Manchester Art Gallery's harbinger of spring

The cherry tree has done it again, turning heads, making people smile. The days are getting longer and the days are getting warmer. Manchester Art Gallery's pocket parks are spreading the mood led by our happy cherry tree. 

It wasn't always like this. Take a look at the slider below. 

The pictures above date from 1957 and March 2023, one shows a smoke-blackened Art Gallery and the other a cleaned and greened building, well, as much greening as the Art Gallery can fit round its tight site on Mosley Street. 

Manchester came late to planting trees down its main streets, only from the nineties did planting on city centre streets make any headway. Prior to that the city considered itself a tough no-nonsense sort of place with little time for such frippery. The countryside and suburban parks would do.

Mag Cherry 2
Through the branches Image: Confidentials

Of course the most common, almost tedious, conversation amongst city centre residents concerns the lack of large green spaces in the central areas. That demands a history lesson, which as a guide and writer I'm more than happy to offer. 

The problem is to create one now would take a huge property swoop and the clearance of land along with millions and millions of pounds that the city simply does not have. It could have all been so different if a plan in 1935 had been carried forward. Read here for a dream that would have transformed the city centre. 

Still there are lots of pocket parks and last year we did receive the blessing of Mayfield Park. And we have this cherry tree every March to show us spring has sprung. 

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