‘It’s beautiful’: Life in the Greater Manchester civic estate that Instagram is obsessed with

It is one of the most photographed streets in Greater Manchester.

Looking at the pretty Victorian terraces of Anita Street, it’s easy to see why.

Nestled in Ancoats, this quaint gem is arguably one of Manchester city center’s most iconic streets.

And while the homes weren’t built to be pretty, that hasn’t stopped them from racking up over 600 Instagram snaps.

The two neat rows were originally built in an effort to tackle Manchester’s 19th century housing crisis.

At the time, it was estimated that around 3,000 to 4,000 people were dying unnecessarily – from squalid, unsanitary and polluted living conditions – in a network of 25 back-to-back streets on Oldham Road.

READ MORE: What’s really going on with the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone?

A slum clearance in the area has begun, with the council replacing it with some of the earliest examples of social housing in the country.

Within a few years, Sanitary Street – later renamed Anita Street – was born.

An emblematic development of the city, the street was the first to offer running water and washbasins.

Over 120 years later, it is now home to some of Manchester’s most desirable apartments.

Of 36 properties on the street, 18 are still owned and managed by the council.

So what’s it really like to live in one of the most photographed social housing estates in the world?

Stephen Fraine, who claims to be the oldest tenant, has lived on Anita Street for 54 years.

“You’d Never Know You Were In Town”

He says the street has improved a lot since he got to know it.

“It’s much better than before when I was a child because we didn’t have any regeneration works,” says the 66-year-old. Manchester Evening News.

“Years ago we had bad neighbors, but it’s very rare that we get excited these days.

“It’s a very quiet street.

“A few times a year you get filming, crews doing commercials or movies. You see it from time to time.

“There have been all kinds.”

A 34-year-old man, who declined to be named, says he appreciates the attention the street is receiving.

“It’s beautiful, I’ve lived here for about three years,” he says.

A proud story

“If you walk in, you don’t hear any noise. You wouldn’t know we live in a city center.

“People still come to take pictures, but I don’t mind that. It’s nice to know that people like it and I appreciate it; it’s a beautiful street.

“The neighbors are very nice too.

“It’s very quiet. Our only concern is the construction work, it’s so loud.”

A 45-year-old resident, who has lived on the street for 15 years, says it’s “nice to share” the street with photographers.

“It’s nice because there are a lot of families who have lived here for a long time,” he says.

“I have lived here for 15 years and things have changed a bit since then. It’s quite trendy now.

“It’s the story that attracts me. I don’t mind people coming and taking pictures, it’s nice to share everything.

Another resident, a 49-year-old man, says he finds the street “fantastic”.

“I like the size of the apartments and their central location. The story too,” he added.

“I first fell in love with it and moved in 2012. I won’t move again.”

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