Industrial Manchester meets Hipstamatic

Away from the scuffed trendiness of the Northern Quarter and the glitzy-but-temporary-looking Spinning Fields, Manchester’s still has the unmistakable feel of an industrial city from a bygone age. By Castlefields (Mancs seem to love adding the suffix “fields” to areas), the canals and railways that fed the “Cottonopolis” of the 19th Century still dominate the landscape, carving up the city with ribbons of iron, steel and water. It’s a bewitching place, especially on a cold, overcast day over Christmas – an impression helped helped by the appearance of a couple of barges piping steam into the foggy air.

With iPhone (Hipstamatic installed) in hand, my dad and I trudged up and over canal bridges and down dank passages, marvelling at the sheer audacity that was needed to create an industrial landscape seemingly unscathed by 150 years of constant use. They knew what they were doing when they built this stuff, did the Victorians – and people will be still using their railways and canals long after our Millennial music halls (such as the nearby Ha├žienda) are nothing but footnotes in something called pop culture history.

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