Sunday, 30 September 2012

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Silhouette

City Daily Photo Theme Day for October is Silhouette. This is Sacred Trinity church on Chapel Street, just inside Salford's borders but a stone's throw from the heart of Manchester. Work started on the church in 1635 but most of the current building is more modern (i.e. a mere 250 years old!) dating from 1752.

One of its claims to fame is that William Webb Ellis was christened here. He later went to Rugby School, where in 1823 while playing football he picked up the ball and ran, thus inventing rugby football. (There'll also be something for rugby fans here at Mancunian Wave tomorrow).

These days the church plays host to various concerts, as well as providing a weekly meeting place for the Manchester School of Samba and the Ydalir group of Vikings...

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Art for art's sake: Manchester Contemporary Art Fair

The North's biggest contemporary art fair opened yesterday. Now in its fifth year, 65 galleries are exhibiting works by over 500 UK and international artists. It's in a purpose-built marquee on Hardman Square and at the nearby Artzu Gallery.

This year the fair includes a wide range of talks including Beatrice Hodgkin, author of Affordable Contemporary Art (on Saturday). There are some brilliant pieces on display and for sale, and some that I just didn't get at all (nor did I get some of the price tags- e.g £8500).

For what it's worth, I was impressed with work from the Artisan Fine Art Gallery from Bolton, The Art Gallery in Tetbury Glos., Cheshire Art agencies in Knutsford, Curious Duke Gallery in London, Contemporary Six from Manchester, Comme Ca Art Dealers Manchester,  Hepplestone Fine Art in Chorley and Vermilion in in Knutsford.

Hmmm, all but two of those are north-west based. It looks like my living "oop north" for a quarter of a century has influenced and infiltrated my tastes!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Skywatch Friday: Addy on the Irwell

The white modernist office buildings on the River Irwell's west bank give way down to the river's edge and the popular Mark Addy pub on Stanley Street.  It opened in 1981 and the curves and canopies show its age. But it was revamped in 2010 and now also boasts a good range of food and ales. The wharf was built for the packet boats which first ran from here in 1807.

Who was Mark Addy? A local hero who died in 1890 at the age of 51. He was famous for rescuing 50 people from the then dangerous waters of the River Irwell.

If I saw that layered sky in a watercolour painting I'd say it was exaggerated and impossible, but I snapped and the camera isn't lying. Compare it with other Skywatch Friday posts today.

A heads-up that the City Daily Photo Theme Day for October will be Silhouette (entries will open from Sunday 30 September at around 1000 UK time). 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Collecting your thoughts for the day...

Time out at 111 Piccadilly, home to the Polish and Italian consulates and many businesses. A meeting place for people too or a place to prepare the mind for great things in the rest of the day's meetings?...

"Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week." - George Bernard Shaw. Shaw knew Manchester well and you will be as surprised as me to learn that in 1894 he described Burnage as the prettiest village in Manchester. How times change? 

Meanwhile my monthly post for Smitten by Britain is now up- all about Mumbles in south Wales.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

ABC Wednesday: K is for Kernel King, Manchester's peanut butter

Kernel King is always not easy to find but it is Manchester's peanut butter. The labelling does not tell you what the different colours are but red top is smooth, brown is crunchy and green seems to be crunchier still. 

Kernel King is made by F. Duerr And Sons Ltd, a company trading since 1881 who are based in Floats House in south Manchester. They also make jam, marmalade, mincemeat, mustard and mayonaisse.

As with all manufacturers of glass jars and bottles, I wish they and shops operated a return and reuse scheme, rather than the glass simply getting recycled (at best!), which isn't sensible recycling but is actually smashing up the glass to then expend more energy and resources to merely make more of the same... they did a few decades ago, why can't they now?

The old beer and lemonade bottles, even when I was a child, operated on a deposit basis and dairies collected and reused milk bottles. No wonder the planet is accelerating to environmental disaster with not enough of us applying the brakes...

Today's "K" is linked to ABC Wednesday .

