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.
Spirits of the dead take over the stage in an electrifying dance piece at the centre of this unmissable triple bill at The Lowry.
What can we tell of a man from his kitchen sink or old-fashioned cooker? A great deal it would seem judging by a new exhibition of rare, previously unseen photographs at The Lowry…
IWM North turns its attention to one of the most controversial figures in British art.
Igor and Moreno want to make life changing works. They also want to dance around a lot.
ancers perform in front of a magnificent visual installation in this acclaimed, cosmos-inspired dance piece at The Lowry.
Hush Hush is a night where you don’t know who the performer will be, and you can pay what you decide.
What’s in Store? is a unique showcase of The University of Salford Art Collection; established in 1969 it now includes around 700 works by artists including Bridget Riley, David Hockney and Gilbert and George.
Is there a breath of communism in the air? The WCML’s new exhibition explores the life, work and creative collaboration between two of the world’s most influential political thinkers.
It’s fourteen years since Kate O’Donnell transitioned and a lot has changed – but have you?