– “Could you please give me a lift? The weather seems fine. I’m going on a date with my camera and don’t fancy wasting time trying to find a parking space.”
– “Another old and grey building to explore?” [PHOTOS]
– “This one is more brownish than grey. Anyway, how do you know it is going to be a building?!”
– “It usually is.”
– “It’s that magnificent, abandoned building on London road; you know the one near the Piccadilly station?”
– “That boarded old building?! What is so special about this one, then?”
– “Well, apart from being old and gorgeous, the exterior is adorned with statues partly covered in chador. I take it that you haven’t noticed them before.”
– “Chador? Surely not! Your imagination is running wild again. But if you want to come with me, you must hurry up. Just don’t make me late; I have a meeting first thing.”
Sometime later, of course after making him late for his meeting, I was busy photographing the building. A veteran (he told me later that his name was Norman) approached me.
– “Excuse me! Do you know much about the history of the building that you are photographing?”
– “The only thing that I am sure about is its beauty. But something tells me that you are more informed than me.”
– “Well, I grow up in this area, you see. This used to be the fire brigade headquarters.”
He told me about the old types of fire engines and how they used to operate. He then gave me a short history of Manchester’s other old buildings. I could not help noticing the twinkle in his eyes as he was talking about his childhood and the old building that I was photographing. He also said that the building is to be converted into a hotel. The exterior is to be restored and kept in its original format.
Whatever the future holds for this building, the statues are likely to be preserved for future generations to see. If only the architectural national treasures of Iran were as secure. [PHOTOS]