Archive for 04/03/2014

Municipal Dreams

In 1978 the chair of Manchester City Council’s Housing Committee described the Hulme Crescents development as an ‘absolute disaster – it shouldn’t have been planned, it shouldn’t have been built’. (1)   By that time, the estate was already a byword for the failure – worse, the inhumanity – of sixties’ mass public housing. That reputation has lingered long after the demolition of the Crescents in 1994.

This won’t be a revisionist piece but let’s at least look a little more closely at what went wrong.

The Crescents The Crescents

As we saw when we looked at the city’s early municipal housing in Ancoats, Manchester was the ‘shock city’ of the Industrial Revolution.  Hulme was also the home of many of those first industrial workers.  In 1914, a Special Committee of the City Council reported a population of 63,177 living there in just 13,137 homes, 11,506 of which lacked baths or any laundry…

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Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

As I’m coming to the end of my traineeship this will be my final blog entry! Over the past 17 months I have had such a fantastic time here at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse and I can’t put a figure on the amount of brilliant moments and opportunities that I have been part of. Everything that I have done and all the wonderful people that I have met will always stay with me.

Out of all of the experiences and projects I have been part of the one that I am most proud of is the Centenary Wood Rejuvenation Project. The woodland, located behind the main building at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, was planted in 1989 to celebrate the Centenary of the County Council. But since then not much has been done to it in terms of management, and so it was far too linear and close together to be…

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