Parker Street Warehouses

Prior to the World War II Blitz, on December 23, 1940, Parker Street was lined on the southwest side, across from Piccadilly Gardens, by a row of warehouses.  The plan below shows the configuration in 1886.

Below is the site in 1851 on the Adshead map (shown with the permission of Chetham's Library)

The occupants of the various warehouses clearly changed over the years.  The images below were taken circa 1910.

Above you can see numbers 2 to 4 Parker Street with the name of Templeton at the top.  J. Templeton & Co was a Glasgow carpet manufacturer with offices in Manchester, London, Melbourne and Montreal.  On the ground floor is a sign for "Staines Inlaid Linoleums".  At the beginning of the 20th Century the linoleum manufacturing industry was centred in three areas of the UK, in East Scotland,  Lancashire and Staines.  The finest linoleum floors were known as 'inlaid linoleum'.  They were extremely durable and made by joining and inlaying solid pieces of linoleum.  In 1864, the Linoleum Manufacturing Company Ltd established a factory in Staines to manufacture it.  The 1927 Directory for Manchester & Salford lists the Linoleum Manufacturing Company Ltd at 2 Parker Street.

Above is number 6 Parker Street belonging to Peel Watson & Co, warehousemen.

The life of the warehouses came to an abrupt end over two nights in December 1940.  On the night of December 22, 270 German bombers deopped 272 tons of high explosives and 1,032 incendiary bombs.  They returned on the following night to drop a further 195 tons of high explosive and 893 incendiaries.  A total of 684 people were killed and 2.364 injured and many major building such as the Cathedral and the Free Trade Hall were severely damaged.  One of the hardest hit areas was the warehouse district around Piccadilly Gardens.  Below is an aerial photograph taken in May of 1953, showing the aftermath.  The carparks mark the ruins of the former warehouses.

If you click on the link below you can see a photograph taken soon after the blitz along Parker Street.

Manchester Blitz December 23, 1940

You can see from the aerial photograph that Parker Street was a bus station for city buses.  It is seen in the image below.

That continues to be the case today, and along with the buses there is now a major interchange stop for the Metrolink trams.

Across Parker Street from Piccadilly Gardens, where the warehouse once stood, stands what was originally called Piccadilly Plaza.  The complex of building was designed by Covell Mathews and Partners and built between 1959 and 1965. It comprised the Piccadilly Hotel (on the left), Sunley House (the tower in the centre standing end-on to Piccadilly Gardens) and Bernard House.  Below you can see it under construction.

Today the tower has been renamed City Tower and it is part of the Bruntwood fleet of city centre office spaces.

Visit the "Manchester View" Homepage

Close Window