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Mcr food & drink festival, Harvey Nicks van

The 15th annual Manchester food and Drink Festival is in full swing until Monday 8th October. But when I passed by yesterday lunchtime the torrential rain had turned it to a ghost town. Like the rest of the UK might agree at the moment, the "about to be flooded" look is rather a forlorn image.

The street food stalls are in various sessions, the first from last Friday until today includes this vintage van at the Harvey Nicholls stall serves up "elegantly styled French food, served with panache." (Is a panache a cross between brioche and a crêpe?)... Hopefully I will return on a drier day and explore further. 

Jackie Kearney's Hungry Gecko vegetarian street food is the one stand that I'd really like to try and it's here from Wednesday 28th to next Sunday 30th Sept.

Linking today to the Ruby Tuesday blog.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Monday Murals: Eyes open, shutters down

The side of H Blyth art shop looks quite striking when the shutters are closed as well as when it's open.

Any fellow "anoraks" watching Part 3 of the excellent 1960s period piece Mrs Biggs on ITV1 last week ( ) 
may have noticed this was the side street outside the greasy spoon cafe (excellently portrayed by Koffee Shop!) that was featured. Charmian (Sheridan Smith) then sat inside Alan's car chatting in this street.

The Victoria Baths were also used in the first episode as Charmian's place of work and Heaton Park has cropped up a couple of times. Anyone spot any other Mancunian locations?  My absolute favourite was the moonlit night in Paris and the suggestion of a romantic meeting at Notre Dame being portayed by... Manchester Cathedral (the metal red roses of Lancashire on the railings was a giveaway!)

Back to today's photo and a couple of tiny Lego characters can be seen on the red pillar too, as previously seen at this post last autumn: Love, peace & Lego, and below. Tragically Gary Smith, the artist of the Lego art, passed away earlier in 2012. Rest in peace Gary. Some of his work is at

Linked to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

I swear I was there, here's the Sex Pistols

Amazing to think it's 35 years since the Sex Pistols Never Mind the Boll***s album hit the streets. It goes against the very spirit of punk that a deluxe version is about to be released....

The Sex Pistols spawned many a Manchester band to form, after their infamous June 1976 gig at the Free Trade Hall. There's even been a book written about that gig and its influences - I swear I was there by David Nolan.

“Alongside Woodstock and Live Aid, the Sex Pistols' performance has been named by critics as one of the most pivotal performances in music history...not necessarily because of the quality of the music - but because of the effect the music had on the audience. The crowd were mesmerized by the power and possibilities of punk - and it inspired them to create their own music that would shape the sound of rock music for decades to come. Members of Joy Division and New Order, the Smiths, the Fall and Buzzcocks were there that night as well as Tony Wilson, a key player in the story of Factory records, the Hacienda, Madchester and beyond. This was truly a gig that changed the world...”

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Dog days of summer fade to a dog day in autumn...

Antirrhinum majus is the Latin name for the snapdragon or dog flower. But none of those are on display at David Wayman Flowers on The Avenue in Spinningfields, just a bassett hound...

Friday, 21 September 2012

Skywatch Friday: ДО СВИДАНИЯ, ЛЕТО (Goodbye Summer)

Suburban sunset - taken by a guest photographer today, Tim on his mobile phone.

And so we wave goodbye to summer- which was so often disappointing weatherwise in the U.K but a unique and memorable summer for many other reasons. The sun often seemed to shine when I needed it most.

All the regular Manchester summer festivals went well, but it is the holidays and weekends away of summer 2012 that I'll hold even fonder memories of: A long walking weekend in glorious sunshine on the Gower coast; Tintern Abbey in the sun and a walk along Offa's Dyke; a daytrip to historic York; another day trip and a 9 mile walk to the amazing Llangollen canal viaduct; 10 lovely days in London which included seeing the Olympic cycle road races; and 10 days down Tywyn, in West Wales. Lucky me - I hope your summer was good (or your winter if you are well south of the equator).

