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May 25, 2021

Fascinating Vintage Snapshots of Greater Manchester in the 1970s

Manchester went through enormous changes in the seventies—a decade of confusion, of a loss of direction, of new music, and the arrival of a vast city center monster. During the 1970s, the City Council lost most of its remaining vital responsibilities. After WWII cities such as Manchester lost power over local gas and electrical supply – thus much of their income. All control of local transport was taken and the city’s famous red buses became grotesque pop orange and brown under a broader transport authority.

In 1974, Greater Manchester County was created from south-east Lancashire and north east Cheshire. Thus the city of Manchester lost power over its police force and fire services. With the creation of the North West Water Authority it also lost its management of water and sewage services. Even the airport was taken out of Manchester’s hands to be shared by the new Greater Manchester authority. It was also during this decade that Manchester Ship Canal began a steep decline at its headwaters in Salford and Trafford as container traffic began to make it unviable. Between 1961 and 1983, Manchester lost 150,000 jobs in manufacturing.

Take a look back at the city in the 1970s through 36 fascinating vintage snapshots from the Visual Resources Collection at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections:

High Street.

Grosvenor Picture Palace.


Building at the junction of Bridge Street and Motor Street.

Architecture and Planning Building.

Central Station.

Charles Barry Crescent.

Charles Barry Crescent.

Clopton Walk and the Crescents.

Blanshard Walk.

Northcliffe House.

Oxford Road.

Oxford Road.

Otterburn Close.

Piccadilly Station Office Block.

Piccadilly Station Approach and Gateway House.

Mosley Street.

Oxford public house.

Studio 1 to 5 cinema.

Clopton Walk shopping precinct.

Cavendish Street.

Hotel Piccadilly.

Liverpool Road Station.

Liverpool Road Station.

Telecommunication House.

Wakefield Street.

Whitworth Park Student Residences.

Gaumont Cinema.

Cavendish Street.

Liverpool Road.

St Ann's Square.

London Road.

Withy Grove.

The Old Curiosity Shop.

Midland Bank building.

Pansies mural.

(via Confidentials)


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