Saving a Century by The Victorian Society

Saving A Century: A free photographic exhibition celebrating Victorian architecture

“The Victorian Society’s photographic exhibition Saving a Century, curated by noted architectural historian Gavin Stamp, is on show free of charge at The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH until 24 March 2016, daily during Library hours.

Using archive photographs and material from over fifty years of the Victorian Society’s fight to save historic buildings, the exhibition charts the successes and defeats of the organisation that has done so much to change public attitudes towards the nineteenth century’s best architecture. After more than 60 venues around Britain this is the final showing of the exhibition, which includes local images from Manchester, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Middleton, Preston and Nelson.”

That all sounds right up my street so I popped down to take a look!


I’m still a little confused. Now, call me old fashioned but when I go to see an exhibition I expect to see something exhibited. There are no original books, posters, photographs or printed archive material as mentioned in the blurb. What you do find are text panels, and when I say text, boy do I mean a lot of text.

And yes, I’m still confused. I’ve been staring at this blog post for a good few minutes, maybe thats how this exhibition best works…. Online! With links to all the relevant archive material?  The Victorian Society are a well respected charitable organisation, its just I’m still a little puzzled by this one.


On a plus side, there is an excellent glossy magazine/publication that goes alongside the exhibition with exactly the same content! It works wonderfully as a printed publication and the content excellent as expected, it’s just as a physical exhibition it doesn’t quite work.

So do yourself a favour and just pick up the mag, get yourself a coffee in the John Rylands Cafe, save your eyesight and don’t get back ache.