Monday, 30 April 2012

Dimelow hits the heights

Neil Dimelow is based in Crumpsall, north Manchester. A former architect and now a primary school teacher, he is also an artist. He has produced a series of these pop up art works along with printer William Chitham, recreating aerial views of the city. Drawings are scanned, digitised, scaled up and coloured. They are on display on the ground floor of City Tower. More of Neil's work at his website:

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Marathon Man(chester)...

The three frontrunners in the men's race at the 11 mile mark, in 1 hour 1 minute.

With torrential rain, floods in drought areas and 60mph winds battering the whole of the UK today, it was an unfortunate day to reinstigate the Manchester marathon...(I just took one hurried photo before retreating to somewhere warm and dry for coffee, and this is that photo taken 30 mins ago, uploaded!).

Update 30 April: Dave Norman (centre) was the winner of the men's race, in 2 hours 24 mins. His father was evidently an Olympic athlete. Andy, left, finished in 2 hours and 26 mins and Carl, right, in 2 hours and 37 mins. An amazing effort by all who took part in such awful conditions.

After a 10 year absence, Greater Manchester has a new marathon. Today, 8,000 people are hoping to run 26.2 miles around the borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester. Starting and finishing in Longford Park the course heads south through Sale, Timperley, Altrincham, Bowdon and Dunham Massey then loops back via the Partington sports complex where some of the lucky(?) Olympiads are training this summer. Next it's through Urmston, Carrington and back to Stretford. A Herculean effort for all involved...

The Greater Manchester marathon website gives a nice potted history:
"The first Manchester Marathon was run in 1908 starting and finishing at the Saracen's Head pub in Warburton. This was a 20 mile (there was no established distance for a marathon then) run organised by Salford Harriers.

The first ever amateur marathon to be run using the now established marathon distance of 26 miles 385 yard distance was the Manchester Marathon in 1909. This marathon started in Sandbach and finished at the Fallowfield Stadium in Manchester.After a 14 year gap, the Manchester marathon returned and kept the same course from 1923-28 and 1931-36. This route started and finished at the Fallowfield Stadium passing through Cheadle, Timperley, Altrincham, Hale Barns, Styal and Gatley.

From 1969-73 the Maxol marathons started from Manchester Town Hall and finished at Old Trafford football stadium. Manchester Marathons were run from 1981-85 then from 1996-2002. Now the Manchester Marathon's back in Trafford, the sporting heart of Greater Manchester, to offer the North West a truly magnificent personal challenge."
(Manchester Marathons 1908-2002, Ron Hill & Neil Shuttleworth)

Hmm, I imagine that the Commonwealth Games stadium and the velodrome at Eastlands, and the aquatics centre in the city centre would have an issue with that last claim...Me too.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Tatton Mere vista

The dark green grasslands give way to the main mere (lake) at Tatton, the trees yet to burst into new life, the hills of the Peak District on the horizon. And you can pretty much have the whole place to yourself if you arrive early enough: tranquil perfection!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Weekend Reflections: When Albert met Peter...

The Albert Hall reflects in Bar 38 on Peter Street. The Albert Hall was built in 1910 for the Wesleyan Mission by W. J. Morley and in more recent years became a bar and club by the name of Brannigans.

A surprising claim to fame was its being featured on Living TV's programme Most Haunted. A former preacher at the Hall, Reverend Samuel Collier, was said to haunt the bar area, his spirit causing glasses to crash to the floor. If you were a deeply religious person and your church ending up as a drinking den I dare say you might try to do the same...

Some sneaky photos of its innermost glories and some, not so sneaky, photos here. Click to see more Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

April showers and rainy city myths

Manchester has a reputation for being perpetually rainy but read on as I play with some statistics. The Met Office show the city's average annual rainfall as 806.6 mm(31.76 inches), which is lower than the UK average of 1,125.0 mm (44.29 inches), and Manchester mean rain days are 140.4 per annum, lower than the UK average of 154.4.

