Sunday 14 June 2020

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - IX

A river tamed

The intention to go for a walk yesterday never happened even though it was a good day for such activity. I just could not decide what to do, so I just stayed at home.
Today, however, I had grand plans though there was little in terms of execution towards achieving that. I donned my shorts, put on my trainers and stepped out in a different direction, not south or east like I used to, but towards the west.
Soon, I caught an unusual view of River Medlock that I first wrote of some 6 years ago, when I visited Philips Park and read of how it flooded and washed away graves of the cemetery that the Victorians culverted most of the river through Manchester until it flowed into the River Irwell.
A tall view of new Manchester
Then, I was walking beside the construction site of Renaker’s Deansgate Square, a group of 4 tower blocks, the South Tower at 64 storeys exceeds the height of Beetham Tower, which at 47 storeys is currently the tallest occupied building in Manchester, in terms of comparatives, it would be the fifth tallest building in the United Kingdom. [MEN: Watch how Manchester's biggest ever skyscraper shot up to soar over the north]
Out onto Deansgate, I took Dawson Street over the River Irwell towards Regent’s Road and stopped off at Regent Retail Park, a shopping precinct that I always sighted but never visited in my over 6 years of living in Manchester.
The huge Sainsbury’s supermarket was quite a big draw with the queue snaking down the whole length of the storefront and almost halfway down the side of the carpark. Obeying social distancing rules, it was about 50 people deep, yet, moving quite fast. I was in the store within 10 minutes.
Mamucium is something old
Leaving the store, I took a separate route back, towards Trinity Way, then onto Water Street where signs, plaques and signboards began to tell the history of canals, railways, and Castlefield, a Roman Wall? Now, that was a surprise as I chanced upon a pavilion and a canal wharf shaped like a tuning fork.
Further on was a rebuilt structure representing the North Gate to Mamucium or Mancunium, the old Roman names of Manchester. These were interesting elements of the history of this city going back around 1,900 years, I had not visited and considered.
People were out but not in droves, many in small groups catching the sun, but even in these pandemic times, just a stroll in a different direction can reveal some intriguing things.
Snapshots of what I saw.
Manchester - June 2020

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