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.

This week our main image comes from Collyhurst where bulldozers have reduced terraced homes to rubble in January 1968 to make way for new high-rise blocks.

The piles of bricks and mortar make a wonderful setting for children’s games – especially when you’ve just got a new cowboy outfit for Christmas!

Slum clearances in Manchester in the 1960s and 1970s were some of the biggest ever witnessed. Whole streets and communities of terraced houses disappeared.

There truly was optimism – as well as brickdust – in the air.
 

 
Major building projects like the Ringway runway extension, the Arndale shopping centre and the M602 motorway all went ahead in the 1970s.

Nowadays, the view from the Sandhills park in Collyhurst is more like a leafy walk than a Wild West frontier. But blocks of flats can still be glimpsed in photographer Nicola Mazzuia’s modern image.

Collyhurst quarry provided much of the sandstone used for Manchester buildings, including the cathedral, Chetham’s Hospital and St Ann’s Church. Rafts and barges were used to transport stone by river.

It is said that the sandstone for the Roman fort at Castlefield came from Collyhurst.

The area around the disused quarry was turned into the Sandhills park as part of Manchester City Council’s Irk Valley Project