I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Castlefield Quay - Monday 24th June

So what to do in Manchester?  We have three days here so have worked out what we want to do.  First stop was the Tourist Information Office.  I had spoken to them earlier this year and have a map but now we have Muffin and need to look for different places to go. 

Manchester has an excellent public transport network with the free Metro Shuttle, the Metrolink network (which is one of the most successful light rail systems in the UK, carrying around 22 million passengers every year) and the normal buses.  The city is also built in between 5 railway stations.  The Metro Shuttle runs three circular routes which links the train stations, NCP car parks, shops and businesses.  The Metrolink looks really good but dogs aren't allowed on so that has been a no no for us :-( 

We took one of the Shuttle buses up to Piccadilly station and then walked to the Tourist Office.  We didn't find much that was dog friendly but we had thought that but they were extremely helpful.  We walked to Piccadilly Gardens, had a coffee and watched the trams meandering round and people who just take them all in their stride.  The trams are quite noisy and do hoot their horns a lot but they just seem to work.

A tram at Piccadilly Gardens
From Piccadilly we walked up passed the Printworks which is now an urban entertainment venue.  The building was constructed in 1929 and was the largest newspaper printing house in Europe.  In 2000, as part of the redevelopment of Manchester following the 1996 IRA bomb, it reopened as a leisure centre offering clubs and eateries. 
The Printworks
The next landmark was the Urbis Centre which houses the National Football Museum.  I paid a quick visit inside to pay a quick visit (!) and it did look pretty amazing.

The Urbis Centre
We were very disappointed with the Cathedral - I have seen bigger churches.  It is closed at present as they are putting in a new underfloor heating system, however they have built a temporary "Cathedral on the Street" which I just loved.  I was fascinated by some large containers containing herbs, they are part of the Manchester Garden City Scheme and are 'Grow Boxes’ for residents and businesses to plant their own produce in!

Cathedral on the Street
Herb containers outside the Cathedral on the Street
We had lunch at the Old Wellington pub which is a scheduled ancient monument.  It was once home to some of the founders of Manchester commerce - the people behind its first bank, its first quay and the cotton industry. It was the family home of the Byroms, and it was John Byrom, born here in 1692, who invented an early form of shorthand. The building was moved 100 yards from its original site in a redevelopment programme in 1998.
The back of the Wellington Pub
From the pub we took a Shuttle bus back to the boat and Richard went to visit the Museum of Science and Industry while I caught up Sunday's blog which was published yesterday.
The next photos are some I have taken around Castlefield Wharf. I've looked at so many websites to try and work out what each warehouse is called but there is conflict so please excuse me if I am wrong!

Middle Warehouse
Merchants Warehouse

Mary H under the Beetham Tower

The site of the former Grocer's Warehouse

View from the reconstructed Grocer's Wharf

The top of the Grocer's Wharf - vents about the tunnels

I will add a little about Grocer's Wharf. it was built in the late 1820s and featured two entrance arches leading to undercover loading docks. It was built in the late 1820s and featured two entrance arches leading to undercover loading docks. Once inside the warehouse, cargo from boats was hoisted using a winch powered by a large waterwheel located in a subterranean chamber and turned by the River Medlock. The chamber is still in existence and water can be heard running through it. A replica waterwheel has been reconstructed to power the original winching gear and demonstrations on how the winch operated are given periodically.The original warehouse building was demolished in 1960 but was partially reconstructed in 1987 complete with two bascule bridges spanning the reinstated entrance arms.

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