A Flowery History – The Big Friday Find

City centre Manchester changes at a frightening speed.  If you don’t visit for a few weeks buildings disappear and new ones shoot up in their place.  Shops move from one place to another, some restaurants and bars open with great fanfare while others slip away quietly.

Mixed in with all this change are some long standing institutions.  Most of you will now be thinking of your favourite buildings that have stood watch over Manchester for many years, but some institutions aren’t bricks and mortar.  This week I found a great picture of one Mancunian institution…

Flower Stall at St Anns Church, Manchester

This picture is from 1898 and is from the early days of the flower stall outside St Ann’s Church in St Ann’s Square.  Roll on 100 (and a bit) years to today.

Flourish florists

We wondered if the stall had originally been to supply flowers to people visiting the nearby graves.  If anyone knows, please let us know.  Big thanks to the current owners for letting two random women take their photo.

By the way, it’s Valentines Day.  We aren’t really a team of old romantics but if you’re buying someone flowers, please support your local florist.

Every Picture Tells a Story – The Big Friday Find

While looking through the photographs of Manchester around 1900 on images.manchester.gov.uk I noticed one name that came up again and again.  Who was this H Entwistle and why was he taking all these photographs?  Some of them show us the realities of life in Victorian Manchester in wonderful detail.  This image of Miles Platting is fascinating.

Corner Shop in Miles Platting

After doing some quick research I discovered that H Entwistle was Harry Entwistle and he worked initially as photographer for Manchester Corporation, mostly for the Surveyors Department.  This explains the nature of the photographs, after all not many people would be keen to photograph outside toilets.

Housing Closets at 2 Stone St, Ancoats

Harry Entwistle

I found this picture of Harry, at his desk.  We believe this was around the time that he set up his own business.

Along with the photograph is an image of the brochure for Harry’s photography business.
Manchester Photographic Tracing cover

If you’re interested in how Victorians really lived, take a look at Harry’s photographs on the local image collection.  They will tell the story better than a thousand words.
Princess Street back of 197 and 199