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WHERE ONCE STOOD UNITED BUILDINGS, OLDHAM STREET, 7.17am

Oldham Street car park, Manchester.

Oldham Street car park, Manchester.

WHERE ONCE STOOD UNITED BUILDINGS, OLDHAM STREET, 7.17am

I know the streets in the area well. I used to own a shop on Tib Street and now live in the Northern Quarter, so tend to follow my instincts when I step out of the door just before dawn, with no clear plan as to where I might go. This morning was one of cloudless skies. The sunlight brought a sheen to bricked walls the colour of Fool’s Gold, and incisive cold air turned nose tips red. None of the few passers-by looked upwards to witness the winter sun rise above the city.

I ended up on Oldham Street, looking across the pitted space where stood United Buildings, a once magnificent Art Deco department store called Dobbin’s, famed for its daily tea dances, and frequented by stars of the 1930s such as George Formby.

The building was destroyed by fire in 2013 and, before you could say “This machine doesn’t accept 2p coins” it had become another car park. As it lies within the Stevenson Square conservation area there were objections. An organisation called Parkstarter  had attempted to persuade the council to turn it into a green space but, 2 years on it’s still blank, puddled ground.

A man waited patiently for his female friend to turn up and, once they’d met and departed, leaving behind an empty view, I started for home. On the way back I saw the couple standing in a deserted side street, silent and clearly unhappy. I turned back to look once I’d passed, to see if they were ok. But they’d already gone.

buy a limited edition print

SEE MANCHESTER AT DAWN WITHOUT HAVING TO GET UP…

£150.00 + p&p

This is a special limited edition print from the Not Quite Light project and is available for sale. Only 50 prints will be produced from each image. Each print will be signed, numbered and presented with documentation guaranteeing the limited edition. Text from the blog will also accompany the image. The work is printed on archive Giclee paper at 20×16 inches, and I work with a local printer to ensure high standards of print quality.

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COPYRIGHT BELONGS TO SIMON BUCKLEY PHOTOGRAPHER. IMAGES NOT TO BE USED FOR COMMERCIAL GAIN OR BE PRINTED.

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