Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Soviet Manchester

There's an exhibition of maps of Manchester at the John Rylands Library just now, and I'm hoping to have a look at it next week when I take a much-needed break. One of the exhibits in particular is attracting a lot of attention: a map of the city prepared by the Soviets, for use in the event of an invasion of the UK.

It shows the roads - familiar to many Mancunians - which the Soviets felt were wide enough to carry tanks including Washway Road, the Mancunian Way, and Princess Road.

I biked down Washway Road last night on my way home from a training ride, and it's quite hard to imagine columns of Soviet tanks clanking along it towards Stretford. Though I suppose if there ever had been a Soviet invasion, Washway Road would be even more of a post-nuclear wasteland than it currently appears. Apparently, this map is only 35 years old, and it's very strange to think that so recently there were plans for a Soviet Manchester.

Washway Road, yesterday


Jolan S. said...

You know they'd just tumble down a subsidence-induced pothole.

Dr Aust said...

Only if they get lost and go through Chorlton...

Must try and get to the exhibition to see the Russian tank map. I have some scientific friends / colleagues in Budapest whose Institute is right next to the road the Russian tanks rolled in on during the '56 uprising. You can still see bulletholes on some buildings in Budapest, though the pace of redevelopment over the last decade is such that they are disappearing.

George said...

I wonder if the Manchester night out crowd would have noticed.. Enjoy your time off Dr.

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