Great Abel - the bell of Manchester Town Hall’s clock tower.
Autumn in Manchester is one of my favourite times of the year for one reason only and that is the calendar of events. The Science Festival, Literature Festival, Food and Drink Festival, Comedy Festival, the Manchester Weekender and preceeding all of those, there’s the nationwide, National Heritage Open Days. And it’s that particular event which leads me the Town Hall.
There are 14 million bricks in the Town Hall and delicate images of cotton flowers and bees are set into the mosaic floors to signify the origins of our wealth and the industrious nature of our people. In the Great Hall there’s the famous Ford Madox Brown’s Manchester mural complete with a depiction of a tee-total Bridgewater glugging wine and the dark, gothic courtyard has been the set of many a London street, most recently in Sherlock Holmes and The Crimson Petal and the White. But of all the wonders of the building there is one we don’t even see from street level.