At the rear of this shot in Clayton you see a row of derelict factories. I’ve no idea who used to own them or who owns them now. Manchester is similar to Liverpool whereby both cities used to be prosperous and powerful because of shipping and textiles respectively. I once read Liverpool used to rival London. Manchester was the heart of the Industrial Revolution. Liverpool never recovered when the docks closed. Manchester reinvented itself with (recently) expensive city flats and shops, weekend pubs and clubs, the BBC at Salford Quays, an expanding airport with (I understand) commercial arrangements with China, and the Commonwealth Games (now Manchester City) stadium which is owned by the council whose assets are valued at two billion pounds. Yet one in five people in Manchester is unemployed. I wonder about the economics of all this. Naomi Klein for example describes ‘the shock doctrine’ and the profit interests of war. You traumatise a country with war then develop your commercial interests in the damaged infrastructure. That kind of meta economics explains a great deal. The term ‘job creation’ suggests a positive situation for everyone. It might be. It might also be a people farming project benefiting corporate interests. After I’d got the photographs I wanted I spent forty minutes here picking blackberries. They are wild fruit, not wild flowers, but with a connecting theme. It was a remarkable crop, firstly because it’s in the city and secondly because it’s early August.


Manchester Wild Flowers: Soft And Hard

Thursday August 7, 2014