In 1930s, History, Manchester, News, Present

How one of Manchester’s best-known streets has changed in the last 80 years

Welcome to Then and Now – the brand new feature where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look in 2017.

This week it’s the turn of King Street, the smart bustling thoroughfare at the heart of the city.

Our first photo shows King Street frozen in time from Sunday, November 1, 1936. Being Manchester, it has been raining. The pavements are glistening and people are walking around with raincoats and hats.

Workmen are busy refitting the Samuels shop behind screens and blinds. You can see the ladder propped up against the window.

There was an altogether different pace of life to King Street then. Now, along with Bridge Street, much of King Street is regarded as Manchester’s most upmarket shopping area. Fashionable shops, restaurants and cafés abound. Soap stars and celebs are often snapped by photographers heading for the top venues and nightspots.

king street

Many of the buildings familiar in 1936 survive today. King Street was the centre of the north-west banking industry and retains the impressive facades and frontages of its financial past.

These include the Grade I-listed former Bank of England Manchester branch, built in 1845 and designed by Charles Robert Cockerell, and the Manchester Reform Club (1870) by Edward Salomons.

king street, current photo

There’s a famous rhyme about King Street in Roger Oldham’s Manchester Alphabet of 1906. It goes like this:

There’s King Street

And there’s King Street South

And also King Street West,

They each of them begin with K,

I know which I like best –

The one in which the cake shop is –

Let’s go inside and rest.

Unmissable pictures like these – and many more like them – feature in Clive Hardy’s latest book Around Manchester in the 1960s.

The book is available to pre-order at the special price of £14.99 (plus £2.50 postage and package) by visiting the iNostalgia website – inostalgia.co.uk .

To mark the launch of this supplement the offer will now close on Monday, April 16, so make sure you place your order now! From next week the book goes on sale for £19.99, with free postage for M.E.N. readers.

And Clive Hardy’s previous book, the much-acclaimed Around Manchester in the 1950s, covering every aspect of local life in more than 200 images from the archives of the M.E.N, is available at £19.99 with free postage for M.E.N. readers. Just go to inostalgia.co.uk to place your order or fill in the coupon in the M.E.N.

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