Salford is often seen as the smaller twin of Manchester, its neighbour across the River Irwell. In fact, Salford was a borough long before Manchester achieved that status, but even in the 1530s John Leland described it as 'a large suburb to Manchester'. However, during the Industrial Revolution, Manchester grew more rapidly than Salford, although together they were the first 'shock city' of the industrial age, described in graphic detail by writers such as de Tocqueville and Engels. While Manchester city centre became the area's commercial heart, Salford was relegated to the periphery. It certainly had its grim areas, described by Ewan McColl: 'I met my love by the gas works wall, dreamed a dream by the old canal/I kissed my girl by the factory wall, dirty old town, dirty old town.' However, today's Salford is an up and- coming area, home to Media City. This book presents a photographic tour through central Salford, ending up on the 'old canal'.
Paul is Chairman of the Manchester Bolton & Burry Canal Society; he wrote the Towpath Guide in 2009 and he edits the society's quarterly journal. He also edits North West Geography, which is an online journal. Paul has several previously published books, and now he is retired spends a lot of time researching Greater Manchester's history. With links to the local library in Salford, it is from this source that he will be taking the majority of his old photographs.