Tag Archives: building site

Manchester still rises

Tuesday 8th March 2022, 10.15am (day 3,848)

Town Hall area, 8/3/22

Nearly two years ago today (9/3/20) I was in Manchester and depicting much the same area of the city, albeit from higher up. On the left of this picture, the Town Hall remains swaddled in scaffolding and Prince Albert’s memorial on the right is also still under wraps. Shortly after 9/3/20, the stupidities of lockdown began and there were only three more Manchester pictures for the subsequent five months. None of that this year, thankfully. And if anyone ever tries it again I will ignore them.

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Departing King’s Cross

Monday 14th February 2022, 10.30am (day 3,826)

Departing King's Cross, 14/2/22

What goes down South, must come back up North again (at least, unless one wants to be paying hotel bills for an excessive length of time). I don’t know where this train was going, but I was on the 10:30 back to Leeds, and then home.

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Scaffold tunnel

Friday 4th February 2022, 5.30pm (day 3,816)

Scaffold tunnel, 4/2/22

The endless building and rebuilding of Manchester does not seem to have particularly slowed down as a result of the last two years of bollocks, although seeing as no one has any money any more except Mark Zuckerberg it seems, I don’t know who’s going to inhabit all these new buildings. This scaffold tunnel rises over my walking route to work and I’ve been passing through it in both directions for some months, thinking it would make a decent picture; this evening it gets its chance.

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Joe visits Manchester

Wednesday 18th August 2021, 11.10am (day 3,646)

Joe at Victoria, 18/8/21

Three weeks and two days until Joe goes off to university, the psychological implications of which (for us all) remain unexplored. But at least we can get the logistics prepared, so he accompanied me to Manchester today to pick up practical stuff, plates, cutlery, you know, things that mean he won’t have to eat off the floor. Will this be the last shot of him in this particular city? Impossible to say what the future will bring.

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Desert fortress?

Wednesday 12th May 2021, 1.35pm (day 3,548)

Fortress rodblok, 12/5/21

Out in the harsh desert wastes of the Karakatarmakadam Mountains, the stark grey stonework of the Fortress of Rodblok stands astride the gravel flats, beside the dried-up river valley. Abandoned for centuries, the winter winds are now all that move through its lonely halls. No longer do pilgrims visit to pay homage to the great Red Icon embedded in its highest reaches.

Or, possibly, it’s a plastic object of some sort lying around in that roadbuilders’ yard on the way to Mytholmroyd. See it how you like.

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White elephant?

Thursday 19th November 2020, 9.35am (day 3,374)

Oddfellows Hall & MECD, 19/11/20

The vast MECD, or Manchester Engineering Campus Development, is pretty much finished. In embryonic form it was first depicted way back in early January 2018. It now dwarfs the old Oddfellows Hall, which it has part-swallowed, yet what you see rising here is only a small part of the whole.

Thing is — and I am very sure that, having spent hundreds of millions of pounds on this new plaything, the senior management of UoM are keenly aware of this point — is this now the whitest and most mammoth of white elephants? And what of all the blocks of new student accommodation, and hotels, and office blocks, and all the other city-centre property developments that global capital has been poured into over the last decade or so? If you think the economy’s taken a Covid hit thus far, wait for the whole global commercial property market to go tits-up. This piece of economic elastic does not have infinite tolerance. I predict we’ll be coaxed back out into our offices soon enough: if not, they’ll hear the crash on Pluto.

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Lifting into place

Thursday 8th October 2020, 9.10am (day 3,332)

Before the war…. or, I mean, before mid-March, I had installed a moratorium on any further pictures of building sites in Manchester. But as going to Manchester looks as if it will become an avenue of escape from further house arrest, I am inclined to lift the ban. This is all happening at least a hundred feet up in the air, as the crane helps with the completion of yet another huge office block in the centre of the city, one that probably looks increasingly like an elephant of the white persuasion.

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Manchester as in “Blade Runner”

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 7.00pm (day 3,009)

Blade Runner Manchester, 20/11/19

The original Blade Runner movie was set in 2019 and in Manchester’s case is currently coming to look more and more like architectural prophecy. And those quasi-human replicants that infiltrate society and create havoc? We call them “Tories”.

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The MECD (still) rises

Thursday 26th September 2019, 9.30am (day 2,954)

MECD, 26-9-19

A break in the moratorium on pictures of building sites in Manchester, but I was sat in my office all day and there isn’t otherwise a great deal to see in this city, a state of affairs which, as locals will know, has lasted years now. The Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD), vast in scale (this is just a small wing of it), grows up like an incipient volcano on Upper Brook Street: apparently it’s due to be finished at some point this century.

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The spider’s leg?

Wednesday 17th April 2019, 10.30am (day 2,792)

Spidery crane, 17/4/19

Back to the UK, and in Manchester, for the first time since 21st March. I had set an embargo on pictures of building sites in the city, but that doesn’t necessarily leave a lot to photograph: and this delicate crane did catch the eye this morning. It reminds me of the leg of some insect, or spider, reaching up to tap on the roof above.

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