Jonathan Schofield and a photo that led to so many others: here are some of the best
A sunny day, spring in the air, and I felt the need for fresh air and long perspectives.
There is one place that draws me like a magnet. Blackstone Edge is a sort of spirtual home. So I took a train from Victoria Station and twenty minutes later was walking out of Littleborough station. This time instead of turning east I went north west up Hare Hill Road, Shore Road and Moor Gate Lane to get a view of Blackstone Edge and its 473m (1552ft) craggy heights.
I took a picture and then some more of the city centre towers fourteen miles distant to the south west. I did a quick, almost unthinking, post on Twitter inviting others to chuck in their favourite views of the city centre's burgeoning skyline. Images came flooding in from all points of the compass around Greater Manchester. More appeared on Facebook via Instagram.
There was a recent article in The Times about Manchester's night-time economy quoting Paulette Constable who after more than two decades in Ibiza, Paris and London returned to find Manchester "has a skyline now." She continued: "I rode my bike in one day during the pandemic and there it was. You can see it coming in on the M60 or when you land at the airport." She was astonished.
Anybody who has been living in and around central Manchester and Salford over the past few years is well aware of the towers blooming over the twin cities.
There might be little surprise anymore for residents but the contrast with other UK regional capitals is instructive and stark. We now have more than 16 towers over 100m (350ft). Outside the capital Birmingham is the second tallest city with six structures over 100m. The tallest in Brum is BT Tower from 1966 and that is 61m (200ft) shorter than Deansgate Square's South Tower and the latter's impressive 201m (659ft).
Manchester and Salford's skyline is still on the move too with another eight or so towers planned or under constuction all of which will smash that 100m line. One tower will be 213m (700ft). Some commentators disparage this rampant upward mobility and mutter about gentrification (falsely) and about rich ghettos (possibly). Other commentators and people think it's exciting and fascinating to witness. Place me in that bracket.
As Jason Wood's picture shows, there are two main clusters of new towers. One sits at the end of Deansgate and Lower Mosley Street and the other is in the Greengate area of Salford with a smattering of tall places inbetween.
Below is a selection of photos that were posted following that initial Tweet with a couple more of our own added in. There's even a painting. The main image comes from David Spendlove from due south of the city centre and we've included one of Andy Mallin's astonishing drone pictures which we featured in a separate article.
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