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Viewfinder

Jonathan Schofield introduces this week's best Manchester view

Written by . Published on January 25th 2008.


Viewfinder

This is the view - click on it to enlarge - from the recently restored and renovated 1960s tower blocks in Collyhurst. The three ex-municipal buildings are being named after Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters, Sylvia and Christabel. This followed an open competition from developers Urban Splash and a suggestion from Gina Holbrook.

The Pankhurst family in 1903 created the Women’s Social and Political Union in their house on Nelson Street close to the present-day Manchester Royal Infirmary. The house is open to the public and includes a recreation of the parlour where the union was founded.

A couple of years later this organisation pioneered the phase ‘Votes for Women’ at a meeting in the Free Trade Hall. As they became increasingly militant, its members attracted the nickname ‘Suffragettes’.

There has been no public commemoration of the Pankhursts on Manchester streets, a source of controversy and shame. These names etched in huge neon across the North Manchester skyline at last mark their local and national significance. By the way from left to right you can see City Tower, Skyline Central, the Town Hall, Beetham Tower, the Arndale Tower and the CIS Tower.

The photographer was Richard Cooper at Photoflex. The final tower, Sylvia, will be launching in Spring this year.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

paulipipsJanuary 25th 2008.

heheheheh!!! smartinmcr - I most def agree with you regarding the seedy cruisin stuff. I look out over the back of V.Quay and even at 5 in the morning cars and vans cruise along by the Canal Tunnel looking for a bit of Alfresco relief from the grubby looking rent boys that infest the bridge next to Ilva. I see loadsa the same vehicles daily. Best one is a big White Van with ??? Kitchen Fitters sign on it. A proper 'working bloke' type parks most mornings around 6 to 6.30 and wanders down under the tunnel, comes out again after a while and drives off presumably to work - I bet all his workmates never realise they have a closet cruiser in their midst....hope he doesnt make the tea for em all , handling the teabags after whatever other dodgy bits he has handled a few hours earlier cant be healthy ....eeuughhh!!!

Urban Trash!January 25th 2008.

Tom Bloxham & Co has basically ripped out all the trees and shrubs on Rochdale Road that used to hide these hideous ex council flats just so he can showcase his latest offering (a cheap looking wooden clad ex council block!), its marketing at its very worst and Urban Splash should be ashamed of themselves, and also that the council let him just destroy trees like this,unnecessaryily just becuase they were obscuring the view of his new development. this kind of corporate vandalism makes me vomit. i also cant believe the wankers that queue up for this ****e at 120k a throw when the other council owned blocks accross the road are 45-55 quid a week to rent still and around 20k under the right to buy!Maybe Tom will have the balls and explain why hes decimated these beautiful trees that lined the road and the habitats the birds once enjoyed. Its sheer vandalism and theres absolutely no reason why they were taken out, funnily enough it was done before Christmas so no one would notice as much. I'll be looking into this further.....maybe a few council workers had their hand in this along with the heartless urban splash folk, this is hardly the green city the council likes to see itself as eh especially when its in the back pockets of the developers!

PaulipipsJanuary 25th 2008.

The Headline to this article says it all - its a 'View' - yep - a View - Views are often very nice from a distance but you wouldnt always want to be there. I'm thinking perhaps a lovely shot of a Polar Bear walking hungrily across the Arctic Ice. Or maybe a 50ft wave breaking on a remote Cornish beach. Or maybe even a Star billions of light years away exploding in a vast cloud of radiation / heat etc etc.....Why you can call me old fashioned but me I'm quite happy living in Vantage Quay where the overall colour may be brownish but I dont get the **** kicked out of me when I go for a bottle of milk (yet!!!).Toodlepip.

smartinmcrJanuary 25th 2008.

Jim, I think Paulipips lives in Vantage Quay, which is a nice development near Piccadilly station. I agree with what you're saying though, the prices of these flats will be considerably lower than Vantage Quay despite only being ten minutes walk further from the city centre. Developments like this are novel (similar things have been done to old council tower blocks in London to great success). It doesn't look bad at all, and I'm sure the interiors are very nice, as most Urban Splash apartments tend to be.Incidentally, I knew someone who lived at Vantage Quay - I returned home with them one night to find that their front door had been repeatedly kicked - there were plasterboard chips all over the carpet, and although the thief hadn't been able to get in my friend was unable to get his door open and had to call a locksmith. Plus, its a bit of a seedy cruising ground around there late at night too, hardly paradise!!

JMSJanuary 25th 2008.

Nice picture though....

BowksJanuary 25th 2008.

Worst development ever. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind purchase a glossed over council flat? The development looks hideous from the outside and I can only imagine that it gets worse once you step through the doors into MDF heaven. Urban Splash should be totally ashamed of this development,

WayneJanuary 25th 2008.

Actually could anybody explain the fashion for brown buildings - or rather off-orange?

JaneJanuary 25th 2008.

Great picture. The fashion for brown on buildings is a curious one. It's like the Arndale old colour just a really curious choice that borders on the bland and the nauseating. having said that I love the neon commemoration of the Pankhursts. About time and much better than some dreary statue.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2008.

I've gone past it on the train and seen the giant Emmeline sign. I thought it was just a very big brothel.

JimJanuary 25th 2008.

Paulipips we live in a city not on the lid of a biscuit tin or even your gran's favourite jigsaw. I'd rather have a ten minute walk into town from a rapidly developing part of town - ok not quite reached Collyhurst yet - then live in the sterile, vapid wastelands at The Quays. And it's great to get these flats into private rather than municipal ownership. That way they have a better chance.

Sheila McCaigMay 26th 2010.

i live across from the flats, and yes there at it again going to pull down homes to make way for more brown jungle homes, and you guessed tear down the trees again.

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