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1970s Manchester: Fascinating Pictures That Give A Complete Snapshot of Old Manchester

In the 1970s, Manchester went through enormous changes. It was the decade of confusion, of a loss of direction, of new music, and the arrival of a vast city center monster. During the 1970s, the City Council lost most of its remaining vital responsibilities. Manchester’s famous red buses became grotesque pop orange and brown under a broader transport authority. The heavy industry suffered a considerable downturn; thousands of people lost their jobs. Here are some fascinating photographs that give a complete snapshot of 1970s Manchester.

#1 View along Market Street towards St Mary’s Gate and Deansgate in 1975, during construction of the Arndale Centre (right).

#2 Loxford Tower, shortly after completion in 1974. This was the first newly-constructed building for Manchester Polytechnic and occupied part of the site of the new MMU Business School.

#9 Mural depicting pansies on the gable-end wall of terraced houses in Rochdale. Painted by Walter Kershaw in the early 1970s.

#13 The elevated section of the Mancunian Way, crossing Oxford Road. Taken from the Cavendish School at All Saints, c. 1970.

#14 Display of posters and reproduction paintings outside the Old Curiosity Shop on Chapel Street, Salford, September 1973.

#18 Boarded-up shops (once Georgian houses) on the west side of Oxford Road at All Saints, Manchester, 1976

#20 A well used Manchester dartboard in the vault of the Lloyds Arms on Higher Ormond Street around 1974.

#23 View of the Liverpool Road railway station site in Manchester, shortly after its closure in 1975.

#27 View along Hulme Walk in 1972, showing lift tower and walkways linking Charles Barry Crescent, Robert Adam Crescent and Hawksmoor Close.

#30 Advertisement by a Graphic Design student displayed in the degree show at Manchester Polytechnic’s Faculty of Art and Design in 1978.

#32 Model wearing clothes designed by a student at Manchester Polytechnic Faculty of Art and Design’s fashion show, 1979

#38 Exterior of the former Bridgewater Theatre, a small Victorian music hall that occupied a site between Cambridge Street and Cowcill Street c.1973

#39 The Tatler cinema on the corner of Whitworth Street and Oxford Road Station Approach in 1974 – later became part of the Cornerhouse arts venue

#41 Mural depicting Alvin Stardust on the gable-end of terraced houses in Heywood, in the early 1970s.

#42 View of the Liverpool Road railway station site in Manchester, shortly after its closure in 1975.

#43 Model displaying student work at the dress show at Manchester Polytechnic’s Faculty of Art and Design in 1975.

#46 The Victorian buildings of the University of Manchester on Oxford Road, looking north towards the city centre. Photographed in September 1971.

#50 The work of a Manchester Polytechnic fashion student modelled at the Fashion Show in the Undercroft Gallery, June 1976.

#52 The Grosvenor Picture Palace at All Saints photographed when occupied by the Star Bingo and Social Club, circa 1971. The building is now The Footage pub.

#53 St Andrew’s Chambers and Bridgewater Buildings on Lloyd Street, on the south side of Albert Square, photographed around 1970.

#57 View along Hulme Walk towards All Saints, with Royce Road in the foreground and Ribchester Walk beyond

#58 Williams and Glyn’s Bank, Market Place, Middleton, early 1970s. Designed by Edgar Wood for the Manchester and Salford Bank and built in 1892.

#62 The Oxford cinema (also called the New Oxford) on Oxford Street, formerly The Picture House, in September 1972.

#63 The Manchester Ear Hospital on Lower Ormond Street, photographed in 1972-3, shortly before being transferrred to Manchester Royal Infirmary

#65 View along HIgher Chatham Street showing the Cavendish Street Chapel and School, which were demolished in 1974 to make way for the Cavendish Building.

#68 Deans Court and Cumberland House (the offices of the Manchester Education Committee) on Crown Square, 1976

#70 Deck access flats and maisonettes built using the Bison wall frame system, on Coverdale Crescent, Ardwick, 1970. Known locally as ‘Fort Ardwick’.

#71 Pedestrian ramp to the access decks of Charles Barry Crescent, with children’s play area beneath.

#72 View of Highland House on Victoria Bridge Street, designed by Leach Rhodes Walker and built in 1966. In the foreground is the Grosvenor Hotel at the northern end of Deansgate, demolished c. 1970.

#73 View of Mosley Street at its junction with York Street in 1972, showing shops in the podium element of the Piccadilly Plaza development.

#75 View up Oxford Road towards the city centre from the tower of the University of Manchester’s Mathematics Building in 1972

#77 Post-graduate sculpture students take part in a performance entitled ‘Murphy’ in the gallery of Manchester Polytechnic’s Faculty of Art and Design in March 1971.

#80 Manchester Polytechnic’s theatre school adjoining the Righton Building on Cavendish Street c.1973

#82 Grosvenor Square (All Saints Park), looking north towards the Cavendish School (the site of the current All Saints Building), about 1970.

#84 The Memorial Hall, on the south west corner of Albert Square. Designed by Thomas Worthington and built in 1863-66. This photo was taken, around 1970

#86 Mural depicting pansies on the gable-end wall of terraced houses in Rochdale. Painted by Walter Kershaw in the early 1970s.

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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