Friday, 12 August 2016

Lost and forgotten streets of Manchester .......... nu 17 New Brown Street ... the one under the Arndale

New Brown Street from Market Street, 1903
Now I vaguely knew about New Brown Street but it took Matthew Cobham to bring the place out of the shadows.

“New Brown Street, heading east off Market Street and now under the Arndale, was one of my haunts in the 70s. 

The original home of On the Eighth Day and the headquarters of Mike Don's Mole Express underground paper (originally called Moul Express, but no one got the reference or knew how to pronounce it.”

It ran from Market Street up to Withy Grove, and by the 1970s had seen better days but offered up a fascinating mix of shops to visit including as Matthew said the first On the Eighth Day.

Back Cannon Street, 1937
Go back to the beginning of the 20th century and a walk along this narrow and twisty street would offer up the usual range of small textile businesses, some bigger cotton and woollen manufacturers along with the odd small engineering factory.  But above all it was a place dominated by tailors.

Fifty years earlier in  1851 and the directory lists twenty-five businesses mostly describing themselves as merchants, or manufactures.

I can’t remember exactly when New Brown Street vanished and it will have still been there when I washed up in the city in 1969, but sadly for me I have no memory of the place making it truly one of the lost streets of Manchester.

And with its passing also went those small side streets, like Swan Lane, Back Sugar Lane, Back Cannon Street and Peel Street, some of which led off to closed courts and a labyrinth of even smaller thoroughfares.

New Brown Street, 1973
Some of these like Marsden Court were only accessed through tiny entries and once inside you were pretty much locked into a different world.

All gone as is Mole Express which I had entirely forgotten about Matthew.

Location Manchester

Pictures; New Brown Street from Market Street, 1903, City Engineers, m03562,  Back Cannon Street from New Brown Street, 1937, m74955, New Brown Street, A P Morris, 1973 m03619, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php

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