Thursday, 21 March 2013

20th March 2013: Town Hall spooky tour with Johnathon Schofield.

I found this tour on the Event brite and went along with another film student in another group, but she is in my flat. We thought this would be an interesting tour, since i thought it may relate to my groups theme of superstitions and ghost stories. We were greeted by the man himself: Johnathon Schofield at 2pm Town hall manchester.

From this initial greeting he began to tell us the history behind the town hall, and he said that he would begin the tour with the ‘ TOUR OF UNITERESTING OBJECTS’. He started by telling us that the Town Hall was built by a man called Alfred Waterhouse. He stated that manchester was actually roman, and hence there are statues on the Town Hall itself of roman soldiers. I thought this was quite interesting since in our posters we included roman numerals and wanted to keep this a current theme. This would actually reflect the initial brief of 175: the 175th anniversary of the manchester school of art, and if manchester is roman, walllah.

Moving into the actual town hall itself, he took us to part of the building where the public is not allowed to go. He was showing us part of the outer building which was all black. The bricks were covered all over in this black dust which he told us it was due to the 200 year of industrial revolution. All the buildings were like this, and this is the only buildings that still look like this.

Theres the man himself: johnathon ( in the photo above). Anyway, moving on we came back into the town hall where there was a statue of John Dalton. He explained how he was so well known and what his purpose was. But on thing that struck me was that in the Museum Science of Industry they have a jar with his eyeballs. Since him being colourblind, they thought they would be able to find more information about it through keeping his eyeballs. I thought this was pretty interesting since within our group for UNIT X 175 we talked about using jars with unusual objects in relation to spells and ingredients. Maybe this would be a link to go to the archives and find Daltons eye balls. Bit weird but could be quite cool.

Within the tour Jonathan took us around the streets of manchester to give us some information which we wouldn’t find out ourselves. It was unrelative to my course however i found some facts pretty interesting.
The first being that on the clock tower of the Town hall, the minute hand is actually 9ft tall which puts the whole thing into perspective into how big the clock is. Also that on each 3 faces of the clock they have a quote from the bible in gold lettering.

All in all meaning that we should not waste our days. We then went to some alleyways to where they were medieval, and how they had stories behind them. One being “Pool Fold’ where they used to dunk women as punishments to them being prostitutes. Some people actually thought this was related to witch craft, but it was the total opposite.

From the alley way we were lead to st annes street if I remember correctly. This was named after a lady called ann whom had built the church we were stood across from in the 17 hundreds. Looking in particular at the Tomb tables. There were lead to believe  that if you were to run anticlockwise around the tombs 3 times and put your ear to the tomb you would hear the dead speak. Going anticlock wise is called widowshins, and the term anticlockwise is un natural and relates to the devil.. One of the tombs was the body of a man called Thomas Deacon whom was a traitor and he was punished and killed in the most horrible way. He was half hung, naked. Then was pulled down and his stomach been cut open.  His intestines pulled out, and all this time he would be still alive choking, and from this his body cut up into bits. How horrid is that.

On a happier note he explained all the intricate details on the buldings, and in particular went to show us the building where now is Jamie Olivers resuturant. The building itself was mathematically put together since it is made from 3 floors and each floor is a third smaller than the one above and the whole building is on a slant backwards to make it looks overall larger. We went inside and was took to the toilets. They reminded me instantly to harry potter: sad as it may seem, but it really did. There were 4 doors on each side of the wall with a big golden knob in the centre of the door, with ascending numbers above each door 1-8. But straight in front of you was a big metal safe door. Inside this safe was hundred of different compartments, however it was a room to hold events for the restaurant. It was so amazing! It was in describable and you would only imagine it if you would see it for yourself.

Finally moving on to the last part of the tour was the ghost underground tour. He took us to  Barton Arcade Chambers.  Down their was all dark and brickwork abandoned buildings underground.  He started to tell us two different ghostly stories about the historical insight for the underground chambers.  Actually videoed each story since I would have not remeberd it. It is only for audio purposes since it was pitch black, apart from his red torch.
I did take a couple of photographs too with my flash on, but they were for my purposes to actually see what was in front of me. Looking back on the photographs there were lots of spiritual orbs on the photos. Which I found very peculiar.  Anyway here are the two videos. Sorry for me and my friend blabbibg about how scared we were, or like if we swear. I was literally bricking myself down there. Enjoy.

Also here is my sketchbook notes on the tour itself. 

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