Corridors: three manoeuvres by Tim Brennan in Manchester
‘Corridors’ is the latest in a series of pocket travel companions which artist Tim Brennan launched in the late 1990’s. It extends Brennan’s unique approach to the guided walk, in which the walk is built out of quotations referenced from a wide range of sources. The juxtaposition of texts, when read against each designated stopping point aims to steer the walker into thought and if walking as a group into live debate. Brennan’s guidebooks are not dependent on the reader having to walk the route but can be enjoyed as an alternative form of travel writing.
#1 KNOWLEDGE CORRIDOR
Central Library – Stand in St. Peter’s Sq.
and face the Central Library
(to your left is the Midland Hotel).
A persistent legend, however, holds that the library began when one of Ptolemy I’s subjects, an Athenian named Demetrius of Phalerum, proposed constructing a building to house all the world’s known manuscripts, according to Britannica. Demetrius’ grand design was to erect a place of learning that would rival Aristotle’s famous Lyceum, a school and library near Athens. Ptolemy I apparently approved the plan, and soon, a building was erected within the palace precincts. “It was called the Museion, or ‘Place of the Muses,’” Wendrich said; it was
named after the muses, the nine Greek goddesses of the arts. (The word “museum” is derived from “museion.”)
British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association Memorial – facing the library, turn right and proceed to the memorials in St. Peter’s Sq. View the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association Memorial.
THE HYDROGEN BOMB LEGACY
Ron Watson was just 17 when he experienced his first nuclear weapon blast.
A British soldier from Cambridgeshire, he had completed his training in the summer of 1957 before departing on Boxing Day on a fateful tour with the Royal Engineers.
After the excitement of leaving on a specially chartered train carrying thousands of men and then sailing across the oceans, he was wholly unprepared for what awaited him during his posting in the tropics.
The 79-year-old explained that the first thing to strike him was an unbelievably bright light.
“I had my back to the explosion,” he said.
“My eyes closed with my hands covering them.
“I clearly saw the bones in my hand, just like you see them if you look at the results of an X-ray.”
Emmeline Pankhurst Statue – Turn and cross St. Peter’s Sq. to the suffragette statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in St. Peter’s Sq opposite the Central Library.
But she wasn’t afforded the same opportunity. Despite having a top-class degree from what would become Victoria University of Manchester, Christabel’s gender meant she was unable to, legally, become a lawyer. This was the case when she graduated in the early 1900s, despite women having been able to study for law degrees since the 1870s. Christabel, unwilling to accept being barred from the bar, contacted Lincoln’s Inn in 1904, a year into her law degree. Two years before that, an administrative error saw Gray’s Inn accidentally admit a woman, Bertha Cave, to the bar, though it later corrected this… Dismissed by Lincoln’s Inn, Christabel intensified her campaign for female voting rights, alongside her mother, Emmeline. The pair had already founded a campaign group several years before Christabel’s graduation: its members would go on to become known as ‘the suffragettes’.
George Street – Walk south-east towards Back George St. Continue onto Dickinson Street to George St. where John Dalton the early C19th atomic theorist and colour blindness researcher lived.
John Dalton made huge discoveries in atomic theory, concluding that every form of matter, whether solid, liquid or gas, was made up of small individual particles. In his early career, Dalton studied colour blindness and found the condition was due to a missing photoreceptor for the colour green. The condition is now referred to as Daltonism. Commemorated by a blue plaque at 36 George Street, the site of his laboratory.
The Gay Village – Walk north-east on George St towards Nicholas St. Turn right onto Nicholas St. Proceed and turn left onto Portland St. Turn right onto Sackville St. and proceed to Sackville St. Stop at the rainbow planter next to NCP Manchester multi-story car park.
Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity (Williams, 2011)… At face value, this belief appears to not only amounts to a dismissal of the lived experiences of people of color, but also suggests that racism does not exist so long as one ignores it… However, within the context of enduring structural and systematic racism, racial colorblindness serves as a device to disengage from conversations of race and racism entirely.
Alan Turing Memorial – Returning to Sackville Street. Continue to Sackville Gardens. Enter the gardens and proceed to the Alan Turing Memorial.
How does cyanide act in the body?
After exposure, cyanide quickly enters the bloodstream. The body handles small amounts of cyanide differently than large amounts. In small doses, cyanide in the body can be changed into thiocyanate, which is less harmful and is excredited in urine. In the body, cyanide in small amounts can also combine with another chemical to form vitamin B, which helps maintain healthy nerve and blood cells. In large doses, the body’s ability to change cyanide into thiocyanate is overwhelmed. Large doses of cyanide prevent cells from using oxygen and eventually these cells die. The heart, respiratory system and central nervous system are most susceptible to cyanide poisoning. What are the specific signs and symptoms of cyanide poisoning? The health effects from high levels of cyanide exposure can begin in seconds to minutes. Some signs and symptoms of such exposures are:
Weakness and confusion
Nausea/feeling “sick to your stomach”
Gasping for air and difficulty breathing
Loss of consciousness/”passing out”
The severity of health effects depends upon the route and duration of exposure, the dose, and the form of cyanide.
Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre – Leave the park and continue south along Sackville Street. After 0.2 miles stop at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre on left.
Graphene-based materials are gaining heightened attention as novel materials for environmental applications. The unique physicochemical properties of graphene, notably its exceptionally high surface area, electron mobility, thermal conductivity, and mechanical strength, can lead to novel or improved technologies to address the pressing global environmental challenges. This critical review assesses the recent developments in the use of graphene-based materials as sorbent or photocatalytic materials for environmental decontamination, as building blocks for next generation water treatment and desalination membranes, and as electrode materials for contaminant monitoring or removal.
Perreault, F., Fonseca de Faria, A., Elimelech. (2015). ‘Environmental Applications of Graphene-Based Nanomaterials’, Chemical Society Reviews. New Haven. Yale University
The Deaf Institute – Continue south on Sackville St. The path bears right. Turn left towards Brook St. and proceed under Mancunian Way flyover. Turn right onto Grosvenor Street. Continue for a short while. Stop at The Deaf Institute on left.
The intriguing name itself links to the previous usage of the venue – formerly Manchester’s Adult Deaf and Dumb Institute, as is inscribed in the stonework above the entrance. The building was designed by John Lowe, with another still-visible inscription marking its foundation stone, laid by the MP Hugh Birley on the 2 June 1877 – the construction taking place over the course of that year. Channelling the Gothic style, the structure boasts a bold sandstone façade, a slate roof and archways throughout, including the windows and wide main door. Considering that ‘dumb’ is no longer an appropriate term, it will be used in terms of its historical context within this article – and when the building itself reopened as a venue in 2008, it took the title ‘The Deaf Institute’… A sculpture of what appears to be two men can also be seen on one of the plinths; thought to be a depiction of Christ restoring the hearing of another man. This links to the inscription in the stone below it that reads ‘Ephphatha’ meaning ‘be opened’ – believed to be the phrase used by Christ when he performed this miracle. In turn, the religious symbolism may have been a reassurance to users of the building, and it was here that served as a sanctuary for deaf and speech-impaired people for a number of years… Such an impressive structure did not come cheap, however. Built out of Manchester’s industrial glory
years – civic pride was highly regarded, and constructions often intended to reflect the idealised grandeur of the city – with the Adult Deaf and Dumb Institute itself costing around £5800 at the time*.
It was opened to much fanfare, with Bishop Fraser (then Lord Bishop of Manchester) overseeing the ceremony on 8 June 1878.
*Equivalent to £14.6M in 2023.
The Rutherford Building – Continue south-west on Grosvenor St. towards Oxford Rd. Turn left onto Oxford Rd. Continue for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto Coupland St. Stop at University of Manchester Rutherford Building on the right.
Rutherford showed that the “nucleus of hydrogen” existed in the nucleus of other atoms and thus appeared as a basic building block. The first nuclear reaction initiated by a human and the discovery of the proton are big steps in themselves, but from these reactions you can also infer the sizes of nuclei. It also led to the development of nuclear accelerators – so that you could induce all sorts of different nuclear reactions… ‘This discovery, and the earlier work done by Rutherford that established the existence of an atomic nucleus itself, essentially established the field of nuclear physics right here in Manchester.’
Sir Arthur Lewis Building – Continue along Coupland St. Turn Right at Higher Chatham Street. Turn Right at Bridgeford Street. Turn left onto footpath. Stop and look at the building on the right . This is the Sir Arthur Lewis Building. During this time, he published his seminal work in Development and Growth Economics for which he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1979, jointly with Theodore Schultz.
Lewis was born in Castries, Saint Lucia, the fourth of five children, and his parents were both schoolteachers. His father died when Arthur was just seven, and his mother raised the five children alone… At the young age of 33, he was appointed to the Chair at Manchester – and, in so doing, he became Britain’s first black Professor. He stayed at Manchester until 1957… During this period, he developed some of his most important concepts about the patterns of capital and wages in developing countries. He particularly became known for his contributions to development economics, and in 1954 published what was to be his most influential development economics article, “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour” (Manchester School, Volume 22(2), pp. 115–227).
Mancunian Way – Continue along Cambridge St. Proceed to Cambridge Junction. Continue under Mancunian Way (the A57M flyover). Stop under Mancunian Way.
By 2050, 68% of the global population will live in cities. That’s 2.5 billion more people than today. In Europe, three out of four of us already live in urban areas, and the consequences of that are becoming clear… Researchers estimate that nine million people die every year as a direct result of air pollution. In London, two million people – of which 400,000 are children – are living in areas with toxic air.
John Dalton Statue – Continue north- west. Exit the underpass footpath onto Cambridge St. Turn right onto Chester St. Stop at the statue of John Dalton on the right.*
Beyond weather forecasting, meteorology is concerned with long-term trends in climate and weather, and their potential impact on human populations. An important area of meteorological research these days is climate change and the effects it may cause… Many people wonder why the study of the atmosphere is called meteorology. The name comes from the ancient Greeks. In about 340 B.C.E., the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote a book called Meteorologica, which contained all that was known at the time about weather and climate. Aristotle got the title of his book from the Greek word “meteoron,” which meant “a thing high up” and referred to anything observed in the atmosphere. That term stuck through the centuries, so experts on the atmosphere became known as meteorologists.
