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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 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….

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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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Daisy Nook, M60, Brookdale Golf Course, Woodhouses

Interesting walk as this part of the Medlock goes under the M60. The walk goes under and over the motorway depending on approach.

Stannybrook road….

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IMG_2127Red Dragon on Oakhill Farm House….

IMG_2128Manchester & Ashton-Under-Lyne Canal (Hollinwood Branch)…..

IMG_2129Footbridge over M60….

IMG_2130 IMG_2132 IMG_2133 IMG_2134 IMG_2137 IMG_2138 IMG_2139 IMG_2140 IMG_2141 IMG_2142 IMG_2143 IMG_2144 IMG_2145 IMG_2147 IMG_2149 IMG_2151 IMG_2152 IMG_2153 IMG_2154 IMG_2155 IMG_2156 IMG_2157 IMG_2158Down to Brookdale Golf Course….

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Medlock Road

IMG_2165 IMG_2166Cutting back down to the M60….

IMG_2168 IMG_2170 IMG_2172

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Drift: River Medlock (Section: Medlock Street – Dawson St. Bridge)

First Street – Medlock Street – Medlock Bridge – River City – Knott Mill – Blue Rainbow Apartments – Owen st. Car Park – Deansgate – Liverpool rd. – Potato Wharf – Giants Basin – Dawson st. Bridge.

How inaccessible the river is.

Medlock Street

Medlock Street

From this 1824 map - note how the Medlock bends away at 45 degrees from what is now Whitworth St. Then it bends sharply back upwards before entering the tunnel under the bridge under Medlock St. Note also Medlock St was then called Gratrix St.

From this 1824 map – note how the Medlock bends away at 45 degrees from what is now Whitworth St. Then it bends sharply back upwards before entering the tunnel under the bridge under Medlock St. Note also Medlock St was then called Gratrix St.

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Looking back towards the bridge under Medlock st

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The bend round Blue Rainbow apartments

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The bend round Blue Rainbow apartments

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Definitely no access to the river.

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Beetham Tower from Knott Mill

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The Medlock flows straight into the Bridgewater Canal at Knott Mill near Deansgate. A tippler weir sends excess water down into a tunnel that runs beneath the Castlefield canal basin.

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Giant’s Basin

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Giant’s Basin

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Dawson St Bridge

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No access.

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No access.

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The Medlock flows straight into the Bridgewater Canal at Knott Mill near Deansgate. A tippler weir sends excess water down into a tunnel that runs beneath the Castlefield canal basin.

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The Medlock flows straight into the Bridgewater Canal at Knott Mill near Deansgate. A tippler weir sends excess water down into a tunnel that runs beneath the Castlefield canal basin.

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The Medlock flows straight into the Bridgewater Canal at Knott Mill near Deansgate. A tippler weir sends excess water down into a tunnel that runs beneath the Castlefield canal basin.

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The Medlock flows straight into the Bridgewater Canal at Knott Mill near Deansgate. A tippler weir sends excess water down into a tunnel that runs beneath the Castlefield canal basin.

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Mermorial in Owen St Car Park

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Water flows out of Giant’s Basin under bridge an on as River Medlock

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Graffiti under railway arches. Junction of Egerton and Dawson St

Castlefield Waterways

Castlefield Waterways

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Graffiti under railway arches. Junction of Egerton and Dawson St

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Graffiti and bird shit spattered tyres under railway arches. Junction of Egerton and Dawson St

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Tree in wall

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Doorway over Medlock on Deansgate

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The Medlock water that isn’t directed down the tunnel passes beneath Deansgate and the Deansgate Apartment Buildings before joining the Bridgewater Canal.

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Way marker. ….shire?

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Beetham Tower

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Castlefield basin

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The Medlock water that isn’t directed down the tunnel passes beneath Deansgate and the Deansgate Apartment Buildings before joining the Bridgewater Canal.