Manchester does have a relatively high humidity level, which optimised the textile manufacturing (evidently threads break less in humid conditions) that transformed the region through the industrial revolution.

Thanks to Tim Sutton-Brand for the photo effects.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

ABC Wednesdays: "O" is for Opticians

This grand old building on Market Street was my opticians for several years. I used to enjoy waiting in the upstairs rooms looking down on the bustle below. These days you can only go up as far as the first floor and, unless my eyes deceive me, its now a coffee shop chain.

Linked to ABC Wednesdays , the Sesame Street of the bloggers' world. This week it's the letter "O".

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Approaching Bollington from Macclesfield

Approaching Bollington from Macclesfield heading northwards on our Cheshire canal ring walk.
Today's post is to wish a Happy Birthday to Susie, my canalside companion.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Cry 'God for Harry, England, and St George.'

For St. George's Day in England, which is also the birthday and deathday of William Shakespeare (reputedly), I present to you The Shakespeare pub on Fountain Street in the city centre. A relief of Shakespeare is above the entrance and there's a portrait of him on the pub sign.

An inn has stood on this site since 1771. The present building however actually dates from 1656, and used to be The Shambles Inn in Chester, until it was dismantled, transported to Manchester and reassembled in its present form in 1928.

It is reputedly haunted by the ghost of a young woman who died having been assaulted by the chef, who later hanged himself - the rope marks are still visible on a ceiling beam. (

"Cry 'God for Harry, England, and St George'." is from the "Once more unto the breach, dear friends..." speech which is spoken by King Henry V in Shakespeare's Henry V, Act III, 1598.

This post is linked to the Weekly Top Shot blog.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

High living on Hilton Street

A swish looking rooftop apartment above the shops on Hilton Street, where you are spoilt for choice of places to eat and drink, from fine dining to not so fine. The Northern would be your local pub- the grey building on the right.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Weekend Reflections: Spring kitsch

Kitsch for sale in one of the many retro shops on the sunny streets of the Northern Quarter. Four reflected passers-by are texting, shopping and looking for lunch. Other Weekend Reflections posts.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Oranges are not the only flats

The Lock Building on Whitworth Street overlooks a canal at the back but from the front can form quite a striking view with its orange perspex balconies. Most times I walk past I think they are really artistic and innovative, but occasionally I am less keen and cannot but help think that the tiling is similar to a giant public toilet (as was much of the 1970's brown tiled debacle known as the Arndale Centre in the city centre). Oh, the positives and the negatives in the things that we see!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Fawning over deer

A walk in the vast grounds of Tatton Park last weekend brought us face to face with these beautiful young deer fawns. A magical experience.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

ABC Wednesdays: "N" is for Night at the City Art Gallery

Whenever I walk past the City Art Gallery at night, whether I can see the moon above or not, my vivid imagination takes me on a flight of fancy. Just as in Milan Trenc's book The Night at the Museum (set in New York's Museum of Natural History), I envisage a Manchester equivalent with some of our City Art Gallery's 25,000 exhibits coming to life: The old man in Valette's painting of Albert Square wanders the galleries hunched and smoking a cigarette, his barrow creaking. The Pre-Raphaelites wander dreamily down the staircases whilst GF Watts' Good Samaritan sits in the cafe succouring the needy. Time for my medication...

Linked to ABC Wednesdays , this week starring the letter "N".

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Oxford above, Rochdale below

All is quiet on the Rochdale canal towpath as Oxford Street goes about its business above, where there are some fine examples of late 19th and early 20th century architecture. The white building is St. James', built 100 years ago.  It was once a theatre and music hall, home to the dance troupe the Tiller Girls and their infamous dance routines. The 9th floor was evidently made up entirely of executive toilets...

I sometimes work in the office building on the the left, Churchgate House (built in 1898) and will share its dramatic looking frontage another time...  

