They’re knocking down my walk to work

It was confirmed last week that the Black Horse would be demolished to make way for expensive flats, and now it’s certain that Ye Olde Nelson is going as well.

I moved to Salford just over two and a half years ago, around the same time as work on the Chapel Street renovation started. My walk to work takes me along the Crescent and Chapel Street, and I’ve seen various buildings disappear. Some of them were nondescript seventies boxes, but others were more characterful. Now two of the more interesting remaining buildings are set to be pulled down. Shame.

Source: SALFORD LISTED YE OLDE NELSON PUB NEXT FOR DEMOLITION – Salford Star – with attitude & love xxx

More planning shenanigans in Salford

The Salford Star is doing good work digging the dirt on suspect planning decisions coming out of Salford Council. It seems that one man is arbitrarily giving the nod to applications and waving them through with minimal charges.

The developers should be paying the council for the extra costs of traffic and infrastructure requirements arising from their buildings. But they’re having them waived or seriously reduced by claiming these payments would make their plans financially unviable. It seems to me that we Council Tax payers are subsidising their money making schemes, taking money away from the services we should be getting.

Source: PLANNING DEMOCRACY DIES IN SALFORD – Salford Star – with attitude & love xxx

Bye bye Black Horse?

Black Horse Hotel
Update: The plan has been voted through, with only one councillor voting against it.

I walk past the Black Horse every time I head into Manchester. It’s not in a good state, and really needs and deserves refurbishment.

What it doesn’t deserve is to be knocked down for bland, expensive flats, which is what could be happening.


A wander around post-flood Salford

Two days after the Boxing Day floods, I decided to take a quick look at the aftermath along a short stretch of the Irwell.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

I started out in Peel Park, which is now Peel Pond.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

The geese were enjoying the children’s play ground.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

You’ve got to wonder what the flood has done to the asking price of these new builds.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

Debris caught in the railings gives an indication of how high the water got.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

An even bigger piece of debris still hooked onto the bridge.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

Gunky silt coats the road where the water topped the bank.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

Positive thoughts. Though this was on a building a way uphill from where the river had overflowed.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

RIP The Mark Addy? It’s hard to see from this angle, but the silt/sand was piled up quite deep.

Water level at points along the Irwell were reported as the highest since monitoring began in the 1930s. I’d like to know if this December has been a record breaker for rainfall, or if some other factors contributed to the floods. There are still a few more months of winter to go, as well, so we might be seeing more flood damage yet.

The collapse of the Biospheric Foundation

I visited the Biospheric Foundation a couple of times during the 2013 Manchester International Festival. It was an interesting project, taking first steps towards a self contained urban farm.

Sadly, it has gone bust, with over £100,000 in debts and tales of bad behaviour and rotten business practices from people who worked with it.

It’s a terrible shame, and it’s likely to put people off funding similar projects, which just makes it worse.


When I’m earning enough (buy my books!) I’m going to donate to causes like Reclaim. Its Disruptive Leaders initiative is playing the long game against the corruption of wealth and patronage that gave us the current bunch of immoral idiots ruining the country. It’ll take a lot of years to have an effect, so it’s good they’ve started already.

A wheeled wander past some Solstice locations

2015 isn’t likely to give us many more days as nice as today. So I got on the bike and went for a little ride- something I’ve consistently failed to do this year.

Weir on the Irwell

I followed a route I took several times last year- down to the Irwell, then upstream a way, freestyling the exact route on the many tracks available. If you’ve read Solstice, the weir above is the spot where the first body is found. In the story, it’s June, and the river is lower than this.

(If you haven’t read Solstice, you can get it from Amazon, Smashwords and several other online shops.)


This rather lovely location is just over two and a half miles from where I live. Two and a half miles in the other direction is Manchester city centre.

What path?

At one point, the track got a little crazy. Lacking Boudicca style scythes on the bike, I worked a little way back and crossed the river on an old canal bridge nerby.

Under the M60

Having taken a photo of the weir where the body was found, I had to make it far enough upstream to get a shot of the location of the first murder, and opening scene, of Solstice. This track runs under the M60. I turned around and headed back along trails I didn’t discover last year. The ride was just under ten miles long. I did much longer ones last year when I was in the habit of heading out for a random ride most weeks. I need to get on my bike more often.

Buile Hill Park hothouse

Earlier this year, I shared a few photos from a wander around my council ward- Langworthy.

Amongst the buildings I took photos of was the skeleton of a large, wood framed greenhouse. I vowed to go back and try to get closer to take more photos, but haven’t managed to do so yet.

Buile Hill Park greenhouse skeleton
An article on SalfordOnline has given me some more information about the hothouse, built in the early twentieth century and, up until the 80s, full of exotic flora and fauna. This just makes its decay even sadder than when I though it was ‘just’ a big greenhouse.

While filming an archeological dig, was shocked to discover the skeletal remains of the once-grand Buile Hill Park hothouse in Salford.

Source: Watch: Salford’s Buile Hill Park hothouse abandoned to the elements –

An architectural wander around Langworthy 1

I went for a wander around the local area this afternoon to chat with some Green Party supporters. On the way, I found some interesting little corners of the ward.

Chaseley Road

Chaseley Road has this rather impressive gate at one end, which is a neat way to control traffic flow. I didn’t see if there was a matching one at the other end of the street, because I wandered down a little path towards some green space.

Salford Observatory

Where I found this. It’s the Salford Astronomical Societies Observatory. Not quite as cool as the observatory on top of the UMIST main building, but still quite a neat find.

Buile Hill Park greenhouse skeleton

Down the hill some more, I came to Buile Hill Park. When I worked in Irlams O’ The Heights, I’d cycle past the park on my commute, but never bothered going in. There was Buile Hill Hall itself, which I’ll have to go back and get photos of one day, and this impressive skeleton of a wood framed greenhouse.

Buile Hill Park greenhouse skeleton

Buile Hill Park greenhouse skeleton

It’s part of the Buile Hill Park Training and Garden Centre, and I think I can get closer shots if I visit some day when the centre is open, so that’s another reason to head back soonish.

I Will Eat Your Soul

Not from today’s wander, but I found this little bit of art adjustment in Chimney Pot Park on a similar jaunt on Friday.

Signs of the times

Thorn court, which is on my walk to work, is getting a major refurbishment. The hoardings have gone up and the scaffolding is rising. To make it a bit less imposing, there’s some decoration been added to the hoardings, in the shape of faux posters for the theatre that used to stand on the spot, stencil cut graffiti of famous Salfordians (I can only recognise three of them, any hints who they all are) and some wonderfully silly warning signs. I’m not sure about the signs, but the posters and mug shots look like they were commissioned by the developers. Better than the sexist billboard outside the Malmaison, for certain. The full gallery is below.