Yesterday I had Manchester leave. Set out in company of one Brodie, a signaller. We had a look around the Belle Vue Gardens again. Huge crowds everywhere. Then to Whintworth Institute. Fairly interesting though few famous pictures. There was however a collection of Turner sketches, a lot of water-colours of the old school and a lot of very fine architectural drawings in colour of Belgian and other cities by Prout. Visited the Art Gallery again to get another look at Watt’s pictures and Rodin’s statues. We then went to a cafe limited to 1/3 worth of food, had 2 eggs on toast and three small pieces of shortbread (awful stuff). After a cigar, a liqueur etc. we set out by a different tram route via Hollingwood and Oldham, stopping at the latter for a last drink and look round the weird Fair by lamplight. Finished off with a plebeian feed of meat and potatoes in a “peoples” hash-house where the proletariat were gorging potato-pie, horseflesh, and other delicacies. The profound, ugly, hopelessness of life in these big manufacturing towns baffles description – millions of moony girls and youths and poor dirty little kiddies whose whole life is passed in gloomy streets of tenement houses, without gardens or any kind of decoration.
[Note – below image is the cover of the 1917 “Official Guide” to the Belle Vue Gardens, Manchester. A link to the full guide can be found here].