Friday, January 30, 2009

Hidden Manchester

I watched a short program on the BBC last week. "Inside Out" is a magazine programme done by BBC North West and usually features bits and bobs about the North West. Usually I avoid it like the plague. Last week I spotted this little piece about Underground Manchester - so I recorded it on Sky+.

I have known about the Secret Telephone Exchange under Piccadilly Gardens for doneys years, but this piece on Hidden Manchester really amazed me. The best bit was about a place called "Victoria Arches" which must be around Victoria Station. Apparently it was build in the 1830's to support a new road into Manchester. So underground is this unbelievably huge open space, but you cannot get into it. They didn't show any external shots of entrances, presumably to keep the hoi polloi out.

During World War II Victoria Arches was used as a major Air Raid Shelter for Manchester. They showed one of the Gents Toilets. Huge. But after the war it must have been closed up again. It's silly really, it could be a real tourist attraction if only someone in Manchester had the foresight. I've been to Stockport's Air Raid Shelters with the kids today, and they attract a lot of visitors. So why shouldn't something similar in Manchester do the same.

Anyway, now, thanks to my friend Dianne, you can have a look as well. I mentioned, on facebook, that Pat and I are going into Manchester tomorrow to see the new Anthony Gormley statue in the Museum. He's the bloke who did the standing statues on Crosby Beach. This looks positively amazing on the tele. Diane replied with a message about the Underground Manchester exhibition at Urbis. She gave me the web address so I'll share it with you - Have a look at this:

My comment to Diane was "These are exceptional aren't they. There was a 10 minute piece about these piccies on "Inside Out" on the Beeb, just over a week ago. I watched it. This bloke, Andrew Paul Brooks, took the photos by wandering about these hidden spaces with a flash gun. By triggering the camera remotely he built up hundreds of photos and then overlayed them over each other using something like Photoshop. Some of these photos are phenomenal. I might try to coax Pat to go to Urbis as well tomorrow morning to see this exhibition.

Just as an experiment, I've put the address of this blog onto my Facebook Page, so it will be interesting to see if anyone from Facebook has a look at the blog. I'm fed up of the idea of writing a blog that is only for me and Danielle to read. We shall see.

1 comment:

DianneMG said...

Loving the blog Mr H.. Will be reading it all the time now... Di..x x x