Sunday, 14 August 2016

Wisdom and effort

I walk past signs like these all the time and rarely make the effort to look at the detail. This pretty milestone in Didsbury bears Manchester's coat of arms. Granted in 1842, the symbol is packed with information. The motto "Concilio et labore" means something like "Wisdom and effort". The ship represents Manchester's trading. The lion is of course a symbol of bravery and the antelope symbolises peace and harmony; both bear the red rose of Lancaster.

Most familiar is the worker bee - the globe at the top is covered with them; you can see it more clearly on this larger sign near Spinningfields. The bee is a symbol of industry, adopted during the industrial revolution. You can find bees all over Manchester, from the tiled floors in the Town Hall (a giveaway when it's used in films as a stand-in for the Houses of Parliament) to bins and bollards.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Take cover

Rather a chilling sight on a sunny afternoon in Stockport: a sign directing you to shops, taxis - and the air raid shelter.

No, it's not a bleak peak into a seemingly inevitable future, but an invitation to step into the past and see the second world war air raid shelters cut into the sandstone cliffs. They're still there, and they're worth a visit. Check out my previous post for more information.