Linked to the Our World Tuesday blog

Monday, 16 April 2012

Monday Murals: Space invaders in Mount Street

This mural is so clever. Using roadwork barriers and bollards, artist Filthy Luker has recreated a 50 feet high interactive version of retro 1980's computer game Space Invaders. More at: 

I hope this post is a suitable Happy Birthday dedication to a regular computer gamer - teenager Tim, 14 today ;-) 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Not at Mcr Fashion week: Poppy's chocolate flake dress

A dress made of sewn together Flake chocolate bar wrappers. It's designed and made by a lady by the name of Poppy and is on show at Emerge zero-waste champions, on Lincoln Square. IMHO it's more innovative and sustainable than much that was on show at Manchester Fashion Week, which finished on Friday...

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Warehouse, water, willow

Castlefield Basin where a converted warehouse and a weeping willow tree reflect the quiet pace of a sunny day. 

Linked to the Weekly Top Shot blog run by Madge in Seattle and the Pacific North-West.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Skywatch Friday: Sunset over Salford

Manchester skyline looking westwards to Salford from the City Tower with a Union flag fluttering on the town hall flagpole. Some of the floors of the Chancery Place office block (on the right) reflect their still vacant emptiness. Click to see m
ore Skywatch Friday posts from around the world.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Snails not speed!

Kill your speed, not a pedestrian. A sensible 20 miles per hour restriction area near a suburban school. Daily it frightens me how few drivers seem to adhere to the 30 mph limit, let alone a 20 mph one...

Linked to the Signs, Signs blog showcasing a selection of diverse signs around the world.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

ABC Wednesdays: "M" is for miniature Manchester

Using a tilt-shift effect the tram, buses, buildings and people take on a model-like appearance. Hopefully. A bit.

Linked to ABC Wednesdays , the Sesame Street of the blogging world.
This week featuring the letter "M"...

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Mancunian Wave is one year old today...

Two of the Albion Street sculptures, first featured here almost a year ago at:

The Mancunian Wave blog is one year old today. Thank you for all the support I have received from everyone, in Manchester and far, far beyond. I am amazed to have received over 42,000 hits and had visitors from more than 120 countries.

The vibrant Manchester blogging scene, the creative and dedicated city bloggers around the world and the City Daily Photo portal have led me to some valued new friendships with like-minded people. You can see some links to many of these in the right hand margin.

I have enjoyed the past year of blogging so much- it has made me look at my adopted city and its suburbs and countryside with fresh eyes, and I am raring to go for Year Two.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Dunham Massey green room

The 18th century mansion at Dunham Massey is open to the public again (the wonderful grounds and winter garden are open throughout the year). There are some impressive rooms and opulence aplenty here. The architect of the building fell to his death through the roof during the final stages of construction and it is said that he still haunts the hall to this very day...

The area has been noted since Anglo Saxon times, with "dun" meaning hill. Dunham was the seat of the Masseys. The importance of Dunham is further emphasised in the de Massey family havng three castles in the area, namely Dunham Castle and Watch Hill Castle on the Dunham Massey border with Bowdon, and Ullerwood Castle in Hale. In 1409 the estate came into the hands of the Booth family and George Booth started work on the present building in 1616.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Sunday church conversion

This is St. George's Church on Arundel Street, in Hulme (or in Castlefield or the Southern Gateway, depending on how you choose to label the area). Originally built in the 1820s, it lay forlorn and derelict by the 1990s but was then renovated into some magnificent apartments. I was so pleased the chutch was not demolished and it had new life breathed into it as it rose again. Happy Easter everyone.

More on the story of St George's at:

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Every day I ♥ everyday Mcr (mostly)...

Yes, I ♥ much of everyday Mcr, most of the time. Not of all Greater Manchester's 2.5 million residents by any means, and, likewise proportionately not really that many of the 7 million people who live in the north-west.

