moral ecologies of resistance

A couple of weeks ago, news of private developers netting hedges and trees to prevent migratory birds nesting in them started to raise objections on social media.

Samantha Fisher article bbc news
netting trees
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47627749
BBC news 'where is it happening'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47627749

More recently, local people near the affected areas have taken action such as setting up a petition, and in some places taken more direct action by pulling down the nets.

anti bird netting in Ludlow story BBC news
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-47886345

This act of protest resistance recalls types of actions undertaken in 18th and 19th century rural Britain (often but not always) within the context of disputes over enclosure of common rights and land.

The historiography of enclosure has a long pedigree, but more recent work in cultural geography has rethought the nature and types of protest, moving away from the major and well known riots that pulled up fences and hedges, and more towards acts of rural resistance undertaken over longer time scales and within more micro-contexts of tense community relations. These include Timothy Shakesheff’s work on rural tactics in Herefordshire, to Carl Griffin’s voluminous work on tree-maiming, Briony McDonagh’s uncovering of cases of ploughing, and most recently Leon Baker’s survey of commoners using animal trespass as a form of resistance to enclosures.

Much of this work was originally inspired by anthropologist J. C. Scott’s concepts of ‘weapons of the weak’ but the main influence now is Karl Jacoby, and his model of ‘moral ecology’. Drawing directly on E. P. Thompson’s ‘moral economy’ model, which explained how food rioters enacted particular customary rituals as forms of community justice to reassert a ‘fair price’ determined by the community, Jacoby’s ‘moral ecology’ suggested that communities enacted environmental resistance as forms of community justice against large landowners threatening their livelihoods. In other words, just as a local community defended their ‘fair price’ for food against outsiders attempting to hoard it and make a profit from artificial price hikes (the ‘moral economy’), local communities could also defend their environment against outsiders attempting to impose a different form of landscape upon it (the ‘moral ecology’). This idea of inhabitants being closely attuned to the economy and ecology of their environment also links closely to Tim Ingold’s interpretation of the landscape as a ‘taskscape’ for its residents, a land to be worked and subsisted in rather than to be viewed from a distance or reshaped wholesale by external powers.

Iain Robertson’s study of Highland crofters’ forms of action and interaction with their environment after the Clearances, and with Carl Griffin and Roy Jones, have applied Jacoby’s model to British examples. Local rural residents were acutely aware of the environment, and in farming and subsistence on it, sought to defend their landscapes against any outsider influences which might change the ecology, and therefore erode their livelihoods. There were glimpses of an early environmentalism within these actions, much earlier than the more generally recognised mass recognition of the importance of ecology from the 1970s onwards.

The current protests against bird netting, and the direct action against them, recall such earlier forms of resistance and ideas about nature and the environment. It is significant that much of the netting has been placed there by private developers building new housing next to, or on, agricultural land. I suppose the major difference is that the people taking off the nets do not directly rely on the surrounding fields for their domestic economies, but nevertheless it indicates a continuity with earlier centuries of rural resistance.

further reading:

  • Karl Jacoby, Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation (2001)
  • Carl Griffin and Iain Robertson, ‘Moral Ecologies: Conservation in Conflict in Rural England’, History Workshop Journal, 82: 1 (2016), 24-49
  • Carl Griffin, Roy Jones and Iain Robertson, Moral Ecologies: Histories of Conservation, Dispossession and Resistance (Palgrave, 2019)
  • Carl Griffin, ‘‘Cut down by some cowardly miscreants’: Plant Maiming, or the Malicious Cutting of Flora, as an Act of Protest in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Rural England’, Rural History, 19: 1 (2008)
  • Carl Griffin, ‘Protest practice and (tree) cultures of conflict: understanding the spaces of ‘tree maiming’ in eighteenth‐ and early nineteenth‐century England’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 33: 1 (2008)
  • Leonard Baker, ‘Human and Animal Trespass as Protest: Space and Continuity in Rural Somerset and Dorset’, History Workshop Journal, ? (2019)
  • Timothy Shakesheff, Rural conflict, crime and protest: Herefordshire, 1800-1860 (2003)
  • Briony McDonagh, ‘Subverting the ground: private property and public protest in the sixteenth-century Yorkshire Wolds’, Agricultural History Review, 57: 2 (2009), 191-206
  • Nicholas Blomley, ‘Making Private Property: Enclosure, Common Right and the Work of Hedges’, Rural History, 18: 1 (2007), 1-21
  • James Winter, Secure from Rash Assault: Sustaining the Victorian Environment (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1999)

commons (2)

1871 os map epsom

I’ve been reading some legal scholarship on the registration of commons and village greens. One of the main themes throughout is the continued difficulties faced in compiling any truly accurate register, given the complex ways in which land has been held and conflicting registrations and non-registrations of common land.

