Clearing the way

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Oxford Road and the Mancunian Way. Shops, housing and industrial buildings around Oxford Road were cleared to make way for the future Manchester Polytechnic.

Subsequent to the 1956 White Paper on Technical Education, the government committed itself to building a tranche of new technical colleges. Manchester’s LEA, lacking a centrally located municipal technical college, proposed creating a new Central College of Technology; a substantial site off Oxford Road had been identified in an area once dominated by the cotton mills of the Birley family and the Macintosh Rubber Factory. The Ministry of Education (MoE) was generally supportive of the LEA’s proposal, but the acquisition of the mostly residential site required a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). Home-owners and local small businesses were reluctant to sell, and the subsequent objections resulted in a Public Inquiry. This took place on 30th October, 1958

Hulme sweet Hulme

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Hulme in the 1970s. Dominated by the now demolished Crescents, Hulme’s Victorian ‘slums’ were cleared for a brave new world of high density, deck access housing. Poor build quality and lack of adequate maintenance by Manchester City Council soon led to problems. Large parts of Hulme became home to students and squatters. This cheap (well free really) housing attracted the ‘alternative’ community of the 80s and 90s.

Hulme is now home to the MMU’s new Birley Fields Campus..  a short walk to, and yet a far cry from the bridge made famous by Anton Corbijn’s portrait of Joy Division.