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GUN STREET, ANCOATS 6.32AM

Gun Street Ancoats at dawn

GUN STREET, ANCOATS 6.32AM

Today the clocks were turned back. Rain lingered like a truculent teenager, smearing the cobbled streets of Ancoats with a Brylcreem sheen. The area is a work in progress. Old buildings, like patients screened off in a hospital ward, are surrounded by scaffolding, as the heart of the world’s first industrial city is given a new life by Manchester’s pacemakers.

Original brickwork and Victorian grandeur have been retained where possible, causing streets which until recently were thoroughfares to be feared, to maintain their essential personality without the latent threat of being mugged. Once the centre of invention it has now become an area of re-invention, with its shiny new facades and dinky lighting.

As I walked I became aware that I was struggling to see a photograph. A pool of light and a refurbished street may offer little more than a visual canape when, actually, it’s a roast dinner that is needed. Only when the clouds cleared, and a sun bled sky brought warm colour to walls and windows, could I finally find pictures that I wanted to see.

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