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Report - Memorial Hall, Manchester - November 2012

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by tweek, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. tweek

    tweek Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
    Regular User

    Jun 14, 2011
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    Memorial Hall and St Andrew's Chambers, Manchester - November 2012

    Visited with Jane D'oh!

    Manchester is commonly referred to as the 'Rainy City'. Tonight is no different.

    Very shortly, hoards of teenagers will be assembling on a very wet November evening for the turning on of the Christmas lights. This year's event is a lot more popular than previous years. I think it has something to do with the appearance of a boyband called The Wanted.

    The plan tonight was to get on a rooftop to watch the fireworks display - centered around Alfred Waterhouse's Gothic Town Hall - but with an enormous exclusion zone set up around Albert Square, due to the sheer saturation of adolescence in attendance, we failed to catch any of what turned out to be a mere 5-minute extravaganza. Instead I stood watching some 15 year olds attempting (badly) to climb a back-up piece of scaffolding outside the perimeter of the event as the pitiful display echoed around the side-streets.

    To quote the aforementioned boyband's sexed-up lyrics, "Glad you came?"

    Erm, "No, not really."

    Not wanting to give up completely, we waited for some of the crowd to disperse over a quick drink, and made our way back to Albert Square for the original target. A quick climb, and then a short excursion through the internal floors of the building (which are being renovated), we made our way to the roof. In 1910, French Impressionist Adolphe Valette painted the bleak Edwardian Square as seen from directly below our planned vantage point - and I think to myself looking at his painting - maybe Manchester, misery and melancholy are married...


    Memorial Hall was constructed between 1863 and 1866 by Thomas Worthington. His rooftop would have provided a perfect platform to witness the fireworks emanating from his rival's Town Hall building. The two had competed against each other for the commission. Worthington did manage to win the consolation prize of the Albert Memorial statue in the centre of the Square though.


    St Andrew's Chambers next door to the Memorial Hall would also have been ideal - as it has little turrets and arched windows designed, by the architect George Tunstall Redmayne in 1874, so that people could fire arrows at boyband's such as The Wanted.


    Uncovered a funny little association with this architect and Alfred Waterhouse...

    Redmayne's dad employed Waterhouse in the 1850s. Redmayne became Waterhouse's pupil and then assistant. Then he ran Waterhouse's Manchester office after Waterhouse set up in London. Then Redmayne married Waterhouse's sister Katherine and had two kids having set up his own practice in Manchester in 1869. In 1880, Redmayne built the Manchester School of Art building in Cavendish Street where Adolphe Valette would later teach and inspire L. S. Lowry to paint bleak interpretations of the urban landscape of the North West.


    MemorialHall5.jpg MemorialHall4.jpg


    Having been forced into a comical exit through the inside of the building and out through the bar on the ground floor, we went to meet Sho and consoled our dire evening over a quick drink.


    :Not Worthy


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