by Matthew Cobb
This tw**t by Chetham’s Library popped up in my feed. Can you spot Jones? [JAC: You can see Jones below the fold: click on “read more” at the bottom.]
Chetham’s Library (pronounced ‘Cheetums’, or at least that’s how I and many others pronounce it) is in Manchester and was founded in 1653. It is the oldest surviving public library in the English speaking world and is well known as a place where Marx and Engels would meet to discuss their work (Engels worked for him family’s company in Manchester). You can browse some of their collections here. In another tw**t, the Library contrasts their attitude to dogs and cats with that of another library, in Leiden University (I have studied some of the manuscripts that were collected by the Leiden library – an extraordinary place; the library building is still there, but the collection is now in a swish new building).
The Manchester Ship Canal connects Manchester and the Irish Sea. Nearly 60 km long, it was built between 1887 and 1894, and meant that Manchester – well inland – became a bustling port (technically the docks were in the adjoining city of Salford). When I was growing up in the 1960s, I remember seeing ships apparently moving through the green countryside as they went along the canal – a bit like that scene in Lawrence of Arabia when he stumbles across ships in the Suez Canal.
The docks are now closed and have been redeveloped – there are swish flats, a huge media centre (BBC, ITV and many small companies). And thanks to work begun by my colleagues at the University of Manchester, in particular Keith White, the water is now clean enough to swim in (though very cold and deep – swimming is strictly controlled for safety reasons). Sadly, they recently removed two of the last signs of the 20th century bustle that characterised the docks – a pair of rusty blue cranes that were used to unload ships in the pre-container era.
The canal still wends its way through the Lancashire and Cheshire countryside, and very occasionally ships pootle up and down, but the canal is far too small to be commercially viable, although the current owners are optimistic. If I recall correctly, it never made any money, despite its influence on the region. If you want to know more about the Canal, the Wikipedia article is pretty good.
Here’s Jones! Matthew made this plot and his notes are below:
He’s a face in profile, rotated 90* looking down (turn your head to the left and it will be much easier), in those weird lines (= his glasses) above the adults’ arms. Where their arms join makes his nose. Here: