This week, I got this amazing book through the post: Full Time At Maine Road by Len Grant.
It’s an amazing collection of photographs taken during the demolition of the old Manchester City stadium, at Maine Road, which is only just a few streets away from where I live. Although the stadium was gone by the time I moved in to the area, it’s fascinating seeing the difference such an imposing structure would have had on the streets around here. Neighbours popping in to my house have also got completely absorbed in the book, recognising streets and people in the pages.
In the past year another Moss Side landmark even closer to home, the old Stagecoach Bus Depot, has been demolished, leaving a gaping hole in these otherwise densely packed, terraced streets. Obviously (with it being on my doorstep), I took a few photos as it was coming down but what will be even more fascinating to me, is the ongoing development of this site and I plan to document that.
Amazingly, Manchester City Council have kindly agreed to, and given funding for, a community food growing project which will be set up temporarily whilst developers are sought. They had been looking to identify unused, vacant sites across Manchester to be handed over to community groups in this way, and this will be the first example to be granted permission for use as a ‘Meanwhile’ site.
It’s really exciting. As you can see, it’s an ENORMOUS plot, and to get some green going on in there, as well as doing something so positive and productive, will be really valuable for this area of Moss Side. Yesterday, we got notice of the planning application for it, and I know the steering group have already been busy buying in planters, so hopefully they will be able to move onto it before the end of the summer!
(I came across Len Grant through one of his current projects, Her First Year, which is an superb and interesting photo-study following Frances and her baby daughter, Mia, through the first year of her life. So, dear reader, you really should go on and have a look at that blog!)