In 2012 the CIS tower celebrated it’s 50th year (as well as it being the international year of the Co-Op) and this year the new headquarters at Angel Place will open. In tribute and celebration Skyliner presents an exclusive look at the 1962 commemorative brochure.
Thank you to S.L. Scott for the beautiful artwork in the image above and to the Co-Operative for allowing reproduction of the brochure.
"The Directors of the C.I.S have pleasure in enclosing Commemorative Booklet of that great occasion on 22nd October, 1962, when H.R.H. The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T., so graciously opened the new building in the presence of a large number of guests from Home and Overseas.
It is hoped much pleasure will be derived from the contents of this souvenir booklet and that the typescript of what was said on that notable occasion will recall many happy memories.”
"New Head Office premises of the Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd, Miller Street, Manchester, England"
"To the applause of a large crowd that had gathered in Miller Street, Prince Philip, accompanied by Rt. Hon. The Earl of Derby, M.C., Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, walks to entrance where he was greeted by Messrs. Wild and Dinnage, who accompanied him on his tour of the building."
"(Top right) The first visit is 60 feet below ground to the Control Room
The Crescent occupies part of a row of houses and opened as a licensed dining room in the 1860s.
The first pub in Greater Manchester to be granted a 24 hour drinking license, home of free chip barms and the pub in which Marx and Engels are said to have met and certainly considered it their favourite back when the pub was named The Red Dragon.
When developers tried to turn the venue into student accommodation a few years back, the regular customers campaigned against it and successfully sol the building was granted listed status and is now protected.
The surrounding of the pub are interesting also. Cross Lane to the rear is home to the The Buck Hotel where Buffalo Bill spent an evening drinking before punching his taxi driver in the face and thus revoking his freedom of the city award before it was even granted.
If you wander a little further past the pub you’ll find yourself in Fire Station Square. This site was home to Salford Fire Station and the firemen’s houses that surround it.
Aside from the striking architecture here it’s also the location of Salford’s smallest listed building in the form of the red telephone box. There are two left in Salford, the other being in Worsley.
The red telephone box is the most successful K6 model and was home to an art installation during 2013 titled 'Conversations We Wish We'd Had'.
The K6 was designed by architect Giles Gilbert Scott who completed Battersea Power Station; the redesign of Tate Modern; and, at the age of 21 (with no experience), he won a competition to design Liverpool Cathedral as part of a larger team of five.
Scott died in 1960 and the cathedral was finished some 18 years later. He is now buried with his wife at the entrance to the cathedral and in his honour a K6 red telephone box stands at the site.
In the centre of Fire Station Square is a monument of a sphinx, unveiled in 1922 this is a war memorial in honour of The Lancashire Fusiliers.
The Working Class Movement Library is also situated close by at Jubilee House. The original library was at the home of founders Edmund and Ruth Frow, on Kings Road in Old Trafford.
Expecting an imminent change in our social system “that the country will be governed by those who produce the wealth, that there will be a need and a longing to know what preceded these changes”, the couple merged their book collection in 1953 and it continued to grow until it took over their home, lining the walls of every room except the kitchen and bathroom and spilling out into the garage.
Further along The Crescent is the site of Salford Art School where local artist Ken Reid studied.
Named Best Writer and Best Artist by The British Society of Strip Illustrators in 1978, he created the character of Rodger the Dodger for The Beano (for a time, The Beano and Dandy were actually printed just off Chapel Street by printing firm DC Thomson).
Ken was in the middle of illustrating a cartoon character by the name of Faceache when he suffered a fatal stroke. He is buried at Agecroft Cemetery where a plaque emblazoned with an image of his creation Fudge the Elf adorns the gravestone.
This article is taken from Skyliner From the Other City. An alternative guide to Sounds From the Other City.
Photo by Jennifer Brookes.
It’s hard to place City Tower, formerly Sunley Tower, in the brutalist pigeonhole these days. It’s a white beacon of modernism guiding you across China Town, a siren of the 60s beckoning you towards it from its podium behind the classical architecture of King Street. It’s the third tallest building in the city, and remains the highest commercial office space.
And set within its facade is a concrete tribute to the scientific achievements of the city, because look closely - those gable walls are a giant circuit board.