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Gaythorn Tunnel

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Gaythorn Tunnel

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YHA (left) at Giant’s Basin

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Bridges at Giant’s Basin

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Medlock flowing away from Giant’s Basin

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Unfinished

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Medlock flowing away from Giant’s Basin

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New Elm Rd bridge

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Unfinished

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Along Potato Wharf

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Along Potato Wharf

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Along Potato Wharf

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Dawson St Bridge

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Dawson St Bridge

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Integral Drifting: A Manifesto

MANIFESTO FOR AN INTEGRAL DRIFTER

This blog is based on research and practice around the themes of:

DÉRIVE (DRIFT)

INTEGRAL THEORY

DEEP TOPOGRAPHY

PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY

MYTHOGEOGRAPHY

URBAN NARRATIVES

CITY LAND-ART

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Research:

I intend to explore the idea that Psychogeography has a two-fold nature – one linking to the Romantic literary tradition (Blake, Defoe, DeQuincy, Baulelaire, Rimbaud, Alfred Watkins etc); the other linking to the Political/philosophical interventionist remit (Debord, Raoul Vaneigem and Situationist International). But I particularly want to read some of the more contemporary writers on the subject: Ian Sinclair, Merlin Coverley etc. Also I intend to study Patrick Keiller’s ‘Robinson’ films and the works of Chris Petit.

It strikes me that the split in approach is interesting and raises good questions. What is the purpose of psychogeography? To stimulate a subjective poetic re-visioning of the city, to transform individual perceptions of the urban landscape? Or to transform society through radical intervention and disruption of habitual oppressive patterns? Is the derive a game of fantasy or an act of realism?

There is a lot of writing and blogging around this area. I will try to survey the ground as much as I can.

I am introducing the dimension of Integral Theory to Psychogeography out of a personal interest in both areas and to see if the Integral approach benefits or adds to the understanding of the psychogeographic trajectory.

Practice

The practice based aspect will be in the actual establishment of a personal derive practice. This will include:

a) Defining the ground. Choosing geographical boundaries. Possibly using Manchester Postal codes as a parameter. But at least considering methods of approaching the geographical field early on in the project. Initial map research.

b) Walking the ground.

c) Recording the field using camera, drawing, video, audio, writing.

d) Collecting from the field – found objects and items

e) Use of found objects, writings, and images as documentation and as material for further modification, display, installation.

f) Proposed outcomes to include this Blog record, exhibitions of research and made objects, printed book using online publishing, a talk/presentation of findings, an organised derive for others.

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Theory

My methodological approach includes:

1) Reading broadly around the theme.

2) Watching films and seeing exhibitions relating to the theme.

3) Performing random practical experiments (open to the surprising, synchronous, and serendipitous)

4) Performing more structured pre-considered experiments

5) Applying the principles of Integral Theory (specifically the 4 Quadrant Model proposed by American philosopher Ken Wilber)

 

Drift rather than dérive

Dérive is the French word often translated as ‘drift’. The original french does have resonances specific to the Situationists and as such is a good word. However I don’t intend to limit myself to the interpretation of psychogeography proposed by the Situationists. I want to keep open to new and recent interpretations. Also, the Integral philosophical approach is by nature a theoretical structure which allows for contradictory positions. My assumption is to find both benefits and limitations in polarised positions. This, for me as and eclectic being, maintains a dialectic and indeed a possibility of dialogue which I hope will bear interesting fruit.

‘Drift’ has poetic and manifold connotations: driftwood, ‘get my drift’, high plains drifter, snow drift, drifting off course. I like the light touch it has and the ever-present danger of drifting off topic.

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The Integral Model

‘Integral’ basically implies an attention to the idea that in any given moment at any given place there are always 4 dimensions of perception or ontological reality:

1) Inner singular (subjective / me)

2) Inner plural / collective (inter-subjective / we)

3) Outer singular (objective / it)

4) Outer plural / collective (inter-objective / its)

 

4 Quadrants

So the ‘Integral Drifter’ carries this model as a way of maintaing an awareness that we tend to habitually perceive the world with biases in one or more of these quadrants. And yet the theory states that we can’t really be separate from any of these dimensions. Even when we are on our own we are subject to and conditioned by cultural background and shared values (intersubjective), and we are always part of some sort of social or environmental system (interobjective).

So this model can provide a methodological map for psychogeographic practice. At any given moment, in any given place there is the potential to become aware of

1) The psychogeographic subjective (my mood, emotional state, inner alertness, cognitive sharpness etc).

2) The psychogeographic intersubjective (an awareness of the way locations have shared cultural meanings, place is not separate from language, place forms and is formed by relationships)

3) The psychogeographic objective (observations of things, buildings, objects, people etc)

4) The psychogeographic interobjective (observations of how a given place is formed by, and forms institutional structure; is part of corporate, social, or governmental planning and economic forces; how a place is always part of an environmental network).

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