Posts tagged ‘urbis’

In which they find some swimming without water, a car park and a filthy swan

by Marie

With some hours to spare before sunset on a Sunday afternoon, I persuaded Liam (who had been running) to do a Little Walk with Bazza. Not a full Zedding, just a little walk with our oracle. We headed off to the Medieval Quarter (OK, the bit round the Cathedral) to our target square of D4 to look for a boggart dog bridge (honestly, a boggart dog bridge).

We saw Robert Owen who Liam thinks is “a man in a sinister cloak with a small child under it”. I think this is unfairly maligning one of the founders of socialism. I’m sure he was our sort of person. He does look a wee bit sinister here tho:

robert owen

We were in the square near the cathedral which is pretty and has fountains. It also has the Urbis which has Zedding-related interesting stuff in it:

urbis urbis roof urbis urbis fountains urbis fountain urbis cheetham

We found this message from the zedding gods, who were about to smile on us:

fun?

We heard some music. And one of the guiding principles of zedding is that one should be easily distracted. We followed our ears to a small gathering of tents in the square with a sign that said, bewilderingly enough, ‘National Swimming Championships’. We would like to point out for readers who don’t know Manchester that there was no apparent pool in the vicinity.

There was however a tent selling beer, a tent selling food and a tent for face painting. Also a stage with some lively rhythm-and-blues music and lifeguards. Just remember, kids – no venturing out into urban squares without a lifeguard. One saw my camera and was eager to pose with his horn for me.

lifeguard

We thought about asking about the swimming. But we didn’t.

We headed for Victoria station, where one gets trains to places like Wigan and Rainhill. When I do this I get very upset about the state it has been allowed to get in. It has some absolutely gorgeous features put in by madly hubristic Victorians who thought the age of steam would never wane. Then some nasty corporate taste vandals have plastered their nasty plastic nastiness on top of the marble and mosaic. Elsewhere Victoria has been allowed to get shabby and neglected, she has been allowed to rummage around in the bargain bin at the charity shop adorning herself in the worst the 1980’s had to offer and wearing it on top of her pearls.

victoria station 1st class ticket office victoria station classy bar victoria station newcastle map in victoria station

(I feel quite strongly about this.) I would love for someone to do to Victoria what they have done to Moor Street in Birmingham.

The MEN arena has lots of steps, I like the patterns:

steps steps

Opposite is Chetham school of Music which is 400 years older than the MEN arena and nicer looking. Marx and Engels used to chat there. It has gargoyles but once again it’s surprising just how wriggly they can be, won’t stay still to be photographed.

cheethams cheetham school

There was a gateway to hell. It is at the end of an old croft, which is a place Bazza tells us Tenterhooks were used in days of old. This probably now belongs to Northern Rail. If you are listening, Northern Rail, we would like some more info.

walkers croft

We walked along the side of the river, which has long been our desire. I was complaining that the river wasn’t utilised as a tourist attraction, the reasons why may be painfully obvious from the photos. We debated titles for these photos. Liam likes “Urban Swan” as a name for a trendy clothing boutique but I don’t think “Swan in Filth” would get so much custom. Dirty creature.

urban swan urban swan

We got confused about the boggart dog bridge and strayed into a car park which was sort of on a bridge and turned out to be the site of another railway station, ‘once connected to Victoria by the longest railway platform in europe’, fact fans. Bazza thinks this site should be redeveloped but that it would ‘need an arresting building to set it off’. You cannot argue with the man.

arch former site of exchange station

The cathedral is pretty. And we like the centuries of architecture that contrast with one another. The cathedral itself, the lovely dome of the corn exchange, the brutalist Arndale, the flimsy wheel. The portaloo.

cathedral cathedral wheel arndale years of architecture plus portaloo

Finally the boggart dog bridge. I have no pictures of the bridge itself as it was a bit unspectacular really, and I was distracted by this bit of pretty.

sign victoria

The story goes that it is a bridge on top of an old bridge, old, old. And that this part of Manchester was haunted by a boggart dog which was caught and placed under the bridge. Bazza says this is a folk memory of a building sacrifice. We’re just delighted to find another boggart.

And a building that was once known as one of the ugliest buildings in manchester, although it may be in Salford.

premier inn

Vital statistics
Map:
Location: Manchester Medieval Quarter
A to Z: page 5 (large-scale city centre insert) or page 94 square D3, page 95 square E3
Getting there: Victoria station, Victoria tram, or short walk from my house
Running total: 27

April 18, 2008 at 9:10 pm 2 comments


Running Total

135 squares

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