Completed in 1964 it was originally named Sunley
My latest article for the wonderful Now Then - the layout and naming convention of streets. Featuring a housing estate in Chorlton and a series of American grid-style streets in Trafford Park…
There’s a long-vacated wine shop in Chorlton, the exterior of which is flanked by two huge bay windows and the blue frames are that kind of salt-eroded, windswept pastel found only on British waterfronts and in polaroids. Traversing the suburban landscape that surrounds the wine shop the houses begin to take on the same seaside form, it’s subtle and difficult to pinpoint the exact similarities but they’re definitely there and that’s when you notice the street signs: Fairhaven, St Annes, Lytham, Cleveleys, and it’s quite serendipitous but there’s long winding road that wraps around this estate and it goes by the name of Sandy Lane - a tarmac beach. Were these houses designed to mirror the architecture of our seaside resorts or have the streets, like dogs that resemble their owners, taken on the characteristics of the towns they’re named after?
Le Corbusier famously outlined his plans for a new Paris in his manifesto The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning. The streets that had grown from the paths of least resistance, those traced by meandering pack-donkeys during medieval times, were not efficient for modern man. To Le Corbusier the city was a mechanism and neither character nor exploration were necessary components of his well-oiled machine. The streets in his vision were laid out in meticulous order, exact geometry that suited and served the way of man, and not the way of the donkey. Manchester, like much of the UK, is part man and a whole lot of donkey. But not entirely. Some of the order found within the grid layout of new transatlantic cities, their blocks and their numerical naming convention, made it to Manchester.
The water tower of the Westinghouse factory, Trafford Village. Image care of Metropolitan Vickers
In 1886 American owned Westinghouse Electrical Company built besides the Bridgewater Canal on what had been meadows up until the completion of the Manchester Ship Canal. Westinghouse pulled out all the stops to have his enormous factory built in record time along with a model village for his workers. He based his Trafford Park Village on the regimented blocks of America and provided four avenues and twelve streets of housing, small businesses and community centres. Today the streets have been altered somewhat but this grid layout still exists to some degree
New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road was the location of the BBC headquarters for the North-West of England from inauguration on 18 June 1976 until it was demolished during the final months of 2012. Today a small part of the entrance wall still remains, and the road it once straddled is lined with bollards bearing the BBC logo in place of the standard Manchester bee.
The art galleries of a city are larger in number than you first perceive if you look not only to the official institutions but to the galleries that are formed in the corridors of hotels and the stairwells of office blocks.
One particularly exhaustive collection in the city is that of The Midland Hotel’s Wyverne Restaurant. Here in the Wyverne (every Midland hotel has a Wyverne restaurant) is the work of photographer Eadweard Muybridge.
The totems of Salford University’s Allerton Building, and other works by William Mitchell.
"I don’t give a hoot if you don’t like them, just as long as you look at them"
Whilst on The Crescent in Salford, continue towards Salford University’s Allerton Building and there you will find the striking Minut Men by William Mitchell.
Perhaps the first critique of this concrete trio was by Prince Philip, in 1967 when he opened what was then the Technical College, and exclaimed ‘What the hell is that?”.
Return of the Mancograph - Version 2 now available…
I suspect that many of Skyliner’s readers will also be familiar with the architectural sage that is Eddy Rhead. Eddy is on my dream line-up in my imaginary quiz team, admittedly the quiz that we’re playing is Strike It Lucky but my imagination is too full up with concrete and Portland stone to make room for anything more taxing.
Eddy’s latest venture is the beautiful Mancograph, we previously gave away a print of Mancograph V1 and now the second version is available to buy - but it’s of very limited stock so grab one quickly.
The Arndale Centre’s lofty lookout
Recent news that Zhuzhou, China had built villas on the roof of a shopping mall sparked excitement across the world with the concept being labelled as the future of urban planning, however, this future had already been realised, in 1981, on top of Manchester’s Arndale Centre.
The Arndale Centre from above, circa 1980
Cromford Court, known to tenants as ‘the podium’, was a housing association venture by Manchester City Council. In all there were 60 flats on the rooftops of the Arndale Centre