Manchester is a relatively new city. It was not until the eighteenth century that this once
inconspicuous medieval settlement came to the world’s attention for the manufacture of
cotton earning it the colloquial name of ‘Cottonopolis’.
Its development at the forefront of
the industrial revolution rapidly formed the foundations for the great city we see today. The
wealth generated by Victorian industry tended to be re-invested locally as evidenced in the
grand buildings with their magnificent interiors that still stand today.
A number of cotton
magnates also left financial legacies for the founding of colleges, libraries and galleries,
which have enriched the lives of generations ever since. These historic structures rear
proudly in and amongst the glass-clad buildings of more recent architectural styles.
The City’s ‘Coat Of Arms’, granted in 1842, proclaims Manchester as ‘a city of global
trade and industry, built on extreme courage, bravery, strength and discipline and filled
with peace and harmony’. This is no exaggerated boast as Mike Heath’s photographic journey
around the city proves.
It includes images of Manchester’s shiny new structures with their state-of-the-art
architecture, rejuvenated Victorian buildings complete with their flamboyant interiors,
nineteenth century institutions that have stood the test of time, road, rail and water transport
past and present, and covers some the major annual events that bring this vibrant city
to life all year round.
Mike Heath’s specialism is photographing Heritage Railways up and down the country.
Having amassed a vast collection of atmospheric photographs, covering all
aspects of preserved railways, selections from Mike’s portfolio have already been
seen in previous books in the Halsgrove Railway Series.
In 2008 Mike, ventured into night-time cityscape photography culminating in his
first non-railway book Manchester Illuminated published by Halsgrove the following
year. This was followed by the hugely popular Spirit of Manchester under Halsgrove’s
He has since made many trips into Manchester to not only record the latest new developments in the
city but also look in more detail at the rejuvenated historic buildings around which it has grown. The
stunning images in Manchester – The Great City are the result of these visits and capture the reinvigorated
city centre, its industrial heritage, the various communities that live and work there and the events that they,
and visitors, can enjoy all year round.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 294 1, hardback, 238x258mm, 144 pages. Published October 2016.