Wythenshawe isolated?

A image of Hulme taken from the top of the Chatham Building (c.1965) showing the cleared site for the construction of the new Hulme. You’ll note the Princess Parkway has not been built yet and some of old Hulme still exists beyond the flat expanse of clearance.

Although the spoof new site NewsManc is pretty funny, I think most residents of Wythenshawe already see their area and thoroughly isolated from the rest of Manchester.

Built as a Garden Suburb in the 1920s, modelled on Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities projects at Letchworth and Welwyn. With further construction in the 1960s it became home to thousands of people rehoused after the 19th Century terraced slums of Hulme were pulled down. This process and it’s reconstruction is recorded in this unique collection of images held by the Manchester School of Art Visual Resources Centre. A population used to living a 10 minute walk way from the city centre we now 10 miles away on the border of Cheshire.

Another example of paternalistic planners and politicians of the post-war era planning a bright new future for all, and forgetting that the people they were rehousing were just that, people with lives friends, social lives, jobs and traditional that were specific to their location in Hulme.

All my posts on this site also appear on my personal blog at http://aviewfromtheinterior.net/

Wythenshawe Forum (c.1975) deserted as well as isolated it would seem?


About Michael Coates

Michael is a Principal Lecturer for Contextual Studies at the Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, and a PhD student in architecture history at the Univeristy of Sheffield.

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