River Medlock – Continue along Chester St. Turn left at Oxford Rd. Cross onto the right hand side of the road and stop at the railings overlooking the River Medlock.
Here flows the Medlock with countless windings through a valley, which is, in places, on a level with the valley of the Irk. Along both sides of the stream, which is coal-black, stagnant and foul, stretches a broad belt of factories and working-men’s dwellings, the latter all in the worst condition. The bank is chiefly declivitous and is built over to the water’s edge, just as we saw along the Irk; while the houses are equally bad, whether built on the Manchester side or in Ardwick, Chorlton, or Hulme. But the most horrible spot (if I should describe all the separate spots in detail I should never come to the end) lies on the Manchester side, immediately south-west of Oxford Road, and is known as Little Ireland. In a rather deep hole, in a curve of the Medlock and surrounded on all four sides by tall factories and high embankments, covered with buildings, stand two groups of about two hundred cottages, built chiefly back to back, in which live about four thousand human beings, most of them Irish. The cottages are old, dirty, and of the smallest sort, the streets uneven, fallen into ruts and in part without drains or pavement; masses of refuse, offal and sickening filth lie among standing pools in all directions; the atmosphere is poisoned by the effluvia from these, and laden and darkened by the smoke of a dozen tall factory chimneys.
Rochdale Canal – Continue along Oxford St., crossing the junction to Whitworth St. and the Sainsbury’s on the left. Stop at the railing overlooking the Rochdale Canal on left.
Since 2007, authorities have tragically pulled 77 dead bodies out of Manchester’s canal and
waterway network, many of which are young men. Are these a series of unrelated accidents or is there something more sinister to blame?
In light of this news, many publications around the country have been eager to jump on the idea that Manchester is home to a sick serial killer, one that prowls the canal paths at night looking for victims to push to their doom in the icy waters… This ‘pusher’ has now pretty much become a Manchester legend, with many people warning of the pusher any time you get within spitting distance of a canal. The problem now is; the whole thing might just turn out to be impossible to debunk entirely.
Elicit from them that myths—like other stories—contain the following elements: characters, setting, conflict, plot, and resolution. In addition, myths usually explained some aspect of nature or accounted for some human action. Frequently, myths also included a metamorphosis, a change in shape or form.
#2 CULTURE CORRIDOR
Central Library. Stand in St. Peter’s Sq. and face the library.
The Pantheon is not only the best-preserved ancient Roman monument in the world, but it’s also the most copied. It is a must-see attraction during your visit to Rome.
• Visit the tomb of the great Renaissance artist
• Gaze up at the oculus, the opening to the heavens.
• Marvel at the architectural wonder that is the
coffered concrete dome – the biggest ever built.
At its opening, one critic wrote, “This is the sort of thing which persuades one to believe in the perennial applicability of the Classical canon”.
Holder, Julian (2007). ‘Emanuel Vincent Harris and the survival of classicism in inter-war Manchester’. Hartwell, Clare; Wyke, Terry (eds.). Making Manchester. Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society.
Manchester Art Gallery – Turn right towards Mosley St. Continue to Mosley St. Manchester Art Gallery is on your right.
Born in New York City, (Ira) Aldridge went to the African Free School in New York City aged 13. The school was established by the New York Manumission Society for the children of free Black people and slaves. They were given a classical education, with the study of English grammar, writing, mathematics, geography, and astronomy… Aldridge emigrated to Liverpool in 1824 with actor James Wallack after the pair became tired of the constant discrimination they faced in America. As their arrival coincided with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, Britain had the means to erect theatres and the fact that the slave trade had already been outlawed, made the prospect of Black actors performing in Britain somewhat acceptable, albeit with some prejudice… Having limited onstage experience and no presence in the media, Aldridge concocted a story of his African lineage, claiming to have descended from the Fulani princely line… On October 10, 1825, Aldridge made his European debut at London’s Royal Coburg Theatre, making him the first African-American actor to establish himself professionally in a foreign country… He played the lead role of Oroonoko in The Revolt of Surinam, ‘A Slave’s Revenge’; this play was an adaptation of Thomas Southerne’s Oroonoko…
and The Royal Manchester Institution was a scholarly society formed in 1823. It was housed in what is now the art gallery’s main gallery building on Mosley Street. The first object acquired for its collection, James Northcote’s A Moor (a portrait of the celebrated black actor Ira Aldridge), was bought in 1827.
Manchester Art Gallery. 2015. ‘History of the Collection’. Manchester Galleries.
Touchstone/Bridgewater Hall – Retrace steps, crossing St. Peter’s Sq. Continue SW onto Lower Mosley St. Stop in front of the Bridgewater Hall in front of the large marble stone.
