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Full Time at Maine Road 2003‑04

After 80 years, Manchester City FC left Maine Road in July 2003 for the City of Manchester Stadium in East Manchester, also known as the Ethiad Stadium. The stadium was demolished and approximately 400 new homes are being built on the 15-acre site.

I was commissioned by Manchester City Council to document the demolition of the stadium and I subsequently produced a 128-page book, Full Time at Maine Road, that also reflected on the social implications of the stadium’s demise. Were local residents and businesses sad to see it go, or glad to see the back of it?

Published by Len Grant Photography, 2004
ISBN: 0 9526 7203 0, £13.00
128 pages, softback
With an introductory interview with Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe
Designed by Axis Graphic Design
[I’m sorry, I’ve now sold out of this book.]

Here are some comments from readers:

“… I have sat here for the last three days enthralled in the book. In parts I have cried because seeing Maine Road being pulled down brick by brick is hard to look at, but then again you have still captured the beauty of the place I will always love.”

“Your photographs are really beautiful, although poignant and I have to confess to having had to wipe away a few tears.”

“I think the book is excellent and I’m recommending it to fellow blues as an essential item in a City book collection.”

And the walls came tumbling down

During the demolition period I initiated an arts project with the nearby St Edward’s Primary School, itself due for demolition.

In collaboration with CUBE, Manchester’s gallery of the built environment, and with artist Margaret Jackson and architect John Bishop, we worked with Key Stage 1 children to create an exhibition for the gallery.

Here’s the exhibition introduction:

‘Their classroom overlooks the Kippax Stand. They have grown up quite literally in the shadow of this monumental landmark. It seems appropriate that the children of St Edward’s should mark its demise and look to the future.
‘The children have been discovering what I get up to in recording change and I have been finding out what the stadium has meant to them. We have been exchanging ideas, hearing stories, learning new techniques… and getting stuck in! It’s been great fun.’