Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Lost and forgotten streets of Manchester .......... nu 15 Library Walk and a forgotten painting of municipal pride

Now Library Walk might not count as a forgotten or lost street. 

It can’t even claim its hundredth birthday but it will have been used by shed loads of people as a shortcut sandwiched the Town Hall Extension and Central Ref.

I have used it lots of times and liked the way it followed the curve of the two buildings and allowing you to get good views of the Corporation rooms which generations of Mancunians used to pay their rate bills settle their electric and gas accounts and ask for advice.

Just inside the entrance on Mount Street was one of those fabulous paintings depicting municipal progress offering up a better future by sweeping away the grime, poor housing and poverty and providing sanitation, parks, schools and all the other things needed to make for a civilized life.

I don’t know when it was painted and no one now seems to know anything about it.  I would make special journeys just to look at it.

At some time the canvas was torn and it disappeared in the early 1980s for what I assumed was a repair job but it never returned.

I hope it is safe, and may even have made its way to the Art Gallery but I fear the worst with a decision to put it somewhere  “safe” it is in a basement where it has lingered ever since accumulating a dusty veneer and possibly even a bit of damp.

Worse even than that is the possibility that it will have ended up in a skip.

Location; Manchester

Picture; Library Walk, 2013 from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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