Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look today.
Our main image this week shows cars and trucks trundling over the tram tracks and cobblestones of Swan Street, Ancoats, in January 1935.
A lone woman looks into the camera as litter blows around her feet. Across the road, men are going about their daily business.
The scene is much quieter in photographer Nicola Mazzuia’s modern image. The coronavirus lockdown means no cars are on the street – and the area is almost deserted.
The cobblestones have been covered in tarmac and the trams have long since departed. Victorian buildings that were once warehouses and builders’ yards have been converted to flats with shops below.
Smithfield Market is clearly visible in both images. Built in 1858, the market was roofed over with iron trusses in 1865.
By 1897, the market place occupied four and a half acres in the city centre. It stretched from Swan Street in Ancoats to Shudehill to the east and Oak Street to the west.
All kinds of food were available at Smithfield, which started life as a potato market. Fish, meat, fruit and vegetables were all on sale.
The market was also a centre for the Italian community who created an ice-cream manufacturing industry.
Smithfield Market closed in 1972 with stalls being relocated to the New Smithfield Market in Openshaw. The old market building was Grade II listed in 1973.
*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.
It’s on sale at £14.99 including postage and packing. Order your copy online at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.