By NellieD

Ever decreasing circles!

When I was driving to Ordsall Hall last week, I got stuck in traffic (not surprisingly) and when I glanced to my left on the Mancunian Way, I was perfectly placed under the railway bridge to see all the arches. I really liked the effect as the curves got smaller.
I went for a closer look at lunch today and this is definitely not what I call street art. I can see - and could feel - the difference with graffiti. Although I stood on the main road to take this photo, it certainly wasn't inviting enough to walk further in! Somehow the graffiti felt more threatening, as if it had come from a very different place than the beautiful street art I have seen recently. It didn’t feel like it was there to enhance a space for people to enjoy, quite the opposite in fact! 
A few steps away from these arches was a plaque which I've added as an extra.  I found it a hugely contrasting image from the abandoned and slightly seedy feel of the arches. It’s obviously something which portrays a great deal of history and importance and I wanted to move it to a more appropriate, respectful setting. I didn't know what it meant but Google came to the rescue and told me it’s the heraldic achievement of Manchester (colloquially but inaccurately referred to as a Coat of Arms) and was granted to the Borough of Manchester in 1842.

At the centre of the arms is a heater-style escutcheon, or shield, with gold stripes on a red field representing the rivers Irwell, Medlock and Irk, which flow through Manchester. The shield is derived from the arms of the Lords of Manchester, who ruled the city prior to 1301. The chief symbol at the top of the shield is a ship in full sail, representing the city's trade with the rest of the world. On either side of the shield are a pair of supporters, an antelope and a lion, each bearing the Red Rose of Lancaster on its shoulder, derived from the arms of King Henry IV, Duke of Lancaster. The lion is said to symbolise bravery and strength, while the antelope stands for peace, harmony, courage and discipline. At the top, the crest consists of seven bees flying over a globe, symbolising Manchester's industry being exported across the world. At the foot of the arms is the city's Latin motto, Concilio Et Labore, which is loosely translated to "by wisdom and effort" or "by counsel and work", a phrase taken from the Book of Ecclesiasticus 37:16. "Let reason go before every enterprise, and counsel before every action".

Quote for today:
If it takes more than 5 minutes, it’s not graffiti.
- Mint Serf

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