ДО СВИДАНИЯ, ЛЕТО, or "Do svidaniya leto", is Russian for "goodbye summer"- such a moving song from the excellent BBC Russian Language and People series from 1980 that I have never been able to forget. Also at the You Tube channel called Russian for All .
Episode 1 of Goodbye summer.

Click to see further Skywatch Friday posts from around the planet.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

At one with One UK city centre living

I have always found that late September and early October are the times for a fresh start and new beginnings, much more so than January and the new calendar year.
This is probably due to September being the time of going back to school and college, something engrained within us all at an early age. So, soon we are socialised to see September as starting a clean slate.
Manchester city centre is now full with its 80,000 students, all needing accommodation and often moving to new places every academic year. But like any city, that’s just a small percentage of a vast urban population. Manchester has a constant turnover of people moving into, out of and around the region, all wanting somewhere desirable to live that fits in with their lifestyle.
Because of the housing market there are masses of properties to rent in the city centre. Likewise, some fortunate people are able to own city centre apartments and rent them out. Whichever side of the housing divide you are then One UK is a good place to start. You can rest assured that they offer a wide range of options for city centre living. Based in Leeds and Liverpool as well as Manchester they are experts in finding you a decent home to rent.
It may be a case of moving out to the suburbs or beyond to raise a family, young and old professionals moving into the city centre for the nightlife and culture, or people moving from other regions for a new career in a new town.
One UK even produce an excellent guide to the different areas in the city. This got me wondering and reminded me of the wonderful array of diverse housing opportunities there are in the city centre. You can live the high life in modern Spinningfields, as in my photo above, where you can overlook the ancient River Irwell on one side of the bustle office and retail life in Hardman Square on the other.
You can find the area guide here.

You may be more suited to a converted worker’s cottage, warehouses or former offices where you can live to the beat of the slightly boho Northern Quarter (photo below). The Green Quarter offers local amenities day and night. Galleries and shops, bars and a good local transport hub. as do Castlefield and the Southern Gateway.

Steel, glass and angularity await you in other areas across the city at both ends of Deansgate and beyond, or you may feel more at home in one of the many robust and characterful converted mills. Out east there’s rejuvenated Sports City and Ancoats, or a south westerly walk to an equally revamped Hulme. Over to the west there is a buzz in parts of Salford, and not just at Media City.

For more tips on Manchester living and apartments, visit the One UK website.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

ABC Wednesday: "J" is for Junk on Dale Street

Here we are at "J" day and I was toying with the idea of featuring two Mancheser giants (or is that jiants?) not yet featured here on Mancunian Wave - the Jodrell Bank Observatory or John Rylands Library.

But I'll save those for another time and go for Junk, a cool place, voted best independent shop in Manchester. It is truly wonderful and inspiring to find somewhere that truly embraces a sustainable ethos and is example to all retailers everywhere.

I love their description of their being "Industrial Hippies in a concrete jungle" who  "apply green ethics to our retail manifesto and infuse enjoyment to the consumer experience."

They opened in 2005 and their shop "has been lovingly furnished entirely from reusable materials (first discarded then reclaimed) given new life in a consciously sustainable environment."

What do they sell? Sustainable fashion made in Manchester is their strapline and they stock a range of interesting clothes and accessories with a vintage twist so get along to 2 Dale Street or visit them at .

Linked to ABC Wednesday .

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Bright day

Passers by at one of the city centre apartment blocks. We'll be looking at one Manchester Letting Agency later this week. 

Taking part today in the Ruby Tuesday blog.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Monday murals always rising...

The monthly billboard space at Print and Paste currently merges Manchester with Barrow-in-Furness. The busy bee (as every Mancunian and many regular readers of Mancunian Wave may also know) being the symbol of Manchester. A ram represents Barrow. Jeffrey Bowman (Mr Bowlegs) and Daren Newman (Me&MyPen) are the artists and “Always rising by wisdom and effort” seems a decent enough adage to kickstart any week.
Linked to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog

To read more about the artists who created the above piece here's a couple of links: and .

