Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Friday, 24 August 2012

More of Manchester

On our way in to Manchester yesterday we first of all passed the Kelloggs factory with a delicious smell of cornflakes wafting over us.

Then around the corner and we were soon passing Old Trafford, the Manchester United football stadium.

Here we can see the Pomona lock which takes you down onto the Manchester ship canal if you have all the necessary paperwork and requirements of the Canal board.

This is the now disused Hulme lock, the original junction with the ship canal.

Tower blocks are alongside the canal too, container towers of 5 or 6 high, and about 12 storeys to these flats.

The canal and basins are criss-crossed with bridges carrying trains, trams, cars, and people from one side to the other, even the bridges cross over each other in places.

Once we were settled in Castlefields, we headed off the the Jewish Museum.  We had been unable to visit last time we were here as not surprisingly it is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.  It is housed in a former synagogue built by the Sephardi Jews of Manchester but with influences of the Moorish Ashkenazi Jewish architect.
Set out in a not dissimilar way to many  christian chapels, with balcony on three sides, and coloured glass windows and decorative paintwork on columns, it was a very attractive place for worship.

The pulpit called the Tebah was not at the front, more central, where the Rabbi would read from the parchment Torah scrolls, with choir stalls behind.  So that the parchment was never touched by hands it is unrolled using the wooden rods and read using a yad a slender stick with a hand carved at the end to point to the handwritten text as it is read.

 On the eastern wall ahead of the Rabbi and the congregation is The Ark, a cupboard lined with satin brocade to house the sacred Torah scrolls.

The stained glass window above the ark shows the 7 branched Menorah candelabra. One branch for every day of creation.

Originally the balcony was where the women would sit for worship, the men would sit downstairs.  Now this area is an exhibition of Jewish history in Manchester. I did take photos inside, but had to sign a form for permission and agree not to publish them. Sorry.

Here we are at Salford Quays. Manchester's docks which have been redeveloped with an array of very modern buildings. Home to Mediacity, Lowry Centre, shops, offices and flats.

The Imperial War Musem across the Quay is very bright and shiny.  We didn't visit there today though.

We chose instead to go to the Lowry Centre, where we enjoyed seeing some of the many drawings and paintings by the artist L.S. Lowry (1887-1976)
Of course he is famous for his industrial arhitectural pictures with crowds of matchstick people moving about. But he also painted portraits, seascapes, and many pencil sketches often on old envelopes, hotel paper, serviettes or whatever he had to hand. There are 4,500 of his works catalogued but probably more like 8-10,000 pieces altogether around the country if not the world. It might be worth checking your attic!  His paintings now reaching millions of pounds at  auction. 

1 comment:

  1. You have captured a wonderful variety of architecture. Manchester is such a diverse place.