North West Geography
Volume 9, Number 2, 2009
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This paper seeks to complement the extant literature on marketing the industrial town by adopting an overtly historical perspective, through the study of official town guides of an archetypal industrial town, Bury, in the north west of England. This longitudinal approach complements the more usual ‘snapshot in time’ approach, which provides more general overviews of practice. The changing representation of Bury is considered through an analysis of 20 editions the official handbook/guide to the town, dating from 1925 to date focusing on the stated purpose and rationale, the extent and nature of editorial content and the use of illustrations, maps and advertising.
This paper suggests that, using evidence from a case study of Salford, transformations in urban identities have been associated historically with how cities have connected to wider socio-economic flows. The impact of those connections has had uneven and unpredicted consequences on city spaces, from creating squalor and overcrowding to dividing and marginalising some spaces. These impacts created a specific identity for Salford. Future transformations may depend on the way cities shape their identity.