Tell your own Ancoats Story

Author Archive

The Cutting Room

A few cutting and
pattern rooms remained in
Ancoats at the outset of the
regeneration, one in particular,
the last to be cleared to make
way for development, was quite
remarkable. It had been built
into the attic of Royal Mills.
The cutting room was vast and
bright, and one end had been
given over to a small locked 
room as a pattern store.
A fire had wrecked the roof and
now mature trees were growing
in the space. In the pattern room
the plasterwork had long since
been washed away exposing
the brickwork but the patterns,
made of a waterproof velum,
remained vivid hanging from
the walls. The patterns and the
patina of the brick wall almost
merged in the light of dusk and
so I went back to photograph
this space on midsummer’s day
and had to wait until late into the
evening for dusk. While I waited I
was aware not only of butterflies
and birds but also of a rabbit.

Artist's Tale

Pennies from Heaven

The industrial archaeologist set
out his grid on a portion of the
top floor of Murray’s Mills and
went off for lunch. When he
came back a bit of the ceiling
had fallen in over the grid and
on the top of the pile, shining,
was an old penny from the year
the building was constructed.
Chance favoured this young
archaeologist. I often wonder
how he will respond? I wonder
if he will reinstate the coin
entrusted to him when Murray’s
Mill is developed?

Archaeologist's Tale