Geograph Blog ::

A walk from Piccadilly to Oxford Road

By Gerald England

A walk following the railway arches from Piccadilly to Oxford Road making some interesting discoveries along the way. You can see this trip plotted on a map on the Geo-trips page LinkExternal link .

My walk started on Altrincham Street SJ8497 : Altrincham Street by Gerald England off London Road below the railway arches that carry the line from Piccadilly to Oxford Road.

Leading off Altrincham Street under an arch of the railway line is SJ8497 : Echo Street by Gerald England Echo Street. The building in the background is one of the original buildings of the UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology).

SJ8497 : Freightliner over Echo Street by Gerald England Freightliner over Echo Street.

SJ8497 : Echo Street by Gerald England Echo Street leading towards Fairfield Street.

Next to arch #22 is SJ8497 : The Generation of Possibilities by Gerald England The Generation of Possibilities, a sculpture by Paul Frank Lewthwaite, winner of the national competition for a sculpture to mark the 175th Anniversary of UMIST 1999. According to the artist's website LinkExternal link The Generation of Possibilities is spray painted steel on a concrete filled base and was inspired by the electromagnetic experiments of William Sturgeon (1783-1850) which led to the development of the generator and motor. The forms also mirror the arches of the railway viaduct adjacent to the site. Compare this with a photograph taken in 2006 SJ8497 : Art & Engineering II by Glyn Baker

SJ8497 : UMIST Campus by Gerald England We are in the centre of what was the campus for UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology). It specialised in technical and scientific subjects and was a major centre for research. On 1 October 2004, it merged with the Victoria University of Manchester (commonly called the University of Manchester) to form a new entity also called The University of Manchester. The Main Building now called the Sackville Street Building was purpose-built between 1895 and 1902. Starting in 1927, plans were drawn up by the architects Bradshaw Gass & Hope for an extension which would approximately double the size of the original building. However, construction was delayed by the war and other factors, so that the extension was not fully completed until 1957. This view is taken looking at the Granby Row side of the building from North of the railway viaduct. In the centre is the Technology Arch sculpture by Axel Wolkenhauer now located in a grassed area surrounded by benches and recycling bins.

SJ8497 : Archimedes' Back by Gerald England Behind under an arch of the railway from Piccadilly to Oxford Road. is the stone statue SJ8497 : Archimedes' Eureka Moment by David Dixon which shows a life sized Archimedes leaping naked from his bath whilst experiencing his "eureka moment". It was created by the artist Thompson Dagnall and unveiled in September 1990.

SJ8497 : Technology Arch by Gerald England Technology Arch is a sculpture by Axel Wolkenhauer. It consists of thick metal ropes set into a mobius strip, and passing upwards into an arch. It is set on a circular metal base. The work refers to spiral forms in time and space. The mobius or endless loop and the materials used create a dialogue between science and nature. A base plaque SJ8497 : Technology Arch Base Plaque by Gerald England states "Made possible by North West Arts and British Ropes Ltd, 1989". Photographs from 2010 and earlier pictures such as this from 2006 SJ8497 : Art & Engineering 1 by Glyn Baker show it on stone setts outside the entrance to the Main UMIST building on Granby Row. Now it is located in a grassed area surrounded by benches and recycling bins.

SJ8497 : Through an arch, under an arch by Gerald England Archimedes under an arch through an arch.

SJ8497 : Vimto Memorial by Gerald England The Vimto Monument is a larger than life-sized model of a bottle of Vimto, surrounded by the fruits used in its manufacturer and stands on the site of 49 Granby Row, the original premises where Vimto was first created by John Noel Nicholls in 1908. It was advertised as a herbal tonic which would give drinkers “vim and vigour”, hence the name “Vim Tonic”, shortened to “Vimto” in 1912. The monument, made from burnished wood, was sculpted in 1992 by Kerry Morrison. It was restored and repainted in 2011. LinkExternal link

The plaque SJ8497 : A Monument to Vimto by David Dixon next to it reads
Kerry Morrison
Stained Oak taken from a sustainable forest

John Noel Nichols mixed his first batch of VIMTO at
19 Granby Row in 1908, This sculpture on the site of the
building was commisioned [sic] at J.N. Nichols (Vimto) plc.

