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Medlock Soul Revival (Ancoats Beach – Interventions, Observations)

Engaging with the beach, collecting objects from the sand, raking the beach…

 

Some clips of the river at the beach….

 

Hi-vis jacket – ordered online. Embroidered logo on front, print on back….

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Medlock Drift 20: Ancoats Bridge to New Viaduct Street

An odd mix of moods, mess, and ecology along this section of the River.

Ancoats Bridge….

IMG_2478Limekiln Lane:

CaCO3 + heat → CaO + CO2

CaO = Quicklime.

Because it is so readily made by heating limestone, lime must have been known from the earliest times, and all the early civilizations used it in building mortars and as a stabilizer in mud renders and floors. Knowledge of its value in agriculture is also ancient, but agricultural use only became widely possible when the use of coal made it cheap in the coalfields in the late 13th century, and an account of agricultural use was given in 1523.

IMG_2479 IMG_2480One of the best beaches in Manchester…

IMG_2481 IMG_2484 IMG_2486 IMG_2487Path up to Aden Close….

IMG_2488 IMG_2489 IMG_2490 IMG_2491 IMG_2492 IMG_2494 IMG_2495This was the Ardwick Youth Centre. Now being demolished….

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English Heritage’s Pastscape website notes that ” The Ardwick Lads’ and Mens’ Club, now the Ardwick Youth Centre, opened in 1897 and is believed to be Britain’s oldest purpose-built youth club still in use [and was until earlier in 2012]. Designed by architects W & G Higginbottom, the club, when opened, featured a large gymnasium with viewing gallery – where the 1933 All England Amateur Gymnastics Championships were held – three fives courts, a billiard room and two skittle alleys (later converted to shooting galleries). Boxing, cycling, cricket, swimming and badminton were also organised. At its peak between the two world wars, Ardwick was the Manchester area’s largest club, with 2,000 members.”

IMG_2499Views from the Palmerston Street bridge…..

IMG_2500 IMG_2502 IMG_2503Gurney Street Bridge….

IMG_2504 IMG_2506 IMG_2507 IMG_2508 IMG_2509 IMG_2510 IMG_2511Footbridge over to Purslow Close….

IMG_2512So much for the sign to St.Anne RC Primary….

IMG_2514Looking down over the Holt Town Bridge, marking the end of Ashton New Road and the start of Merrill St….

IMG_2516View up Merrill St….

IMG_2517And the new tramline extension out to Ashton-Under-Lyne is nearly complete…

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IMG_2522 IMG_2523Odd concrete dome….part of playground?

IMG_2525 IMG_2526The bridge at New Viaduct Street goes over both the River Medlock and the Ashton Canal.

IMG_2527 IMG_2528A heron in the Medlock – a good sign: heron = fish….

IMG_2530 IMG_2531New tramlines over the Medlock…..

IMG_2534The Gas Holder station is dominant in the local area….walking down Upper Cyrus Street…

IMG_2537Round the corner and down Upper Helena Street….rust, small businesses, corrugated iron, padlocked gates…

IMG_2538 IMG_2539This park had me a bit uneasy…there only one entrance to it and, until the works on the tramway are complete, there is no way out. It could be a delightful place with a bit of care.

IMG_2541The Ashton canal, frozen over….

IMG_2544Proximity to Man City Stadium…..

IMG_2545 IMG_2546 IMG_2547The Medlock flows under the Ashton Canal….

IMG_2551The Ashton Canal flows under the railway and over the Medlock….

IMG_2552 IMG_2553 IMG_2555 IMG_2556 IMG_2561 IMG_2563 IMG_2565 IMG_2566 IMG_2567 IMG_2569 IMG_2572Squirrel and broken glass…

IMG_2574The River Pub on Palmerston Road… (‘River’ i.e. Medlock)….

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A good article on the demolition of Ardwick Lads Club and mentioning the River pub is here.

 On the 10th September 2012 an application for prior notification of proposed demolition was submitted on behalf of Manchester City Council to Manchester Planning, for the demolition off Ardwick Lads’ Club (Ardwick Youth Centre) of 100 Palmerston Street (M12 6PE), citing that there was “no use” for the building in respect to its historic place within the community as providing a refuge and sporting provision to the young of Ancoats.

All historical, architectural, build quality and potential use within existing and wider regeneration process were quickly dismissed. More details on the planning application can be read here: 100472/DEM/2012/N2

Whilst permission to demolish was “not required” (Decision Letter, 8th October 2012), it begs the questions, was it in the communities best interest to strip an area already critically lacking in its historical and architectural roots and importantly an area that already has little or no sporting or community provisions.

A last ditch attempt to save and spot list Ardwick Lads Club on historical and architectural grounds was dismissed by English Heritage and backed by theSecretary for Culture Media and Sport, with no attention paid to local significance or importance.

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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…

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