fbpx
Connect with us
https://propermanchester.com.temp.link/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/secret-suppers-advert.jpg

Feature

Mancunians are sharing their memories of the Manchester Riots 10 years on

People have been sharing what they remember from Manchester’s ‘darkest day’

Avatar photo

Published

on

Richard Hopkins / Flickr

On August 6th, 2011, London descended into chaos as thousands of rioters and looters took to the streets in protests against the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham.

As Mancunians watched the racially-motivated violence unfold from the safety of their homes in the North, most believed that their city would never stoop to the astonishing levels of the rioting and looting ongoing in the capital.

Much to their dismay, however, they were mistaken.

Days later on August 9th, crowds began to gather at Salford Precinct with the intent to partake in pre-organised crime and violence. Fast-forward twelve hours and the entire shopping centre had been ransacked, countless police officers, firefighters and reporters had been attacked and the violence had slowly begun to trickle into Manchester’s city centre.

Phil Long / Flickr

Before long, shops in the Arndale shopping centre had been smashed up and Market Street lay in ruin as it fell victim to thousands of pounds worth of very deliberate damage. In total, hundreds of people were arrested, 400 calls had been made to the region’s fire service and over a thousand incidents had been recorded.

Ten years have now passed since the events of August 9th 2011 unfolded and, to this very day, it is still known and remembered as one of the darkest days ever experienced in Manchester. So, to mark the anniversary of the riots in true style, Mancunians have been taking to Reddit to share their own memories and personal experiences from the riots.

Here are some of the most stand out stories…

‘Absolute chaos.’

Sphinx111 wrote: “It was my first time in Manchester ever. I was completely unaware that this was happening. I got off the train at Piccadilly, and started wandering into the city to find a bus to the Trafford centre. Absolute Chaos. Wasn’t really sure what to do, so I just kept walking through it all with my headphones on and nodding here and there at anyone who gave a funny look to the guy in his late 30’s in Chinos just strolling along. A year later I moved here and haven’t looked back.”

Raymond Yau / Wikimedia Commons

‘Got a refund for the cinema.’

DeadCretin wrote: “I remember being in the Trafford Centre and there were plenty of people with hoods up, balaclavas etc congregating outside so they closed everything early, and I got a refund for the cinema.”

‘The apartment stank of smoke all night from the fires everywhere.’

Glittery_Mermaid wrote: “Got told to get home from work as soon as possible around 4ish, had to pop over to Tesco on Market St. before walking home to our apartment. The atmosphere was so tense and panicky. Got to Trinity Way and some chav lad threw a scone at my boyfriend out of a car before they all jumped out further up near the arena to go off looting. The apartment stank of smoke all night from the fires everywhere so we had to keep the windows shut and it was roasting.”

‘That’s normal for Salford, isn’t it?’

ColdChancer wrote: “I remember it was building up and telling a lecturer that there was a helicopter and riot police at Salford precinct. His response was just, ‘That’s normal for Salford isn’t it?'”

Richard Hopkins / Flickr

‘I will always remember the people who volunteered to clean the centre the next day.’

Dragon8723 wrote: “I was working 12 – 8 in Spinningfields so I was on lunch 3 – 4, I remember how eerily quiet Manchester Centre was, the only people I saw were going home other than teenage lads on bikes. I went back to work at 4pm and no work was done for the rest of the day, no phone calls into the centre and everybody just watching the news on their phone. We watched the news as the rioting got closer and we were finally allowed to leave once of the windows in our building get smashed. Weird day. ETA: although the night when the riots happened was awful, I will always remember the people who volunteered to clean the centre the next day, including parents with their kids.”

‘The Subway on Portland Street had a handwritten sign in the window that said ‘Closed due to impending collapse of society.’’

SwissJAmes wrote: “Was a very weird time in Manchester- there had been riots in London the night before, and it just became more and more inevitable that things would kick off here too. I remember the Subway on Portland Street had a handwritten sign in the window that said ‘Closed due to impending collapse of society.’ Was on Market Street at around 4pm as the Arndale was closing early, all of the shops were kind of watching what the others were doing, and when the shutters came down on a few of them- that was it, they all barricaded in.”

Yohan Euan / Wikimedia Commons

‘It just seemed like everyone was taking an opportunity to kick windows in.’

SubtractAd wrote: “I remember chaos on Portland Street, the shops were smashed up etc. The musical instrument shop was badly affected. You couldn’t actually get into the city centre as they were police surrounding it. It just seemed like everyone taking an opportunity to kick windows in. I’d never seen anything like it.”

‘I felt trapped in my flat so I fished a bottle of jäger out of the freezer.’