SJ8497 : Viaduct to Piccadilly by Gerald England Looking back alongside the viaduct about half way from Oxford Road to Piccadilly. The archway in the foreground is #42. On the right is the multi-storey carpark on Charles Street.

SJ8497 : River Medlock by Gerald England The River Medlock from Charles Street bridge. The large apartment block is Montana House on Princess Street. The River Medlock flows west from Tameside & Oldham into Manchester. It runs for 13 miles (including passing through Clayton Vale) before merging with the Irwell at Castlefield. The Industrial revolution exacted a heavy toll on the river, factories & waste tips lining its banks decreased the water quality to such an extent that the river stopped being able to support a fish population. Recent restoration has, however, improved water quality, the river was restocked with fish, and wildlife such as herons and kingfishers can often be seen now.

SJ8497 : River Medlock by Gerald England The view from a bus in 2002.

SJ8497 : River Medlock by Gerald England The view in the opposite direction. On the left is the Lass o' Gowrie. On the right is the Joshua Brooks.

SJ8497 : Joshua Brooks by Gerald England Joshua Brooks on the corner of Charles Street and Princess Street was established as a night-club in the mid-1990s when the Dust Brothers (later known as the Chemical Brothers) were the resident band. The name derives from a Victorian novel called The Manchester Man, written by Isobella Banks in 1876. LinkExternal link

SJ8497 : Lass o' Gowrie by Gerald England According the pub's website LinkExternal link In the late 1800s, this part of Manchester was known as "Little Ireland", due in the main to the large numbers of Irish immigrant workers living there. However, the area was also home to extreme poverty and terrible hardship and quickly came to be synonymous with all the evils and squalor of unregulated industrialisation for Manchester had by then became notorious for. It was in this charnel house of blood, sweat tears and tragedy that the pub we today know as the Lass O' Gowrie was born. Legend has it that the original landlord of the pub was not an Irishman, but a proud, homesick Scotsman who named the pub in honour of his favourite poem 'the Lass O'Gowrie' written by the celebrated Scottish poet Lady Carolina Nairne. SJ8497 : Lass o' Gowrie by Carolina Nairne by Gerald England

SJ8497 : Manchester's Oldest Pissotiere by Gerald England On the side of the Lass o Gowrie a plaque states

Here was the site of
Retained for
Last used A.D.1896

SJ8497 : Lass o' Gowrie by Gerald England

SJ8497 : Cape Dunns by Gerald England Cape Dunns LinkExternal link are Fine Art auctioneers and valuers established in 1826. Their premises on the corner of Charles Street and Pritchard Street date from 1912. SJ8497 : Cape Dunns 1912 by Gerald England

SJ8497 : Global Vision College by Gerald England Global Vision College LinkExternal link was located in a purpose built high tech building with 5 floors, situated in the heart of Manchester City Centre. It was previously home to Emile Woolf College which was established there in 1990 until it was bought by Kaplan College a couple of years ago.

Crews were called to the five-storey Global Vision building on Charles Street at 23:25 BST on Sunday 1st July 2012. The ground floor was completely destroyed and the rest of the building suffered smoke damage. LinkExternal link

SJ8497 : The hidden Medlock by Gerald England Along Oxford Road you can't actually see over the parapet of the bridge over the river Medlock from street level. I raised my camera above, tilted slightly and pressed. This is what it saw, totally uncropped.

SJ8497 : Save our Street Art by Gerald England The Thirsty Scholar LinkExternal link is a night club situated under one of the railway arches by Oxford Road station. The area around New Wakefield Street has a lot of graffiti/street art. The council are threatening to remove it, hence the "Save our Street Art" posters.

SJ8497 : The Salisbury by Gerald England The Salisbury is a real-ale pub under the shadow of Oxford Road Station. Steps on the left lead up to the station where my walk endeth.

Loading map...
Marker only shows grid square

Fri, 6 Jul 2012 at 09:08
Grid Square
geotagged! SJ8497
Chosen Photo

blog comments powered by Disqus
You are not logged in login | register