Plenty of bands playing in town used to frequent Tommy Ducks, i remember an interview with the Sex Pistols visiting when they played the Free Trade Hall. I used to park my car on the land next to it, one day it was there and overnight they knocked it down. Funnily enough a bit like what they did to the Free Trade Hall!!
Was there a coffin in there as well (or am I just making that up)? I was in the Hilton last weekend contemplating the difference in the townscape between then, when myself and the wife were students in the late 70's, and now, when my daughter is at the University.
the demolition of great buildings still goes on all the time in manchester. i'm told the councils are adept at taking back-handers and looking the other way when it's obvious developers are burning buildings so they get a dangerous building order and then can demolish it when the land is worth a ton. just look at chapel st.
dj "one day it was there and overnight they knocked it down. Funnily enough a bit like what they did to the Free Trade Hall!!" - The reality is that much of the structure of the building is still there and the hotel development on the site only went ahead after a public enquiry and with aproval from English Heritage.
Mat - your comment doesn't do you or the Archive any credit. We might argue about what constitutes a great building but where is the evidence that they are constantly being demolished let alone that that corrupt councils are complicit in this process?
I don’t think it’s either realistic or desirable for Councils (and therefore the public) to hold on to decaying buildings and keep them as mausoleums to the past, particularly when there are good offers on the table to update buildings and turn them to profitable commercial use.
You do of course have to strike the right balance and there are times when a council should step in and help retain a building because it’s important to the City’s historical and cultural identity. I think MCC does that pretty well.
Personally I think making frankly libellous statements about Councils and sweeping statements about demolished buildings without reference to facts doesn’t help the debate!
i find it sad that places like tommy ducks get demolished - one of the city's oldest pubs and steeped in history - and the beautiful old hotels and theatres on chapel street are being left to rot, yet bog-standard appartments are being thrown up left right and centre.
re council back-handers, its just what someone in the building trade had told me a couple of years ago. obviously could be rubbish.
As blueskies says, i suppose it's a matter of opinion and everyone has their views.
Blueskies - I am perfectly chilled. I think its probably the people who make accusations about 'backhanders' that need to chill a little :0)
And I certainly don’t advocate banging things up around the City but neither does the Council.
I do agree that some mistakes are made but there are also some really good examples of buildings in the City which have been retained and the Council has supported that process (eg) Band on the Wall.
I just think we have to be realistic about how many buildings we can save and should focus our efforts more. I think really we have a similar view just perhaps express it differently.
I don’t like the approach that "the council" are always to blame, its a cop out and doesn’t really get to the root of the issues or solve the problem in the long run. On the whole I think the council does a pretty good job of helping to protect historic buildings in our city.
Point taken. However my view is that the Council do APPEAR to ignore the feelings of locals in favour of developers. Or that is the impression I get anyway. Tommy Ducks was a good example in recent history. The Gaumont, The Odeon, chapel street being left to rot. The Plymouth Hotel Plymouth Grove.
Surely more can be done rather than build glass and steel ?
One example is the fight to save woodland on Victoria Avenue from the Council who seem hell bent on building an ACADEMY here. There is plenty of brownfield land available elsewhere.
I could also suggest other buildings which have been lost forever but we now seem to be blighted with these cheap looking executive apartments everywhere and they are not attractive or affordable to locals..just my opinion of course.
Blueskies: Tommy Ducks was demolished illegally by Greenall Whitley - how is that a good example of the Council ignoring people and favouring developers?
I agree that there are some fantastic old buildings which are in a sorry state but there are also some great examples of old bulidings being given a new lease of life; NOHO in Stevenson Square for one.
SR is right - it's easy to blame the Council for everything. The reality is that much of the successful regeneration of Manchester over the past 15 - 20 years has been driven by the City Council.
I have to say that this is an argument about lost iconic buildings and green spaces not the re development of Manchester as a whole.
One of the greatest achievements was the NWIDA redevelopment of Central Station. More of that please. It took a LONG time. Although some would argue that closing train stations was never really a good idea. Especially with hindsight.
A new Belle Vue would be good too! Also demolished with little put back .
