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.
This week our classic main image shows Stockport tram No. 35B travelling down Upper Lloyd Street in Moss Side. The date is March 1934.
Tram No. 15 is close by and a hardy cyclist is braving the rain that glistens off the pavements and cobbles. Red-brick Victorian terraces line either side of the street and gas lamps are still in evidence.
The modern picture, taken by photographer Nicola Mazzuia, is very different. The terraces have long since been demolished and tarmac and speed-humps have replaced the cobbles. Trees have grown where tall iron tram poles once stood.
Trams have operated in Manchester since 1877 and were originally drawn by horses. There were 515 tramcars by the 1890s, each requiring six pairs of horses per day.
The first electric tramcars were seen on Manchester streets in 1901 – and had replaced all horse-drawn vehicles by 1904.
So Elmes went back to the drawing board and the foundation stone for the grand project was laid in 1838 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria a year earlier.
Elmes supervised the building work until 1847 when he left England for Jamaica where he died of consumption. The baton then passed to Corporation Surveyor John Weightman and structural engineer Robert Rawlinson.
Designer Charles Cockerell took charge in 1851 and laid out most of the building’s impressive interiors. The hall was officially opened in 1854.
As imposing now as it was 160 years ago, St George’s Hall has rightly been described by architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as one of the finest neo-Grecian buildings in the world.
*Many more images from Then and Now will feature in a brilliant new book from publishers iNostalgia. Watch out for more details soon.