Incredible images of traders at Stockport Market have sat gathering dust for decades. 47 years on, they are about to go on display in central Manchester.
Having endured several house moves and even storage in Scotland, a selection of shots – which recall the bustling market town during the late 70s – will appear at The Refuge and Kimpton Clocktower Hotel this summer.
They’ll be put up as part of a new time capsule exhibit curated by the British Culture Archive: Life in the UK shot exclusively through the eyes of northern women.
Developed from a mass of old negatives uncovered by photographer Heidi Alexander during the 2020 lockdown, the pictures tell a story of a very different time in Greater Manchester’s history. A time when you could buy meat for 4p a pound and when elder, or cow’s udder, was a popular choice on the butcher’s stall.
Captured in 1977, her Stockport street photography series was shot on just five rolls of Tri-X on a Leica M4 and brings back happy memories for Alexander.
One of her images, according to locals, even depicts a young Mark E Smith.
“I remember the bustle and the noise, especially the street pastors and their singing followers competing with the shouting traders for customers’ attention,” said Alexander, reflecting on her time in shooting in Stockport with the British Culture Archive.
“One or two noticed a young female with a camera, but most were too busy finding that bargain or exchanging the latest gossip. Despite the bleakness, the atmosphere was unmistakably warm and energetic and jolly.
“It was forty-seven years ago, but I wonder where some of those characters are now.”
The new exhibit will also celebrate work from acclaimed photographers Shirley Baker, Tish Murtha and Anne Worthington.
It appears as part of an artist-in-residence program in association with the British Culture Archive, continuing on from last year’s show on Hulme and Manchester’s club scenes.
Alongside Alexander’s Stockport shots, there will also be some iconic social documentary photography on display from Salford-born Shirley Baker – one of the most pre-eminent British photographers during the post-war era.
Best known for her street photography and street portraits in working-class areas of Manchester, Baker’s images give us a glimpse of washing-lined ginnels filled with playing children and the domestic drudgery for poor mothers stuck at home.
Tyneside photographer Patricia Anne “Tish” Murtha also captures the everyday of human life, documenting marginalised communities and working class life in the North East of England: showing everything from rubbish tips to sex workers.
Anne Worthington’s pieces, meanwhile, highlight conditions of housing and the effects of the social and economic changes that begun in the 1980s.
Curated by British Culture Archive, the ‘A Woman’s Work’ exhibition will open at The Refuge and Kimpton Clocktower Hotel from Monday 21 June.
Feature image – Heidi Alexander
The new restaurants and bars opening in Manchester this month | April 2023
Spring has arrived, and with it, Manchester has ushered in a whole host of new restaurant and bar openings in April.
From a new pasta concept over on Peter Street from the brains behind Gooey to whole loaves of sourdough filled with Full English fry ups in Ancoats, plus a stunning new contemporary Chinese restaurant on the edge of the Gay Village, there are so many new places popping up in the city centre to try this month.
Further afield, Hatch on Oxford Road welcomes three new traders whilst in Chorlton the family behind Barlow Moor Road’s Progress Convenience expand to open their first cafe, and over in Didsbury Village the former Botanist site reopens as new gastro pub The Wishing Well.
Keep reading to discover the best new restaurants and bars opening in Manchester this April.
Bread and Bowl at Ancoats General Store
This week Ancoats General Store has welcomed a new kitchen takeover from Bread and Bowl – home of one of Manchester’s naughtiest fry-ups.
Filled with fry-up favourites like high-grade local sausages, crispy streaky bacon, beans, cheese, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and hash browns, they are seriously impressive.
Alongside Charlotte’s famous Full English bread bowls, you’ll also find a brand new sandwich menu featuring breakfast burritos and all-day butties like the brilliantly-named ‘Meat Sweats’.
Onda at Exhibition
From the team behind Gooey and Michelin-trained chef Sam Astley-Dean (formerly of Rise pizza), new pasta concept Onda arrives inside Exhibition – taking over the space left empty by Great British Menu chef Caroline Martin’s recent departure.
Serving up a core menu of pasta small plates from £6 alongside starters of arancini, mixed vegetable fritti, and proper crunchy garlic bread with parsley butter, you’ll also find some giant family-style sharers on the menu here – not least, a huge plate of lumache alla vodka.
Onda’s arrival heralds an overturn to the dining concept at Exhibition, with new ‘approachable’ revised menus also on offer from neighbouring kitchens Baratxuri and Osma. Food is served until 9pm.
Read more:The team behind Gooey has launched a new pasta concept on Peter Street
Rio Mex at Hatch
Having previously wowed Mancs with her fine-dining Sao Paulo Project menus at Blossom Street Social, not to mention starring in the north west heat of the BBC show Great British Menu, Martins is now also dabbling – eloquently, might we add – in the world of street food.
Inspired by her passion for the food of her home country of Brazil, combined with the time she spent living in Texas, Rio Mex sees one of Manchester’s most exciting chefs reflecting two of her favourite cuisines.
Must-try taco fillings include baja fish with biquinho pepper mayo and lime sour cream, ground pork al pastor with pineapple salsa, a five-hour chilli con carne with beef and black beans, and a melt-in-the-mouth barbacoa with cheddar sauce and house pickles.
