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 main image shows a deserted Deansgate on the morning of Good Friday, April 1953.

Two hikers are setting off to go pot-holing in the Manifold Valley, Derbyshire. There is no traffic apart from a solitary bus in the distance.

We even know the names of the intrepid hikers hidden behind their heavy loads. They are Brian Duckworth and George Evans of Monton, Lancashire. Hopefully they enjoyed a pleasant trip.

The scene is eerily similar to today’s picture where Manchester’s population is in lockdown due to the coronavirus. The usually bustling Deansgate is empty at a peak time of the day – a sight rarely witnessed in our lifetimes.

To the north, Deansgate runs to Victoria Street and Manchester Cathedral. At its southern end it connects with Chester Road and the Bridgewater Viaduct.

fensive errors let them down and the champions again lost 3-1.

The war poet Wilfred Owen served with the Manchester Regiment, winning the Military Cross for his leadership at Joncourt. He was killed in action at the Sambre-Oise Canal one week before the Armistice was signed in November 1918.

Deansgate, Manchester - Then Deansgate, Manchester - Now

One of the most distinctive buildings on Deansgate is the neo-Gothic John Rylands Library. It was opened to the public in 1900 after being founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband.

The northern part of Deansgate, linking to the Shambles, was badly damaged in the 1996 Manchester bombing. Its redevelopment included the No. 1 Deansgate building and the city branch of Harvey Nichols.

Other notable buildings on Deansgate are the Beetham Tower, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the remodelled Great Northern Warehouse.

*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.