They were once a wonder of the modern world. People would come simply to marvel at the eight-storey buildings on the banks of the Rochdale Canal. Thousands would toil in the noisy bustling mills in the world’s first industrial suburb.
I have photographed the steady progress of Ancoats’ renaissance for many years, commissioned at first by Ancoats Urban Village Company, later part of New East Manchester.
Much of the Royal Mill complex has been renovated and extended, and is now apartments with retail units. The first phase of Murrays’ Mill has been completed and awaits further conversion. I documented this process and many of the workers involved… another chapter of Ancoats’ history.
As part of my commission I have also followed the work of Ancoats artist-in-residence, Dan Dubowitz: some of the following images show people viewing his work, The Peeps. See www.civicworks.net