Photo: Overnight snow blankets Albert Square and the Christmas tree. December 6, 1955 © Mirrorpix
Our main picture this week shows Albert Square covered in snow overnight in December 1955.
The lights flash on the Christmas tree, while shop fronts are illuminated by a neon light.
The year 1955 proved to be one of the coldest in the 20th century, when the northwest was in the grip of a great frost.
Blizzards left Blackpool engulfed by snowdrifts more than five feet deep.
In our photo, snow and ice were at the center of the square, the Albert Memorial.
It was unveiled in 1867 and was built in memory of Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert, who died in 1861.
The surrounding land was undeveloped at the time when the impressive town hall was first built in 1877.
The design of the new town hall – a replacement for the old King Street building – was decided by an architectural competition, which attracted no less than 137 entrants. It was eventually won by Sir Alfred Waterhouse.
One of the most influential figures in Victorian Gothic revival, Waterhouse was also responsible for the Manchester Assize Buildings and Strangeways Prison as well as the Natural History Museum in London.
The foundation stone for the town hall was laid in October 1868. The construction work lasted for nine years and used more than 14 million bricks.
Queen Victoria refused to attend the official opening in September 1877, so the duty fell on the mayor, Abel Heywood, who had been in charge of the project from the start.
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* Albert Square is featured in iNostalgia’s latest book, Manchester Then and Now, which can be pre-ordered at inostalgia.co.uk for £ 12.99.
It is a fascinating collection of articles and images from then and now that have been displayed every Sunday on these pages over the past two years.
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