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Monday 13 December 2010

Survivors remember the Manchester Blitz 70 years on

“Seventy years ago, Manchester endured its own Blitz – two nights of bombing by Hitler’s Luftwaffe which left 684 civilians dead, 2,364 wounded and swathes of the city centre in ruins.”

Manchester Evening News


Filed under: Bygone Manc,History,Manchester — GS @ 3:54 am
Wednesday 17 November 2010

Why I won’t support the ‘no cuts’ protests

Depending on who you believe, and what is included, the UK national debt is somewhere between £800 billion and £4.8 trillion (which is £4,800 billion).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that the total debt, excluding bank bail-outs, is £816bn. But this figure doesn’t include the state’s pension liabilities, in a contravention of standard accounting practices. (more…)


Filed under: Manchester,Politics — GS @ 9:54 am
Wednesday 27 October 2010

Manchester Pride 2010 raises just £115,000 for good causes

Manchester Pride 2010 has raised just £115,000 for charity. In real terms, this is considerably less than was raised by the free-to-attend GayFest a decade ago.

There’s how the figure fits into the overall picture: (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:33 am
Wednesday 15 September 2010

Bygone Manchester: the Grand Theatre, Peter Street

The former Grand Theatre, Peter StreetThe lower building nearest the camera was once the Grand Theatre.

Built for Edward Garcia, and designed by a Mr Weldon, it opened as a circus on 29 September 1883 and then became a theatre. From 1916 until 1924 the building operated as a cinema, known firstly as the Palladium and then the Futurist. After which it became home to the Christian Science Church and by the 1980’s was a quite stylish car showroom. Currently it’s closed, having been a bar.

The Manchester Libraries Local Image Collection has a photograph from 1956 which shows the building and another from 1960. It seems there were shops at the front at ground level.

At some point after that the upper part of the theatre frontage was taken down and replaced by the unexciting red brick wall that we see today.

The caption on this photograph, from 1973, suggests at that time the site (and probably the Albert Hall next door) faced a compulsory purchase order and was destined to be a new police headquarters. But it never happened and the police are still based just a few yards away at the old HQ in Bootle Street, which runs along the back of the building.

The rear of the former Grand Theatre, Peter Street, Manchester

The rear is a bit of a mystery. The building seems quite small and has a low roof. How would a theatre fit into this building? Let alone a circus (don’t send any giraffes!). The site is approximately 30m x 22m. I suppose it was just a very small music hall?


View Larger Map

Here’s an archive view that gives a glimpse of the back in 1908 — two years before the Albert Hall was built. It looks rather run-down and a sign on the roof advertises shows ‘twice nightly’. This is how it looked in 1973.

This website has more information about the history of this building and many other theatres in Manchester and around the UK, past and present.


Filed under: Buildings,Bygone Manc,History,Manchester — GS @ 2:43 am
Monday 13 September 2010

Misleading statistics and misconceptions about the gay community

Much of the gay world is driven by misleading statistics and misconceptions and rather ‘woolly’ thinking. This suits some people down to the ground.

Facts and figures are exaggerated and misrepresented for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes due to ignorance and silliness or with the best of intentions. Other times deliberately for profit, to get funding or to grab or hold onto control of an event or organisation.

Some do it to present a picture that better suits their upbringing and view of life and because of a desperate urge to ‘fit in’ and be no different.

A few years ago I realised how the organisers of Manchester’s August Bank Holiday event (currently known as Manchester Pride) had consistently misled the public about attendance figures over the years. Particularly the crowd numbers at the Saturday parade. They published vastly-inflated figures that were physically impossible and so did the media.

I began to wonder what else are we being misled about?

(more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 4:26 am
Sunday 5 September 2010

Gay village residents mount legal challenge over street closure during Manchester Pride

I understand that residents in Manchester’s gay village area have mounted a legal challenge over the closure of streets during the annual Manchester Pride ‘Big Weekend’. Since 2003 the area has been fenced off over the August Bank Holiday — from Friday evening until the early hours of Monday morning. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:16 pm
Thursday 2 September 2010

Manchester Pride parade 2010 (video)

The first part of last Saturday’s Manchester Pride parade.

Drag queen Hilda Ogden on the Coronation Street float at Manchester Pride 2010

I’ll put up the rest when I have time. Editing and encoding long clips takes ages! (more…)


Filed under: Fun,Gay,LGBT,Manchester,With video — GS @ 5:00 pm
 
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