Where: As the postcard says, we're looking across Statue Square towards the original Prince's Building (the building on the left).
Who: The only living person in the photo is outnumbered by the statues that gave the square its name.
Over on the left is the grand cupola that was in the centre of the square, and housed a statue of Queen Victoria . The cupola is long gone but you can still see the statue, now living in Victoria Park .
Another statue is this one of King Edward VII, standing on a simpler plinth:
When: We know the King Edward VII statue was unveiled in 1907, so the photo was taken after that.
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Another clue is the faint, white line running along the hillside at the top-left corner of the picture:
That's Lugard Road, and it's the only structure from this photo that's still standing today. The road was built in two phases . The first part was built in 1913-14, running from near the Peak Tram Terminus to just past the Bishop's Lodge. The section in the photo above was part of that, so the photo should be later than 1914.
The second phase took place during 1919-21. It extended the road to the junction with Harlech Road, completing the circuit around the Peak. Was that already finished when this photo was taken?
If you look up from the King Edward statue there's a white line at the very top of the picture. That could possibly be part of the road's second phase, but it's not clear enough to be sure.
Down from the Peak there's this cluster of buildings in mid-levels:
Do any of them help date the photo?
The last clue I can see is what's missing. In 1923 the HSBC's war memorial (a statue of 'Fame' ), and a statue of Sir Henry May were added to the square. We'd be able to see them from this viewpoint, so I believe the photo was taken before 1923.
I'll guess 1920 as the year this photo was taken, but please leave a comment below if you see any other evidence for or against.
What: Down in the right corner, there's what look like a stack of barrels and some sort of wagon:
Any ideas what they were used for?
Trivia: The original photos were black & white, but when printed as postcards they had several colours added to liven them up. Nothing fancy - just a few colours to choose from, and not always painted on very accurately:
The underlying photo is still clear to see though.
When I scan this type of postcard there's not as much detail available as there is with a photograph. But there is a lot more detail than we can get from a modern colour postcard. With a modern postcard, the coloured dots are visible at even a low level of zoom.
Does anyone know how these old postcards were printed, so they kept the detail?
- Queen Victoria's statue in Statue Square
- Queen Victoria's statue today
- Construction of Lugard Road
- 'Fame' statue, the HSBC's war memorial