Spangledpirate wrote: “I was living near the top end of Dale Street at the time, obviously the main route from Piccadilly station to the shopping area is down the main drag but a lot of the looters snuck down Dale Street instead to avoid police. I felt trapped in my flat so fished a bottle of jäger out of the freezer (wow it really was 2011) and had a couple of shots while I watched the noise and chaos from above. I remember going out to help clean up the next day and seeing the Vans shop and Dr Herman’s all smashed up.”

Feature

Remembering Manchester’s lost underground market that now lies empty beneath the city

Do you have memories of shopping in the underground Market Centre?

Avatar photo

Published

on

Manchester's Finest Group & Urban Sherman / YouTube

Manchester used to have an underground market that now lies abandoned beneath the city centre.

If you walk along Market Street, you’re walking above what used to be the Market Centre – an underground shopping area filled with stalls and units selling music, clothes and a variety of other essential and non-essential items.

The underground Market Centre opened in 1972 and was a busy and bustling shopping emporium, much like the Arndale and Market Street both are today.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Punks would shop there for outfits, music fans could browse through the vinyl record shops and buy tickets to gigs at Piccadilly Box Office. It even had a Stolen from Ivor – which was the first place in Manchester to sell the jeans brand Levi’s, and where many would flock to get their hands on a pair of 501s.

Fashion addicts could hit up shops including Roxy, Oasis and Justins as well as a number of other boutique stalls, including the leather shop, for cool jackets.

DJs could sift through the collections at Underground Records Import and fans could shop at iconic music stalls including Collectors Records, Yvonne’s Record Stall, and the Spinn Inn Disc Centre.

Manchester’s Finest Group
Manchester’s Finest Group

The Market Centre was the place to be throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s until it closed down in 1989.

The entrance to it was located on Brown Street, with two other entrances on Norfolk Street and Spring Gardens. It had escalators going down under the pavement that led to this total treasure trove.

If you head to the Tesco on Market Street and go down to the lower level, you’re actually in what used to be part of the underground market.

But now it has fallen into disrepair, with the odd urban explorer who has dared to delve into the depth of the city to see what remains of this now eerie, decaying ghost market.

Urban Sherman / YouTube
Urban Sherman / YouTube

One explorer, known as Urban Sherman on YouTube, went down to have a look at what’s left of these once bustling underground stalls. Finding a way into where the old main entrance was located, down by the side of Tesco behind the food trailer, he climbs in and lands on the old steps with tiled walls.

As torches light up the dark depths of the city, we can see wires hanging, rubble strewn across the floor, graffiti on walls and one rusty sign that reads: “factory prices.”

It appears a wall of breeze blocks has been put up to block off any entry along the halls of the former market with the rest of it inaccessible, only to live on in the memories of those who once shopped there, and in old archived photographs.

Got a story to tell?

Have you got a story or video you think our audience will love? We want to hear from you, drop us an email on submit@propermanchester.com and we’ll get back to you.

Continue Reading

Feature

The legendary nightclubs that Mancunians would most like to bring back

Remember any of these?

Avatar photo

Published

on

Google Maps & Fifth Avenue / Facebook

We asked our readers which nightclubs that no longer exist they would choose to bring back – and we got some great answers.

If you could choose just one, which would it be?

Here’s a list of former nightclubs that people would love to see return, as chosen by Proper Manchester readers.

Peter Forster / Facebook

The Boardwalk

The Boardwalk was a nightclub based on Little Peter Street in Manchester which was open from 1986 to 1999. It was a multi-floor nightclub, gig venue and rehearsal complex all in one.

It’s where Oasis played their first ever gig in 1992 and saw many notable bands that were a part of the Madchester music scene, including the likes of Inspiral Carpets, Doves, Happy Mondays, James and more. These days, it’s used as an office space.

There’s a blue plaque bolted to the wall which reads: “Remember me. I was something once.” It has a yellow smiley face in a nod to the Madchester acid house era.

Sophie C. / Yelp

Club Phoenix

Located on University Precinct, on Oxford Road, this sweatbox of a student dive would have music blaring on different nights, playing everything from indie bangers to dance classics and everything in between.

It was a scream club filled with young students looking for cheap drinks and cheap thrills too. There were plenty of messy drunken shenanigans. Being close to the Academy, it would be a great place for the young ‘uns to go for pre-gig bevvies.

blueskies /MDMarchive

The New Continental Club

The New Continental Club was on Harter Street, Manchester and opened in 1967. It was affectionately known as The Conti. It closed in 2001 and became The Tube nightclub, which has also since closed.

