Manchester loses its Granada TV sign 

27 September 2010

Anyone who ever visited Manchester city centre will know there’s plenty of great delights to admire. And I’m not talking about the Arndale Centre here.

Granada TV

Photo by Pit-yacker and Creative Commons licensed.

One of those gems is the bright red Granada TV sign which has been perched atop of the ITV company offices since they opened. Its familiar red glow in the dark has been a reassuring sight to all those who wander round this northern city and a treasured landmark. Okay not quite Manchester’s version of St Paul’s – more OXO Tower really, but it’s a fantastic sight and one which the city wouldn’t be the same without.

Or at least, was.

The landmark red letters were removed over the weekend after a routine inspection found the fixtures were corroding, and given that Granada is pretty much no more (except, err, in the Far East for some reason) there seems little chance of a new version coming back, especially if ITV do finally decide to leave the city and join the BBC in Salford.

Granada Reports has, funnily enough, a report on this sad occurrence and if you’re on Facebook, they’ve posted a timelapse video of the sign being dismantled.

Manchester will never be the same again.

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7 responses to this article

Russ J Graham 27 September 2010 at 7:53 pm

The major question needs to be asked of Salford City Council and English Heritage: why was this not Listed? Even a Grade II* on the signage would’ve forced ITV plc to choose cultural heritage over cultural vandalism.

Andrew Bowden 27 September 2010 at 10:04 pm

It’s a very good question. It was an iconic piece of the skyline and really should have been recognised as much.

Kif Bowden-Smith 28 September 2010 at 12:44 am

Of course what is really astonishing is that it had survived this far anyway. 55 years is quite exceptional for an electrically lit piece of building signage. Perhaps most amazing is that it used the original Granada corporate type face, Keystone Bold Italic/Stymie, used when Granada had a pan-north weekdays only contract from 1955-68. It is amazing that it was not updated in 1968 when Granada went to “7 days” in the North-West and took up Clarendon as it’s new font..

Paul Temperton 2 October 2010 at 5:51 pm

It’s a shame, and somebody ought to have thought to get it listed a long time ago. However, it is a bit of a stretch to describe Quay Street as “Manchester city centre”. The building is only a few yards from the boundary with Salford (the River Irwell). It’s not really on the skyline until you go west of Deansgate (or from the train coming into Manchester from the west). So perhaps not quite so “iconic” (terribly overused word) as all that.

Andrew Bowden 3 October 2010 at 8:50 am

Whilst many people view the centre of Manchester as more the shopping district, personally I’ve always thought of the A57(M) being a good marker of size! Width at least.

Duncan Hill 3 October 2010 at 12:28 pm

@Kif “It is amazing that it was not updated in 1968”. Not really. Companies didn’t used to “update” signs like they do now, just because of a change of branding/typeface/whatever.

This is a new thing. Previously, if it worked, it was kept until it got damaged beyond repair.

The old “BBC Television Centre” Stymie Bold lettering survived for some 30 years until 1994 (see my link) when it was changed to the /B/B/C/ corporate branding… then changed again just 3 years later due to the new BBC Gill Sans symbol!

Probably will be changed again at the next rebrand. A good waste of licence payers money.

Anthony Lyons 8 December 2010 at 12:43 pm

Why was,nt the Granada sign replaced with a new more modern version ? Or has ITV decided against replacing the sign due to a possible move in the future to media city ?.

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