Manchester day out

Today’s guest picture comes from fellow choir member Neil who took this shot of us in the warm up room in the Northern College of Music just before we went on to sing in the Manchester Amateur Choir Competition.

carlisle choir

It was a long day, starting by leaving the house at 8.15 am in dry but dull conditions and arriving home at 10.30 pm in a snowstorm.  That last was rather unexpected but otherwise the day went very much to plan.

I remembered to pick up another choir member from Canonbie on my way to Carlisle which was a great triumph.

The coach down was comfortable, the weather improved  and the scenery was agreeable…


…and everything was well organised when we got there.  There was enough time between our preliminary practice and the final warm up to let me go for a walk into the centre of Manchester in the light rain which had developed during our drive down the motorway.   As there was no wind and I had had the foresight to bring a small umbrella, the walk was grey but enjoyable.

There is a lot of building work going on and some of the old buildings are being demolished or overshadowed.  This tower does not look too bad…

old manchester

…until you see what it is really up against.

manchester building works

Some fine old university buildings have survived….

Manchester uni building

…and mysteriously I noticed other smaller buildings which had escaped the developers sledgehammer and they were all…

preserved pub 4

…as it turned out…

preserved pub 3

…those popular buildings…

preserved pub 2


preserved pub 1

There are some elegant modern buildings.  Like this station entrance

Manchester station

I walked along a section of canal which is really embedded into the heart of the city, crossing under several roads…

canal bridge 2 Manchester

…though with a nice rural touch here…

canal horse Manchester

…and with lots of locks tucked in amongst the roads and buildings.

canal bridge Manchester 1

You can’t get much more tucked in than this lock.

canal lock Manchester

I like the nifty gearing which allows the boat owners to open the heavy sluices on the lock gates.

canal lock mechanics

I was amused to see Archimedes sheltering from the rain under a railway bridge.

Archimedes in Manchester

Ironically, he was probably the only person who wasn’t getting wet in Manchester today.

I was walking through a university area when I spotted Archimedes and this rather knowledgeable decorative fence panel.

manchester science panel

I got back from my walk in good time to join the choir for our performance and it went as well as we could hope for.  I thoroughly enjoyed the singing which is a tribute to our new conductor Ellen.  The choice of music and the lack of any need to clap and sing at the same time (nightmare) as well as her cheerful manner and encouragement made the whole thing very stress free.

All the same, we didn’t win the competition.  This was no surprise as we were up against 22 other choirs from all over the country, some of them very well trained indeed.

The journey home started with heavy rain in Manchester and ended with snow lying in the streets of Carlisle while more was come down with a vengeance.  I was slightly worried about the trip home as we started off in a blizzard of sleety snow which made visibility in the town difficult to say the least.  The temperature was below freezing, the snow was lying in the streets and I was expecting things to get worse as we went north and climbed a couple of hundred feet.

To my great relief, the temperature went up a degree or two and the snow eased off to rain and the drive home turned out to be no great problem in the end.

I was welcomed home by Mrs Tootlepedal who had decided not to go to Manchester this year.  She had had a very quiet day at home instead.

The flying bird of the day is floating.

canal goose

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Manchester day out

  1. You all look very sharp in red and black. Sorry you didn’t win, but at least you had a good time. Yikes about that weather! Glad you made it home safely.

  2. That’s a big group! I would think the honor of being good enough to compete in the first place would offset any feelings about not winning.
    I love that woven horse. It would have been hard for me to keep myself from asking how much they wanted for it.
    I wonder if Archimedes was put under the bridge as a joke or if someone didn’t know it would be a joke.

  3. Delighted the day went so well and weather conditions were not too daunting.
    Glad you had an enjoyable sing, even if you didn’t win. You managed to see a lot of Manchester while you were there.

  4. Hooray for just being allowed to sing. All that clapping, waving or ( shudder) swaying totally interfera with my ability to actually hold a tune. Loooks like a nice day out, despite the weather

  5. A good day out with enjoyable singing and interesting sight seeing. You have an explorers eye for discovering these hidden histories of places!

  6. Typical Manchester weather! I can see the rain pouring down in that first canal picture. I like the woven horse and the selection of interesting pubs.

    1. The pubs seemed to have been spared from demolition more than any other type of building so it shows how important they are to the life of the city.

    1. It was an impressive piece of work. I wouldn’t have liked to have been a horse towing a barge along that canal as the bridges were very low.

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