But I wouldn't argue with John Leland who in his 1538 Itinerary (that's the year not the mid-afternoon) wrote that: 
" the fairest, best buildied, quikkest and most populus Tounne of al Lancastreshire."

And to some extent I would agree with Chris Lethbridge, who in Change and Contradiction, Diverse City (1994) stated: 
"By no stretch of the imagination is Manchester a picturesque city. It is however, emphatically if unconventionally beautiful. In common with all things beautiful...It is fundamentally flawed. It has a compulsion to preen and show off. It is narcissistic, contrary and wayward, and yet you cannot help but love it. It is both admirable and maddening."

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Manchester Passion Play

The Manchester Passion was a BBC3 tv production for Easter 2006. A modern day setting for the story of the Crucification, filmed live in the streets of Manchester and set to Manchester music. It's an hour long but well worth setting aside time to watch (or to see again) if you are at home over Easter, regardless of your religious beliefs (or lack of).

Music included Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division); Search For A Hero (M People); Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now (The Smiths); Blue Monday (New Order) and Wonderwall (Oasis). Tim Booth of James played Judas Iscariot.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

An august Spring afternoon

One of many hot afternoons in the city last week. A beautiful tree-lined Whitworth Street West, a slight heat haze, summer dresses and shirt sleeves, people knocking off work early to soak up sunshine and smoothies, San Miguel, Samuel Smiths and ciders outside canalside bars- it must be Manchester in midsummer spring...

That's "august" as in inspiring reverence or admiration, or of grandeur, and not as in the month... ;->

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

ABC Wednesdays: L is for Lillian, 99 years since Suffragette protest

Today we visit the City Art gallery, built in MDCCCXXXVIII. It's 99 years and one day since suffragettes Annie Briggs, Evelyn Manesta and Lillian Forrester demonstrated at the Manchester City Art gallery (3 April 1913). It was part of the brave movement to achieve votes for women and another necessary step in the long - and ongoing- struggle to try and achieve gender equality in the UK.   

Lillian Forrester made a statement stating that “we broke the glass of some pictures as a protest but we did not intend to damage the pictures”. They had supporters in the gallery who unfurled a Votes for Women banner. The full history, or herstory, is at the ever excellent Radical Manchester blog.

If you haven't worked it what year MDCCCXXXVIII is in Roman numerals is, then highlight the space between here and the exclamation mark  1838 !

Linked to ABC Wednesdays , the Sesame Street of the blogging world. This week featuring the letter "L"...

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

This gulf between us...

It's 8 o'clock on the misty morning of what developed into a blazing hot spring Sunday.

If the early bird catches the worm, does the early golfer get the birdie? Either way I must admit to there being a large gulf between myself and golf fanatics, but I was grateful for this photo opportunity as I walked the dog.

Linked to the Pacific North West Weekly Top Shot blog and linked to the Our World Tuesday blog.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Street Art: Big bird on Port Street

It's difficult to take a photo of this street art without some shadows from buildings interfering but I finally found a window - around 1.00 p.m is best at this time of year. Either way it looks so much better on a sunny day like those we have been blessed with of late than on a grey day.

It's on Port St in what is now an impromptu car parking area but was probably once a building. I often wonder what was in the space originally-my guess is a building that had to be demolished due to World War II damage.

Linked to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Theme Day: Cobblestones

Jutland Street is on one of the few hills in the city centre and apparently the steepest street. The photo doesn't do its incline justice, despite my taking quite a few to try and capture it. People jog up residential Jutland Street too, it's not an April Fool joke, see photo below. 

Thrice named, it was formerly known as Stony Brow then Junction Street and eventually Jutland Street, after the major naval battle of Jutland in World War I. You can go for a virtual drive down the cobblestones of Jutland Street.

With the City Daily Photo Blog portal currently out of action, Julie of Sydney Eye has created a page where participants in the April 1st theme (Cobblestones) can register their posts on a linky. See CDPB theme day .

Jutland Street joggers

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