Key legislation:

1965 Commons Registration Act

2006 Commons Registration Act

database of commons (2015): https://data.gov.uk/dataset/05c61ecc-efa9-4b7f-8fe6-9911afb44e1a/database-of-registered-common-land-in-england

  • Christopher P. Rodgers, Eleanor A. Straughton, Angus J. L. Winchester and Margherita Pieraccini, Contested Common Land: Environmental Governance Past and Present (Routledge, Abingdon, 2011) is the most recent major overview of common land and the impact of enclosure.
  • Barbara Bogusz, ‘Regulating public/private interests in town and village greens’, International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, 5: 1 (2013), 21-39 – is a fascinating argument about the problems raised in recent years about communities registering village greens to save them from development for housing. Often environmental concerns are posited as a major reason as well as use of the green spaces for leisure. It also raises the question of ‘proximity’ of the ‘neighbourhood’ from which users of the village green come. As transport enables people to travel to green spaces much further away from their residences than was usual in the 19th century, the old assumptions that local people use their local commons is weakened. This process thereby braodened the idea of the right of use and access.
  • John Aitchison, ‘The town and village greens of England and Wales’, Landscape Research, 21: 1 (1996) – on the inaccuracies of the first registration of village greens by the 1955 Royal Commission on Common Land, and charting the different geographical concentrations of village greens in England in the 1990s. The largest number they charted were in Cumbria (191) and Hertfordshire (116).

Further reading:

  • Donald McGillivray and Jane Holder, ‘Locality, environment and law: the case of town and village greens’, International Journal of Law in Context, 3: 1 (2007), 1-17.
  • J. W. Aitchison, ‘The Commons and Wastes of England and Wales, 1958-1989’, Area (1990)

I’ve also been looking through old civil court cases around commons registration using the Westlaw UK database. More on my findings about common rights and access using these to follow…

a revival of interest in land reform

I’m curious as to why there has been an upsurge in academic and trade books on the issue of land reform. Of course, Anna Minton was part of pushing the issue of the privatisation of public land back onto the agenda a few years ago, and I’m also including the work of Stuart Hodkinson theorising the ‘new urban enclosures’. There have recently been a glut of new provocative books. These include the following:

book covers of Tichelar, Christophers and Shrubsole

Brett Christophers, The New Enclosure: the appropriation of public land in neoliberal Britain (Verso, 2018) – I might do a quick review in another blog post: basically, his general argument is good, though I’m less keen on his writing style and his generalisations about the history of feudalism and enclosure, for which he mainly draws on Polanyi, and on the 1870s register of land owners, for which he draws mainly on Cahill.

Michael Tichelar, The Failure of Land Reform in Twentieth Century England: the triumph of private property (Routledge, 2018) – bringing together a life time’s work on the topic, though mainly focused on the role of the Labour Party in pushing for various land reform policies regarding the ‘unearned increment’ in land acquisition policies.

Guy Shrubsole, Who Owns England? (out in May) which I’m looking forward to: a summary no doubt of the excellent research being done for his project and blog of the same name.

Of course these studies have been years in the making, and reflected perhaps the debates around Publicly-Owned Private spaces that Minton drew attention to.

But it’s interesting that they’re being published at a time when there seems to be much publicity around councils now re-investing in buying land and real estate, using new loans, such as for shopping centres and hotels (Croydon – https://insidecroydon.com/2018/11/01/council-pays-53m-to-buy-unloved-colonnades-centre/) (Rochdale – https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/rochdale-council-buys-retail-park-15565577)

These acquisitions seem to be reversing the process identified by Christophers and Hodkinson of ‘new urban enclosures’, whereby land previously owned by public bodies such as councils has been sold off for redevelopment at a rapid rate. Yet these are not ‘unenclosing’ these spaces; the councils’ investments perhaps are just another part of the longer process of ‘financial landownership’ that Doreen Massey and A. Catalano, and David Harvey identified has been occurring since at least the 1970s, whereby companies invest in the value of land as a capital asset (Christophers, p. 112).

