Monday, 30 March 2015

Monday Mural: It's the small things that make a big difference...

"It's the small things that make a big difference..." seems a fair enough saying to start the week with this sub station mural for the global Monday Mural, on Tib St.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Friday, 27 March 2015

Skywatch: Strangeways there we came...

For Skywatch FridayNot a typo of The Smiths' album title but a nod to mark the Strangeways Prison Riots of 25 years ago. They started on 1 April 1990 and lasted for over three weeks. Prisoners took control of the prison chapel and the riot quickly spread throughout most of the prison. The riot and rooftop protest ended on 25 April when the final five prisoners were removed from the rooftop, making it the longest prison riot in British penal history. One prisoner was killed during the riot, and one prison officer died from a heart attack. 147 prison officers and 47 prisoners were injured. Much of the prison was damaged or destroyed with the cost of repairs coming to £55 million.

The riot sparked a series of disturbances in prisons across England, Scotland and Wales, resulting in even the Thatcher regime / Major Government having to announce a public inquiry into the riots. The resulting Woolf Report concluded that conditions in the prison had been intolerable, and recommended major reform of the prison system. The Guardian described the report as a blueprint for the restoration of "decency and justice into jails where conditions had become intolerable". Sadly 25 years on, under another undemocratically elected Tory-led government, prison conditions are just as bad again, Harry Kenneth Woolf said last week.

Two Strange (way) tales...

I started a new job in the first week of April 1990, at a printers, in the street next to Strangeways... I was an hour and half late for work the first day, pesky rioters... Luckily it was only a temporary office job- I struggled to cope with the sexism of much of the male workforce, and the bossiness of my female supervisor was such that Morrissey would have aptly described as her as "Bigmouth strikes again".

A story I heard this year concerned the friend of a friend who was in Strangeways at the time for a minor offence. His cellmate was a riot ringleader and dragged him up onto the roof, where he played an inadvertent starring role in long distance tv camera coverage. The poor chap had served his time by the end of the riots but due to his accidental role in them, and the heavy handedness of the justice system, he ended up with an additional six month's sentence. So much for the great British justice system, again... 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Park Street Stockport

Park Street in Stockport on a rainy day, just across from the monthly vintage market. There are half a dozen or so vintage furniture and ephemera shops in here now in what has changed from a jaded  old part of town to one with a vibrant buzz.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

ABC Wednesday:"K" is for Katsouris #KatsourisDeli

ABC Wednesday gets to "K" where Katsouris Deli and Cafe is a popular breakfast stop in the centre of town, as well as for other meals. Open from 7.00 a.m but all closed up by 4.30 pm.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Blue, blossom, belief

Spring is here, from popping daffodils to blossoming trees, this part of the world is coming back to life. It lifts the heart of even the coldest mere mortal. What else is going down on this Our World Tuesday?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Monday Mural: Art under the arches

It may not be legitimately sanctioned street art but the orange clock face-sun brightens up a dank space. This is a city centre space under the railway arches which is often used by rough sleepers, young smokers, practising Tai Chi exponents and film crews looking for a gritty urban setting to film in...

Taking part in the Monday Mural at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Apologies for not commenting on many blogs lately- I've been down with, and now recovering from, a nasty flu bug... 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Chill with Buddha

Peace and tranquility at the Manchester Museum. 

Happy Birthday to a special Buddhist follower I know  who has contributed to this blog on numerous occasions, Holly :-)

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Friday, 20 March 2015

Beautiful Bridgewater Day...

A Beautiful Day, by name and nature... an unusual boat on the Bridgewater Canal.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Stained glass Sunny Lowry

Stained glass at Victoria Baths. Ethel "Sunny" Lowry was the first British woman to swim the English Channel. Lowry, a student at Manchester High School for Girls, was a keen swimmer from a young age. She had a reputation for strong-mindedness, which was demonstrated by her eschewing the traditional heavy wool one-piece swimsuit in favour of a, at the time daring, lighter two-piece suit. For this she was berated as being a harlot for baring her knees.  This swimsuit is now on display at the Dover Museum "Swimming The Channel" exhibition. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

ABC Wednesday: "J" is for Jungle at Albert Hall

Jungle sold out the Albert Hall in Manchester in late February. Photos by Holly Sutton-Brand. This former Methodist Central Hall was built in 1910 and can hold 3,500 people. It was renovated and reopened in 2012 as a concert venue. The downstairs was briefly been a night club in the 1990s and a variety venue for the years after it ceased its religious function. ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Clifton on fire #SalfordFire #ClimateChange #ReduceReuseRecycle

Late Sunday afternoon saw the industrial plant at Clifton explode into flames, just as another one did a year ago in Ordsall (unless it's this same one?). Either the plastic is self combustable or someone is being careless with matches? The industrial park is home to businesses including waste management and recycling company Roydon Group and social welfare charity Recycling Lives.
Luckily no-one was hurt although the repercussions of us all breathing in poison for days to come means there could yet be casualties. Toxic fumes plumed all over the area and goodness knows how much plastic burned. 

