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Sunday 14 July 2013

Another fire on Oldham Street (video)


Two 15-year-old girls have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after a fire in an Oldham Street shop yesterday. A fire-fighter died and another was injured as eight crews tackled the blaze.

It broke out in the storeroom of Paul’s Hair and Beauty World near the Piccadilly end of the street.

This is the third major fire in the Northern Quarter this year and the second on Oldham Street. In April an art-deco former department store caught alight and was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished and last month a fire at the Almost Famous burger restaurant on High Street caused the roof to collapse.

The timelapse video shows smoke rising from the scene at around 22:30 last night.

While the loss of buildings comes second to people, it’s sad to see another attractive frontage on this street damaged and perhaps facing demolition.


Filed under: Buildings,Bygone Manc,Crime,Manchester — GS @ 2:08 pm
Friday 19 April 2013

Fire on Oldham Street, Dobbin’s drapers and general outfitters

Fire hydrant on Tib StreetAnother small part of Manchester’s heritage went up in flames on 11th April when a former department store caught fire on Oldham Street.

Fire fighters had been tackling the blaze for several hours when I shot these pictures just after 8pm. The street was closed off and people had been evacuated from neighbouring buildings. (more…)


Filed under: Buildings,Bygone Manc,Manchester — GS @ 8:05 am
Monday 24 September 2012

The end of the Oxford Road Show (video)

How the BBC’s studios nearly ended up opposite Platt Fields Park in Rusholme

Here in Manchester, New Broadcasting House is being demolished. But back in the mid-1950’s, when the BBC decided to build new northern regional headquarters, this famous location on Oxford Road wasn’t the first choice.

Workmen in a cage suspended from a crane inspect the front of the former BBC building during demolition

At the beginning of 1956 the BBC was scattered across eleven buildings in the Manchester area. In Piccadilly, space that the Corporation had rented above a bank since the 1920’s provided a studio for talk productions and another for television interviews (staff there witnessed the fatal Woolworths fire next-door in May 1979). The BBC’s main TV studio was in a old church on Dickenson Road in Rusholme. While another former church nearby, on the corner of Birch Lane and Plymouth Grove, was used as a garage for the outside broadcast lorries. (more…)

Wednesday 14 March 2012

The changing face of…?

Demolition in St. Peters Square, Manchester

You may struggle to identify this location at first glance because it looks so different. Certainly I got a big surprise last Sunday as I turned the corner from behind the Central Library.
(more…)


Filed under: Buildings,Bygone Manc,History,Manchester — GS @ 1:01 am
Wednesday 15 September 2010

Bygone Manchester: the Grand Theatre, Peter Street

The former Grand Theatre, Peter StreetThe lower building nearest the camera was once the Grand Theatre.

Built for Edward Garcia, and designed by a Mr Weldon, it opened as a circus on 29 September 1883 and then became a theatre. From 1916 until 1924 the building operated as a cinema, known firstly as the Palladium and then the Futurist. After which it became home to the Christian Science Church and by the 1980’s was a quite stylish car showroom. Currently it’s closed, having been a bar.

The Manchester Libraries Local Image Collection has a photograph from 1956 which shows the building and another from 1960. It seems there were shops at the front at ground level.

At some point after that the upper part of the theatre frontage was taken down and replaced by the unexciting red brick wall that we see today.

The caption on this photograph, from 1973, suggests at that time the site (and probably the Albert Hall next door) faced a compulsory purchase order and was destined to be a new police headquarters. But it never happened and the police are still based just a few yards away at the old HQ in Bootle Street, which runs along the back of the building.

The rear of the former Grand Theatre, Peter Street, Manchester

The rear is a bit of a mystery. The building seems quite small and has a low roof. How would a theatre fit into this building? Let alone a circus (don’t send any giraffes!). The site is approximately 30m x 22m. I suppose it was just a very small music hall?


View Larger Map

Here’s an archive view that gives a glimpse of the back in 1908 — two years before the Albert Hall was built. It looks rather run-down and a sign on the roof advertises shows ‘twice nightly’. This is how it looked in 1973.

This website has more information about the history of this building and many other theatres in Manchester and around the UK, past and present.


Filed under: Buildings,Bygone Manc,History,Manchester — GS @ 2:43 am
Monday 5 July 2010

Attempt to demolish an historic Ancoats pub is unsuccessful. For now…

Developers have been unsuccessful in their application to demolish the former Cross Keys pub in the Ancoats conservation area and replace it with shops and offices. (more…)


Filed under: Buildings,Manchester — GS @ 8:38 pm
Wednesday 4 November 2009

Right-wingers stoke Islamophobia in Longsight churchyard planning mystery

Latest (25 March 2010): a video of my visit to the site today. This shows the current situation and casts further doubt on the claims of ‘desecration’.

As church attendance figures have plummeted over the decades many buildings have been saved by being converted to a different use.

One old church on Dickenson Road in Rusholme became the Mancunian Film Studios from 1947-1953. After that it was sold to the BBC which used it for Grandstand and the first editions of Top of the Pops. (more…)


Filed under: Buildings,History,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 3:47 am
 
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