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STRANGEWAYS BREWERY is on the corner of Trinity Way and Great Ducie Street. Here, Manchester's most famous beer, Boddingtons is produced. You can taste it freshly brewed in the Brewery Tap pub, on the left of the picture.

There are also guided tours round the brewery.

The chimney and some of the buildings are original, the rest of what we see here is of recent origin. Though the buildings are new, the beer tastes much the same as it always has.

The boundary between the Manchester and Salford local authorities is just behind us - Strangeways Brewery is located within the City of Manchester... just!

THIS WAS a major bridge across the river. Now it carries just a side road, as a new bridge was built just off the picture to the right for Trinity Way, part of the new inner ring road round the centre of Manchester and Salford.

The border between Manchester and Salford local authorities runs along the centre of the river - we are on the Manchester side.

For orientation, Highland House, opposite Manchester Cathedral, is visible in the centre right.

THIS IS THE VIEW from this bridge on a murky daylooking towards Manchester - I enhanced the image to make it look old-fashioned and removed several buildings.

ANACONDA CUT FACTS

  • Serious flooding hit Salford in 1866 and 1946, when 22,000 cusecs flowed into Salford - the channel could only take 12 or 13,000 cusecs
  • The total cost was £2m, more than half of which was for the purchase of property which should never have been built next to the river.
  • The River Irwell first flowed through the cut in September 1970

 


The former location of one EWM reader's childhood home is approximately mid-air over the river in the picture on the left! The view on the right is what he'd see now from the place where his bedroom window was.

 

JUST HALF A MILE from the city centre, with Highland House still visible in the distance on the left, we've reached a wide curve in the river. If you cleaned the place up, added some people and put a cathedral on the other bank, this could be Durham.

Here we are looking at one of the most remarkable and least known civil engineering projects in the local area - the re-routing of the River Irwell, or so-called 'Anaconda Cut'.

The stretch of river in the right half of this picture is a channel which was cut through to straighten out the Irwell and increase its capacity. Coming from the right, where the flats are, the Irwell used to turn north, then south in a sharp elbow, continuing along by the foot of this picture and on through the centre of the city.

In 1946 there was serious flooding in Salford further upstream from here, caused by the bottleneck at this point. In fact, flooding had been a problem for hundreds of years - the name Strangeways actually means 'place subject to flooding'.

And so the decision was taken to straighten and widen the river, increasing its capacity and reducing the risk of flooding. Work started in 1951. It was only in late 1970 that water first flowed through the Anaconda Cut, named partly after the snake-like course of the river, and after the former Anaconda engineering works, built on the river bank, near where the flats are now.

While river flooding causes damage and misery in other parts of the country, Salford is protected thanks to this remarkable project, which more people ought to know about. Wouldn't this make a great educational field trip for geography or science?

THIS IS SPRINGFIELD LANE, the continuation of Cottenham Lane. The buildings visible here were formerly located inside the sharp elbow course of the river, surrounding a tongue of land on three sides.

When the river was diverted, Springfield Street was cut in two and the warehouses now found themselves to the north of the Irwell, which runs past the gap between the buildings in the centre. A concrete footbridge links the two parts of Springfield Lane.

Manchester Town Hall is visible in the distance just over three quarters of a mile (1.2km) away

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