Another fire on Oldham Street (video)

Two 15-year-old girls have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after a fire in an Oldham Street shop yesterday. A fire-fighter died and another was injured as eight crews tackled the blaze.

It broke out in the storeroom of Paul’s Hair and Beauty World near the Piccadilly end of the street.

This is the third major fire in the Northern Quarter this year and the second on Oldham Street. In April an art-deco former department store caught alight and was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished and last month a fire at the Almost Famous burger restaurant on High Street caused the roof to collapse.

The timelapse video shows smoke rising from the scene at around 22:30 last night.

While the loss of buildings comes second to people, it’s sad to see another attractive frontage on this street damaged and perhaps facing demolition.

 

How Google hides free copies of public domain books while directing people to pay-for reprints

Google has been allowed to scan hundreds of thousands of out-of-copyright books from libraries around the world and supposedly this is a wonderful free resource for all of us. But, over the last year or two, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find the free versions while Google Books presents reprints to buy.

Here’s an example… (more…)

 

Fire on Oldham Street, Dobbin’s drapers and general outfitters

Fire hydrant on Tib StreetAnother small part of Manchester’s heritage went up in flames on 11th April when a former department store caught fire on Oldham Street.

Fire fighters had been tackling the blaze for several hours when I shot these pictures just after 8pm. The street was closed off and people had been evacuated from neighbouring buildings. (more…)

 

Freedom of Information request reveals scale of police call outs to Manchester’s gay village venues (video)

Canal Street in the early hours

The early hours of 13 January 2013. A still from the video footage which you can watch below. As I recorded this on Richmond Street I was physically assaulted by a man who took a swipe at my camera. He was bleeding and I was left with his blood over my hand and the camera. I’m sure the police saw this but they did nothing. Another person who was filming had his shots deleted from the memory card by police officers after they bundled him around the corner. Guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) warn that any police officer who deletes a photographer’s images could face criminal, civil or disciplinary action.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed the scale of police call outs to gay village venues.

Greater Manchester Police supplied a list of 4,079 pubs, bars and clubs they had been called out to in 2011-2012 (some venues may appear on the list more than once).

Of those, 41 venues across Greater Manchester had more than 100 police call outs and 7 of those 41 premises were in Manchester’s gay village: (more…)

 
 

Police Commissioner Hustings 2012, Manchester (video)

The Police Commissioner hustings event was held at the Roscoe Building, Manchester University, on November 6, 2012. Four of the candidates were present: Matt Gallagher – Liberal Democrats, Tony Lloyd – Labour Party, Michael Winstanley – Conservative, and Steven Woolfe – UK Independence Party. Roy Warren – Independent – couldn’t attend due to ill health. The event was organised by the Manchester Evening News.

This video shows the initial speeches. Each candidate was allowed to speak for about three minutes.

Police Commissioner Hustings 2012, Manchester

 

Jimmy Savile implicated in the tragic story of a 15-year-old Top of the Pops dancer who took an overdose and died after spending the night with a “well-known disc jockey” in 1971

Back in May I wrote about the tragic story of a 15-year-old girl who killed herself in 1971.

A news report in The Guardian on April 6th of that year describes how she had danced on Top of the Pops on four occasions and, according to her diary, spent the night with a man the newspaper describes as “a well-known disc jockey”.

That girl was Claire Ufland. However, she was adopted and other reports call her by her adopted name of Claire McAlpine. She also used the stage name Samantha Claire.

It seems she died on March 30th. A month earlier her mother, Vera McAlpine, had read her diary and banned her from appearing on the show again.

I looked up details of Top of the Pops for the end of 1970 and begining of 1971 and found that Jimmy Savile presented the programme on 3 Dec, 25 Dec, 26 Dec, 14 Jan, 28 Jan, 11 Feb, and 25 Feb. (more…)