Last week (Friday 25th June 2021) I visited Manchester for the first time since the pandemic began - so that is well over a year now. I live on the edges of the rural beginnings outside of the city sprawl, but in an area which is all too quickly being engulfed by it.
The break has given me an opportunity to consider what it really is about city life that I value. I had come to the conclusion that it was the museum, the libraries, and the art galleries.
It was an odd atmosphere that Friday - the delta variant of the coronavirus is running rife and there is a big effort to suppress that. It was raining, though nothing unusual there. It seemed eerily quiet in places, not the city I remembered at all. This is when I took these photographs.
On the next day though, a Saturday, I came back through the centre. Today the sun was shining, it was gloriously warm and the streets were rammed, full of the city’s youth enjoying the sun and their lives. I make no judgement here about the situation regarding the virus, or social distancing, or masks, or any of those entirely legitimate concerns. But it did make me realise that when it came to the city, I had missed the people too, more than I had realised. People are what cities are about: without them they are nothing but a pile of worked dust.
|Ashburys Station, Manchester line.|
|Passengers waiting, Piccadilly Station, Manchester|
|Platform 1, Piccadilly Station|
|Checkout barriers, Piccadilly Station|
|Piccadilly Station foyer|
|Piccadilly Station approach|
|Setting up stalls, Manchester|
|Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester|
|Debenhams store in Manchester, now permanently closed|
|Woman crossing road, Manchester|
|Ginnel off Market Street, Manchester|
|Arndale Centre, Manchester|
|St Ann's Church, Manchester|
|Central Library, Manchester|