The Arches (summer 16)

Help Support Derelict Places:

Wrench

Well-known member
Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,167
Reaction score
1,358
Location
Lancashire
So you know how after a few Russian fire waters when you're on the forum how somethings seem a good idea?
Well I caught an off hand comment by Lavino about this place and made some enquiries with him safe in the knowledge that come the morn he would have forgotten all about it.

The very next day my phone rings!

"How does such a date work for you?"
Aw poo this involves ropes, rivers and arrests I thought to myself "yeah sounds ace, can't wait"
Now how can that sound to anyone like I was up for it? come on man read between the lines here!
And now I have to break the news to Mrs Tbolt who was surprisingly calm about it because she secretly knew I was counting on her to get me out of this .

There was clearly only one thing to do - rope other people in to this as well!!!

History
(even though you all know it, it deserves doing it again)
(obviously stolen from wiki)
(and Lavino)​


The Victoria Arches were a series of arches built in the embankment of the River Irwell in Manchester. They served as business premises, landing stages for Steam packet riverboats, and also as World War II air-raid shelters. They were accessed from wooden staircases which descended from Victoria Street.

Regular flooding of the river resulted in the closure of the steam-packet services in the early 20th century, and the arches were used for general storage. In World War II the arches were converted for use as air raid shelters. The arches are now bricked up and inaccessible; the staircases were removed in the latter part of the 20th century.



In 1838 the city authorities completed construction of a new embankment along the River Irwell, to support a new road. The arches were built at the same time, and created new industrial space.

In 1852 the life-boat Challenger was built and launched from the Arches.

In the Victorian era passenger trips along the river Irwell were very popular although it was becoming increasingly polluted. In 1860 the Irwell was described as "almost proverbial for the foulness of its waters; receiving the refuse of cotton factories, coal mines, print works, bleach works, dye works, chemical works, paper works, almost every kind of industry." The Rivers Pollution Prevention Act 1876 was designed to solve this problem, but it was largely ineffective. It did however lay the groundwork for the more draconian legislation which followed
Following the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894, in 1895 at least one landing stage was opened by the Manchester Ship Canal Company, who actively encouraged passenger traffic. The company purchased several steamers, two of which, the Shandon and the Eagle, are known to have used the landing stages. The boats could carry 900 and 1,100 passengers respectively. During the first half of 1897 more than 200,000 passengers were carried on trips around Manchester Docks, with holiday seasons the most popular periods. Competition for passengers was fierce, and there were at least two landing stages, operated by different companies. The ferries would occasionally carry musicians, for passenger entertainment.

The stages suffered problems with flooding of the Irwell, and do not appear to have remained in business for long; they were closed in 1906. In Underground Manchester; secrets of the city revealed, author Keith Warrender quotes from the recollections of a Manchester City News writer published in 1923 about the arches (he calls them "Victoria Arches"), sixty years previously;

I became acquainted with those arches in the sixties, for my father, a master joiner and builder, had a workshop there. Two approaches thereto were provided, one by a flight of steps near the Cateaton Street side of the old churchyard, and the other at the corner of Victoria Street and Fennel Street. The arches were lofty and spacious, and had previously been used as a copper and iron works, in connection with which was a tall chimney by the cathedral steps. Part of the chimney was damaged by lightning and the upper part was taken down in 1872. I believe the lower part remained until the old buildings at that point were demolished, not many years ago.[9]
He continues, quoting another letter from the Manchester Evening News in 1960 which says;

At the time I knew it well, 1898, one or two of the arches were used as a battery station by Manchester Electricity Department and two or three others as meter testing and storage departments. Also there was the first testing station for the department where the prototypes of all apparatus used by electricity users in the city were tested. The tunnel was bricked up, about level with the end of Fennel Street. From its gradient it would reach approximately water level at the Irk at the bottom of Hunt's Bank, and the other end would reach street level at St Mary's Gate. The roadway was one cart track wide. The entrance was in Victoria Street alongside the door to a tobacconist's shop near Cathedral Yard
During World War II the stages and tunnels surrounding them were converted into air-raid shelters.The conversion, which included additional brick blast walls, took three months at a cost of £10,150 and provided shelter for 1,619 people. The cobbled surfaces shown in some of the pictures on the Manchester City Council website show the same network of tunnels before their conversion to air raid shelters. The land covered by the arches included a street, which led at the west end to a wooden bridge over the River Irk. The old road was covered over in an improvement scheme, which began in 1833.

