The second life of Hulme Crescents
'It looked like it had been nuked'
Good morning members — Hulme Crescents is considered one of the emblematic disasters of 20th-century public housing. Once the largest social housing development in Europe, it quickly fell into decline and disorder and began to be pulled down in 1993, just over 20 years after it was built.
“Leaky roof membranes, infestations of vermin and insects, uncontrollable damp, deserted walkways and an endemic feeling of isolation,” condemned the blocks, writes the journalist Lynsey Hanley in her book Estates: An Intimate History.
By the 1980s, the neighbourhood had taken on a new role: as the centre of the city’s musical sub-culture. And that’s the bit of the story we are telling today. Tom Taylor has spoken to a few of the people who lived in the Crescents when they were considered a no-go area. His piece tells the story from their perspective, including the noted photographer Richard Davis, whose pictures illustrate this piece.
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