Another reminder that the plastics industry needs to rethink and we all need to use far less of this stuff... My blurry snapshot is taken from seven miles away.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Monday Mural: sub station Spring #StreetArt

Spring comes, slowly,  though this looks like an alien landscape with a biosphere in the astronaut/cosmonaut/space woman's space helmet. The hand that grows and feeds? Bright and breezy on Tib Street and nice to see some planter boxes have been built here. Start your week with a Monday Mural.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Peace at The Deaf Institute Manchester @PEACE4EVEREVER @hollysb96

Today's Mancunian Wave photos come courtesy of Holly Sutton-Brand.

Peace played the Deaf Institute on Thursday, Friday and last night. They are next back in Manchester at The Academy on 1 October but before that tour further afield: Japan then onto Australia in April and May. 

From Worcester, this indie rock band who, of course, use the versatile CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) peace symbol (designed circa 1958!) consist of brothers Harry (vocals, guitar) and Sam Koisser (bass), Doug Castle (guitar) and Dom Boyce (drums).

Holly nabbed a plectrum and set list again, to accompany the set list she got when she saw Peace supporting Kaiser Chiefs at Mallorca Rocks! last September.

Taking part in the Weekly Top Shot #169.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Morning tea and brunch at Teacup

Teacup on Thomas Street always seems spacious even in the lunchtime and afternoon rush. I was in there on Thursday morning for a peppermint tea, brewing above. I like the egg-timers (tea-timers), three colours of sands for one, three or five minutes of brewing. I met with an old friend and her newborn so there was plenty to catch up on and mid-morning tea soon led to brunch. 

Very good it was too, heritage tomato beans on rye (heritage tomatoes, red kidney beans and green lentils on rye or sourdough). I loved ordering it as just saying it aloud made me feel like a character from A Prairie Home Companion. Maybe Doris Kresboch in the Chatterbox Café or even detective Guy Noir in his local deli. But I digress...

There's always a nice blend (pun intended) of people in Teacup: mums and daughters, Northern Quarter creatives, people from all walks of life, races and religions. Even little old me... 

A not so typical entry to Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Skywatch Friday: Overlooking Waterloo...

It's time for that Skywatch Friday feeling once again, and this was the scene on Tuesday's gloriously bright, late afternoon. 

The Abito building on Greengate looks down on the now sadly abandoned wreck of the Waterloo pub that last served customers in 1984. There's a fascinating read on the pub's past (which started in 1815 as the Duke of Wellington) through and beyond its tacky sounding 1970s' heyday with guns, swords and fish tanks, can be read at a four year old blog post on the fabulous Pubs of Manchester blog (although as you may read there, I disagree with their opinions on Abito).

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Look up, Look Down: Trapped inside Spinningfields

A couple of palm trees in Spinningfields, using the office blocks like a greenhouse...Taking part in the Look up, Look Down weekly challenge, hosted by the Travel wIth Intent blog.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

ABC Wednesday: "I" is for Ivory towers...

Linked to ABC Wednesdays, the Sesame Street of the bloggers' world. This week it's the letter "I",  for the Ivory Towers inside the Manchester University compound where time waits for no-one and winter slowly becomes spring. 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Taking a horse to water at Aqueduct Cottage

Aqueduct Cottage in Bollington, Cheshire. The 18th and 19th century silk and cotton industries in the north-west led to the development of the canals and then the rail network, and this cottage sits atop a hill where the Macclesfield canal crosses above the road. Until 1905 the cottage was the Navigation Ale House, with stables beneath it for the horses that worked the canals. Taking part in Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Monday Mural, moving bread mountains

A different approach from me this Monday for my mural entry.

3663 are a catering company that can be seen early mornings all over the city dropping off ingredients to keep canteens, cafes and restaurants stocked up. Some of their vans have murals, I think there are at least two designs, above is the rural version. I managed to track down a van depicting the urban scene too, which is also made from food (below). While I can't vouch for their food, their van livery is to be applauded.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sundays in my city: Brinnington Bridge

I rarely visit the suburb of Brinnington out beyond Stockport, in fact I may never have been there before. It’s only a short train trip from Manchester Piccadilly heading out towards far lovelier Marple. At a quick glance Brinnington , or Brinny, doesn’t have much going for it - although Reddish Vale Country Park is nearby.

