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Peter Kalu

The common denominator, humanising and social unifying factor of sewers; their parallel and orthogonal positioning with other subterranean, municipal essential services in cities. The phantasmagorical and Gothic elements of urban sewers’ mythos. Sewers as symbols of triumphant Victorian engineering, particularly as celebrated, Herculean red-brick structures memorialising the triumph of scientific progress and Western civilisation. Sewers as the metaphoric scatological, as representative of the subconscious; sewers as pharmacological cornucopias, and as the symbolic seedbed for narratives of crime, escape and capture; sewers as signifiers of abjection, evacuation and repression.

in Manchester
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Nick Dunn

When we think of shadows we naturally think of light. As with many things, Manchester has a special tale regarding such matters. The city has a considerable history of various types of light and darkness, especially in relation to its pioneering role in the industrialisation of cities. The coal fires that powered this transformation created huge amounts of soot that were deposited onto the surfaces of buildings. This led to an ‘architecture of darkness’, a couple of examples of which remain to the present day as silent witnesses to the enormous energy that changed the city and its fortunes forever.

in Manchester
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Martin Dodge

Shopping centre focuses on the history of the Arndale, the first of a series of shopping centres, and the largest in Europe when it was first built. The chapter looks at the architecture, its cultural relevance, public and local opinions of the design, and some of the more impactful events in its history – such as the 1996 IRA bombing.

in Manchester
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Morag Rose

Does the city have a genius loci? What does it mean when we talk about Manchester’s spirit? Is the city losing its soul? A personal exploration of what ‘Manchester’ means and how its essence can be defined. The search takes us from scraps of green space to a suburban kitchen table via the Northern Quarter and the multiple meanings of the Manchester bee.

in Manchester
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Tim Edensor

This chapter investigates Manchester City Football Club’s now demolished former stadium, Maine Road, Moss Side. A discussion of the economic and social processes that influenced the club’s relocation to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, part of the broader transformation of Britain’s sporting landscape, is followed by a description of the stadium and its surroundings. The densely packed terraced housing, the numerous eateries and pubs and manifold modes of access, made this a richly atmospheric, sensual setting on match days, saturated with numerous social activities. The second part of the chapter focuses on the residues of this stadium that remain: sites of naming and commemoration, and the material and topographical traces.

in Manchester
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Clare Hartwell

Manchester Cathedral has major examples of stained glass from the post-war period, following loss and damage of medieval and later glass, most recently during the Second World War and after the 1996 IRA bomb. Margaret Traherne’s Fire Window memorialises the Manchester Blitz, evoking both fire and the blood of sacrifice. A later scheme by Tony Hollaway fills windows in the west end of the building. This major artistic achievement explores the journey from Creation to Revelation, with reference to the cathedral’s connections and patron saints. These works deserve wider recognition and are major examples of twentieth-century art in the city.

in Manchester
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Natalie Bradbury

This chapter explores public statuary in Greater Manchester, highlighting changing ideas about the types of figures who should be commemorated and the forms this might take. Starting with traditional statues of royalty and political grandees, it then explores attempts to make statues more relatable and relevant. These include crowdfunded statues of popular entertainment figures (including the comedians Frank Sidebottom and Victoria Wood) and a new statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, which was chosen following a public vote. It highlights work by artists and activists to address the historic gender imbalance in those the city has chosen to commemorate.

in Manchester
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Tim Edensor

This chapter explores how Manchester has been continuously recomposed from distinctive forms of stone, brought from elsewhere to reproduce the city. The discussion identifies the local medieval quarry that supplied stone to the city’s grandest structures before explaining how the development of canals and railways made available much better, more varied stone supplies from the North and Midlands, transforming Manchester’s built environment. Key quarries are identified as well as notable buildings that exemplify particular stone use. The conclusion highlights how, contemporaneously, most stone is imported in the form of thin veneers from various foreign sources, and that concrete, which includes stone, has replaced stone as the dominant building material.

in Manchester
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Jonathan Silver

This short chapter considers the historical connections between Manchester’s Jewish community, its presence in the built environment, and an urban history of anti-Semitism and violence in the city, highlighting how the synagogue acts as a space of memory for these longer histories, both near and far.

in Manchester
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Jenna C. Ashton

From Russia to Manchester; textile samplers as archives. Cottonopolis rethought. Thread can repair, connect and seal our stories of displacement, belonging, migration. We find hints of industry, revolution, movement and displacement in Alice Pitfield’s writings, but they are perhaps best visualised in two textile pieces she produced. Her thread replaces words. The two pieces encapsulate the complexities of a Manchester that it is both domestic and public, international and local, traditional and modern.

in Manchester