The Urban Group Out and About


The Urban Interest Group out and about

The Urban Group has had a busy couple of months with visits to Media City, The Royal Exchange Theatre and St Ann's Square, two visits to St Mary's church (the "Hidden Gem") and three to Manchester Central (aka GMex). There have also been a couple of short-notice "turn-up" events. Group members were warmly welcomed at all the venues and several images have been sent to our various hosts as a "thank you".

The Group's first outing, and the only exclusively outdoor one to date, was to Media City. Weather conditions were mixed, but we were blessed by one brief window of perfect light for photographing the area's modern architecture and bridges. Even though the area has been photographed to death, it's always worth a visit, especially at night. Even during the day, the light is always changing.

We visited the Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann's Church and the Barton Arcade in St Ann's Square. The group captured the lively interior of the imposing Royal Exchange building and some members were fortunate enough to be given access to the "module". Discussions are underway with the theatre to use their display spaces and cabinets for an exhibition of the club's images. This is an extremely prestigious venue and a great opportunity for the club to boost its visibility within the city.

At St Mary's church, the group took shots of the magnificent interior of the church and its decorations. One of the visits coincided with Passion Week, so all the statuary (and the altar) was draped in purple fabric. Undeterred, members took advantage and produced some images that are consequently different from the usual ones of church interiors. The visits turned out to be well-timed, as some restoration work is about to commence on the dome. Father Anthony has asked for a high-res copy of one of the dome shots for before/after reference purposes.

Most recently, the group made a number of visits to GMex, now known as Manchester Central to reflect its original use as the Manchester terminus of the Great Central railway. The vast train shed is still in use, albeit as an exhibition arena and venue for trade shows. A little surprisingly, we were also given totally free and unfettered access to the much more recent Convention Centre, which is used for seminars and conferences, including those of the major political parties! Members came away with images of the train shed, its windows, clock and girders, together with some of the more sober atmosphere of the Convention Centre. The venue is using some of our images for its social media feeds.


Urban Group Members' Images - May 2023


In conclusion, the Urban group has enjoyed a successful series of visits to several locations around the city centre. The members are to be congratulated on their stunning photographs, which showcase the unique features of each location, and we hope this will give them – and those who have still not signed up for one of our outings – the motivation not to let the next opportunity pass. We will always endeavour to include a weekend date in our schedule to make it easier for those with work or other weekday commitments.