“It represents a key piece in the city centre jigsaw, an area different in character and function to any other part of the city centre”
I think it is not an understatement to say that a lot has changed a lot since our humble beginnings working out of a workshop on Birchin Lane in 1961. The industry that we are lucky to work in has seen an unbelievable amount of massive progression and transformation in the last sixty two years but the changes have been seen everywhere: in fashion, in our culture and absolutely within our city.
We could not be any prouder of the fact that we have been a mainstay of Manchester’s Northern Quarter from the early 1960s and in that time we have been witness to some unbelievable changes. Whilst the buildings themselves may not look much different, the changes to the area have been incredible.
The regeneration of the Northern Quarter was impacted heavily by the bombing of the Arndale Centre in 1996, and the subsequent government funding into the updating and replacing of damaged buildings. Fortunately everyone in the immediate area was evacuated, however our office on Birchin Lane was near enough to the blast that the windows were in fact blown in due to the force. Luckily, diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring material so no damage was done to the jobs we were working on!
When we began to take our first steps into the jewellery industry, the Northern Quarter was well known as Manchester’s Jewellery Quarter and was filled with hundreds of workshops, providing all aspects of the trade. In the formative years of Slack & Andrews, the Northern Quarter was full of those working in the jewellery trade, but in the time since the landscape has changed massively, and we have seen many of our previous neighbours leave the area. This however, is not something we will be doing any time soon!
We are very proud of the fact that our home has been in the heart of the Northern Quarter for sixty-two years and we cannot envisage our future anywhere other than here. Twenty five years ago, we made the move from Birchin Lane to Dale Street and have called it our home ever since.
The Northern Quarter is the undisputed cultural centre of the city, with the last fifteen years seeing a rejuvenation which has transformed the area into a Bohemian smorgasbord of both trendy arts and fashion, as well as housing some of the city’s best restaurants and bars.
Like the area we proudly call home, we have seen major transformation in our time, not least in the technological advancements that have shaped the industry. Our state-of-the-art equipment, in particular that used in the design process, allows us to create exactly what you have in mind, and not just ‘something similar’. Our goal is to create something for you that you will cherish forever, and that means having exactly what you want.
Although the future is always uncertain, we are sure of one thing: our home will always remain in the Northern Quarter.