Monday, 27 June 2016

The morning after the party

Redevelopment underway at the Linotype factory
It was the morning after the party at Lymm today. Around the streets litter collectors cleared the debris, shops changed their window displays back to normal and boats gradually pulled their pins and slipped away.
We headed on towards Manchester – a few pretty miles of countryside soon giving way to the urban sprawl of greater Manchester.
The notable landmark along a muddle of messy factories and modern apartment blocks is the magnificent Victorian Linotype factory at Altringham. It manufactured the machines which revolutionised printing, particularly for newspapers and magazines. They were typsetting machines using which an operator could create or set lines of type at a time, thus enabling speedy setting up of pages for printing maybe several edition changes of each day's paper.
At its height the Altringham works employed over 10,000 people and built a 'model village' for its employees: 185 houses with gardens and allotments, two football grounds, four tennis courts, a cricket ground and more, all set amid tree-lined roads.
Computerised typesetting spelled the end for the industry and we've passed the forlorn, empty works several times. It came as a surprise this time to find demolition and redevelopment now underway. Apparently the site will be used for housing but the famous – and listed – main buildings will become commercial buildings. Maybe next time we pass through it will all be completed; another sign of the slow and gradual revitalisation of this neighbourhood.
Waters Meeting: right for Manchester, left for us
As we near Manchester, the canal divides at Waters Meeting, swinging right towards central Manchester while we turned left towards Wigan. The huge Kelloggs factory soon loomed into sight – though we'd been smelling Corn Flakes for several miles now. The works was once supplied by huge Duker barges like Parbella we'd seen yesterday at Lymm but water transport, sadly, is long gone.
Tonight we are moored outside the massive Trafford Centre, shopping heaven for Mancunians but not, I think for us.
Huge Kelloggs factory - you can smell cornflakes for miles

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