Discussed in this part: Marble quarry chant above Carrara. Worksongs like this have built the buildings and monuments of Italy. Cry of the blasters and explosion. Before the blasters the quarrymen knew how to get the marble cut by hand and had songs to coordinate their hammers, but still use the songs for moving the stones. Leader said emphatically, “This is the misery squad.” Oldest inscription in Rome shows workers pulling a column. Work gangs of pile drivers in Venice. Song of the canal workers. Song calls protection of the Virgin against the Turks, dating the song to fifteenth century. Archaic song of peasant women going out to work in the fields in the morning: “Day is dawning and cock is crowing for the first peep of day.” Chant of Neapolitan man to his donkey, “Sempre avanti” (Mussolini’s slogan). Woman and man of the Marche sing love lyrics in seconds and fourths. Grain harvest is almost a sacred ritual. Wheat is harvested in June in Sicily with prayers. Harvest song (starts as a chant) about the Virgin seeking her son as wheat is cut. Song is a lament for the death of the wheat.
02 Ritz – Walk south towards Great Bridgewater St. Turn left onto Great Bridgewater St. Turn right towards Rochdale Canal Tow Path. Take the stairs. Turn left onto Rochdale Canal Tow Path. Cross the canal via the footbridge. Turn right towards Whitworth St. Turn left onto Whitworth St . Stop at the doors of the 02 Ritz.
I was walking down oxford road
Dressed in what they call the mode
I could hear them spinning all their smash hits
At the mecca of the modern dance, the Ritz
My feet foxtrotted
My shoulders did the shimmy
The bouncer on the door said “a gimme, gimme, gimme”
I gave ’em the tickets, they gave me the shits
No healthy arguments… in the Ritz
Engels sculpture – Walk south-west on Whitworth St. W towards Gloucester St. Turn left onto Jack Rosenthal St. Turn right to stay on Jack Rosenthal St. Turn left at Tony Wilson Place.
This month, the Berlin-based, British-born artist Phil Collins transported a 3.5 metre statue of Friedrich Engels from a village in eastern Ukraine, through Europe, to Britain on a flat-bed truck. Next month, during the Manchester International festival, the sculpture, a 1970s concrete image of the bearded revolutionary, will be erected in the city where he researched The Condition of the Working Class in England, its new permanent home… Engels lived in Manchester for more than two decades in the mid-19th century, honing his revolutionary philosophy through his observations of the horrific conditions endured by the working children, women and men in that cradle of industrial capitalism. And, as Collins points out, though the philosopher’s life in Manchester is well studied and documented, there is no permanent marker to him in the city, no visual symbol of the man at all – despite the fact that his Manchester-forged thinking changed the course of 20th-century history.
Continue a few paces to HOME.
It’s midday on a Thursday afternoon, and I feel like a kid in a sweet shop. I’m at the Manchester Open Exhibition at HOME, surrounded by over 500 pieces of art submitted by residents from across Greater Manchester. The exhibition is an overwhelming, eclectic collage, mirroring the chaos of the city it is in. It is incredible.
International Anthony Burgess Foundation – Walk north-east on River St towards James Grigor Sq. Turn right to stay on River St. Continue onto Wilmott St. Turn left onto Chester St. Turn left onto Cambridge St. Stop in front of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.
Art is rare and sacred and hard work, and there ought to be a wall of fire around it… The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate: written a quarter of a century ago, a jeu d’esprit knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence. The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die. I should not have written the book because of this danger of misinterpretation… All art preserves mysteries which aesthetic philosophers tackle in vain.
Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University – Walk south-east on Cambridge St. towards Hulme St. Turn left onto Chester St. Turn right towards Oxford Rd. Turn right onto Oxford Rd. Continue to All Saints Sq. The 1838 Manchester School of Art building faces the south side of the square.
In 1899 Britain plunged into another war, this time the Boer War in South Africa. The government and the press helped to whip up a tide of patriotic fervour which even some left-wing organisations were unable to resist. In 1900 Emmeline Pankhurst left the Fabian Society in protest at their refusal to oppose the war. At this time Sylvia attended a lecture given by Walter Crane at the School of Art during which he drew Britannia’s trident and made the critical comment ‘Let her be as careful to respect the liberties of others as she is in safeguarding her own’, which Sylvia reported for the school’s magazine. Another student who demonstrated her patriotism by dressing in khaki, demanded the removal of the article ‘declaring that she would follow me home and break our windows’. The Pankhurst family suffered considerable victimisation during the Boer War. Adela and Harry, who were both still at school, made their antiwar views known, for which Harry was beaten unconscious and Adela was hit in the face by a book thrown by another student, an action that was left unreproached by the teacher.
Oxford Rd./Booth St. West Junction – Continue SE along Oxford Road to its junction with Booth St.