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Weekend Reflections: Pop Boutique

Cafe Pop opened here well over 20 years ago, selling wonderful vintage vinyl, clothes, crockery and plastic household items, from magazine racks and fruit bowls to hat stands and formica tables. The veggie cafe was a great place to eat too. 

An aspect of Cafe Pop that remains to this day is Pop Boutique which set up here in 1994, as does its location on Oldham Street.

Over many a long lunch here I co-wrote the weekly Relax with the Grim Reaper and MeMeMe (Polyp & Brand) cartoon strips with cartoonist Polyp back in the 1990s.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Skywatch Fridays: Beetham tilt

Part of the MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) on the left and the Beetham Tower: very different purposes, built in different centuries, but neighbours with their own individual style. Looking eastwards at sunset on Liverpool Road.

See what other bloggers around the globe have seen in the sky this week, at Skywatch Friday .

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Rural Thursday: Amaizing -shades of green

The maize fields on a walk between Hare Hill and Alderley Edge in northern Cheshire this week. I previously posted a photo of the same field in July last year.

Personally I am pleased to learn that in recent years some local farmers have decided to grow maize in place of the more usual Cheshire dairy cash crops: cream, cattle and of course, Cheshire cheese, the oldest cheese in England.

Mancunian Wave is linking today to the Rural Thursday blog.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

ABC Wednesday: I is for Imli, ambience under the tamarind tree

Imli is a favourite Indian restaurant of mine, located on Deansgate and with stylish surroundings that the food always matches. It's part of the Lal Qila Restaurant Group with signature Karahi dishes served in a small copper pot. "Imli" is an Urdu word for tamarind, a tree which produces the seed pods used in cooking.

I agree, to a point, with the marketing which states "The atmosphere at Imli is chic, yet the signature sizzling platters create an ambiance [sic] which is authentic, lively and modern. The interior setting is enhanced by the modern Indo-ambiant [sic] music especially selected by world wide acclaimed DJ, Jermaine Dalrymple." He's a local R&B artist and a DJ on the Manchester club scene and beyond.  Linked to ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Che Guevara & the flying saucer

Flights of fancy has been the theme for the 2012 Tatton Biennial, which runs until 30th September.  You'd best fly off to Tatton Park in the remaining three weeks to see it all for yourself:

This photo is of Dinu Lu's crashed flying saucer which on the inside contains "a sequence of video communications from the Marxist hero Che Guevara, who exists in at least three parallel universes, relate the nature of his crash landing as well as his evolving ideas about the virtues of space flight and dub music as the most effective revolutionary forces at work in the world today." You can see a short extract here: .

Pretty intriquing. And is that the sky or a stream of smoke emanating from the rearside of the UFO? ;-)

The back half of an aeroplane with a mural of one of the famous deer of Tatton is another exhibit (Gleaners of the Infocalypse by the Juneau Project).

The Biennial blurb reflects that "This third edition of the Biennial considers the human urge to fly, to accomplish the impossible in fragile times. Its artists are exploring the impact of experimentation on delicate eco-systems, looking backward and forward for guidance, wisdom and/or humour. Their resulting works are experiments in time and space."  Wonderful video of the Tatton 2012 Biennial .

Linking with the Ruby Tuesday blog.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Monday Murals: West African art, last chance to see...

While there is rebuilding this space at the town hall extension is being used for murals or hoardings to advertise cultural events.  A good use, for this excellent exhibition (We Face Forward) with its promo banner of stretched West African nations' flags. It closes on Sunday 16th so you'll have to move quickly to catch it... Head for the City Art Gallery, Platt Fields costume Museum and the Whitworth Gallery. 

You can watch footage of some of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s We Face Forward activities. There's also Lamine Cissé & Sidiki Dembélé and their lively drumming at the Band on the Wall's We Face Forward party.

Every Thursday night the City Art Gallery is open until 9 p.m. which is a real boon for those who work regular hours.
Linked to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog and also making my debut at Mellow Yellow Monday.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Evensong and even chat at t'Cathedral

A sunny evening and where better to sit and chat than outside Manchester Cathedral? Or to give it its correct name, the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George. By any name, it can be a peaceful setting.

