Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Half a century of change in St Peter’s Square

Now this is one of the scenes of St Peter’s Square which has gradually changed over time.

I can’t be sure when the picture was taken but it was added to Valentine’s card catalogue in 1937 and will have to date from after 1934 when work on the Town Hall Extension was started.

That said the building was not completed till 1938 which means that when our photograph was made bits of the new Town Hall had yet to be finished.

Since then every decade some of what you can see has vanished, and what replaced it hasn’t always stayed the course.

Since I arrived in 1969 the building behind the tram has gone and  was for a while the Peace Garden and will presently be the relocated metro stop, which is also a reminder that the square lost its trams in the late 1940s and has seen them return.

The white building on the other corner of Mosley Street has also disappeared as has the building which fronted the parked cars on the right of the picture.  It went in favour of that utilitarian building called Elizabeth House which lasted just over forty years.

More recently we had the platforms of the tram stop outside the Library which has come and gone and the relocation of the Cenotaph.

And for those wanting more, Central Ref and the Town Hall Extension has undergone major refurbishment and changes reflecting what we want of public buildings in the 21st century.

So there you have it, most of this won’t be new to many but for some it may be a total revelation.

And no sooner  had I posted the story and  Robert offered up his own image taken from the Midland Hotel just a few days ago.

It is a supberb contrast to what our unknown photographer captured almsot eighty years ago.

Location; Manchester

Picture; St Peter’s Square, circa 1937, from the collection of David Harrop and in 2016 courtesy of Robert Moores

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