In the 1960s university planners, impressed by the expansion of American freeways, wanted a series of interlinking pedestrian bridges all the way to Oxford Road station and out as far as Hulme and Ardwick… They hoped it would not only elevate people above the growing traffic, but also ensure ‘town met gown’ by encouraging academics to mix with the rest of the city… the bridges would have connected virtually all modern buildings down the Oxford Road corridor at first floor level – and run out towards the university’s Sackville Street campus… The precinct centre would have been the hub for all the walkways, containing a shopping area researchers liken
to a purpose-built town centre… Bridges would have criss-crossed Oxford Road at several points – including at what is now the Aquatics Centre and the building now housing Manchester Metropolitan University’s student union, connected to raised walkways that would go at least as far as Oxford Road station…
Manchester Museum – Continue SE along Oxford Rd. Stop in front of Manchester Museum on right.
During the inter-war period, there was a perceptible shift in the Museum’s work from the scientific to “cultural” collections – archaeology, anthropology and Egyptology. This reflected in part a decline in use of the Museum by the University’s scientific departments, which increasingly focussed on laboratory work, and also to growing public interest in this type of cultural collection. Of particular note, was the public interest in Egyptology in this period, and the Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society enjoyed a close relationship with the Museum. Archaeological excavations, particularly in the Mediterranean area, were making more ancient human material available, and colonial exploration and trade stimulated the exchange of ethnological items. In 1927, a further extension of the Museum to the north of the main building reflected this change in emphasis with new galleries dedicated to archaeology, ethnography, Egyptology and numismatics…
Manchester Sun – Turn around and face the opposite direct. Cross Oxford Rd. Proceed to the ‘Manchester Sun’ by Lynn Chadwick on the façade of University of Manchester’s Williamson Building.
The journey was difficult, and it was believed that Helios was a skilled charioteer to be able to not fly too close or distant from the Earth. Helios’ daily trip across the sky began when his sister Eos (as dawn) threw open the gates of his beautiful eastern palace. He set off with his four-winged horses, known as Aethon, Aeos, Pyrois, and Phlegon. The long travel had a steep ascent, peaked around midday, and then steeply descended towards his western palace, where his nephew, Hesperus (evening) awaited him… To return to the eastern palace, Helios was believed to have sailed under the world via the northerly stream of the realm of Oceanus with his horses and chariot in a golden boat (or large cup/goblet, or bed) created by the master smith and deity, Hephaestus. While Helios was hidden in Oceanus, Selene, the moon goddess took her turn to cross the sky.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House (restored 2014) – Turn right onto Swinton Grove. Stop in front of the blue plaque to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.
I knew already that it was a ten-roomed house, very dirty, and much dilapidated; that the area-rails were rusty and peeling away, and that two or three of them were wanting, or half-wanting; that there were broken panes of glass in the windows, and blotches of mud on other panes, which the boys had thrown at them; that there was quite a collection of stones in the area, also proceeding from those Young Mischiefs; that there were games chalked on the pavement before the house, and likenesses of ghosts chalked on the street-door; that the windows were all darkened by rotting old blinds, or shutters, or both; that the bills “To Let,” had curled up, as if the damp air of the place had given them cramps; or had dropped down into corners, as if they were no more. I had seen all this on my first visit, and I had remarked to Trottle, that the lower part of the black board about terms was split away; that the rest had become illegible, and that the very stone of the door-steps was broken across. Notwithstanding, I sat at my breakfast table on that Please to Remember the fifth of November morning, staring at the House through my glasses, as if I had never looked at it before… All at once—in the first-floor window on my right—down in a low corner, at a hole in a blind or a shutter—I found that I was looking at a secret Eye. The reflection of my fire may have touched it and made it shine; but, I saw it shine and vanish.
Swinton Grove Park – Turn around. Enter the park and head to the standing stone in the centre of the park.
Looking back at this from 2021 the overriding sense I take away is that ‘Stone Age Man in Britain’ is a work of faction (fact and fiction). Its aim to offer a simple way into the discourse of history for young readers is understandable but the outcome is simplistic and shows the instability that lies beneath the surface of the disciplines that form the infrastructure of the Enlightment, disciplines such as archaeology. Over the 60 years since the book was published in 1961 we have travelled a long way and academia on some levels have wised up. Ultimately as we shall see the rigid conformity that forms the behaviours and legitimation of our academic disciplines is tightly monitored. Its borders are not porous and are strictly policed. Anything that does not chime with the accepted truth is regarded as disinformation or ‘fake’. It is seen as undermining our foundational terms of democracy when in actuality the opposite seems to be at play.
Brennan, T. (2021) ‘Fake Megaliths’ private manuscript
Contact Theatre – Exit the park and walk south-west on Swinton Grove towards Carmoor Rd. Turn right onto Upper Brook St. Turn left onto Grafton St. Turn left onto Oxford Rd. Turn right onto Dilworth St. Turn right onto Brisbane St. Stop in front of Contact Theatre.
