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Morag Rose

The canal network is central to Manchester’s history and identity. A walk along the towpath offers chance to encounter wildlife and trace the industrial heritage of the city. However, the waterways occupy an ambivalent position in the city’s subconscious and are the site of conflict, contradictions, myths and legends. This chapter offers a glimpse beneath the surface, including a visit to the lost gardens of Pomona, the contested queer space of the Undercroft and a brief guide to the legendary canal monsters of Manchester’s canals.

in Manchester
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Peter Kalu

Social class, the left-behind, migration and the history of underclass occupations as exemplified by the demographics, including ethnicity, of car wash attendants. Mobilities, the cocooning effect of the car cockpit and the discombobulation of temporarily evacuated drivers bringing their car for valeting at car wash enterprises. Employment structures and practices of car washes and the economics of the geographical distribution of car wash enterprises within urban landscapes. Semaphore, sign and cross-languaging in bottom-rung car wash businesses. Aspiration, rags-to-riches myths and film fantasies connecting British car wash work with the American Dream. The interrelated economic histories of car wash employment and taxi driving.

in Manchester
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Jonathan Silver

This chapter focuses on the importance of the chimney in the history of both Manchester and the world. It shows how the chimney shaped the topography of the industrial city and its role in the global transformations generated through cotton capitalism and later climate change.

in Manchester
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Clare Archibald

Cloister is a personal meditation on a building that houses a community within a community. Taking a family connection to a convent as a starting point, it looks at the history behind the red brick. In thinking about the real and imagined lives of the order it explores the impact of the nuns on their local community, and the social and political changes affecting the nuns themselves. It wonders about the future of both the order and the building in a changing world. Primarily, it is a rumination on the different ways women move through the world, hidden and otherwise.

in Manchester
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Natalie Bradbury

The modern-day co-operative movement was founded by a group of workers as a grocery shop in Toad Lane, Rochdale in 1844. This led to the formation of the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), forerunner of today’s Co-operative Group, which is still trading from its headquarters in Manchester. This chapter explores the growth and development of the movement through Manchester’s Co-operative Quarter, showing how the organisation commissioned new buildings as it expanded, and embraced new architectural styles – from art deco to international-style modernism. Now rebranded as a retail and leisure district known as NOMA, many of these landmark buildings are finding new uses.

in Manchester
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Tim Edensor

Numerous cobbles, or setts, burst through the asphalt-covered streets of Manchester. Of Roman and medieval origin, they were produced in their millions in the nineteenth century. The discussion turns to their material construction, and to their origins in nearby quarries, including mention of some rare wooden setts and the divergent patterns in which they were laid down across the city. The vanished world signified by cobbles is conjured: the workers who laid them, and the horses that once proliferated, with numerous stables, the smell of horse manure and the sounds of hooves on cobbles. The chapter concludes by underpinning how cobbles continue to feature in cultural representations of Manchester and the industrial North

in Manchester
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Sarah Butler

A creative reflection on Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor, weaving the author’s personal relationship with the road into the space’s fabric and everyday life.

in Manchester
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Martin Dodge

Cotton explores the textile history of Manchester by looking at its evolution from a large town into a major commercial city. Despite being a hub for cotton in the nineteenth century, cotton does not grow in Manchester, and so the city grew into a globalised centre of trade. The chapter touches on the little-known history of slavery that grew with the city, while demonstrating how the textile industry continued to evolve into the more recent past.

in Manchester
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James Thorp

Dye explores the production of blue pigment in east Manchester as a by-product of the area’s iconic gasworks. The Hardman & Holden dye factory’s colourful history of accidents, poisonings, sludges and blue pigeons is investigated through corporate and newspaper archives. Physical traces of the factory have been reduced to blue stains on the perimeter walls; inside lies a wasteland and the unfulfilled promise of a cleaner future.

in Manchester
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Nick Dunn

Edges take all forms: from officially designated boundaries to informally appropriated demarcations; from the sharp lines of man-made routes to the fuzzy outlines of natural features and reclaimed landscapes. The edges explored in this chapter are those where the suburbs are disrupted by the River Mersey, which flows along the southern rim of the city. It is undeniably an edge, only to be crossed via bridges. It is also the connecting thread that weaves together woodlands, meadows, artificial lakes, flooded gravel pits, and so much more. No mere frozen lines on a map: edges are dynamic forcefields for the identity of place and its people.

in Manchester