The North West Film Archive

I had a very exciting trip to the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University a few weeks ago and have been able to compile a small showcase of three very special films of Smithfield Markets in their collection from the early 1900s and the 1970s. I think the aerial shot of the markets around 4 minutes is really something, but really all of it brings to life the stories collected over Collecting History these last few weeks.

Footage courtesy of the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University with additional thanks to Salford University for use of the final black and white film.

The Markets and Food Suppliers of Manchester
Smithfield Market Manchester 1853 – 1973
Smithfield Market 1973, copyright of Salford University


Early Elbow gigs & a new Patron

At the launch day last Saturday it was announced that MCDC had a new patron in the form of Guy Garvey, lead singer from Elbow. Elbow performed at Manchester Craft Village several years ago and he had this to say,

Years ago I’d sit and scribble in the café, or wander around the shops watching people work. It’s one of those warm personal destinations that I’ll meet friends from out of town in and if you like to give personal gifts then there is nowhere better in the North West. I’m very proud to be a patron

Old and New

Submitted by Rochelle to the blog,

Silverlode was in MCDC for 23 years. I was there for 11 of those years. The Craft Centre was run as a cooperative back then. Ewa Barker, Tara Kirkpatrick, Rochelle Dodson, Gary Arnfield and Rob Fulton were all tenants at MDCD and part of who made up Silverlode over the years. It was through Tara’s patience and Ewa’s dogged determination to take on every request (argh) that I learned the skills I have acquired today.

Marketing MCDC seems to have been a lively issue with tenants, staff and visitors over the last 30 years, from it’s initial guise as an artists co-operative to it’s current incarnation as a managed organisation, and to it’s names: Manchester Craft Village, Manchester Craft Centre, Manchester Craft & Design Centre, MCDC. The Centre is now one of the organisations under the Arts Council National Portfolio funding programme and with this comes new developments in the form of a new website with a selling platform for tenants and more opportunities to work with and support external and local creativity. An exciting future certainly, but here’s a little bit of history..

Courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council

Copyright Ed Chadwick 2007,

Brideshead Bad Behaviour

sumitted by Kate Day, director of MCDC

Hopefully one of us has mentioned at some point that MCDC features in the 1981 classic serialisation of Brideshead Revisited?  In fact a drunken Sebastian Flyte crashes his car into the front of the building, only to be arrested by the rozzers on Copperas St!  Here’s the Youtube link – the crash happens around 21 mins.

Apparently in 1981 Manchester was a cheap place to film so the series producers (Granada?) used the NQ as a location.  We think that the club that Sebastian & mates get sloshed at is probably filmed at Band on the Wall.

Absolutely thrilled to discover The Complete History of Drinking in the Northern Quarter project this week, Keen to discover more about them and see where our projects crosses over, more about this later..

We have launched!

We have officially launched the exhibition and project space at MCDC! Thanks to speakers, Sue Fletcher (Chair of the MCDC Board Of Directors), Councillor Mike Amesbury (Executive Member for Leisure & Culture, MCC) and Jane Beardsworth (Regional Director, Arts Council North West).

I ran a drop clay and metal stamping workshop with the help of my glamorous assistants, Fabian, Ginger and Hattie. There were Blue Lagoons and Tequila Sunrises inspired by the 1982 opening and live music music by Tom Thorp & English Electric, specially commissioned for the 30th anniversary of the Centre drawing on the history of the building itself, from it’s initial use as a Manchester’s fish market, to it’s modern day guise as MCDC.

I’m next in the space at MCDC on Saturday 5th May, 2-5pm if you would like to call in and tell me your story but you can pop in anytime and leave your memories with the exhibition, or leave them with the blog here.

Collecting History Launch – Saturday 28th April 2012

We launch Collecting History in the exhibition space at MCDC Saturday 28th April with drop in workshops, live music from Thomas Thorp (saxophone) and English Electric (electro DJ/composer), and 1982-tastic food and drinks from Oak St. Cafe. Launch runs from 2-5pm – all welcome!

The exhibition will be added to, tweaked and reworked over the course of the project, until the 30th June. Comments left here will be transferred to the exhibition and I will be in residence at MCDC collecting your thoughts on Manchester Craft & Design Centre (dates to follow). I look forward to hearing from you!

More information: MCDC and Facebook