Things You’ll Remember If You Grew Up In Greater Manchester

At System One Travel, we’re Greater Manchester through and through. Like any proud citizens, we like to reminisce on shared experiences and anecdotes that remind us that we are indeed one united tribe! So sit back and enjoy our trip through the ginnels of Greater Manchester as we revisit our youth or recall the stories of our parents…

Tea and Corrie

Wherever you grew up, football and fashion, music and media will have played a part in your early years. Throughout Greater Manchester, families gathered to eat their tea in front of the TV and the old Coronation Street cobbles - limited to once a week affair! Anyone remember peering through the slats to see the original Coronation Street set at Granada Studios? It’s a bit posher now over at MediaCityUK, that’s for sure. Grab your System One travel card and hop on to the #50 or #53 bus, or if you prefer the tram, use your travel card on the the Eccles or dedicated MediaCity lines to go and see for yourself.

Football allegiance was (and still is) an important part of your personality profile - Blue or Red? But who remembers the basketball and ice hockey games at the Arena (aka the Nynex and the MEN before that)? Thousands of people gathered to watch Manchester Storm playing ice hockey there from 1995 - 2002.


Nightclub Dates and Music Greats

If music was your thing, perhaps you were there when The Smiths debuted as support act in 1982 at The Ritz. Complete with bouncy dance floor, The Ritz still welcomes music fans through its doors but whatever happened to the Boardwalk and Roadhouse, home to the emerging indie acts of the 1990s? Were you there when Oasis and Northside made their live debuts? Talking clubs and venues, who’d have thought people would now be living in swanky new apartments that were once The Haçienda, the most famous nightclub of all? I swear down! It’s the truth!

A trip to the cinema was a simple affair - Cine City in Withington, the Roxy in Oldham or the old Odeon on Oxford St with a mind blowing SEVEN screens and a halftime interval!  And not forgetting a visit to the Cornerhouse for a spot of culture with a quick trip to the café bar if you were ‘gaggin’ for a drink.  A far cry from today’s multiplexes!

Good Clean Fun

For a little bit of aquatics, what about the Victoria Baths on Hathersage Road? Up until 1993, we all loved going for a swim there. Never once turned around to admire the beauty of the Edwardian building though. Or if you weren’t planning on ‘going town’, how about the old Altrincham Ice Rink - THE place to be? You’d have to remember your 'Clipper cards’ on the buses. No such thing as handy System One Travelcards and the Metrolink back in the day…

A more recent treat was the Wheel of Manchester. If London could have an oversized big wheel, so could we! From 2004, it seemed to appear sporadically near the Corn Exchange… and get bigger… then smaller... then move to Piccadilly Gardens. Where it’s hiding now, who knows?!

Mingle with the Singles

Shopping expeditions were a little different - no online purchases or a trip to the Trafford Centre to buy everything all under one roof followed by a leisurely meal! ‘Spud U Like’ was a revolutionary and trendy eating concept we couldn’t get enough of. We’d pop in for a baked potato on our way to Piccadilly Records (at its original location off Market Street) to buy the latest vinyl singles to make the hit parade.

Then on to the the Arndale Centre clad in those awful yellow tiles! At the underground Market Centre we could buy a pair of jeans at Stolen From Ivor before heading over to Affleck’s for our student wardrobe: ‘pre-loved’ suede jackets, oversized dungarees, ripped ‘keks’ and steel toe-capped Doc Martins.

And finally we’d think about rounding off the day at the Dutch Pancake House on St Peter’s Square. We say ‘think’ because everyone knew where it was, but did anyone actually ever get their ‘scran’ in there? It looked as if everyone was in the Arndale food court, judging by the constant lack of free tables there. The more realistic option was walking the streets with a crisp butty. When we reached home, we’d enjoy a slice of arctic roll while curled up in front of The Price Is Right, Blankety Blank or Play Your Cards Right.

Enough of our reminiscing, now it’s your turn to recall your own favourite memories about growing up in Greater Manchester. Grab a DaySaver Any Bus travelcard and take a trip around your old haunts to jog your memory. Then share this post with your friends and family to help them recall the good old days. Before long you’ll all be laughing about things you thought you’d forgotten about growing up in Greater Manchester.

Whether you’re a born and bred Manc, you’ve  joined our fabulous city as a student, or you live on the outskirts and consider yourself a Mancunian at heart, get twisting yer melon and come up with memories that’ll get everyone talking!

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