Wythenshawe and Bowdon, two South Manchester places that are quite close geographically but miles apart demographically, which is why doing this northern poster malarkey is so much fun! And it shows I've not just been sitting on my arse doing nothing since Christmas.
It was a wonderful dream on a post-war town planner's drawing board. Houses fit for heroes on a large, modern estate, or 'garden city', with none of that old mish-mash of narrow streets and diverse design. No, this was going to be uniform, clean and functional. And my parents bought into that dream, so that was the first Jackson family home, in Baguley, a district of Wythenshawe, the new town on the edge of Manchester which became the largest estate in Europe. Most of my aunts and uncles and cousins lived there too. But the dream turned sour, and Wythenshawe became a byword for problem families, crime and town planning gone mad. What's this, though? Wythenshawe, by degrees, is turning itself around, thanks in no small part to the tram line and the train line, both going to the nearby airport and the city centre. Young singles and families are discovering that the housing stock is affordable and not too bad either. Posh apartment blocks are springing up, and the once-dire Civic Centre is looking lively again. Just a pity the old theatre is no longer functioning. Now that would have been the icing on the cake for the new Wythenshawe. This poster in available at statementartworks.com in any size you like!
Whereas its nearby neighbour Hale loves to flaunt its chi-chi trendiness, affluence and desirability, Bowdon presents itself as understated, restrained and 'old money'. Hence there's not a lot going on really - a few posh gastro pubs, a posh hotel, a posh looking green with a few posh shops, posh sports clubs, and a posh Indian restaurant. Oh yes, it's posh, especially when you look beyond the high hedges and gates and wonder at some of the finest houses - indeed mansions - in the whole of Cheshire. Wow, are they grand, which is why they say you're going 'up the hill' when you go from Altrincham or Hale, and that is meant in so many ways. Footballers, TV stars and the generally well-wadded live there, in a very understated way, of course. This poster is available through statementartworks.com at any size you like.