Manchester is one of those cities where the old battles with the new. There’s a constant feeling of nostalgia jostling against the need for modernity. A short stroll around the city might reveal a glistening development thrusting towards the clouds, right next to 150 years of forgotten history.
I like many people would love to see these older structures converted into something usable. Enriching the city whilst moving it forward. As locals lament about the town planning, you can’t help but wonder what other complications and red tape surround the seemingly obvious and more beautiful answer to the problem.
A year ago I was walking towards Manchester from Salford (it’s neighbour and just over the river Irwell) when I came upon this derelict pub, Ye Old Nelson. It had all the charm of an industrial ruin, with exposed beams jutting out the brickwork and greenery sprouting through the damaged roof. I had a bit of time so got the old sketchbook out and drew what I thought was just another dilapidated building. Then a few months later, my friend sent me a message asking if I’d drawn the Nelson, as it had just been demolished! What a shame, although it must’ve been badly damaged. But still, it’s sad to see a building with so many stories erased from the city forever.
Manchester is moving so fast, but I hope it doesn’t get too greedy and erase its soul in the process.