Piccadilly Gardens


What Is The City But The People

What Is The City But the People

This year’s Manchester International Festival opened with What Is The City But The People? Created by the same guy who did the original Manchester Day, it was a wonderful slice of city life, weaving narratives around shared and separate experiences.

I had the camera in the phone on burst shots- five of everything- and I hope I’ve picked the best of them for the album.


Just your average Saturday in the city

Another Saturday in the city
The National Front were in town on Saturday, all ten of them. I went along to get some pictures. Mostly, I needed shots of Police doing crowd control, as reference for a planned book cover, but getting some images of the white shame parade was also a plan.

I ended up wandering around for a while, before the yobs finally came out of the pub. I saw a, completely unrelated, gathering of- I think- Palestinians; a wedding party on a vintage bus; some graffiti; and (though I didn’t get any pictures) a junior athletics event.

Finally, the knuckle draggers made their way toward Piccadilly. Here, they met a much, much larger group of anti-fascists, and had their speeches drowned out by a sound system. After an hour or so of posturing, they were ushered onto a double decker (they didn’t fill it) and taken away.

These ‘White Pride’ marches seem to be happening more often, but the turnout is dropping incredibly each time. Those of us who go along to take photos or chant are really giving them more attention than they deserve. But, hey, I had an interesting afternoon out around town.


Taking to the streets

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

I’m not one of life’s chanters. I get all self conscious about it and it never feels comfortable*. Nonetheless, this feels like a year where I need to be in the demos, part of the numbers swelling the crowd, if not part of the noise it makes.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

So, yesterday, I was part of the anti austerity demo which assembled in Piccadilly Gardens. Police say there were 500 of us, the organisers claim 2000. I always presume the truth is halfway between the two claims.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

I was there with some of Salford Greens.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

There were speakers and singers, and, in smaller groups, we headed to the homeless camp on St Ann’s Square. This is one of the reasons it’s hard to get a solid turnout figure, because the demo was fluid, with break aways heading down Market Street or off to Albert Square, and returning, all the time.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

Just to make things more interesting, the Green mini-march bumped into a Hare Krishna procession at the bottom of Market Street.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

And, just as we were entering St Ann’s Square, these guys were coming out. I don’t know if they were associated with the demo in Piccadilly, or doing their own thing.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

This is, mostly, the Manchester Green Party contingent of the demo.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

Ding Dong. I promised this guy I’d crop his face out if I posted the picture online.

There are a few more photos in the album at Flickr.

*I have weird boundaries. I’ll happily cycle through the city centre without clothes on as part of the World Naked Bike Ride, but I have a hard time talking to new people- no matter the state of our attire- or shouting out rhyming couplets about what I’m doing.


Piccadilly Skyline

Disco Ball

I went into town last Sunday to get pictures of the Chinese New Year celebrations. None of the pictures I took were all that good. However, wandering back to Piccadilly Gardens, I looked up and spotted the disco ball atop 21 Piccadilly. Then I looked all around and decided to take a wander and get pictures of the skyline around the Gardens.

skyline Tower turret

water tower

I wonder if that water tower is still in use?

IMG_3906 1904 Clayton House
Gardens Hotel

Long, long ago, when I was living in Surrey but occasionally visiting the Manchester office, I think the Gardens Hotel was one of the places I got to stay.

Thistle Ramada Primark & Debenhams Starbucks & Sachas

Mystery door

That structure on the roof with the open door intrigues me. The building on the right houses a branch of NatWest. Just saying.