Many nurses and frontline emergency services workers frequented The Conti and many say they experienced some of the best nights out of their lives. 

The narrow staircase would lead down to the basement club, food would be served through a hatch and the queues to the toilets could be as long as your arm – they were pretty minging too.

Google Maps

Discotheque Royales

Built in 1845, the building was originally made to be an amphitheatre. But in 1921 it was changed into a cinema after facing stiff competition from the Palace Theatre and Opera House.

After being used as a bingo hall, the historic landmark then became one of Manchester’s most iconic nightclubs known by most as ‘Royales’, since 1989. In later years it went on to become Infinity and M-Two but Royales was legendary throughout the ‘90s.

Inside, it had many levels and a huge dance floor that was meant to look like it was lit up under a huge chandelier. With long draped velvet curtains, lights and reflective mirrors everywhere, it was party central.

DJ Brutus Gold held Love Train nights there until the show moved to the Ritz in 2000.

Fifth Avenue / Facebook

Fifth Avenue

This club started out as Legend, which became known as Manchester’s ‘other club’ during the ‘80s and the height of the Hacienda era, and saw top DJs who also played nights at Wigan Pier.

When it became Fifth Ave it was transformed into an indie music haven. As revellers walked down into the dingy basement and the whiff of cheap bleach in the air would hit them in the face, some of the best tunes from Manchester bands would be blasting, as partygoers walked straight across the sticky floor to the bar where they’d order a drink served in a plastic cup.

Club-goers soon got to know that if you went up to request a song from the DJ, it wouldn’t get played. In later years, it became known simply as Fifth, after owners tried a bit of a refresh.

But as the pandemic hit, the club sat empty and shuttered, and sadly never to return as it closed for good in 2021.

BhamUrbanNewsUK & BBC / Youtube

Twisted Wheel Club

It quickly became a Manchester institution after opening in the ‘60s, attracting mods across the North looking for somewhere to dance all night to rhythm and blues.

Before Twisted Wheel, clubs would play mainstream popular music. This Manchester establishment was groundbreaking and paved the way for how nightclubs would play different music genres to suit various tastes in the future.

Twisted Wheel, based on Swan Street, was a legendary haven for Northern Soul enthusiasts. It closed for a while in 1971, being renamed Placemate 7, then Follies. The club closed for good in 2021.

Thunderdome / YouTube

Thunderdome

If the Hacienda was too pretentious for you, or you got turned away at the door, there was another legendary Madchester club playing all the great acid house music buzzing dancers wanted to rave the night away to – it was called the Thunderdome.

Located at 255 Oldham Road, this club was all about the music. It was edgier, full of all walks of life and was even home to some of Manchester’s criminal underworld. Many fondly referred to it as the ‘Dome.

Initially, although it felt a bit dangerous, nobody wanted any trouble, they just wanted to get off their trolley and enjoy the music. But over the years there were police raids and even helicopters circling the club as well as undercover officers wearing yellow smiley face T-shirts mingling in amongst the hooligans, gang members and just generally dodgy people.

Unfortunately, its rough reputation has stuck with it to this day, while the Hacienda is remembered most as the epicentre of the Madchester acid house scene. The Thunderdome was demolished in 2010 but its legend lives on in the memories of retired ravers and on tribute Facebook groups.

Continue Reading

Feature

Travel back in time through Manchester in the ‘90s with these 30 photos

Fashion shows, bombings, Maine Road, buses, cars, the Metrolink and the Hacienda…

Avatar photo

Published

on

Len Grant & Patrick Harrison

Here’s 30 nostalgic photographs of what Manchester looked like in the 1990s.

The city centre has changed a lot over the decades, which probably comes as no surprise with the amount of construction going on – it’s changing by the day.

But as the years go by and buildings you once knew are torn down and replaced with new apartments or office blocks, it’s left to your grainy memory of how places used to look and the times you may have once had there.

Cavendish building 1990. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections

The nineties was a great era for music in Manchester and saw the birth of bands including Oasis, The Doves and Take That. It was the decade of hope after the recession of the 1980s, but there were ups and downs also.

On April 1st 1990 prisoners in Strangeways (now HMP Manchester) took control of its chapel, and quickly spread throughout most of the prison to begin a riot which lasted 25 days.

Hundreds of inmates got up onto the roof, with the incident claiming the life of one prisoner and injuring 147 prison officers and 47 prisoners. 

The riot was followed by similar disturbances at other prisons across the country and sparked a conversation about reform for prison conditions.

Granada Studios Tour 1990. Credit: Robert Lindsell / Wikimedia

The decade was also blighted by the IRA bomb of 1996. The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a 1,500-kilogram lorry bomb on Corporation Street on June 15th. 

