5 minutes ago
Someone stopped me in town the other day asking for directions to Salford. I couldn’t answer, despite the fact that I was born in Manchester and have lived here most of my life (including 15 years in Salford). I needed a bit more information. Which bit of Salford exactly?
According to Google Maps, Salford is a patch of grass in Pendleton between Aldi and Lidl, a stone’s throw from Salford Precinct. But I doubt that’s where the person who stopped me wanted to go.
So for the benefit of anyone who isn’t quite sure where Salford is, and how and why it’s different from Manchester, here’s a quick guide.
Salford is the name of a metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester. It’s a collection of small towns, none of which is called Salford. A bit like Trafford, except Salford is a city, too. It’s the part of the conurbation which is adjacent to the city of Manchester, west of the Irwell. Apart from the bit which is east of the Irwell.
The original township of Salford is opposite Manchester Cathedral but is now called Greengate. And to make matters even more confusing, Salford is also the name of an ancient division of Lancashire, the Salford Hundred or Salfordshire.
The city of Salford has grown by absorbing places like Eccles, Worsley, Irlam, Cadishead, Swinton and Pendlebury following successive local government reforms. And it’s only existed in its current form since 1974, when it tripled in size.
That’s why, unlike most cities, Salford hasn’t got a centre. Or you could say it’s a city with multiple centres, depending on your perspective.
Having established what Salford is and where it is, how is it different from Manchester?
During the Civil War of 1640–49, Salford was Royalist whilst Manchester was Parliamentarian. Apart from that, visitors have found it hard to tell the difference between them for hundreds of years.
Source: I Love Manchester, By Stephen Lewis
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