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Monday 31 August 2009

Manchester Pride 2009: Queer Youth Network & Pride Is A Protest (video)

Queer Youth Network and Pride Is A Protest in the Manchester Pride parade on Saturday. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,With video — GS @ 4:08 pm
Saturday 29 August 2009

Andrew Stokes at Manchester Pride 2009

Imagine the scene… You’re the Chair of Manchester Pride. It’s one of your busiest days of the year — the Saturday Pride parade — and the entrants are getting ready to move off. Usually you eat healthy stuff but you think, just this once, you’ll sneak into the nearby takeaway and have nasty pie and chips.

Who is the last person you want to bump into, holding a camera, on your way out? (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 7:15 pm
Friday 28 August 2009

Free Manchester Pride alternative on Saturday afternoon

Manchester will ‘reclaim the scene’ with a free picnic after the Saturday Pride parade.

There will be free food, activities and performers from 16.00 onwards. It’s all happening outside UMIST on the grass area at the junction of Sackville Street and Granby Row. Near the Retro Bar and the Spar shop on Sackville Street.


View Larger Map

It’s non-profit and any money raised goes to help LGBT people in Iraq.

This looks like being fun and quite a big event. We hope to have some video coverage here from Sunday.

LIBERATION 2009 MARCH

On Monday, the closing night of Manchester Pride, there will be a Liberation 2009 march from All Saints Park to the gay village. It starts at 18.30.

Liberation 2009 march


Filed under: Fun,Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 7:52 pm
Wednesday 17 June 2009

Council plans to build stainless steel and glass ‘safety fence’ along Canal Street

Perhaps you thought you’d seen every half-baked, damaging, badly-thought out planning decision that Manchester City Council could come up with or approve for the gay village area?

It allowed ugly modern buildings to go up next to Victorian warehouses on Canal Street, replaced the cast-iron bridge with a concrete one, gave the go ahead for a giant skyscraper that would overshadow the whole street and granted endless licences for bars. It allowed the gay village, which was once a safe space, to become a binge-drinking hellhole where people get murdered.

Well, if you thought you’d seen it all, think again, because the latest lunatic proposal will make you gasp… (more…)


Filed under: Buildings,Environment,History,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 6:33 pm
Saturday 30 May 2009

A camp cowboy in a Stan Laurel film from 1923

I’ve always been a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy.

This week I found a silent film that Stan Laurel made in 1923 called ‘The Soilers’. A camp cowboy appears regularly throughout the ten minute film. Here are two clips:

Stan grew up in and around theatres in Britain because his father was a theatre manager. Many of the characters and routines in the early days of the movies would have been inspired by variety acts in the music halls and no doubt this kind of character would have been part of that. But it’s unusual to get a glimpse on film from this period and for it play such a major part in the storyline.


Filed under: History,LGBT,Manchester,TV & film — GS @ 4:48 am

Did a relative of Cruz 101’s owner win the top prize in the club’s £10,000 prize birthday raffle?

Manchester club Cruz 101 celebrated its 17th birthday on 23 May with a £10,000 prize raffle. Entrants could win a brand new 2009 Citroen C1 with private registration plate.

However rumours are circulating that the car was won by the nephew of the owner of the club. We have asked Cruz 101 for a statement on whether this is true and will let you know here if we get one.

No doubt this raffle drew crowds to the club itself and we understand it raised £4,500 for the Lesbian and Gay Foundation. In fact, the Licence Holder for the draw is a member of staff at the LGF. ‘The winners names can be obtained by sending a sae to Cruz 101 Birthday Winners, 101 Princess St, Manchester, M1 6DD, between May 30th and June 30th, 2009.’

One of the rules is that employees of ‘101 Entertainments Limited’ can’t take part. No mention of relatives though…

Update: I sent a stamped addressed envelope for a list of the winners but never received anything back.


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:10 am
Sunday 10 May 2009

Snouts in the trough at Manchester Pride: the Tourist Board

Manchester Pride and Marketing Manchester: two doors of the same sty

Much has been written about the extra income that Manchester Pride brings in for the local economy.

In 2008, Andrew Stokes, who is chairman of Manchester Pride and chief executive of Marketing Manchester (the tourist board) told the press that Pride was worth more than £17.5m per year to Manchester’s businesses. Other estimates have been as much as £22m.

With Pride bringing in so much much cash for businesses you might think that Marketing Manchester would owe us? After all, Pride is funded mainly by the public, through ticket sales. In 2008, we coughed up about £600,000 — two-thirds of the total Pride income — to run this giant tourist bonanza for the city and its businesses.

Manchester Pride's accounts 2007/2008

But no… Take a look at page 21 of the 2007/08 Manchester Pride accounts (PDF) and you’ll see that Pride paid £6,040 to Marketing Manchester for ‘normal commercial services’. Whereas Pride invoiced Marketing Manchester just £92.

I can reveal that the £6,040 charge was because Marketing Manchester does the business accounts for Manchester Pride!

Update (March 2010): it has emerged that an accounting mistake led to Manchester City Council accidentally paying Marketing Manchester £421,000. It has been written off, so council tax payers will foot the bill.

Update (April 2010): Andrew Stokes is now Chair of the [gay] Village Business Association, Chair of Manchester Pride, Chair of Queer Up North, Chief Executive of Marketing Manchester…

Update (January 2013): according to press releases from the time, it seems that Andrew Stokes resigned as Chair of Manchester Pride in December 2010. However the published Pride accounts for year ending 30 September 2011 state that he resigned a year later, on 14 December 2011. While according to his personal LinkedIn profile he left in Manchester Pride 2009. If you take the December 2010 date as the correct one, he was Chair of both the VBA and Pride for a period of some 8 months from April to December 2010.

Snouts in the trough

Vintage pig photos from the Library of Congress.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 5:55 pm
 
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