Further reading:

Anna Minton, Ground Control: fear and happiness in the twenty-first century city (Penguin, 2009)

Stuart Hodkinson, ‘ The new urban enclosures’, City, 16: 5 (2012), pp. 500-518

David Harvey, The Limits to Capital (1982; rev. ed. Verso, 2007)

Doreen Massey and A. Catalano, Capital and Land: private ownership by capital in Great Britain (Edward Arnold, 1978)

definitions of public space

parliament and embankment

I’m starting to compile as many definitions of public space as I can from here.

2011

First, the definition from the London Assembly’s 2011’s report, ‘Public life in private hands Managing London’s public space’, which started to acknowledge the massive shift to privately-owned public spaces in the capital.

appendix 1 definition of public space 'all spaces including streets, squares and parks that everyone can use and access in principle, regardless of who owns or manages the space'

‘all spaces including streets, squares and parks that everyone can use and access in principle, regardless of who owns or manages the space’.

2004

The 2011 report also quoted the 2004 government report, Living Places: Caring for Quality, https://www.futurecommunities.net/files/images/ving_Places_Caring_for_Quality_Report__ODPM_.pdf, which defines ‘public realm’ as

‘all those parts of the built environment where the public has free access. It encompasses: all streets, squares and other rights of way, whether predominantly in residential, commercial or community/civic uses; the open spaces and parks; and the ‘public/private’ spaces where public access is unrestricted (at least during daylight hours). It includes the interfaces with key internal and private spaces to which the public normally has free access’.

1990

The 2011 report notes ‘this is different from the legal definition in the Town and Country Planning Act of 1990’ (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/8/section/336)

“open space” means any land laid out as a public garden, or used for the purposes of public recreation, or land which is a disused burial ground’

and the more traditional planning definition of Public Open Space.

It also notes the additional category of ‘public green space’, including urban parks and gardens, country parks and canal and riverbanks.

2014

See also the 2014 government guidance about the definitions of Open Green Space in replation to planning and sport: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/open-space-sports-and-recreation-facilities-public-rights-of-way-and-local-green-space

open space definition 2014
green space definition 2014
green space definition 2014

who owns England and land registration

who owns england

Quick post –

As you may know, this project is very much inspired by the great project Who Owns England? led by Guy Shrubsole and a team of researchers, sending in FOI applications and scraping maps to campaign for more transparency in land registration.

https://whoownsengland.org/2019/01/11/the-holes-in-the-map-englands-unregistered-land/

The data lead Anna Powell-Smith has charted in their latest blog post study the amount of land is still unregistered in England – 15%. https://whoownsengland.org/2019/01/11/the-holes-in-the-map-englands-unregistered-land/

Twitter comments have noted how some of the 15% area is railway lines – Network Rail apparently haven’t registered their land, or land that has remained in the same hands and unmortgaged since 1990.

Remarkably, we don’t know who owns 15% of the country.

I think this should be better understood, so I’ve made the first ever map of unregistered land in England & Wales. Check out your area…https://t.co/jxrQGfz19g pic.twitter.com/6qhfV9MscG— Anna Powell-Smith (@darkgreener) January 11, 2019

I’m very much looking forward to Guy Shrubsole’s book, Who Owns England? out in the spring: https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008321673/who-owns-england/

locales: the Webb Estate, Surrey

The Webb Estate near Purley, Surrey, is an odd place, a exclusive-feeling village of ‘desirable’ houses, but with indications of something else behind the gates.

 

The official website of the company that run the estate: http://www.webbestate.co.uk/history-1

OS map 1906
Woodcote, Surrey, 2nd ed OS map, 1:2500, 1909-39

gif of maps
OS maps 1853, 1906 and 1951

Here are some pictures of a wander around I went on in July 2017:

webb estate gate
exit from the Webb estate

promenade de verdun
Promenade De Verdun

The monument to French soldiers who fell during the Great War is bizarre to modern eyes because of its location, hidden away at the end of the long Promenade de Verdun. It almost feels as if it’s a family monument, and a visit there if you’re not a resident is slightly unnerving, as if you’re trespassing.

verdun memorial
memorial to French POWs, Promenade de Verdun

The useful local history sign erected by the village green explains the history of this garden village.

