Photo By D J Norton


Fountain, Piccadilly Gdns - 26/7/55

Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester
A nice summertime view of the fountain in Piccadilly Gardens taken in July 1955.  A similar modern view shows that many of the buildings survive but that the fountain has been replaced by a somewhat more fancy affair!  Colin informed me that, "The fountain shown in the 1955 view was in fact installed to celebrate the coronation in 1953.  When first installed it was also illuminated.".

Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester - 18/7/59

Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester
I originally thought this view was taken towards Parker Street and feared that all the buildings had been demolished but Andy and Colin corrected me!  The view is of Portland Street.

This black and white view taken four years later than the colour one above and the tallest section behind the fountain features a sign saying, "The Hollins Mill Co. Ltd.".  This is flanked by two wings labelled, "Hickson, Lloyd & King Ltd."

Andy commented:-
"Looking at the later photograph, I would suggest the shot was taken facing Portland Street and not Parker Street.

The “whisky” sign above the building on the far left I am sure used to be above the building on the corner of Newton Street and Piccadilly and I can vaguely remember it being there in the mid 1980’s.

The lighter building on the corner of Portland Street/Piccadilly was demolished and rebuilt as 1 Portland Street in the 1980’s

'The Hollins Mill Co. Ltd.' and 'Hickson, Lloyd & King Ltd.'  are now the ‘Thistle’ Portland Hotel, 3-5 Portland Street."

The picture of the Thistle on this site ties the past to the present very nicely.

Colin added:-
"I can confirm that, at the time the shot was taken, the lighter coloured building was the Queens Hotel.  It was demolished and the site redeveloped not long after this shot was taken.
The sunken Piccadilly Gardens were filled in in the early 1990's and are now a shadow of their former self.  Incidentally, the original sunken gardens were located in the former foundations of the original 18th Century buildings of the Manchester Royal Infirmary.
All of the buildings, many of them altered drastically, shown in the colour slide still exist."