In the fourth instalment of articles exploring the work of Contact, the leading national arts organisation to place young people’s leadership at the heart of everything, we feature The Agency… It’s a pioneering project empowering young people aged 15 to 25 to change their communities in Manchester and London, with project partners Battersea Arts Centre and People’s Palace Projects… Following a pilot project last year, September saw Contact recruit a cohort of young people from Moston and Harpurhey, and support them to develop ideas for businesses and social enterprises to benefit their area… The proposed projects included a sewing academy, a family baking project, a community creative hub, a digital software programming club for teenagers, a community fair promoting healthy living and a visual arts project aiming to transform the streets of Moston… The Agency began life in the slums (favelas) of Brazil when theatre director Marcus Faustini created a new way of working with young people, using creativity to deliver start-up businesses and social enterprises. It aims to empower young people with few existing opportunities to decide what would really make an impact in their community… As with everything Contact does, The Agency puts young people in control. It was a risky experiment to apply the methodology in Manchester and London, but one that has already paid off, with the pilot year leading to some fantastic projects. They include a new board game for 4-12 year olds exploring the reality of growing up on an estate, and an ethical fashion range aimed at women of all shapes and sizes.
The Whitworth – Walk south on Brisbane St towards Dilworth St. Turn left towards Oxford Rd. The Whitworth art gallery is on your right.
The works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Gauguin – thought to be worth a total of £4m – were reported missing from the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester on Sunday… The paintings – Van Gogh’s The Fortification of Paris with Houses, Picasso’s Poverty and Gauguin’s Tahitian Landscape – were found the next day crammed into a tube behind a public toilet… A spokeswoman for Manchester University, of which the gallery is a part, said the paintings had suffered weather damage, and the Van Gogh had suffered a tear in the fabric, but added that all could be repaired… A note was attached to the paintings claiming the motive of the thieves was to highlight poor security at the gallery… Police said an anonymous tip-off at about 0200 BST on Monday led them to the paintings… The works of art went missing after 2100 BST on Saturday in what police described as a “well-planned” theft… It is believed the thieves forced their way into the gallery’s Pilkington room, where some of the modern art treasures are on display.
#2 SUSTAINABILITY CORRIDOR
Central Library. Stand in St. Peter’s Sq. and face the library.
We recognise the diversity of our sector which is why this is an inclusive initiative for all libraries to help them make the changes they can, with the resources they have. In signing this manifesto we agree to:
• Bring environmental sustainability to the heart
of decision making
• Innovate and evolve
• Work with our communities
• Use our voice for more impact
• Work in partnership
• Grow and share our knowledge
• Support young people
Trees in Albert Sq. – To the right of the main building you will see the glass doors of a covered pedestrian right of way. Follow the path round the exterior of the library. Exit and bare right. You are now in Albert Sq.
If you’ve been through the square recently and seen the green circles in the ground, marked “I will be a tree”, these are the sites of ten of the 11 trees that will be planted… There will be a further six trees in beds – or ‘soft landscape’ -near the fountain, and five new trees will be planted along the side of the Town Hall Princess Street… The proposed trees are as follows:
• Paulownia tomentosa (Foxglove tree) x 1
• Sophora japonica (Japanese Pagoda tree) x 2
• Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip tree) x 7
• Nyssa sylvatica (Black Tupelo) x 1
• Catalpa bignonioides (Indian Bean tree) x 1
• Prunus yedoensis (Yoshino Cherry) x 2
• Amelanchier arborea ‘Robin Hill’
(Snowy Mespilus / Juneberry) x 2
• Davidia involucrate (Handkerchief tree) x 1
• Liriodendron tulipfera ‘fastgiata’
(Fastigiate Tulip tree) x 5
Windmill Street – Walk south-west on Albert Sq. towards Lloyd St. Turn left onto Lloyd St. Turn right onto Mount St. Turn left onto Windmill St. Stop at the Windmill Street sign located on the side of the Midland Hotel. Stop. Turn around and view the skyscrapers.
“What giants?” said Sancho Panza… “Those that you see over there,” responded his master, “with the long arms—some of them almost two leagues long.” “Look, your grace,” responded Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants—they’re windmills; and what seems to be arms are the sails that rotate the millstone when they’re turned by the wind.” “It seems to me,” responded don Quixote, “that you aren’t well-versed in adventures—they are giants; and if you’re afraid, get away from here and start praying while I go into fierce and unequal battle with them.” … And saying this, he spurred his horse Rocinante without heeding what his squire Sancho was shouting to him, that he was attacking windmills and not giants. But he was so certain they were giants that he paid no attention to his squire Sancho’s shouts, nor did he see what they were, even though he was very close. Rather, he went on shouting: “Do not flee, cowards and vile creatures, for it’s just one knight attacking you!” … At this point, the wind increased a bit and the large sails began to move, which don Quixote observed and said: “Even though you wave more arms than Briaræus, you’ll have to answer to me.”
Cervantes, M. (1605). Don Quixote. London: Penguin Classics; 1st edition (30 Jan. 2003).
Bridgewater Floating Gardens – Walk south-east on Windmill St towards Museum St. Slight right onto Lower Mosley St. At the Ishinki Touchstone, marble sculpture turn left. Use the stairs or the ramps to descend to the Floating Gardens.
