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SPAIN SHOWS SALFORD HOW TO PRESERVE CRANES
 

Star date: 13th April 2013

THE CRANES IN SPAIN STAY MAINLY IN PLAIN VIEW

While Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart, seems determined to demolish the iconic blue cargo cranes at Salford Quays, in Tarragona, Spain, they make a massive show of their industrial heritage – as Suzi Hoffmann discovered on a recent trip.

Full details here…


Spain Cranes Spain Cranes Spain Cranes
Salford Quays Cranes Salford Quays Cranes
click image to enlarge

Unless something drastic happens, the historic, iconic blue cargo cranes at Salford Quays are set to be demolished this spring, following the refusal of English Heritage to list them, and the refusal of Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart, to save them – despite pouring millions of pounds of public money into follies likes fountains, bridges and footpaths around MediaCityUK, Salford University and Manchester City Centre (see the latest scheme here).

However, on a recent trip to Catalunya, Salford Star contributor, Suzi Hoffmann, discovered that, in Spain, it's a different attitude. She found lots of cranes in Tarragona that had been preserved and cherished as a vital part of that city's industrial past…

"The Council have, quite rightly, made a fuss about them with two or three explanatory information boards" she says "They're part of the heritage of the city. Lots of students, including those studying engineering, and tourists travel to see them, even though they are a little more difficult to get to than ours in Salford."

While Spain clearly understands its history, Salford Council is bulldozing its past.

See previous Salford Star article on the Salford Quays cranes and follow the links for a full background – click here.

Photos by Suzi Hoffmann

Ben Morris wrote
at 18:25:18 on 16 May 2013
Well, at the worst, and perish the thought, they could be rented out to the mobile 'phone companies for a mast. It works here in Eccles with the Church flagpole being converted, and the little tower on the top of The Town Hall Hotel, to name just two. At least, the generated income would help in their up-keep, but it's not the best solution.
 
suzi wrote
at 13:01:46 on 15 April 2013
Oh and another thing! Catalunya still has it's dock yards (Tarragona and Barcelona et al) and it's heavy industry making cranes and other lifting equipment. We've lost all that in Salford and made our docks into a barren wilderness where the BBC and University pay huge rentals (our money) to a greedy landlord + have to get rid of staff to pay for the fancy buildings - but on the positive side - there's lots of frothy coffee to buy.
 
James Walsh wrote
at 16:03:53 on 14 April 2013
In specific response to Alec, I thought tourism was one of the largest industries in Salford these days, & is likely to be ever more important in the future of the citys economy
 
Suzi wrote
at 16:03:43 on 14 April 2013
Whilst I agree with Alec (and certainly with Alice) I have to point out that these cranes have been preserved FOR educational purposes - school children and engineering students were present when I took these photos, so they are not just aesthetic tourist attractions. Although the Spanish economy has suffered from greedy banker syndrome, just as ours has - Catalunya is probably the richest region and is certainly not totally dependent on tourism. Of course I am not an expert on the economy, but I did hear and read all this from (very well-educated) Catalan people + quality critical Catalan newspapers. Finally, if Alec's statement is true (that 'the Spanish prioritse aesthetics and celebrations over infrastructure') - WELL DONE THEM!! Much better than prioritising profit and greed over everything else!
 
Alice Darlington wrote
at 18:17:06 on 13 April 2013
Great article Suzi! Other countries seem to think outside the box regarding heritage, this dock crane in Holland was turned into a hotel! http://www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com/CraneHotel My FOI request to Salford about our cranes has still not been responded to, they are over the 20 days. As soon as I get a response I will post the answers here. The save our cranes petition ends at the end of this month for anyone still wanting to sign http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/45202
 
Alec wrote
at 18:16:48 on 13 April 2013
While I lament and object the removal of the cranes in Salford, I have to point out that there are many reasons the local government in Tarragon would preserve these cranes, while Salfords may not. Primarily, Spanish governments across all 17 states often can be accused of prioritising aesthetics and celebrations over infrastructure, education and economy, a whole other debate to be had. More importantly though, tourism is one of the largest industries in Spain and particularly in that region. Maintenance of such features can be seen as an investment, an argument harder to put forward in Salfords case. I must say, however, that I'll be gutted when and if our cranes are gone.
 
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