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Welcome to Manchester’s most Instagrammable street: influencers take to the streets with Victorian houses
Tucked between high-rises, new condominiums and trendy bars, a quiet and unaltered street lined with Victorian houses welcomes a steady stream of influencers daily, who pose outside the houses to take photos.
Anita Street, in Ancoats, is Manchester’s answer to London’s Notting Hill, attracting selfie hunters from miles away looking to photograph the city’s ‘most Instagrammable street’.
The houses were built in 1897 on what was then called Sanitary Street, because the houses were the first council houses in Manchester to have indoor plumbing and a sewage system. The ‘s’ and the ‘ry’ were left out and eventually became Anita Street.
Nearby George Leigh Street – which one resident says resembles a ‘Lowry painting’ – is also home to rows of terraced houses in their original state.
The oasis of nostalgia is obvious to everyone who passes byalthough people who live there are growing tired of the influx of influencers, walking tours and film crews.
Residents have said they are lucky to live on such a scenic road, but say the attention can be ‘annoying’.
Recently, the houses were used as the backdrop to film an advertisement for Seabrook chips.
The road has also been featured in a cough syrup ad, while the likes of Jeremy Paxman and Victoria Wood have filmed there.
Residents on Manchester’s ‘most Instagrammable street’ (pictured) revealed they couldn’t be there to see their homes on television all the time
Anita Street is full of picturesque late 19th century houses, often attracting a lot of attention
The roads remain a popular area for people to visit to take photos for their Instagram
Roadside residents say the attention the road gets can be ‘annoying’ (Photo: An Instagram post from the street)
Residents say there are often people taking pictures and taking walks along the road
On George Leigh Street, 10 of the 18 homes are still owned by the council, while half of the 36 homes on Anita Street are managed by the local government.
George Leigh Street teacher Sam Bishop said: ‘It’s a bit strange, especially if you’re just watching TV.
“We’ve been here for two years now and there are walking tours going up and down this road, which is really surreal. It is a beautiful place to live. We have enjoyed living here for two years.
“We were lucky to find this, it was on the market for two days and someone took it. The new people are moving next month, it is very difficult to find this house. We even increased our offer when we originally signed up to get it.
‘It is very special and unique. Many people pose for Instagram photos at both ends of the street, especially when the blossom is out.
“I’ve never seen anything stupid, but people just hang out on this street, especially at night. It’s so irritating.’
Sam, who is about to take to the streets, said the area is plagued by speeding motorists who are “driving like absolute idiots.”
Sam Bishop, who lives on George Leigh Street, said it’s a beautiful place to live, but people “hang out” on the streets
The houses on Anita Street in Ancoats, Manchester, date from the 1890s
Susan Taylor, who lives on George Leigh Street, says the buildings are beautiful but ‘poorly maintained’
The houses on the street and near George Leigh Street were a significant improvement over the living conditions in the area at the time, each with its own toilet and sink
A few doors down, Susan Taylor reiterated the traffic problems on the picturesque street, saying the houses are “very neglected.”
She said: ‘These are the oldest buildings on the council’s list and they are poorly maintained. The last thing we had done was new windows and doors 14 years ago.
‘The great thing was that we were on top of the inner city, but now we are in it. I wouldn’t go out at night.
‘It is a unique street and beautiful, but real living here is different.
‘Parking and traffic is a big problem. The street is very beautiful and attracts people and there is filming, but I would say from the municipality that it has been badly neglected.’
Stepping into Anita Street might take you through history, except for the satellite dishes.
Wayne Jones, a teacher and landscape photographer, stopped in Anita Street to take pictures of the street and explained that he had a sense of nostalgia in it.
Wayne said, “It’s almost a folk memory of something that used to be here. When people lived here and worked in the mills.
‘There are no cars here, this looks like it looked like it was in the 1890s. There is nostalgia here.
“It looks like a Lowry painting. I saw kids come out with their hoops.”
Dozens of photos of the houses on the street can be found on Instagram (photo)
Warren Donnelly is a contractor working on a house on Anita Street. The entrance to the tenements still has the original tiles from the late 1800s, and although the entrance would have been a ginnel, the back is now closed off with a back door.
This particular apartment was rented out for almost 10 years before being renovated. It originally created a bidding war when it was put on the market for around £800 a month.
Instead of renting it out, the owner now wants to turn it into a weekend B&B.
Warren said that since working at the property, he’s seen a slew of people pass by and use the street for entertainment.
Warren said, ‘It was funny, there was a guy here with a boy who had a drone to show the old and the new. It’s a great little area.
‘Everyone has been good, the boys with the drone, they had a letter with an explanation. People like it because it’s the last one left.
“There were people here on Sunday mornings who danced and gave their all. We have tours, small groups of people, there were people handing out gin at the Ancoats Seat.
Anitastraat attracts many people because it is like ‘walking through history’, says a resident
A Manchester City Council spokesman said: ‘It is a shame that some motorists do not take into account the clearly marked signage around this street and do not adhere to the one-way system. However, extra signage and markings have been installed to reinforce the traffic rules.’
Commenting on the maintenance of George Leigh Street residences, a council spokesman said: ‘We have received two maintenance requests from the resident on George Leigh Street over the past two years which have subsequently been completed.
“We also haven’t received a significant number of maintenance requests from other residents on the street, but we will be following up on the resident’s complaint to better understand the concerns they have about their property.
These homes received planned investments in 2016/17, including roof repairs, some chimney and dormer repairs, and maintenance of soffits, fascias, gutters and stormwater pipes.
‘Also, some windows and doors have been replaced with wood where necessary to meet the original specifications of the buildings in order to comply with urban planning regulations.’