Cross over the River Irwell, and you’ll find yourself in another city entirely – Salford. You’ll barely feel the transition, though; despite locals who are fierce about the fact that Salford is a city in its own right, it’s only separated from Manchester by the width of the river, distance-wise. Which is not to say that you won’t see differences between the two.
Gritty urban realism has been this city’s stock in trade since L.S. Lowry painted his very first matchstick man. Some will have read about it in Love on the Dole. Some will have seen it depicted in kitchen sink dramas or Corrie. And others will forever associate the city with John Cooper Clarke rasping his way through ‘Evidently Chickentown’, or the dystopian anthems of Joy Division.
Now, however, Salford has an up-and-coming feel; the Chapel Street area of the city, the focus of an ongoing regeneration project, is home to a creative community including Hot Bed Press and over 100 artists and 50 innovative businesses at Islington Mill. If you’re visiting around May, look out for the highlight of Salford’s strong music scene, Sounds from the Other City festival, which brings an incendiary mix of live bands, literary readings and art hi-jinks to an eclectic selection of venues.
The Council-run Salford Museum and Art Gallery is a friendly city museum with special appeal to families, and the nearby Working Class Movement Library provides a fascinating look at the past. The personal collection of labour historians Ruth and Edmund Frow, it’s a veritable treasure trove of material dating back to the 1760s. Ordsall Hall, the city’s beautifully restored (and supposedly haunted) Tudor mansion, has a busy programme of events and activities all year round, including events as part of horror film festival Grimmfest.
Salford inspires fierce loyalty among its inhabitants. Spend any significant period of time here, and you may begin to understand why.
This April at The Lowry – imitating the dog will bring their bold and original vision to Joseph Conrad’s timely novel, Heart of Darkness.
Birmingham Royal Ballet, Opera North, Northern Broadsides and Matthew Bourne’s stunning choreography are among our top picks of The Lowry’s new season.
One of the country’s foremost festivals showcasing new and emerging talent, Sounds From The Other City’s 15th edition is fast approaching.
The Olivier Award-winning Russell Maliphant Company are set to delight Salford audiences with their much-anticipated new dance production, Silent Lines.
Step into the crafty haven of Salford Makers and learn the basic techniques of gel plate printing to create prints onto fabric, paper and card stock.
Working Class Movement Library presents a guest exhibition about Sylvia Pankhurst and her companion, Silvio Corio, illustrating the lifelong activities of this couple in spearheading campaigns centred on social justice, human rights and anti-fascism.
Exhibitions are open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm
Love is war as Northern Broadsides present Much Ado About Nothing at The Lowry – Shakespeare’s glorious romantic and chaotic comedy.
Follow two young lovers as they risk everything to be together in Matthew Bourne’s vital and contemporary reimagining of Romeo and Juliet.
Discover how Victorian gentlemen protected their moustaches from tea, which monarch’s pair of stockings reside in Salford, get up close to incredible art and more.