A welcome from EP Niblock-
Manchester prides itself on being the Original Modern City...
And as the 21st century gains pace and we leave the awkward noughties behind, the cityscape, more than a decade on from the almost mythical ‘96 bomb blast that kick-started its rapid reinvention, continues its incredible transformation, rapidly shedding its famous industrial skin, the patina of its 20th century incarnation, for a shiny new one. The perfect opportunity then as we hurtle excitedly into this uncharted imminent future to examine the almost ‘archaeological’ landscape of the century we have only just left behind, itself a hundred years of massive social, physical and cultural change.
This is a century that practically all of us have witnessed, influenced and survived, yet ironically from the point of view of the built environment one that threatens to disappear quite unceremoniously from our shared consciousness, like so much discarded rubbish. and whilst we recognise that the city by its very nature erases itself as it expands through history, we enjoy the untidy relics of past lives it leaves in its wake.
Why another organisation dedicated to manchester architecture and the city I hear you ask - we already have Riba Hub and CUBE both doing a splendid job of showcasing its delights to visitors and Mancunians alike? And do we really need another society – surely there’s enough with the likes of the Civic Society, the Twentieth Century Society, the Manchester Geographical Society? Each of these special interest groups do a marvellous job within their specific remits, but their very formality, so crucial to their campaigning aims and ambitions may well have prevented all but the most self confident activist from joining up and getting involved with their worthy work.
Here at the toddling Manchester Modernist Society we love the city past, present and future. We are keen to document, investigate and celebrate the city in the spirit of the amateur and the enthusiast. On the street, at ground level, inscribed in the footprint of the city, in the gnarly carbuncle of the careworn, the overlooked, the neglected and forgotten fabric of the city, not simply it’s tarted up million dollar revamps or its grand municipal giants.
We want to explore the extraordinary story of the 20th century in the broadest possible sense, especially its everyday vernacular landscape, start conversations, bring people together, raise awareness and perhaps even make the occasional difference – but most of all to get out there and enjoy ourselves in it.
This is a small group with a big idea - to create a friendly and accessible old fashioned club for understanding, celebrating and involving us all in the ongoing story of our daily lives in this infuriating, fascinating and fabulous city – by and with the people who make it alive – YOU!!