Posts tagged andrew brooks photography

Please bear with me and this current radio silence - I’m building a new website (whilst trying to teach myself exactly how to do such a tedious thing).
My next article is going to be an exploration of some underground bridges with photographer Andrew Brooks so hopefully it will launch on the new site within the next week.
There’s going to be much bigger photos (finally) and a calendar page for tours and events, and architecture and urban planning book reviews, it’s going to be a lot more work but I’ll also have an outlet for a separate blog page away from the main bulk of articles so I can update you with what exactly I get up to when I’m not writing articles, and going behind the scenes on research projects. 
Thanks for your patience. See you on the other side…

Please bear with me and this current radio silence - I’m building a new website (whilst trying to teach myself exactly how to do such a tedious thing).

My next article is going to be an exploration of some underground bridges with photographer Andrew Brooks so hopefully it will launch on the new site within the next week.

There’s going to be much bigger photos (finally) and a calendar page for tours and events, and architecture and urban planning book reviews, it’s going to be a lot more work but I’ll also have an outlet for a separate blog page away from the main bulk of articles so I can update you with what exactly I get up to when I’m not writing articles, and going behind the scenes on research projects. 

Thanks for your patience. See you on the other side…

Manchester Airport

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Manchester Airport evokes great memories for me, not so much the flying away to a far off land, rather it makes me remember the air-fix models you could buy from duty free and of the plane spotters gathered together on the roof of the airport with their radios that tuned in to air traffic control. My dad wasn’t quite a plane spotter but we did have those models around the house and he did take me to loiter behind people who had those radios. I’m sure he would have liked a radio of his own someday but this stealth listening had two selling points, it was effortless and it was free.

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In the summertime, as a child, the airport was our most popular haunt. We’d wander around the great lounge marvelling at those huge Venetian glass chandeliers that hung so majestically amidst the shops in the departure lounge.

The chandeliers weigh almost 2 tons each and were designed by royal architect Stefan Buzas, originally the chandeliers included pieces of coloured glass but during a cleanup to remove tobacco stains it was decided that the the design would be modernised by the removal of the coloured shards.

imageCirca 1963

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(photo courtesy of Flickr user Pagan555) and taken from an earlier version of this article for my postcards blog Lost Touch.

The chandeliers were removed from the airport entirely in 2003, one is housed at St Helens World of Glass (here), a second is at MOSI but remains in storage to this day having never been displayed, and a third was purportedly used as part of Helen Maurer’s Light Landing piece at Tatton Biennial. Number four’s location is a mystery.

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Once my dad and I had browsed the travel gadgets on sale and leafed through the albums in the music shop we’d head over to the runway. And it’s the runway that’s the reason for my visit today - to explore the old air traffic control tower with photographer Andrew Brooks.

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imageThe new control tower, built to replace this one, was built in just nine days and opened last summer on the airport’s 75th anniversary, it was nominated for the Building of the Year by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, but lost out to Number One Riverside in Rochdale.

Here in the original control tower there’s a palpable feeling of abandonment - some electronic displays are still lit up as if the last person to leave did so in a hurry,

Dodge Hill

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photos by Andrew Brooks 

These days a modern urban environment often makes it difficult to realise the origins of a town, of how it was formed, why its location was vital to its survival or even to properly step back and see the lie of the land. Stockport thrived because of the standstone cliffs it was formed around and there’s plenty of evidence of this all around you to this day.

Dodge Hill_Manchester_Skyliner_Andrew Brooks

At one particular location on the edge of town there’s a sandstone cliff face and if you’d peered through the trees here until very recently you’d have also noticed there was once a door. 

That was until now - the doorway has been sealed up and what lies behind it is documented here for the very last time. This is Dodge Hill.

Beneath Trafford Town Hall

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with photos by Andrew Brooks

If you’d ever looked closely enough at the shrubbery around Talbot Road you may just have uncovered an emergency entrance to Trafford Town Hall’s cold war bunker.

The entrance, pictured above, led to a series of rooms and passageways with concrete walls and steel doors but is now just an open space devoid of any fixtures or fittings and, at the time of our visit, flooded.

Beneath Trafford Town Hall_Manchester_Skyliner_Andrew Brooks

In November 1980, Manchester City council declared the city a nuclear free zone, and when this bunker was proposed a few years later, despite Trafford itself not being part of the zone, the anti-war feeling amongst the community led to opposition from the residents of Trafford borough.

Hulme Hippodrome

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With photos by Andrew Brooks

Although you’d never know it from the rather dowdy, reclad exterior, inside this Hulme building you can time travel.

On October 10th 1901, exactly 110 years prior to our visit, the Hulme Hippodrome as it is now known opened its doors as a spectacular melodrama venue.

Hulme Hippodrome_Manchester_Skyliner_Andrew Brooks

Originally named the Grand Junction Theatre and Floral Hall (which explains the neighbouring pub; the Junction Hotel, which has an unexplained missing third floor as illustrated in the video below),


If you’re a photographer or curator and would like to collaborate on a piece; if you're interested in booking me as an alternative tour guide; or if you’re neither of those things and are simply curious about places I’ve been to and would like to know more, then why not ask me a question; drop me a line; say hello…

I can also provide help with location scouting throughout Greater Manchester
You can email me if you'd prefer theskyliner.org@gmail.com