Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look today.

Our main image this week shows stonemasons busy at work in Parker Street, Manchester, in March 1932.

Behind them, at Numbers 2 to 4 Parker Street, is an imposing Victorian warehouse with the sign for Staines Inlaid Linoleums on the ground floor.

Lancashire was one of the centres for the linoleum industry along with East Scotland and the town of Staines itself. The Linoleum Manufacturing Company Ltd had offices at 2 Parker Street in 1927.

Linoleum was invented by Englishman Frederick Walton in 1855, when he noticed the durable qualities of solidified linseed oil (linoxyn) and thought it might make a cheap substitute for India rubber.

Parker Street, Manchester - Then Parker Street, Manchester - Now

The highest grade linoleum in the 1930s was the inlaid type described in the sign. Joining and inlaying solid pieces of linoleum made it stronger and more durable.

Also occupying the warehouse behind the stonemasons was J.Templeton and Company – a Glasgow-based carpet manufacturer with offices in Manchester, London, Montreal and Melbourne.

The warehouses were destroyed in the Christmas Blitz of December 1940, when the Luftwaffe dropped nearly 500 tons of high explosive on Manchester over the course of two nights.

The scene is very different today in photographer Nicola Mazzuia’s modern image. Concrete and glass office buildings have replaced the lino and carpet warehouses and tram tracks run through the street.

One person in a mask bears testament to the restrictions caused by the Covid 19 outbreak.

*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.

It’s on sale at £14.99 including postage and packing. Order your copy online at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.