale Street and Lever Street.



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