Friday, 14 October 2016

Lost and forgotten streets of Manchester .... nu 64 Little David Street, a lost canal a cafe and a plan

Now I doubt that anyone takes a picture of Little David Street.

Little David Street, 2016
It's off Chorlton Street, is very narrow and is closed off by a big gate.

It doesn't seem to have excited any interest and I have yet to find anyone who took a picture so in there interest s of history I did.

Little David Street runs besides that building on the extreme right with the very impressive arch way which around 1972 into 1973 was the library for the old College of Commerce and as such was a place I knew well.

Little David Street, 1849
A century and half before that Little David Street was fronted on its east side by a row of fourteen back to back houses and ran parallel with Back Canal Street.

And both gave access from Chorlton Street to a branch of the Rochdale Canal which stretched from the main canal almost down to what is now Whitworth Street.

The route of this arm of the canal is now underneath the car park and tower block of the Aytoun Street Building and explains why the back of the Minton & Turner warehouse and the one next door open out onto nothing more than an open space.

The canal with the arm off to the left 1955
I can’t say that during my three years in the Aytoun Street Building or as it was then the College of Commerce I knew that under me was that lost bit of canal.

I was there from 1969 to 72 and while some called it Colcom we were happier with the College of Knowledge.  The irony is that part of what I was studying was both Manchester and the Industrial Revolution but that fact that a bit of sat on my doorstep passed me by.

Looking back we could perhaps have been a bit critical of the course which failed to point any of that out but
I suppose back then the landscape was still dominated by so much from the Industrial Revolution it was all just taken for granted.

In time I will go looking for the inhabitants of Little David Street.  They won’t feature on any street directory but they will be on the census returns, and the key will be the landlord of the Mechanics Arms which is there in the first picture and was offering up pints in the 1850s.

The Mechanics Arms and Cafe, Chorlton Street, 1959
So identify him and with a bit of trawling we will find the people of Little David Street.

In the meantime I can’t leave without reflecting on some of the other changes since I was in the College of Knowledge over 34 years ago.

Back then Canal Street was just a street linking Minishull Street with Princess Street, and it was a drab little road made only interesting if you liked canals.

Of course now it is the heart of the Village and part of its space is occupied by tChurchill's.

I remember that corner as the cafe.  I never went into it, pretty much took it for granted and had completely forgotten its existence until now.

And as I posted, Antony sent me this from the MEN, Developers'plans to transform 'Hidden city' city centre into new £150 m district.*

Location; Manchester
Tomorrow; Living in Little David Street



*Developers'plans to transform 'Hidden city' city centre into new £150 m district, MEN, Katie Butler, April 30, 2015  http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-city-centre-kampus-development-9149071 

Pictures; Little David Street, 2016 from the collection of Andrew Simpson, British Waterways narrow boats, proceeding to Hassall's Warehouse, Ducie Street, leaving Chorlton Street Lock, 1955, m54248  Mechanic’s Arms, Chorlton Street, H W Beaumont, 1959,m49952, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass and Little David Street, 1851 from Adshead’s map of Manchester 1851 courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://digitalarchives.co.uk/

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