“William Webb (1862-1930) a visionary local estate agent spent his lifetime developing his Garden Estate idea. he purchased land in 1888 and began to develop it in line with his own principles of housing development. The land was cleared of fences and fifty plots were laid out divided by privet hedges. When building began in 1898, houses were set on predefined plots separated by mature boundary hedges and established planting. Webb expressed these design principles in his book, Garden First in Land Development.

The Webb Estate covers about 260 acres and was designed with the character of country lanes and English garden villages. …”

woodcote green
Woodcote Green sign

webb estate sign
the other half of the sign

“In 1903 a model village, Upper Woodcote Village was laid out in the south-western corner of the Webb Estate. The cottages surrounding the green were originally intended to be occupied by the men working on the Estate but proved too expensive and so were leased to private individuals.

…In 1921 William Webb transferred the land of the Green in perpetuity to Coulsdon and Purley Urban District Council. He stipulated that it was to be used as a Village Green or Rural park for the enjoyment of the inhabitants of Purley and neighbourhood and as a memorial to those that had falled in the Great War. Webb also arranged for the provision of the Cornish Granite War Memorial that stands outside the Lord Roberts.”

The Garden Village was such a pervasive idea in the first couple of decades of the 20th century. The history of Ebeneezer Howard and the garden cities has been well told, (see also this Historic England booklet (PDF)), but these types of smaller developments are different even though their creators were inspired by similar principles. Whereas Howard saw cities holistically, and sought to embed the garden principle in whole town design,  to create “a new hope, a new life, a new civilisation”, this type of garden village ended up being more of idyllic residential escape from London life for the upper middle classes.

Webb noted in 1916:

A few City men live at the West End but by far the greater number seek to spend their leisure time and bring up their families at the nearest spot to their work where they can find a comparatively country home.

The emphasis of the settlement, as enforced in restrictive covenants mainly to do with keeping the gardens well kept and from new buildings being erected, made this estate exclusive. In Garden First in Land Development, Webb expressed his intention that:

the occupiers of houses (should) not only have the enjoyment of their own premises in desirable seclusion, but that, both from their own upper windows and when passing along the roads, it may appear as though they are one large garden of which their own holding is a part.

Whereas Howard’s garden cities were designed to be inclusive (and also self-sufficient for facilities and light industry), this was purely a private estate, with the large iron gates across the roads in and out (still there) to enforce that feeling of privacy and exclusiveness.

weekly telegraph 29 May 1920
Sheffield Weekly Telegraph, 29 May 1920, on Rose Walk, Webb Estate

 

Webb lived at Upper Woodcote House, completed in 1903, and the whole estate was completed by 1925. He was renowned for his philanthropy, and also held the summer show of the local horticultural society in the grounds of the house.

Source: Webb Estate and Upper Woodcote Village Conservation Areas Appraisal and Management Plan (Croydon Council)

Census


Transcribing the 1911 census, I get a different feeling than when I transcribe the working-class districts that are my other locales. This was solidly stockbroker commuterville, pleasant escape from the commute to the City. Most of these large houses were occupied by one nuclear family – a head of household and his wife, mostly from London or another part of Surrey, either retired early and with no children, or in their 30s with small children. Most of the houses have servants – a housekeeper, cook, governness for the small children – who usually have migrated from other parts of the UK.

As a historian, I shouldn’t say this, but I feel it hard to find an immediate connection with the residents – do I care about Horace Whitaker, aged 32, ‘of private means’, living with his wife, three children and 2 servants, in ‘Waveney’ on Rose Walk? Or William Jones O’Hara, a 43-year old stockbroker born in Ontario, Canada, living with his wife, 2 children and 3 servants, in ‘Keewaydin’ [sp?] a few doors down? I must confess I’m more interested in the servants – was this their first employment? Did they miss home? Did they tease each other for having different regional accents and dialect? Did they ever meet the other servants in the other houses? One suspects not, as the estate is designed around privacy: the hedges and long boulevards create the desired privacy, but mean that it would be much harder, for the servants at least, to meet their neighbours unlike in the hustle and bustle of, say, a row of London townhouses.