Wikipedia states that "Brinnington has high crime levels and long-term unemployment at 20%. Two streets, Northumberland Road and Brinnington Road were named by police as 2 of the 3 'Worst Roads in Stockport' in April 2010."
But this formidable, still in use yet slowly decaying, railway bridge struck me. I was in Brinnington visiting a friendly printers, Chapel Press, for work. Great to see that the printers now use vegetable-based ink and eco-friendlier machinery, and I will be using them later this year for various printing projects. Taking part in Sundays in my city and Weekly Top Shot #168.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Weekend Reflections at The Lowry

My old Sony phone's camera gives everything a tint of blue in this photo at Salford's Media City. The Lowry Theatre and Galleries are to the left. Taking part in Weekend Reflections number 284.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Skywatch Friday: How far away?

Looking in an north easterly direction from the city centre past the Coop HQ on Angel Square (the right slither), beyond tower blocks and possibly into the hills above Oldham. Maybe even 11 miles away to Top o' th' Meadows and Scouthead, if my zoom and minimal map reading is to be believed? Locals, please do correct me if I am wrong. A grey sky for Skywatch Friday.

Back in the city centre there's an interesting walk taking place this evening, a Guided walk for International Women's Week: Women Thinkers and Drinkers. 6:30 PM at the People's History Museum entrance, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Anti-capitalism & fashion – marking International Women’s Day

The Working Class Movement Library (51 Salford Crescent, M5 4WX) will celebrate International Women’s Day (events actually go on all month!) on Saturday 7 March at 2.00 p.m, with a talk by Tansy Hoskins about her book Stitched Up: the Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. Ballad singer Jennifer Reid will perform alongside the talk. Approrpite today for World Book Day

Winner of the ICA Bookshop Book of the Year 2014, Stitched Up delves into the alluring world of fashion to reveal what is behind the clothes we wear. Moving between Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Marx, the book explores consumerism, class and advertising to reveal the interests which benefit from exploitation.

Tansy dissects fashion’s vampiric relationship with the planet and with our bodies to uncover what makes it so damaging. Why does ‘size zero’ exist and what is the reality of working life for models? In a critique of the portrayal of race in fashion, the book also examines the global balance of power in the industry.

Stitched Up provides a unique critical examination of contemporary culture and the distorting priorities of capitalism. Alongside this Jennifer Reid’s songs, drawn from the Library’s vast collection of songbooks and songsheets of protest and rebellion, will form an apt commentary.

This event is part of Wonder Women: Radical Manchester. It is free, and open to all.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

ABC Wednesday: "H" is for the Hotspur Press

Percy Brothers Ltd appears to have once been a printing press, part of the Hotspur Press building which now house various artists. A lovely old sign, this is taken round the back of the building away from the more impressive iron signage on the front.

The building started life as a textile mill - Medlock Mill, in the 19th Century. It is now home to various artists' studios and other creatuve spaces, or was the last time I popped in a year or two back.

Hello to "H" at this week's ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Snowdrops of hope & a focus on crocus

There was a hope of spring on the wing on Sunday morning, as I stumbled across this field of snowdrops and crocuses (crocii?). It will be with us in three weeks for real, although this week it's been a battle between sunshine and light snow flurries so far. The promise of 12°C by next weekend seems a long way off from here ;-)

As well as flowers on the ground we saw scurrying pheasants along a country lane and stationery herons on the water. Overhead we spotted woodpeckers, and heard their resonating pecking from across the wood, while skylarks swooped over ploughed fields.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Monday Mural: Shutter swirl girl

This new work by Inkie is on one of the shutters of Koffee Pot, who have now moved to a neighbouring street. All the shutters, side and front are now drawn down so we are treated to a permanent and, hopefully, evolving street art display.

Taking part in the Monday Mural meme, sharing innovative street art around the world.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Ageing

Julie in Sydney has chosen the City Daily Photo Theme Day topic for the first of the month. It's Ageing

Above is a 1915 postcard of Oxford St in the heart of Manchester, complete with trolley buses, a Cook's Tourist Office (Thomas Cook?) and cobblestones. How has it aged one hundred years later, after two world wars and a revolution of social change? See for yourself, below. 

Much is still surprisingly recognisable. The towers of St James Building and the Refuge Assurance building (now Palace Hotel) remain.  The cinema below left - the Paramount, later an Odeon, opened in 1930. I thought I spotted it in the postcard above but there is a similar, different building. (It's the first white building on left below, which closed in 2004 and is awaiting demolition for another bland office block). 

I would love to be able to return in another 100 years to see how this view changes, in fact I would like to return to see what all my city daily photography friends' locations look like in 2115...

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