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Medlock Drift 19: London Road to Ancoats Bridge

This area is the most chopped up, culverted and dark section of the River Medlock. As with most of the river in the city, the access and viewing points are hidden, hard to find and unwelcoming. To anthropomorphise a little, I would say the river here is depressed and unseen – even unwanted. The Bond Street and Baring Street industrial estates are seedy, grim sites. The river flows under many of the warehouses and businesses – silent and apologetic. For most of the walk I felt uneasy. This is an urban landscape of dodgy deals, broken bricks, muddy car parks, prostitution, and lurking danger.

Starting from Berry St and the back of the Macdonald Manchester Hotel (previously the BT building. Architect J L Hammond). Just visible, through the pillars,  is the Holloway Wall – a curious piece of brutalist modernism acting as a work of art and also a sound barrier for the old UMIST site.

IMG_2408Here is a video of Steve Millington from the Manchester Modernist Society talking about this area….

Victory House, later Telecom House, was completed in 1973 and designed by architect J L Hammond. The building was originally intended to be a hotel. At that time, tax relief was given to hotel builders, but shortly before it was due to open, the legislation changed, and the developer was forced to adapt it for office use.

“Graceful in its position, snaking down London Road, unusual window patterns, good detailing (especially on the rooftop plant blocks) and very elegantly and cleverly supported on slender supports this building is somewhat of a Cinderella. Ironically permission has recently been given to turn part of the building back into a hotel.” (Information and comments by Eddy Rhead)

IMG_2410 IMG_2411This vast warehouse seems to be currently unused….

IMG_2412The Medlock goes into the tunnel that takes it under the University of Manchester (old UMIST site) campus…..

IMG_2417 IMG_2420 IMG_2421This fragment of river is typical of how the river presents in this part of town. Emerging, curving and then disappearing under buildings….

IMG_2422Macdonald Hotel…..

IMG_2423The river stays north of the Mancunian Way. On the left is the Unversity Halls of Residence. Under the Mancunian Way is the skate park….(see Steve Millington video above)….

IMG_2425 IMG_2426 IMG_2427 IMG_2428Views from Baring street Bridge (presumably previously Boardman St Bridge according to sign).

IMG_2431 IMG_2432 IMG_2434The river goes under Fed Ex building….

IMG_2435 IMG_2436 IMG_2437 IMG_2439Baring street is where the taxis for Piccadilly Station queue…

IMG_2440 IMG_2441 IMG_2442 IMG_2443The only way to see the river as it emerges from under the Fed Ex site is to go onto the Klyn & Klyne car park. There was no-one around so I went on to the fire escape. From there the river is on a corner and visible emerging and disappearing again….at which point an officious man in a fork lift truck had a rant at me….

IMG_2444 IMG_2447The area around Bond street is particularly run down…

IMG_2449 IMG_2450The river runs somewhere under Temperance Street and Chapelfield Road…but hard to tell where exactly….

IMG_2451 IMG_2452 IMG_2453Spelling?

IMG_2454Finding the river again going under Fairfield Street. A nondescript bridge….

IMG_2456 IMG_2457 IMG_2458 IMG_2461Helmet Street, Aldow Industrial Park. The Medlock is behind the trees and security fence….

IMG_2462 IMG_2463 IMG_2464 IMG_2465 IMG_2466 IMG_2467View from Pin Mill Brow / Ancoats Bridge….

IMG_2468Ancoats Bridge marks the start of the Mancunian Way….

IMG_2469And on the other side of Ancoats Bridge is a promising piece of woodland with the path up to Holt Town and the Man. City Stadium…

IMG_2471 IMG_2472 IMG_2474 IMG_2476 IMG_2477

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