Northern Quarter

Not Coming Back

I’m getting out more, now. Not rushing out to pubs and all that stuff, but leaving the flat for more things than just going to work or shopping for food.

After last week’s jaunt, I decided to go for another bike ride around Manchester City Centre. This time, I thought I’d pay respects to three Manchester venues that this week announced they won’t be re-opening.

In reverse order of their importance to me-

Nexus RIP

Nexus Art Cafe has been one of my favourite coffee shops for years. I’ve gone there to write, do life drawing, and meet friends. It was a quirky semi-basement space, which hosted art exhibits and all sorts of other events. A not-for-profit, it was run by a Christian group that displays all the best qualities of religion- caring, inclusive, and all round decent. I’ll miss it, and I hope something as lovely rises from the ashes.

Deaf Institute RIP

The Deaf Institute. Two bars and a mid-sized music venue. I’ve drunk in there a few times, but may only have been to one gig. I would have liked to go to more….

Gorilla RIP

I don’t know if I’ve ever been in Gorilla. I’ve been too broke for too many years to do the gigging I wish I could.

I’m sure these buildings will be taken over by new management, and the new venues that are created will hopefully be as good. It just sucks that they had to end this way.

I have a job now, and a bit more disposable income, so I’m going to do what I can to get the cash flowing for other local small businesses. After I’d taken my photos, I took the time to go buy some stuff in Fred Aldous and FanBoy Three, because I don’t want to be posting photos of their locked doors in a few months time, saying how much I’ll miss them.

Update: Embedded Nexus’ farewell Facebook message below-

The first ride since lockdown

First ride after lockdown

I finally left the flat for something other than work or food shopping. Just an easy ride into Manchester city centre to check out car free Deansgate, then around a few familiar places, and back again. You may have to click through to enjoy the full gallery, depending upon what mood the embedding code is in.

The Ruins of Manchester City Centre

Manchester, August 2019

As yesterday was the first day for a week where it wasn’t pouring down, I grabbed the chance to head into the city centre and do some writing. Once I’d got a thousand or so words out, it was time to take the new camera, and have a walk through the back streets on the edge of the centre. There are still some run down buildings in the Northern Quarter, but also a number of more surprisingly unused ones nearer to Piccadilly. I also found an industrial age chimney, rising up out of a building halfway between a couple of the busier streets, that I swear I had never even noticed before.

Enjoy the gallery (you may have to click on the image to see it at Flickr). I have also added some of the images to the Ruins of Manchester collection in my Redbubble shop, so you can get prints, cards, and other items with them on.

Zipping around Ancoats and the Northern Quarter 1

I went out for a ride in the sun last Sunday, and recorded this trip through the back streets of the Northern Quarter and Ancoats. I’ve sped it up, to suit the bounce of the soundtrack I found for it.

Music- EDM Detection Mode by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (

Manchester Pride 2015

Pride 2015

I took a lot of photos of the parade yesterday. I’ve tried to narrow the selection in the gallery down to just a few.

After the parade, I headed up to the Northern Quarter again, did some writing and found yet more graffiti.

More Northern Quarter graffiti

Then I went to see Jeremy Corbyn give a speech. I hid my Green Party badge, of course.

Another fire in the Northern Quarter

Another fire in the Northern Quarter, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

This one is in The Twisted Wheel (aka Moho Live? I can’t remember). I can’t be the only person suspicious that this is the third in as many months.

Update The fire actually started in Paul’s Hair world, on the other side of the building from this pictue. One fireman died fighting the fire, and two teenage girls have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

Return of the OK Cafe

A new Okasional Cafe has opened in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, after an absence of 8 years. I visited a few of the original Okasional Cafes back in the ’90s and early ’00s because I was involved in Critical Mass and the airport campaigners. It’s nice to know they’re back but, as it’s only going to be open for another week, I may not get to visit it.

An architecture wander around the fringes of Manchester city centre, and Captain America in the Northern Quarter

On the edges of Manchester city centre

I went for a wander a few streets over from the main drags today, starting at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, and found some very interesting stuff. Some of the potential locations made me want to write another film script, just so we could film in them.

I ended up in the Northern Quarter and got a few shots of fake shop fronts being put up on Dale Street to turn it into a little bit of 1940s New York.

Captain America set building on Dale Street

There are a load of pictures on Flickr.

Skyline Central

Skyline Central
Originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
I haven’t been up Rochdale Road for a while, so the new build apartment blocks there were something of a surprise for me. I had been looking for the Dojo Ecoshop, where I purchased a ladybird tower for the garden. I also stumbled across the “World Famous” Central skate park. Much more Tony Hawk and I may feel the urge to try it for real (and break lots of bones, I know).

Skyline Central has an interesting water feature and this rather funky sphere between the two main towers.

Burnt To The Ground

Burnt To The Ground
(Burn Baby Burn, Disco Inferno)


Burnt to the Ground (Burn Baby Burn, Disco Inferno), Sunday, 3rd June, is an impromptu live music event in the Northern Quarter’s Stevenson Square – Manchester’s positive reaction to the devastation of the Dale Street fire.

Manchester events agency, Ear the to the Ground, is organising the 5000 capacity street party bringing together Manchester’s creative talent at its finest – combining music and art to bring the community together to dance in the face of adversity.

The event will raise money for the businesses left homeless by the fire and various local charities including the Fire Services Benevolent Fund.