Although extensively changed in the 19th century, as were so many churches, a Saxon stone with angel carving dating from 700 AD is evidence of the longevity of worship at this site.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Weekend Reflections: Fashion getting the bird @hattershostel

Getting the bird is an old phrase means being critical of something. It's used merely as a title here as I couldn't be critical of the wonderful street art on the side of Hatters Hostel on Newton Street (which I featured in its own right in April  as a Monday Mural post). One of the many fashion wholesalers in the area provides a reflective surface. 

There are two Hatters hostels in the city offering great and comfortable budget, self-catering accommodation. This unofficial video is also really informative.

Here are the rest of the current Weekend Reflections from around the world.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Skywatch Friday: MOSI on sundown

The late summer western sky at dusk with a silhouetted MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry).  Have a look at this week's other Skywatch Friday posts and then have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Rural Thursdays: Mi Amigo

The narrow boat (barge) Mi Amigo is often moored on the Macclesfield Canal near Bollington, not far from Canalside Community Radio in Clarence Mill. It's named after the Mi Amigo ship which was used for pirate radio stations, most notably Radio Caroline, in the 1960s and 1970s. Linked to the Rural Thursday blog.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

ABC Wednesday: H is for Harry Hall cycles

Another ABC Wednesday and it's "H" for Harry Hall cycles. Harry first set up in business with his cycle shop way back in 1955. It's located in one of the many railway arches on the stretch between Oxford Road and Deansgate stations. 

Harry Hall remains a family-run business to this day which is wonderful to see in an age where chains of large out of town cycle and sports shops dominate the market. Go team Harry!

Linking, of course, to ABC Wednesday .

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Bye-bye BBC NBH

With the BBC all long since moved out to Media City, their former home of BBC New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road is being demolished. This brown and grey building going under the hammer (literally) was only completed in 1975 but is now being demolished, rather than reused - a dreadful waste.
In the 1980s my first BBC job was at the equipment department in west London. We used to send out stock (from capacitors to mixing desks) to engineers at all the BBC sites, from Ascension Island to Aberdeen. NBH was the code for New Broadcasting House in Manchester, home to BBC local radio and tv.  A few years later I was enjoying recordings of concerts and sitcoms here. I was last inside when we were on a fascinating tour of the building and its facilities during its latter days.
It was then sold for £10 million in 2011. A complex of hotel, shops, and apartments is due to be built here but of most interest to me is that there will also be a public space for broadcasts and exhibitions.
A lesson to be learned by namers of buildings everywhere is that what may be new at the time it is built, is not so new when it comes to demolition time, however many decades later.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Caught in the act on Stevenson Square

The latest set of wonderful artwork at Stevenson Square was started last week.  Here is one of the talented artists putting the finishing touches to what I interpret as an anti arms race statement. The latest artworks are replacing the white, red and black theme that you can see on the right and which featured here on Mancunian Wave earlier in the summer. 

You can read all about the murals past and present at Outhouse Manchester . As ever the murals are sponsored by arts and crafts shop Fred Aldous, one of a couple of art shops on the vibrant and gritty square.

Linked to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Race for life 10km at Tatton Park today

The annual 10 Km Race for Life at Tatton Park took place this morning. It's a big fund raiser for Cancer Research UK with hundreds of thousands of women taking part across the UK each year. 

My congratulations to all that took part today, especially Susie (runner no. 10342, turquoise vest on left shoulder of woman all in black!) who was competing for the third successive year and came in in 61 mins 35 secs and was in the top 80 by my reckoning (and second in her age category).

For those that still have energy after the run there are afternoon events aplenty planned. You can chill out in the picnic area for family entertainment including crazy golf, inflatable volleyball and live music.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

City Daily Photo theme day: people watching

An everyday street snap shows marked contrasts of two women in the city centre. Taken for September's City Daily Photo theme day which is people-watching. See the other contributions at: and also at the City Daily Photo Facebook group.

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