Two Cities Laid Low

A few posts back, I shared some photographs of a journey I made between two Northern cities, Leeds and Manchester, when the country was on the brink of lockdown. I had to make the return journey last week (essential travel allowed) and, with the UK now a month into lockdown, I took these photographs to share with you all to document these unprecedented days. I probably, hopefully, will never have the chance to see my city like this again.

This first one shows the seating arrangements in my local bus station, to enforce the social distancing. Only the opposite end seats were available, first come first served (though there weren’t many takers).  An unenthusiastic game of musical chairs.

Again, on the bus-alternate rows of seating available. The driver taking my fare said it was the most he’d taken all morning.

Manchester, message delivered.

Looking towards the usually notorious Piccadilly Gardens.

Market Street.

I saw neither tram nor cycle, just the odd jogger taking their allotted moment of exercise.

When a passing bus departed, the city fell into a strangely hushed tone.

St.Anne’s Square, scene of much mourning and festooned with flowers following the Arena bombing.

Deserted thoroughfares.

Many shop doors and windows wore similar sentiments from their owners. Some just a stark notice that no goods or money were left on the premises, in lieu of any opportunist thieves moving into the city.

Not a drinker in sight.

Moving now towards the train station.

The statue of Gandhi outside the Cathedral. The only figure caught in motion.

Ever since the lockdown the weather has been glorious. The place would have been swarming with shoppers and drinkers and more.

Looking towards the Football Museum, symbolic of the sport that has now been suspended.

I could take a photo in the middle of the road, with little fear of trams or vehicles.

Looking towards Angel Square from the rear.

Victoria Station. Could it be that I was the only commuter?

More social distancing, now musical urinals.

Sinks too.

There was only me and this railway worker.

Only for essential travel

The train I caught had originated in Liverpool, passed through Manchester and was bound for Edinburgh. I alighted in Leeds, the station there similar to the one in Manchester.

Leeds. Snippets of conversations that took place with the few people that I encountered I intend to print elsewhere.

Millennium Square. Manchester and Leeds-two northern cities laid low by an invisible foe.

11 thoughts on “Two Cities Laid Low

  1. Whoa…very impressive – the photos, but also the fact that you guys are really doing the lockdown, as we all should be doing. Unfortunately, the state where we live is a disgrace to the human race (that rhymes!) – and now having fully re-opened after never ever being under any true shelter-in-place order (ie “Stay at Home. Stay at Work.” which lasted less than 2 weeks).
    I applaud the citizens in the cities these photos represent.
    Stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, less than two weeks is not good. Think you can have the virus for half that before showing symptoms, and more difficult is the fact that people can have the virus with no symptoms at all, so go about their business infecting others. There can be a bit of a problem away from the city centres, in the suburbs, but on the whole people are adhering to the social distancing advice.
      As I write this, I’m currently in a clinic in Leeds undertaking a trial of an anti-viral drug that is hoped can be used against the Coronavirus. Hence my Manchester -Leeds trips that were classed as ‘essential travel’.
      Be careful, with little lockdown in your state numbers could start to accelerate.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my God, two cities I know well and live smack bang in between looking like this. Hopefully life will return to these usually lively and interesting streets. There is a sniff of improvement in the air now. I don’t know what it’s like in Huddersfield, I haven’t really left Slaithwaite for over a month.


  3. I love this Andy. Thank you so much for sharing. I work in Manchester but haven’t been there for weeks now. And I know what you mean about the trams. It feels odd walking down the tram tracks in Blackpool knowing there are no trams coming but still looking for them anyway from muscle memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes being able to travel at this time (I was taking part in a clinical trial for the virus) gave me a great opportunity to document my city as I’d never seen it before.

      Liked by 1 person

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