Home Contemporary Chinese
Newly opened on the edge of Manchester’s Gay Village, Home Contemporary Chinese takes over the old Jasmine Lebanses restaurant space and is serving up exactly what its name suggests.
The menu is large, with a strong focus on Cantonese dishes. Think roasted meats, plenty of dim sum (all freshly-made on site), plus heaps of congee, soups and hot pot, and some interesting twists such as a ‘volcano omlette’.
On the bar, meanwhile, you’ll find a strong wine list featuring several Chinese bottles alongside crowd pleasing favourites, plus a mix of softs and other beverages.
Not exactly a new opening but certainly a new look, Archie’s has just reopened after revamping its Oxford Road restaurant to include an all-pink subway carriage.
The beloved burger and shake bar has just unveiled a ‘subway station’ in the basement as part of the Oxford Road site’s £1m transformation.
Diners can now tuck into their smashed burgers, wings and tater tots from their own train booth.
Progress Caribbean, Chorlton
Chorlton’s Afro Caribbean and European convenience store Progress has just opened its own takeaway shop and cafe, building on the success of its popular in-house hot food offering.
Locals are already raving about the dishes, which include plates of oxtail, fried chicken and curried chicken from £5.50 and patties from £2.
Crumbled at Hatch
Crumbled has opened at Hatch underneath the Mancunian Way selling pots of apple and rhubarb crumble with unlimited custard.
Opened by Manchester-born fashion model Chloe Peers, the stall offers two different types of crumbles with some eye-popping toppings including edible glitter, rose petals, Biscoff crumb and huge scoops of ice cream.
Customers can also opt to pay an additional £1 to enjoy unlimited custard refills, something that is well worth it when you find yourself halfway down the pot.
Suki Sukiat Great Northern Warehouse
A new pan-Asian eatery and bar has opened inside the Great Northern Warehouse from the same family behind Manchester restaurant Namaste Nepal serving up bao, dumplings and steaming bowls of ramen noodles alongside fun cocktails and a selection of craft beer.
Called Suki Suki, it is split over three floors: housed within an exposed brick archway and delicately decked with Herringbone booth seating, high bar stools, ambient lighting and rattan finishings.
The Wishing Well
Taking over the former Botanist site in Didsbury village, brand new gastro pub The Wishing Well is bringing traditional British classics to the neighbourhood.
Think big plates of fish and chips, ham, egg and chips, and a steak pie with proper mash, plus traditional roasts every Sunday in cosy settings with big wooden tables and industrial fittings.
Manchester brewery Squawk has opened a new bar in the Northern Quarter this week, taking over the former Beatnikz taproom site.
Called Pelican, it is the first bricks-and-mortar site for the indie brewery favourite which first launched in Manchester ten years ago.
Now, fans of Squawk’s locally-brewed beers will be able to head down to Dale Street for a taste of its famous fruity IPAs, light lagers and punchy sours.
Phukt at Hatch
Phukt completes the lineup of new food traders at Hatch this March, promising a ‘feast from the East’ with its tandoori gyros and biryani burritos, chaats, salads, dirty burgers and more.
Must-tries at Pakistani and Indian fusion spot Phukt include the butter chicken burger (served with its own pot of incredible ‘secret’ sauce) and loaded masala fries.
Featured image – The Manc Eats
This tiny hole in a wall is home to Greater Manchester’s best smashed burgers
Bob over Salford way, and any burger fan worth their salt will tell you that there’s only one place to go for a smashed burger in this neck of the woods. Yes, we’re talking about Burgerism.
First founded in 2018, Burgerism has been quietly setting the standard for dark kitchens way before the pandemic made them so popular.
For years, it has been delivery only – drawing regular queues outside its Salford site and churning out thousands of its popular smashed patty burgers a day. More recently, the kitchen has gone exclusive on Deliveroo and is slowly expanding its empire across the UK with further sites in Liverpool and Leeds.
This year, the team also opened a second site on the other side of Manchester in Gatley.
As a result, Stockport locals can now enjoy their smashed patties, perfect potato buns and crunchy fried chicken without having to make the drive across town (once a regular occurrence, or so we’re told).
Serving up a range of stacked burgers, chicken wings and others sides, alongside Burgerism’s award-winning mains takeaway fans will find a whole host of other treats including lemon pepper, BBQ and buffalo wings.
Fries come with the skin on, tossed in a signature house spice mix, whilst burgers are pressed down onto a hot grill using a super-secret smashing tool that the team will not reveal on camera for love nor money.
As for the main event, smashed burgers can be ordered as singles or doubles with optional extras like cheese and bacon.
There’s also the slawed-up Freebird chicken burger, which is deep fried and then dipped back into spicy oil for an extra kick.
Non-meat eaters are also well catered for, with ‘Veggied’ and ‘Veganed’ options both made using Moving Mountains ‘bleeding’ plant-based patties.
Last but not least, we have to give a shout out to Burgerism’s new dessert offering which sees the team partner with Leeds favourite Get Baked to serve up some of the fudgiest, gooey brownies we’ve had the pleasure of tasting.