There are thousands of pubs being knock down every week at the moment,all are historical in their own little way.Bus stops are named after pubs because they were local land marks.The pokey little blocks of flats that are quickly built in their places,mean nothing.They'll never be landmarks.Pubs are meeting and entertainment places,not just drinking places.If council housing was put up in their place,maybe we could solve the problems of homelessness. Councils plan changes to town centres decades in advance. Look at the M67.Started 1974,finished 2??? It was built right through the centre of Hyde,down the main street full of shops.Hundreds of houses were cleared. A community gone. Also if Belle Vue was open today,it would be packed out every week-end. But the zoo was in a sorry state and that was one of the reasons why it closed down.
On a lighter note Re: Tommy Ducks was there not also a toilet bowl on a table in the middle of the place(not plumbed in though,more of a conversation piece/ornament type of thing) I recall a friend of mine attempting to have a dump in it just prior to his ejection from the place.The undies on the ceiling were distasteful enough but he went a bit too far......and how did he end up so bladdered drinking Greenhalls?
Children children!! Manchester, just like any other city has to be seen to be making an effort to 'keep up' with the times & selling land that houses structures will be the ultimate usp for them. We have lost the most iconic of manchester buildings, the Hacienda, & replaced it with flats. Being an old 'septic', my personal history required saving, but it got replaced with crosby homes & the rest of the 'post bomb' structures do improve our fine city, but we need to accept change & crack on. Surely the point of this Archive is in itself a memorial to the beautiful & brilliant past that is Mancunia!!! Anyway, Tommy Ducks was a sh**hole, not missed yet mourned??? The Hacienda must be built, then sold on to the highest bidder (so hooky can get sum money back...)
Tommy Ducks was a favourite of John Lydon and Joe Strummer who would always get Buzzcocks to take him to the 'pub with the knickers' when in town. Incidentally, (and speaking of mourning) my brother was one of the lunatics who ceremoniously carried the coffin through the streets when the landlord moved to the Old Nags Head on Jackson's Row
The Hacienda was just an indoor garage forecourt modelled on some crap American disco by all accounts. It was what went on in there that was the attraction (if you could actually get in that is).It does not matter if the place is a "Sh--hole).Take the Russell Club in Hulme for example. I preferred to watch a band in there.The sound in the Hacienda was appalling. I would sooner have a beer in a place like Tommy Ducks than some trendy Wine Bar which is all we will have left soon....I miss Tommy Ducks personally and can list about 30 other drinking establishments which received the chop which shouldn't have especially in Stockport......
A former yacht showroom on Whitworth street was transfered into a generation defining catherdral of elitism, then knocked down to build flats. I managed to get in a fair few times & yes, the sound was awful & yes the clientelle were often entertaining but that was the whole point. I prefered to watch bands (still do) in small, cosy rooms with a decent pint & atmosphere. Sadly not many places left to cater for that. I agree with you that all we will have left in mcr soon will be trendy wine bars but we still have a shedload of old beerhouses to wander thru. Whilst we mourn (that word again!) the apst, let's also keep an eye on the future. Nothing pretends to be tomorrow more than yesterday....
I know im veering off at a bit of a tangent here,but talking of old boozers does anyone remember the bar down Market St on the left before Boots that was called The Sportsmans. A few pints on a Saturday after a bit of shopping and you met some interesting people! Im sure they used to have some live music on now and again.
I've only just spotted this debate, so apologies for coming to all this a bit late.
Some of us may have been uncomfortable about the Free Trade Hall being sold into private hands for other reasons.Simply because of the site it occupies- that of the Peterloo Massacre. Where to paraphrase the Rochdale poet Harvey Kershaw people gave " their blood for common good ". A public hall was fitting, a swanky hotel less so.
Dj, the sportsman was down some stairs as far as i can recall. Pokey but interesting. Lot's of characters & the mighty Rob Gretton drinking Holsten Pils & pushing his specs up his nose!!!! Was the pub in the Royal Exchange called Branigans? Down stairs on one side & through french doors into the market? Remember it before & after the city matches, just the name escapes me. Agreed Alistair, the free trade hall was & is a Historically important site & it's a disgrace that all we have is a Radisson hotel & a tiny placque, but that seems to be the remitt of a lot of places. Commemerate then demolish/reurbish. The free trade hall was the last place i saw the smiths. Last time they played their hometown as well.