here, about the wonder that is Freshwalks. Maybe I haven't mentioned how it's expanded to also include Freshwalks City
It has a similar function, get outdoors, meet new people, hang out with old friends, learn something.
The lunchtime or evening walks are guided and themed, and today we had a quick jaunt around the city centre looking at the makings of modern Manchester.
I was looking forward to this one because as our city centre changes, it's important that we understand the context of how things are changing. Sometimes this isn't for the best reasons, nor are the right choices made. But we can appreciate both the beauty and ugliness that surrounds. I'm not sure at the moment there's a consistency in design styles that appreciates all of that. But for all of us a better understanding of the past equips all of us to better shape the future.
Thanks to tour guide Emma Fox, here are a few things I learnt today.
The movement of millions of artefacts in 1934 was done with the assistance of hundreds of unemployed Mancunians, carting stuff between Piccadilly Gardens and the new library in St Peter's Square.
There's a fallen soldier statue on the top of the war memorial, his great coat draping downwards.
Ship Canal House on King Street has a statue of Neptune at the top.
55 King Street, once the home of District Bank, then NatWest, is constructed from black Swedish granite, which was chosen to match the soot covered stone buildings alongside. They were subsequently cleaned and the air quality improved.
I did know that the Arndale Centre was deliberately planned in order to crush an underground and multiracial music scene in the 1960s. I didn't know that the same architects responsible for the hideous yellow tile design were also responsible for the Hulme Crescents. Wow, what a legacy.