Browse

Abstract only
Manchester: seeing like a city
Paul Dobraszczyk and Sarah Butler

This chapter introduces the principal themes of the book: first, what constitutes Manchester’s identity as a city and urban region; second, how its current development is changing the urban core; and third, how urban planning might be influenced more broadly by the experiences of the city’s inhabitants. Using poetic readings of Manchester’s rain as a way into a wider understanding of the city, the chapter also introduces the sixty words that make up the book and outlines their organisation into eleven themed sections.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Peter Kalu

Laundrettes as islands of communalism and bulwarks of social identity and community formation, set against the increasing anomie of neoliberal societies. The decline and fall of laundrettes. Semiotics of archaic machine instruction and public behaviour rules signage within laundrettes. The affective history of laundrettes in inner-city Manchester as narrated in a mytho-autobiographical form. Navigation of intimacy within the public space of the laundrette, including practices around loading and unloading underwear and other intimate and private-facing textiles. Hierarchies of power and knowledge within laundrettes and their effect on customer efficiency. The structure of multilingual conversations in urban laundrettes.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Natalie Bradbury

‘Loop lines’ are cycle ways and footpaths created on former railway lines which were closed following the infamous Beeching Report of 1963. In Greater Manchester, a number of loop lines provide miles of traffic-free routes for urban cyclists. The best-known, the well-used Fallowfield Loop, offers a commuter route between south and east Manchester. Others include the Roe Green Loop Line, in suburban Salford, and the Middlewood Way, which runs into rural Cheshire from the outskirts of Stockport. As well as providing off-road routes and acting as green spaces, this chapter argues that they provide important spaces for learning, sharing and socialising.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

Abstract only
Clare Hartwell

As industrialisation changed the character of Manchester, increasing interest was expressed in evidence for a past which was rapidly disappearing. Reproduction of local historic buildings at an exhibition in 1887 was one manifestation, while repair and conservation of medieval buildings in the city aimed to restore their original appearance. The Shambles buildings, formerly part of the medieval market, were moved and rebuilt not once, but twice: following 1970s redevelopment and again after the IRA bomb in 1996. These buildings and events can be seen as symbols of the city’s changing relationship with its past in a manner which invites study and interrogation.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Cassie Britland

Moors explores the relationship between history, place and the individual. The writer and her friend are looking for the remains of Glodwick Road train station in Oldham, Greater Manchester. The two of them have opposite responses to the environment – one feeling uncomfortable, the other not. The writer considers the location’s long history of extreme violence – which includes the Moors murders, a mysterious suicide and the 2001 Oldham riots – and if it might have influenced her friend’s impressions.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Qaisra Shahraz

In this chapter, a multicultural collage of Manchester’s fabric is evoked through its depiction and description of mosques. Some context and history is given to Manchester Central Mosque, while the Muslim community is felt through discussion of prayer, Eid, Nikah ceremonies and Ramadan.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Jonathan Silver

Museum reflects on the role of Manchester Museum in broader debates about decolonisation, focused particularly on the large Egyptian collection and recent moves to recognise the colonial dimensions of British museums and the difficult conversations that lie ahead.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Natalie Bradbury

This chapter traces Greater Manchester’s long association with media production, from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the city was known as the ‘Fleet Street of the North’, to the BBC’s MediaCity development at Salford Quays. As well as discussing the production of national and regional publications in the city, it highlights Manchester’s history of alternative publications, including socialist newspapers such as The Clarion and special-interest publications associated with the co-operative movement. Exploring buildings such as the Daily Express building and the Printworks complex, it shows how former press buildings have been adapted for new purposes ranging from city-centre living to entertainment.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Nick Dunn

Nightwalking enables the city to be rediscovered, reimagined and reinvented with each step. Away from the busy, commercially driven aspects of nightlife it is possible to experience a different side of the city: the secret, the hidden, and the unknown. The city at night can be contemplative, fascinating, eerie and enchanting. For in the nocturnal hours urban places feel somehow less fixed and have an otherworldliness that is palpable. This chapter describes nightwalking as a way to engage with darkness and the city, the different atmospheres and ambiances. These multisensory experiences allow us to encounter places very differently. There are numerous and wonderful rewards for doing so.

in Manchester