I’ve just asked Lisa what she feels have been their 2 biggest successes and 2 biggest failures…or shall we say learning curves?!.. on the journey so far. Here’s what she said… “One of the things I consider to be one of our biggest successes has been including local people, water activists and school groups in our projects. For example, in London the local residents and community groups who live around the Regents Canal have helped to generate support for new projects, as well as to plant the Floating Ecosystems, to assemble, and to launch them. One of these sites, Kingsland Basin, is now considered to be an urban wildlife refuge… One of my favourite projects is in Manchester at the Bridgewater Hall Basin. We put in flower petal shaped Floating Islands around the central fountain as well as Floating Riverbanks along the edges. This transformed the hard edged, lifeless waterbody into a thriving aquatic ecosystem full of colour and biodiversity.
The Tower of Light – Return back up the stairs/ramp to the Ishinki Touchstone. Turn left. View the ornate white tower on the opposite side of the street. This is the Tower of Light.
Inspired by Tudor palaces and one of David Attenborough’s favourite creatures, Tonkin Liu’s flue for Manchester’s new sustainable power system is more than just eye-catching… Manchester has long liked garnishing industry with ornament. For all the four-square practicality of its Victorian streets, its buildings are eclectic in their detail – Byzantine, Flemish, gothic and baroque, encrusted and polychrome, with turrets, domes, gables, swags and cartouches formed from stone, brick and soot-resistant ceramics. Mancunian architecture grew fantasy from the filth of coal-fired wealth… The Tower of Light, white and sparkling, updates this tradition for a low-carbon age. It is essentially a big chimney, but not as LS Lowry would have known it. It’s a dispersion flue, to use the technical term, a 40 metre-high device for extracting fumes from a gas-fired combined heat and power unit beneath it. Its swirling forms resemble those that Antoni Gaudí put on top of Barcelona apartment blocks. They are inspired, say its architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu, both by the ornate chimneys on Tudor palaces and by the glass sponge, a submarine organism that is one of David Attenborough’s favourite creatures… By day, light bounces off it and penetrates through it, and reflects off the stainless steel flues that you can glimpse through the openings. By night it’s illuminated with shifting colours that can be changed to suit an occasion – Pride, for example, or a triumph by the city’s blue or red football teams. Car headlights put the rippling tiles into continuous visual motion.
HOME – Keep to the left, passing the Tower of Light on your right. Cross the intersection. Straight ahead along Albion St. Turn left onto Tony Wilson Place. Stop outside HOME.
‘Why bees?’ you ask. Well, since way back in 2014 when we were first planning the move to HOME on First Street, we’ve been committed to supporting biodiversity in Manchester city centre. We looked upwards and found that the roof was the perfect place to plant our ideas and let them grow! We set our sights on bees – the hardworking, beloved emblem of Manchester – and wanted to establish a home for supporting at-risk pollinator species. Thanks to a fantastic fundraising effort by all of our team, we were able to put our plan into action, gathering all of the materials and equipment for beekeeping and training staff as apiarists at Manchester District Beekeeper Association in Heaton Park… With wildflower seed kits from Frow Wild and donations from the green-fingered members of the team, we set to work creating forage for our new arrivals. Always striving to make sustainable choices, we’ve re-purposed old theatre lights, stage props and exhibition materials, turning them into planters – we’ve even got old washing machine drums brimming with lavender! Our bees get the best choice in Manchester too – they’ll happily fly up to two miles to seek out the flowers with the tastiest nectar that they’ll bring back to the hive to be turned into honey – wildflower meadows and hedgerows, lush canal towpaths and railway line cuttings, backyards and gardens brimming with colour are all foraging hot-spots for these busy pollinators! We’ve extracted our first ever batch of delicious HOME honey that sold out in a flash in our bookshop.
Mackintosh Dunlop Factory – Walk east on Tony Wilson Pl. towards the east side of HOME and under the railway arches. Turn right onto Whitworth St. Turn right onto Gloucester St. Gloucester St. turns slightly left and becomes Cambridge St. On the right you will see a chimney. Stop.
The Unfashionable Truth About Unsustainable Latex Rubber
The proportion of the global natural latex rubber supply consumed by the global fashion and textile industry is dwarfed by the more than 70 percent of the total consumed by the global tire industry. But an ongoing surge in popularity of rubber in the fashion and textile industries will likely increase the proportion of natural rubber consumed by that sector. Fashion designers and textile firms should understand the grim toll that the latex rubber they consume could inflict on the environment and communities – primarily Southeast Asia and West Africa – from where the vast majority of natural rubber is sourced and processed… Natural rubber production has been a driver of tropical deforestation, which is a major accelerant of climate change. Land area under cultivation for the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree nearly doubled from 2000 to 2018 to an area equivalent to the size of Germany, constituting a drastic erasure of tropical rainforest in producer countries.
Manchester Metropolitan University– Walk south-east on Cambridge St. towards Hulme St. Turn left onto Chester St. Turn right onto Oxford Rd. Continue along Oxford Rd. on the right is All Saints Sq. Enter the Sq.