It was the biggest bomb detonated in Great Britain since the Second World War, injuring 212 innocent people and causing £700 million worth of damage to the city centre.

The event kick-started the regeneration and modernisation of the city which has evolved into the Manchester we know and love today.

After IRA bomb 1996. Credit: Len Grant

The city already began planning on improvements as part of its campaign to hold the 2000 Olympics and Paralympics. However, the bid was ultimately unsuccessful and Manchester was beaten to it by Sydney, with Beijing coming in as runner-up.

But Manchester did go on to hold the 2002 Commonwealth Games, with The Commonwealth Games Stadium becoming the new home of Manchester City after the club vacated Maine Road – which was then demolished and turned into new homes.

The Hacienda, which opened in 1982, became the nightclub at the forefront of the acid house scene. The club was owned by record label Factory Records and was famous for playing a major part in the Madchester movement.

Hacienda 1990. Credit: Patrick Harrison
Robin Webster Rochdale canal 1990. Credit: Robin Webster

Unfortunately, the club gained a reputation for drug use and after enjoying its heyday throughout the best part of the ‘90s, it fell victim to crime issues and financial troubles which eventually led to its closure in 1997.

The club was subsequently demolished and replaced by apartments.

The newly built Trafford Centre opened in 1998, the year after the film Titanic was released, which its themed food court paid homage to. Since then, Trafford Park has transformed from the derelict marshlands it once was and into a centre of retail, leisure and entertainment.

The Kippax Stand at Maine Road (1990s). Credit: Steve Garry / Flickr
Blue Moon Chippy (1990s). Credit: Richard Cooke / Wikimedia

Manchester United were the most successful football team of the city during this era, and the club won numerous domestic and international titles under manager Alex Ferguson.

David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes were just some of the players who played for United during the club’s golden era – playing in the newly formed Premier League, which was founded in 1992.

For the first time in English football history the Reds secured the Treble in 1999 – the League, FA Cup and Champions League.

Meanwhile, the Blue side of Manchester – Man City – went through many ups and downs. In 1998 City were relegated to the third tier of the English Football League. The club regained promotion to the top tier in 2001-02 and have remain in the Premier League since.

Dantzic Street 1993. Credit: Neil Clifton / Wikimedia
Granada Studios 1990. Credit: Graham Hogg / Wikimedia

Manchester was once home to the iconic Strangeways Boddingtons Brewery, which owned pubs throughout the North West. 

The brand was best known for its ‘Boddies’ – a straw-golden, hoppy bitter which was one of the first beers to be packaged in cans containing a widget, giving it a creamy draught-style head.

In the 1990s, the beer was promoted as The Cream of Manchester in a popular advertising campaign credited with raising Manchester’s profile. Model and actress Melanie Sykes was the Boddington’s girl star of the ads, which saw her take a swig of a pint and say ‘by ‘eck’, with a creamy moustache.

The brewery shut down in February 2005 and its workers clocked off their final ever shift, never to return, following its 227-year history.

Man Airport 1998. Credit: Simon Butler/ Flickr
Manchester Airport 1994. Credit: Simon Butler / Flickr
MMU student fashion show 1990. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections
Inside the Arndale shopping centre 1993. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections
First Greater Manchester bus. Credit: Darren Hall / Wikimedia 1997
Trinity Bridge 1995. Credit: Sludge G / Flickr
MMU student fashion show 1992. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections
MMU student fashion show 1993. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections
Piccadilly 1998. Credit: Matt Taylor / Flickr
Piccadilly 1992. Credit: Ben Brooksbank / Geograph
Bloom Street 1992. Credit: Chris Allen / Geograph
Hulme Crescents early 1990s (demolished in 1992). Credit: Nuala / Flickr
MMU student fashion show 1991. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections
MMU student fashion show 1992. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections
Rovers Return 1991. Credit: Neil Kennedy / Geograph
GMEX and car park 1990. Credit: Dr Neil Clifton /Geograph
Maxwell House 1991. Credit: Manchester City Council
Balloon Street 1991. Credit: Dr Neil Clifton / Geograph
MMU degree display 1993. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections
MMU fashion show 1992. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections
MMU fashion show 1992. Credit: The Manchester School of Art slide library at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections

Got a story to tell?

Have you got a story or video you think our audience will love? We want to hear from you, drop us an email on submit@propermanchester.com and we’ll get back to you.

Continue Reading

Receive our latest news, events & unique stories

Privacy and data policy

We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase

Copyright © 2024 Manchester's Finest Group