The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: London to Manchester in the Spring of 1831

Birmingham Manchester Stockport

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Towns. - We cannot help noticing the great increase of Birmingham, Manchester, Stockport, and all the towns we have passed through connected with manufactures. They have not only increased in extent, but improved in their architecture; though in this art they have not advanced beyond the stage of introducing half and three-quarter columns as component parts of walls, entire columns set against walls, and detached columns used as mere ornaments, instead of being useful supports. There are some honourable exceptions; among which we may include the Institution of Arts in Manchester (not yet completed), and the approved design of the town hall at Birmingham. The latter is a Grecian temple, with a colonnade on each side, raised about 25 ft. from the ground, upon a basement story, with a simple roof, like that of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. There is a pediment at each end, supported by two ranks of fluted columns; the sides of the building being supported by one rank above and by a piazza or range of arcade below, as in the Exchange at Paris. The hall will be 130ft. long, 65ft. wide, and 65ft. high. The design is by Messrs. Hanson and Welch, and it is to be executed of marble from the Anglesea mines (A more detailed description will be found in the Midland Representative, or Birmingham Herald, of June II.; a weekly paper established on a new principle; that of representing the opinions of its proprietors. These are necessarily numerous, as the shares are only 2/. each, and no proprietor is allowed to hold more than five. The price will be regulated yearly by. the sale: at present it is Id. The principle on which this paper is established seems deserving of imitation. Every trade ought to nave its newspaper.). One thing we cannot but regret in these manufacturing towns, viz. the immense quantities of smoke which issue from the engine chimneys. We are persuaded that, by proper arrangements, and a very small additional expense to the proprietor of each engine, the whole of the smoke might be conveyed away by underground tunnels, in which the soot would be deposited, and rendered available for agricultural or other purposes. This alteration may not be worth making in the mining district between Birmingham and Dudley, because it appears that in thirty or forty years the mines there will probably be exhausted, and the country restored to agriculture; but, as the cotton manufacture will probably long be carried on to a great extent in Lancashire, it seems very desirable to introduce a plan for getting rid of the smoke entirely in a short time. From the flue of every fire let there be a small tunnel opening into a large one, and in the small one a fan to be worked by the engine, which should exhaust or draw out the smoke from the fire, and deliver it into the large tunnel, there to find its way over a furlong of watery surface. This furlong need not be in a straight line; it may be in convolutions under the soil of a garden, or under the floors of dwellings or sheds, which it would warm, and it may be in several stories, one over another, the smoke entering at the bottom, and coming out clear at the top. Only let the thing be set seriously about, and it will soon be carried to perfection.