Manchester Metropolitan will explore how Greater Manchester can develop the skills pipeline for a future green economy as part of the 2023 GM Green Summit… As part of the Green Summit, the University will chair a panel session (which) will invite contributions from City leaders, people in business and graduates who are already one step ahead in re-imagining and delivering our future green workforce and economy. As a leading sustainable University, Manchester Metropolitan is at the forefront of delivering a more sustainable future and contributing to the world’s sustainability agenda… At last year’s Green Summit, MMU committed to delivering a pipeline of green skills that will prepare students for future careers when ‘all jobs will be green jobs.’ The Strategy focuses on ensuring education for sustainable development and climate change education are embedded in all our courses by 2026 and that we continue to deliver world-class research to tackle the issues around climate change, such as in aviation, nature-based solutions, climate resilience and developing hydrogen fuel… The North West Net Zero Skills Charter, is designed by Manchester Metropolitan University and partners to help businesses harness new net zero opportunities for the benefit of communities and people across the region.
The Eighth Day Shop and Café – Cross Oxford Rd. Opposite All Saints Sq. is The Eighth Day Shop and Café.
Take Scott Jurek, for example, the ultramarathoner who made headlines this summer when he ran the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in a record-setting 46 days, eight hours and seven minutes… Jurek grew up in Minnesota.. Meals were meat heavy, and everything revolved around the huge family dinners at the end of every day… And for almost two decades now, Jurek has been a vegan. He eased into it starting in college, cutting out meat, then eschewing fish and becoming firmly ovo-lacto vegetarian, then finally eschewing all animal products completely. The decision was precipitated by his family history of chronic disease, including his mother’s multiple sclerosis.
HATCH – Face The Eighth Day Shop and Café. Follow Oxford Road on your left. On your right is Hatch.
It is moreover obvious that men organised in small units will take better care of their bit of land or other natural resources than anonymous companies or megalomanic governments which pretend to themselves that the whole universe is their legitimate quarry.
Schumacher, E.F. (1973). Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. London: Blond & Briggs. p. 22.
Circle Square – Continue north on Oxford Rd towards Sidney St. On your right is Circle Sq. Enter the Sq.
Ancient Chinese believed that heaven was like a dome covering the square earth. This comes from traditional Chinese philosophy named 天圆地方 (Tian Yuan Di Fang, literally meaning that the heaven is round and the earth is square). Derived from the Chinese Yin and Yang theory, the chaos of the universe was initially called Taiji, which refers to the origin of yin (negative, or female), yang (positive, or male) and of universal changes. When the earth was not separated from the heaven the universe was a great mass like a huge egg. Then Taiji evolved into Liang Yi (two phases) and the Yin and Yang theory came into being as well as the separation of heaven and earth. Since the celestial objects like sun and moon are eternally moving in circles over the sky, while the earth is serenely bearing the people on it like a stable square, as a result, the idea of circular heaven and square earth came about.
River Medlock – Return to Oxford Rd. Continue north along Oxford Rd. Stop at the railings overlooking The River Medlock.
It was about half past twelve when the floods came … the banks of the Medlock were overflowed to such an alarming extent and the first intimation of the flood was the sweeping away of a footbridge near to Philips Park … It must have been very strongly fixed, for it not only bore the rush of the flood for a considerable time, but it resisted it to such an extent that the water backed up for a considerable distance. The flood increased in depth and power, and at a length swept in a fierce torrent over a large portion of ground apportioned to the Roman Catholics at the Bradford Cemetery carrying away not only tombstones but actually washing out of their graves, a large number of dead bodies. Indeed, from the first indication of danger, so far as works on the banks of the Medlock were concerned, dead bodies were observed floating down the river, and those watching could easily see that the bodies had been disinterred out of the Bradford cemetery. It is impossible to calculate how many had been swept out of their final resting place but the number is not short of fifty.
China Town – Continue north along Oxford Rd. Turn right onto Portland St. Turn left onto Princess St. Turn right onto Faulkner St. On the left is China Town.
When we see a child about to fall into the well, we cannot help a feeling of alarm and commiseration. This shows that our humanity (ren) forms one body with the child. It may be objected that the child belongs to the same species. Again, when we observe the pitiful cries and frightened appearances of birds and animals about to be slaughtered, we cannot help feeling an “inability to bear” their suffering. This shows that our humanity forms one body with birds and animal. It may be objected that birds and animals are sentient beings as we are. But when we see plants broken and destroyed, we cannot help a feeling of pity. This shows that our humanity forms one body with plants. It may be said that plants are living things as we are. Yet even when we see tiles and stones shattered and crushed, we cannot help a feeling of regret. This shows our humanity forms one body with tiles and stones.
St. Peter’s Sq. Cross – Walk south-west on Faulkner St. towards Nicholas St. Turn right onto Princess St. At the tramlines turn left into St. Peter’s Sq. The cross stands opposite the Manchester Central Library entrance.
Everywhere people ask: “What can I actually do?” The answer is as simple as it is disconcerting: we can, each of us, work to put our own inner house in order. The guidance we need for this work cannot be found in science or technology, the value of which utterly depends on the ends they serve; but it can still be found in the traditional wisdom of mankind.
Schumacher, E.F. (1973). Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. London: Blond & Briggs. p. 318.