In yesterday’s post, we left Castlefield and, back on Deansgate, we now see the Beetham Tower almost immediately ahead and, after we pass it, we walk slowly towards Victoria Station and Manchester Cathedral at the far end.
Deansgate, hosts many of Manchester’s designer shops, including, in Spinningfields, Armani, DKNY, Mulberry and Flannels. Others, such as Hobbs, pictured above, are located on Deansgate itself. Manchester’s retail trade has not been immune to the global decline in High Street shopping and, on Deansgate, the biggest recent departure is probably that of Kendals – one of the city’s most iconic buildings, about to be transformed by a major revamp into a high-end office development.
Kendals, in its final form as a House of Fraser outlet, claims to date back to 1832 and, possibly, to be the oldest department store in the country.
Just off Deansgate is St Anne’s Square, which I believe was once known as Acresfield. The Square is a pedestrianised conservation area and shopping centre close to the Royal Exchange. The area is sometimes used as an open market. In the photograph above you see a statue of Richard Cobden, a nineteenth century English politician and the seventeenth century St Anne’s Church in the background.
I explained in the Castlefields posts that I’d never visited that area, but my late wife worked in St Anne’s square for a while, when we were first married in the late 1960s, and I remember that it was then home to many up-market fashionable shops. Many of those are no longer there.
The photograph above shows a busker – saxophonist and singer – playing at the base of a statue which commemorates Boer War soldiers. Just visible behind the statue is an entrance to the arcade that I entered next on my route.
This is the impressive entrance into the arcade. The name of the premises on the right echoes the historical name of the area.
Some of the shops had their own charm, but the thing that impressed me most, as I entered, were the sweeping curves of the tiers of paved routes around the arcade. From its St Anne’s Square entrance, the arcade leads straight through to Deansgate (the exit is shown above).
As I walked towards Deansgate – I noticed this passage to the left of the main way through. Again there were sweeping curves. but also a beautiful. high. glazed-roof.
I don’t do a lot of traditional street photography, but I liked this little café on the corner where the passage leads off the main way through.
My second attempt at street photography was this delightful barber’s shop – as it says on the window, ‘For Scoundrels and Gentlemen’. I was amused by the traditional barber’s pole and shoe-shine stand – both just outside the shop’s front door. Just to complete the picture was the flat-capped, bearded barber looking very dapper, seen inside the shop cutting hair.
In tomorrow’s post we’ll be moving on to the Cathedral end of Deansgate.
For today’s Featured Photo, I’ve chosen another shot I took of the arcade as I entered, looking back from the barber’s shop and upwards to the St Anne’s Square entrance.
EXIF Data were: I used my Fujifilm X-T4, 26 MP, cropped-sensor, mirrorless camera paired with a Fujinon XF 10-24 mm f/4 lens. Shutter speed was 1/160 secs @ f/4 and 20 mm. ISO was 160.