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.
For many years I photographed the steady progress of Ancoats’ renaissance , commissioned at first by Ancoats Urban Village Company, at later by its successor New East Manchester.
During this period the Royal Mill complex was being renovated and extended, and is now apartments with retail units. The first phase of Murrays’ Mill was completed – essentially ensuring it didn’t fall further into disrepair – and now it awaits further conversion. As ever, my documentation included lots of portraits of the construction workers, recording another chapter of Ancoats’ history.
As part of my commission I also followed the work of artist-in-residence, Dan Dubowitz. Some of the following images show people viewing his work, The Peeps. See www.civicworks.net