Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Exploring the River Irk .........and travelling to Scotland via Victoria Railway Station

Now, there is something quite awesome about the spot where the Irk goes over the weir by Cheetham Hill Road.

It is I suppose the contrast between the slow mowing water as it reaches that stone wall and then the cascading bubbling swirl of water that disappears off under the bridge.

I first encountered it way back in the 1990s, when you could access the view from a stair way down from the main road.

Back then it was not the most edifying of places, and you had to pick your way past accumulated rubbish including discarded sleeping bags, empty bottles and much worse.

But you got a fine view of the river and across to that oddly named street Scotland.

Back then the area behind Scotland was open ground but like so much of what was once the run down bits of the city has become tall blocks of apartments and hotels.

But amongst all these examples of modern city living there is still the bits that take you back to our industrial past and the squalid housing that was crammed in the dismal and dark streets.

And over the next few weeks I will be revisiting that grim side of Manchester and renew an interest in a tiny stretch of streets that made up John Street, and Back Irk Street while also posting more of Andy Robertson’s pictures of the area.

He was down there yesterday and playfully introduced the collection with the title, "had a couple of hours spare, so decided to go to Scotland via Victoria" and not content with that added “this is Scotland where the Irk makes its final disappearance before meeting the Irwell.  Didn't spot any kilts though”.

Location; Manchester

Pictures; the Irk, 2018, from the collection of Andy Robertson


  1. I shall look forward to more posts about this area as 10 Scotland was one of the addresses that my great gran lived it with her family the house stood a short distance from the river. I've managed to find a photograph of the street which was taken in 1936 when the street was in the process of being demolished the houses were still in situ and had about five steps leading up to the front door you can see the cellar windows in the photograph. According to Friedrich Engels book Conditions of the Working Class the cellars used to flood with water as the level of the Irk rose and in at one time in the houses history the cellars were rented out as sleeping space. My great gran lived in on Scotland with her family and extended family from around 1918 - May - early June 1921 by 1923 the family had moved to 36 Greengate the premises formerly known as the Flying Dutchman Pub. I've walked along the Scotland many times there is a flight of stairs at the end which leads up to the bottom of Cheetham Hill Road the stench from the river can be quite overwhelming.

  2. So interesting and the Flying Dutchman has appeared on the blog.