Hulme Gallery (c)

When the slums of the 19th century (Little Ireland, Ancoats, Chorlton-On-Medlock) were demolished in order to establish major new roadworks, expand Manchester University & clear a cesspit of festering poverty while radically rethinking social housing; in Hulme tower blocks & deck-access 'streets in the sky', prefabricated concrete multi-storey social living connected by walkways, were the response

Apart from the Zion building the only echoes of Victorian Hulme this wave of change left behind were the high density of public houses, (of which there used to be many & are now few remaining). Monolithic islands of dead time in an oasis of regeneration; Chequered Flag, Church, Clynes Wine Bar, Crown, Ducie Arms, Eagle, Grand Junction, Grants Arms, Grey Parrot, Iron Duke, Manchester Regiment, Mancunian, Old Abbey, Plattford Arms, Red Admiral, Salutation, Sea Hawk, Sir Henry Royce, Spinners, Star & Garter, Three Legs of Man, White Horse; around half of these local boozers were original Victorian public houses

One such lighthouse in the night, providing safe-haven & precarious entertainment, was the Salutation. All around the pub adjoining houses had been cleared away for student Halls of Residence, but there remained a plot of land (Cavendish St. / Higher Chatham St. / Boundary St. West / Higher Cambridge St.) which (though owned by the University) was left undeveloped for 30 years! It became a long held unofficial Hulme Village Green, a place where two worlds collided; where lecturers came to drink with their students; where shifty-looking people sold them drugs; where punks & travellers from Hulme gathered; & occasionally bands played but, year upon year, people sat in the sun & drank cider & smoked bush-weed & fell in love as the sun went down. After 30 years of continuous community use of the Sally Green this was to be its' very last day in the sun. One last party then. After dark outsiders didn't much like to venture into Hulme. These photographs were taken during the afternoon of what became a long night!

Perhaps fearing a repeat of the direct-action response to developers plans to fell a 110-year old tree on Birley Fields, (Locals had tied themselves to the tree & erected a protest camp to man the watch!), this cutting crew went in early one morning, when they could be sure that the more radical elements in Hulme were tucked up soundly in bed. These last four photos are so sad. So many summer nights, so many sunny afternoons, so many friends, so many faces. The sound of laughter clings to almost every memory
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