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November 13, 2021

40 Sombre Black-and-White Photos of Streets of Manchester in 1963

Manchester went through enormous and difficult changes in the sixties. After WWII cities such as Manchester lost power over local gas and electrical supply – thus much of their income. The city also had to struggle with high unemployment rates, as heavy industry, cotton processing and trading all suffered a severe downturn. Between 1961 and 1983, Manchester lost 150,000 jobs in manufacturing. The city’s population also suffered a decline during that time. In 1961, Manchester’s population was 662,000, and by 1971 it was 544,000.

The city also saw the rise of new buildings, skyscrapers and housing schemes in this decade. Few aesthetically memorable buildings were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, but some grew into landmarks. In 1962, the 118-metre tall CIS Tower became the tallest building in the United Kingdom, and three years later came the opening of the Piccadilly Plaza, another skyscraper. Overcrowded and shabby housing was also demolished to make way for high-rise blocks of flats.

Take a look back at the city in 1963 through these 40 sober vintage black-and-white photographs from part of the Town Hall Photographer’s Collection at Manchester City Council’s Central Library archives:


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