1911 census, servants
1911 census, Waveney, Rose Walk, Surrey: housemaid Edith from Bermondsey; cook Alice from Eastbourne, and nurse Mary from Devon.

I don’t know enough about domestic service in the early 20thC, but here are the first places to start:

Lucy Delap, Knowing Their Place (OUP)

Lucy Lethbridge, Servants (Bloomsbury)

The other aspect that I’m going to develop is trespass and vagrancy.

This newspaper article from 1939 about a man charged with trespass and vagrancy (and indeed the column adjoining about Caterham footpaths and parks) reflect much on the sense of privacy in these estates, and the suspicion of strangers and vagrants:

Croydon Advertiser, 4 August 1939
Croydon Advertiser, 4 August 1939

Upper Woodcote Village

Finally, the issue of village greens and private space divided by class is another line of enquiry. The workers’ houses that were too expensive for workers to live in are also a historical parallel for many issues today.

Woodcote Green
Woodcote Green, with ‘workers’ houses

temperance inn
former temperance inn

blue plaque
blue plaque on the former Temperance Inn

The Lord Roberts was a former temperance inn. Here is the 1911 census entry of its occupants:

1911 census
1911 census entry, Lord Roberts, run by Edwin Castleman and his family

lampost
‘heritage’ lamppost

locales: Cropper Street, Manchester (1)

view of manchester

Osborne Street Manchester
Osborne Street Manchester, April 2017

view of manchester
view of Manchester from Back Osborne Street, St George’s Fields

 

 

This is the most radical street in Manchester history, in my opinion.

In April 2017, I took a field trip around Ancoats and Miles Platting, north Manchester, to investigate some of the sites of protest and popular politics that I researched for my previous book, Protest & the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848.

My final destination was Osborne Street, formerly known as Cropper Street, a place that I wrote about as a ‘locale’ in my book, and which I’m still obsessed with.

 

 

This blog post is a quick recap of what I’ve already found out. I’ll update with new posts soon with new research.

The site

Situated off Oldham Road on the boundary with Miles Platting, Cropper Street was one of a couple of strings of terraces erected on a building ground (from the maps sometime around 1812) still surrounded by fields and a coal pit, and thus somewhat isolated from the centre.

The streets feel isolated because they’re still set apart from the other terraces in the rest of north Manchester and Miles Platting, and they border the scrubby St George’s Fields, which look out onto St Patrick’s RC church and views of the ever-increasing towers of central Manchester.

st george's fields
panorama of St George’s Fields, Manchester

From an ad in the paper selling two houses in 1843, it looks like the leases began in January 1817, and were described as ‘very substantially built, have large house place and kitchen, two large bedrooms and are let at three shillings a week each’.[2]

[2] Manchester Courier, 4 Feb 1843.

Manchester Courier, 4 Feb 1843
Manchester Courier, 4 Feb 1843

1824 map
extract from Swire’s 1824 directory map

This 1824 map shows some sort of landscaped park off Back Cropper Street, though I’m not sure what this was yet or who owned it. It’s gone by 1836.

cropper st 1836 map
extract of Pigot’s directory, 1836

As part of an Improvement Act of 1845, the improvement committee changed the name from Cropper Street to Osborne Street, which it remains today.[3]

< [3]Manchester Courier, 9 August 1845.

Then followed also a court case between the Corporation and the main landowner, Edmund Buckley, ‘a gentleman of considerable property’, who refused to pave and sweep the street, arguing that it was the Corporation’s job. Manchester Times 21 August 1846.

From the 1838 land tax records (see below), he owned at least 10 properties on the street (though this may have increased by 1846 – I need to check).

