Pair dig up the secrets of city’s past in book
APAIR of former teachers from Stockport have been combing Manchester to unearth its littleknown secrets and sights for a new book.
Phil Page from Heaton Mersey and Ian Littlechild from Hazel Grove, who met when they both worked at a school in Droylsden, have published the fascinating insights in a book – ‘Secret Manchester’.
Now working as photographers, the pair spent weeks scouring the city centre to map familiar sights, and also the historical facts behind them that few people may know.
Among them are a statue of Archimedes having a bath, which can be seen under one of the arches off Granby Row near Piccadilly station – aptly located outside the former UMIST building, illustrating the scientific principle of water displacement.
Meanwhile, the steep and narrow steps down from Oxford Road station onto Oxford Road were once the route into one of the city’s worst slums – Little Ireland.
Irish immigrant families lived there twenty to a cottage in terrible conditions, regularly suffering flooding as the land is below the water line of the nearby River Irwell.
Former English teacher Phil, 64, said: “The aim was to create a guidebook for the city for things you might not necessarily notice when you’re walking around.
“It might be places people know well but not the quirky historical details about them.
“I’ve lived in Greater Manchester for 30 years and I found out loads just doing the book.
“I think the most surprising thing we found out about was Little Ireland – it’s such a small, cramped place and the situation they were living in is almost unbelievable.
“You go down there now and can hardly imagine how many people were squashed into that place.”
Phil and Ian, 65, will be doing a signing of their book at Manchester Craft and Design Centre today, December 11, from 11am to 1pm.