I know the city of Manchester well having been brought up nearby and in later life, working in the city centre on several occasions. So, I have always had an awareness of what I regard as Manchester’s true backstreets – streets named “Back #€*@$+% Street”.
In the 1980s there were almost thirty such streets in the City centre. Now just twelve remain, the others demolished during the city’s regeneration.
Located in the commercial centre of the city, these backstreets are within yards of thriving thoroughfares. Yet they can be deserted, dark, dirty, ugly and cluttered with litter, rubbish and waste bins. They are, however, functional and utilitarian, providing essential service access to the rear of often grand buildings and businesses.
With their origins in the 19th century they now reflect 21st century life and I have set out to show how their current use interfaces with their historic origins before more disappear.