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Report - - Primark / Lewis Ballroom - Manchester - Dec 2011 | Other Sites |

Report - Primark / Lewis Ballroom - Manchester - Dec 2011

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big in japan
Regular User
tweek,bigjobs,littlejobs, millhouse

I hate Christmas shopping. This isn’t because I don’t enjoy seeing the faces of my loved ones open their gifts on Christmas day, or because I’m a stingy sod. It’s for the same reason I hate all those annoying life chores that we have to deal with if we want to get on in some way in alignment with western social norms. Going to barbers, paying council tax, keeping appointments with the dentist, food shopping and the like. All of which are put off until the last minute for no other reason than the fact there is always something better to do. Despite my dislike for the above, the one redeeming feature of running this hellish last minute gauntlet at the rear end of December is knowing that I am not alone.

With another 2000 or so other huffing, puffing, single stressed out men on their own on Christmas eve, I took to the streets and tried my best not to end up with a bag of pointless crap for my family to pretend they liked the following morning. My mind is usually on task for the yearly present run, but this year I got distracted.


The Lewis’ ballroom above the Primark in Picadilly gardens in Manchester has been tucked away from view for so many years, its existence started to border on ‘myth’ status by the time Gone et al crashed the asbestos contractor’s party back in 2010. Built in the heyday of the Lewis Department chain in 1877, the grand ballroom, in its later life, became a function and events room once playing host to a signing session hosted by the pre-Munich air disaster Manchester United football team. The Lewis store itself closed in 1991, and continued renting the space the a variety of stores until Primark bought them out and set up shop on the lower levels around 2001.

I’ve no idea if the Primark corporation have plans for the ball room, or if they were just removing the asbestos for giggles and plan to let it sit there gathering dust for another 40 years, but either way, it was a joy to get in and have a nosy first hand.

Getting in and avoiding night staff, we popped up on the top floor, which didn’t have much left in the way of the old girls grand past.


...that was until we came across the old marble door to the ball room, tucked away down a bare unassuming corridoor

in we go..

that's the badger.


The old suspended flooring allowed for the adjustment of tension so determine appropriate ‘springiness’.





Massively pleased to have seen this one, a bona fide gem.

A merry belated xmas. love from fish, tweek, millhouse and the jobs'.

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28DL Member
28DL Member
Can't see this being an easy job now that the Primark stores been refurbished.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
there was a projection room in there as well a friend of mine gained access many years ago and in one of these pics you can see the portholes great stuff


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Does anyone know what the ballrooms been sealed off with? Do you have to go through primark to actually get to it?


big in japan
Regular User
We had to climb the outside of the building to get in here, although it was over 5 years ago. Anything could have happened since then. If it is there it'll still be accessible from the shop, they won't have literally sealed it with bricks.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This is lovely - that roof is awesome ; it looks more like a church/mosque than a ballroom! Even the Lewis's here didn't have anything quite as grand,and that was Lewis's HQ. [although we did have a huge tiled mural in the staff restaurant that's listed now]