The steps and landing stages have remained closed to the public for many years. In 1935 less elaborate steps were in place, some of which remained until 1971.[14] In photographs taken in 1972, the arches are barred, and some are covered with metal grilles.[15] As of 2009, none of the steps remain, and the original Victorian railings along the embankment have been replaced with a stone wall and new railings.

So Fraggs and myself met up with the others, all from 28DL as far as I know
Bigjobs
Paradox
Acid-Reflux
Stanton
GK_Wax
Vulex
Lavino
Tom
coolboyslim
and some chap from Sheff whom I dont know the name of.
Now despite the folks on a certain forum having a certain reputation sometimes, I can honestly say they were all good eggs and really quite professional in the way they looked after us novice ropers.
We had a quick run through under the watchful eye of car park secca and in we went, now somehow we managed not to get arrested and being as this was city centre and early evening I have no idea how this happened.
No one drowned but one chap did hurt his pinkey.


27521006044_a2d3a0737d_b.jpg


27521042963_e7dc12055b_b.jpg


27521001944_79709633e1_b.jpg


27521039913_60e89a5286_b.jpg


28032861772_ccc31ee8a0_b.jpg

27521038643_4de579a622_b.jpg


27521037343_c7c6ac8341_b.jpg


27855526460_b5ee5b6ed3_b.jpg


27521035173_374fe7532e_b.jpg


27855525780_8e6887e34e_b.jpg


28058138771_989f03df25_b.jpg


Now at this point I really must say a massive thanks to Lavino and even more massiver (is this a word) to Jobs and Paradox without whos patience, skill and instruction none of this would have been possible, you chaps were stonking!

8.5/10 for the explore but 10/10 for the company
 

SlimJim

Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
867
Reaction score
1,766
Location
Kent/West Pomerania, Poland
Fookin sweet splore mate! Respect for the rope access too, it can be very nerve racking when you're new to it. Good and bad eggs on all the forums, but most people are alright, true :D
 

smiler

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
4,859
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Lost in Cornwall
Big Jobs and Acid Reflux,sounds nasty, I should add a mixer to your Voddy, seems like you had a great time though I wish I was there, as there were enough of you to haul me back up again, Nice One Tbolt, Most Enjoyable, Thanks
 

Lavino

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
465
Reaction score
1,522
Was an exellent evening. Must do it again sometime :D
 

Brewtal

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
963
Reaction score
2,194
Location
Surrey
Wow that is amazing! I've heard of this place but don't think I've ever seen any pics. Great report, stunning pics and your write up was great too. Nice one, thanks!
 

smiler

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
4,859
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Lost in Cornwall
Smiler-there is no hauling anyone back up sir, it's the Plank of Death to get out I'll post a pic in a couple of days,
Lavino-I think I'm just stupid enough to do it again lol

Plank a Death, that's ok then, it is wide enough for a Zimmer I presume
 

Wrench

Well-known member
Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,167
Reaction score
1,358
Location
Lancashire
It is an incredible place but access is virtually impossible without the right kit and folk who now what they're doing, it's amazing to think how many people walk right over the top of this place every day and don't even know it's there. It should be open to the public in all honesty as it's a huge part of local history.
 

Conrad

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
329
Reaction score
661
Mighty fine report there, looks like a real sweet explore.
 

Lavino

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
465
Reaction score
1,522
I think that's me on the other side lol with the headtorch on ;)
 
Top