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Medlock Drift 18: Clayton Vale to Alan Turing Bridge

13th January 2013.

Once a vast tip, Clayton Vale is now a well managed public amenity (and hence the least amount of rubbish on the whole river). Past industries include a print and dye works and Bradford Colliery. In around 1907 Manchester Corporation started to purchase buildings on the site for plans to use it as a tip for the ash cinders from Stuart St Power Station and as a municipal tip. Larger scale tipping started in the early 1920s at the western end of Clayton Vale, adjacent to Bank st Bridge, Clayton Vale Lane and the Manchester Corporation Sidings.

Waste disposal activities spread eastward down the valley and by 1966 the maps indicate that the entire area of Clayton Vale had either been used for tipping or was in current use as a landfill site. The landfill of the Vale took place prior to the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (which required that the disposal of all controlled wastes onto land be licensed); therefore the exact nature of the fill materials is not known. However, a review of documentation and historical maps held by MCC indicates that tipping commenced in Clayton Vale prior to 1909, with a small area of waste disposal located to the west of Clayton Vale House near Clayton Vale Bridge. It is understood that tipping ceased prior to 1974 and the historical maps indicate that the site was disused by 1981. The site was heavily polluted by industrial waste throughout the industrial revolution and even up to 1983. In 1982 Manchester City Council purchased the whole valley and began the reclamation of the site to turn it back into open space for the public.

IMG_2244Entrance gates to Medlock Vale…

IMG_2245 IMG_2247 IMG_2248 IMG_2249 IMG_2250 IMG_2252 IMG_2253 IMG_2254 IMG_2255Signs of moorings…

IMG_2256 IMG_2257 IMG_2258 IMG_2260 IMG_2262Work began in 1905 on the brick channel from the Iron Bridge at Clayton Vale to the bridge at Mill Street, now Alan Turing Way. Locally the river became known as the Red River because of the red bricks used to help with the flow of the river and to prevent flooding such as the famous one in 1872. On a 1909 map The River Medlock is shown as being culverted (A structure used to enclose the river to allow it to pass underneath a structure such as a road). By 1923 the River Medlock was fully canalised.

IMG_2263 IMG_2265 IMG_2266 IMG_2267 IMG_2268 IMG_2271 IMG_2273 IMG_2275 IMG_2277 IMG_2278 IMG_2282Tunnel under Bank Bridge Rd. The shape of the tunnel is unusual…

IMG_2285 IMG_2291 IMG_2292Industrial buildings at Philips Park on Riverpark Rd….

IMG_2293 IMG_2294 IMG_2296Philips Park Cemetery…..

IMG_2297The Jewish section of the cemetery is interesting. Only recently restored.

IMG_2298 IMG_2299 IMG_2301 IMG_2302This symbol on a Jewish headstone has got me curious. The snake eating its own tail or ‘ouroboros’ is an ancient mystical symbol, as far as I know not usually associated with Judaism.

IMG_2304 IMG_2308 IMG_2310 IMG_2312 IMG_2313 IMG_2314 IMG_2315 IMG_2318The exit of the river from the tunnel under Bank Bridge rd is not very accessible….brambles and scrubby bushes…..

IMG_2320Manchester Velodrome….

IMG_2321 IMG_2323Eithad / Man City Stadium behind the Bradford estate….

IMG_2326 IMG_2327 IMG_2328 IMG_2329 IMG_2330Here, as we reached Alan Turing Way, the river goes underground and under Holt Town, emerging from under New Viaduct St…..

IMG_2331 IMG_2333 IMG_2335 IMG_2336Mill Street Bridge is now Alan Turing Bridge. Alan Turing

IMG_2337 IMG_2338 IMG_2342 IMG_2343Interesting signage.

Turing’s homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution in 1952, when homosexual acts were still illegal in the United Kingdom. He accepted treatment with female hormones (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, just over two weeks before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined that his death was suicide; his mother and some others believed his death was accidental. On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated”. As of May 2012, a private member’s bill was before the House of Lords which would grant Turing a statutory pardon if enacted. (Wikipedia)

IMG_2344 IMG_2347I found inner peace when I did my tax return…

IMG_2348 IMG_2349Western entrance to Philips Park Cemetery….

IMG_2353

Philips Park Cemetery

IMG_2354Ruined church…..

IMG_2356 IMG_2357 IMG_2362 IMG_2363Back towards the eastern end of Clayton Vale…

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Comments

  1. I find your drift and explore of this area very interesting. I would like to email you if I may as I have also explored/walked around this area. VERY interesting blog.

    Regards
    Al

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