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The Morning After The Night Before

Simon Binns walks the patched up city streets and talks to some key people

Written by . Published on August 10th 2011.

The Morning After The Night Before

COMING into the city centre this morning, I wasn't entirely sure what I'd find.

I'd left at about 10pm the previous evening, having spent a few tense - and at times quite scary - hours among the rioters. Watching more rolling coverage on the news channels when I got home, it looked like things were escalating. People were starting to become targets, as well as shop windows.

The pervading feeling from everyone I spoke to was one of optimism and resilience. But people are still nervous.

When I got to Piccadilly Gardens at around 9.30am, it was... well, rather clean actually. Cleaner than most mornings. Kro were opening up and their staff told me they wanted to get on with it.

The clean-up manThe clean-up manPeople were coming in from all parts of the city with brooms. I talked to the council's city centre spokesman Pat Karney, and Drew Stokes, chief executive of Marketing Manchester who both paid tribute to a man called Jez, who organised the clean up.

Stokes told me that Manchester Metrpolitan University had given all their staff the day off if they wanted to pitch in and lend a hand. Greggs had donated doughnuts, Primark and Wilkinson had offered stuff and Deloitte was also sending staff down to help.

Assistant Chief Constable of GMP, Gary Shewan, turned up too, and told me he was determined to catch all the looters.

And then I walked the city, to assess the damage.

Market Street looked ok, bar a few shattered windows. The door to the Arndale was boarded up, but people were heading in with brushes and bin bags.

The Arndale, Market StreetThe Arndale, Market StreetMiss Selfridge was the real casualty. A burnt out unit represented the worst of the rioting, but was the only fire of the night in the city centre, thankfully.

New Cathedral Street had taken a bit of a beating - Ugg was cleaned out, there was damage to the frontages on Reiss and Louis Vuitton. Foot Asylum next to the Arndale's other main door was boarded up too.

Into St Ann's Square, where Graham Stringer and Hazel Blears were giving interviews to camera crews as shop staff swept up behind them. Office, Swarovski and St Ann's Arcade had all been hit. So had Links of London, French Connection and Starbucks.

Oddly, all the nearby jewellry shops had excaped unscathed.

Brooms at the readyBrooms at the readyKing Street got off lightly, generally, bar Diesel, which I'd seen being attacked by a gang of youths -  boys and girls - several hours before.

Around the corner, Patisserie Valerie and a window in Kendals were covered in the now increasingly familiar hoardings of Manchester Glass Ltd, who clearly had a busy night.

The other end of Deansgate, and Spinningfields, were untouched.

When I bumped into Arndale boss Glen Barkworth, however, he told me that retailers were still nervous - scared even - and was predicting that many would close early again today. Caution was the policy. Some stores had told their staff to remove all stock and go home for the day.

The Arndale, he said, would monitor the situation through the day, just as they had yesterday.

The pervading feeling from everyone I spoke to was one of optimism and resilience. But people are still nervous.

What will tonight bring? Nobody knows. But today, Manchester may be bruised, but it's not battered. And it certainly isn't beaten.

Follow Simon Binns on Twitter @simonbinns

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

AnonymousAugust 10th 2011.

I was there last night from 6-10pm and caught most of the violence. It was absolutely shocking and I didnt recognise my home city. For my eyewitness account visit my blog http://www.blogicalcomment.com Thanks

AnonymousAugust 10th 2011.

No jewellry stores may have been hit in the main shopping area but there was a very planned hit on the Northern Quarter jewellry stores on Thomas St and Shudehill. Nothing else on Thomas St was touched except for Mutters and Cathedral Jewellers. It took the very organised thugs approx 3 hours to break into the heavily fortified Mutters and when they got in they phoned waiting getaway cars who lined up on Thomas St, filled up with loot and then took off. This was a ruthlessly planned theft of high value items whilst the police were occupied elsewhere.

AnonymousAugust 10th 2011.

Is the implication that their was no alarm and no Redcare?

AnonymousAugust 10th 2011.

Lots of bars in the village were attacked and many had broken windows.

AnonymousAugust 10th 2011.

Do you imply Anon they had no alarm and no redcare,

AnonymousAugust 10th 2011.

Bit of community spirit. Nice on guys! Wish I didn't have to work. Hopefully this will be the case when it all happens again rather than taking pictures and doing nothing!

Lynda Moyo shared this on Facebook on August 10th 2011.
Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on August 10th 2011.
AnonymousAugust 10th 2011.

I think you missed out a few places which may not be classed as central. Piccadilly Place Estate, Mint Hotel which were hit by a large crowd of youths at around 21:20. Small pockets of riot Police were trying to scare groups of 20-50 young yobs who were shouting abuse and throwing stones, fireworks, anything they can get there hands on.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2011.

What about the rest of the city? What happened to mint hotel comments?????? Piccadilly place estate, 24 hour security stopping thugs from causing havark????? I just left a comment before and its deleted.... U meaningless reporters

NashiAugust 11th 2011.

I am hugely disappointed that all the independent shops in the Northern Quarter hit during the riots have not been mentioned in this article although they will probably suffer a lot more than the chain stores.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2011.

I was surprised at how quickly the city centre was cleaned up. I walked around at 8 am the following morning to see that the city street cleaners and volunteers working through the night had done a great job.

I know a few community groups are arranging fundraisers for the independent shops in the Northern Quarter, possibly for Afflecks as well.

Thank you volunteers! I'm proud of you!

Nick HardieAugust 11th 2011.

Thanks to all the Wombles

AnonymousAugust 11th 2011.

I arrived at work in city centre at 6.30am on Wednesday. Another area not mentioned in this article is Oxford Road. Maplins was very badly damaged and had lots of stock looted. Even Greggs was targeted, although it was mainly only crisps, drinks etc. that were taken, the shop was left a mess but was able to open within an hour.

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