Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Lost and forgotten streets of Manchester nu 33 Leaf Street ........ the workhouse, the swimming baths and more flats

Leaf Street, early in 2016
Now if you remember this bit of tiling you will have fond memories of the Leaf Street Baths in Hulme. It was built by the Manchester & Salford Baths and Laundries Company which had baths across the city and into Salford.

Ours offered both swimming facilities and a Turkish Bath, and every time the baths are featured there are always plenty of contributions from those who learnt to swim there or just had fun in the water.

Leaf Street, 1920
But like other Victorian baths they never made it past the middle of the 20th century.

Leaf Street went in the 1970s as part of the huge clearance programme.

What I hadn’t realised is that when they were demolished much of the building was just covered with soil and left.

So when the site began to be redeveloped recently a fair amount of those buried bits were exposed to the light of day.

Andy Robertson was on hand and took a series of pictures recording the excavated site, and was back yesterday to see what the developers and builders had done since.

And this is the result which in time will become more flats and continue the re population of Hulme.

Leaf Street, autumn, 2016
Sadly Andy was not on hand to snap the old workhouse run by the Chorlton Union which sat on the site for twenty or so years until it was replaced by the bigger and more impressive one at Withington in the 1850s.

As for Leaf Street I suppose it will soon not count as a long or forgotten street.

Once it was a busy place which then after the clearances became just a dead end beside the motorway going into town.

But with those new blocks of flats, and  their new set of residents Leaf Street will again be on the map as a place people come home to, write letters to and no doubt will evolve a new a history.

Location; Hulme


Pictures; Leaf Street in 2016 from the collection of Andy Robertson, Leaf Street Public Baths, 1920, m57327  courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

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