Sunday, 21 June 2020

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - X

Towering over Manchester

The decision to get out for a walk is sometimes a fraught process. Like I could have with the good weather gone for a stroll, but I did not. My view of the weather forecast today from yesterday and it appeared it was going to rain, though I did not fully discount the possibility that the weather might be better than predicted.
When I eventually stepped out, it was already late and my intention of going by the large supermarket was thwarted by the fact that it was already closed.
The streets looked a bit deserted as I made towards Hulme crossing the Mancunian Way on a pedestrian bridge that allowed me to frame the tallest occupied (Beetham Tower. 2nd left) and tallest unoccupied (South Tower, right) buildings in Manchester in one shot, the former ceding the title to the latter.
The towers of Manchester.
A river runs around it
Down towards Regent Road, past the Regent Retail Park that I visited last week, I took the turn to the right unto Oldfield Road until I got to Chapel Street, turning left and viewing the ox bow course of River Irwell to my right.
Panoramic view of the ox-bow course of River Irwell.
Further on, you realise that Manchester is, in fact, a city of three universities, two in the city centre and the third in the City of Salford, the University of Salford. This backs unto the first public park in England, Peel Park founded by public subscription in 1846 and bordering the River Irwell.
Panoramic view of Peel Park.
In the park we find the statue of Joseph Brotherton who was the first Member of Parliament for Salford and holding the office for 24 years. More intriguingly, is the obelisk with a water level marking for the height of the Great Flood of Manchester in November 1866, reaching 8 feet 6 inches or 2.59 metres. That was just mind-boggling when I saw the expanse of land that would have been covered by water.
Obelisk with flood water mark.
A park to play
Apart from being the main public venue of the 1851 royal visit of Queen Victoria to Manchester, the park allowed for various leisure and sporting activities absenting people from poor living conditions and pollution of industrial Manchester along with being a popular spot for first dates.
After sitting by the river for a while, my journey back home was over River Irwell on the pedestrian bridge onto the finger of land created by the meandering river about 150 metres wide to the next crossing over River Irwell, from where a cataract can be viewed to the right. Linking up eventually to Chapel Street much closer to Trinity Way, I walk by Salford Central Station over River Irwell again and into the City Centre.
The course of River Irwell in Salford
The plaques of John Dalton who presaged the advent of modern chemistry, Edward Schunck who became the first recipient of the Dalton Medal and Frederick Crace Calvert who setup the first commercial manufacture of disinfectant soaps show that Manchester was indeed and still continues to be a city of scientific innovation.
I sometimes forget, there are gems of history, architecture, science, nature, and the arts in my city. It only takes a walk and some curiosity to find them. I got back just in time for another Sunday soiree with my neighbours in our courtyard.
Snapshots of what I saw.
Manchester II - Jun 2020

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