Manchester times, Aug 1846
Manchester Times, 21 August 1846

1848 map
extract from Slater’s 1848 directory map

The streets were bisected by two railway lines (Manchester railway, and the Liverpool and Leeds railway) in the early 1840s [4], which made the community even more cut off. The old Manchester railway line is now a weirdly chopped off section of viaduct, which stops on New Allen Street near the start of Cropper Street. This gives the area a somewhat post-industrial abandoned feel, with the arches of the viaduct serving as the usual repository of old mattresses and after-dark dealings.
[4] [note from Rob Telford: The rail lines were built between 1842 and 1844 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway when they moved their city terminus to Victoria from Oldham Rd] [link to primary source]
See also the first railway act, Geo IV 7 c.xcix, An Act for making and maintaining a Railway or Tramroad from Manchester to Oldham, with a Branch from Failsworth Pole to or near to Dry Clough in the Township of Royton, all in the County Palatine of Lancaster. [26th May 1826.]

1826 railway act
1826 Manchester to Oldham railway act

old railway viaduct New Allen Street
old railway viaduct, New Allen Street, Manchester

new allen street
cut off railway viaduct, New Allen Street, Manchester

The renowned urban historian H. J. Dyos wrote about the impact of railways on reinforcing poverty over time in Victorian London, especially in sites that were cut off by ‘tourniquets’ of lines:

The most general explanation for slum tendencies in particular places is that, without the kind of general control on the spatial development of the city that might have been given, say, by a rectilinear grid, there were bound to be innumerable dead ends and backwaters in the street plan…

A more careful reading of Booth’s maps would show how some additions to the street plan – a dock, say, or a canal, a railway line or a new street – frequently reinforced these tendencies….

They all acted like tourniquets applied too long, and below them a gangrene almost invariably set in. The actual age of houses seldom had much to do with it and it was sometimes possible to run through the complete declension from meadow to slum in a single generation, or even less.[5]

[5] Dyos, H.J., ‘The Slums of Victorian London’, Victorian Studies, XI (1967), 5-40

 

OS 1849
OS first edn (1849) map

First attempt at a 3D rendering. I will add the occupiers once I work out the street numbers properly:

3d Cropper Street
Cropper Street, 3D rendered with QGIS2threejs plugin in QGIS

 

Link to a 1915 photograph from Manchester Images Collection: http://images.manchester.gov.uk/web/objects/common/webmedia.php?irn=26973&reftable=ecatalogue&refirn=59278

1911 survey map Cropper Street
The National Archives, IR 133, valuation survey map, 1911

I will add the valuation key asap (when I find it – the National Archives indexes IR 58 for IR 133 are hard to navigate!)

Occupiers

The 1818 ratebook listed 83 houses on the street, with a population of around 600.[1] There is also a Back Cropper Street. Most households had only one family, with perhaps a couple of lodgers: that is, these were not overcrowded slums quite yet.

[1] ManchesterArchives & Local Studies, M9/40/2/85, Manchester ratebook, 1818, pp. 137-9.

1816 rate book
extract from Manchester rate book, 1816

 1838 Land Tax records: Manchester Archives, M9/50/45, District 1, Oldham Road – Cropper Street and Back Cropper Street

1841 census entries, HO 107/574/8

Occupational breakdown of heads of households:

46% of the heads of households of Cropper Street, Back Cropper Street and adjoining Pump Street, were cotton weavers.  17 out of the 56 households on Cropper Street had Irish heads of household.

By the 1841 census, over-crowding, particularly of Irish, is evident.

This one house somewhere in the middle (annoyingly the 1841 census didn’t number the houses, but it was probably hard to do so with all the courts and cellars), had a 75-year old Irish cotton weaver, George Jordan, as head of household, two male relations Christopher (c.45) and Peter (c.15) (son and grandson?) and then 13 other people, including some more Jordans, and one other family, in the same house.

1841 census
HO 107/574/8, 1841 census, Cropper Street, p. 16

 

Changes

The site was presumably flattened during the post-war slum clearance programme, and these new houses built by the council. I need to find out more about this.

Osborne Street Manchester
Osborne Street, Manchester, April 2017

view of st george's fields
view of St George’s Fields from Back Osborne Street

Christ Temple International Church is now occupant of the old estate pub, the Lorimers Arms, at 101 Osborne Street

christ temple church
Christ temple church, Osborne Street, Manchester

 

Of course I found a Lucy’s electrical box on New Allen Street, my main touchstone for wherever I go.

Lucy's box, manchester
Lucy’s box, New Allen Street

I will be writing why this was the most radical street in Manchester in the next installment…