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…)

 

The end of the Oxford Road Show (video)

How the BBC’s studios nearly ended up opposite Platt Fields Park in Rusholme

Here in Manchester, New Broadcasting House is being demolished. But back in the mid-1950’s, when the BBC decided to build new northern regional headquarters, this famous location on Oxford Road wasn’t the first choice.

Workmen in a cage suspended from a crane inspect the front of the former BBC building during demolition

At the beginning of 1956 the BBC was scattered across eleven buildings in the Manchester area. In Piccadilly, space that the Corporation had rented above a bank since the 1920’s provided a studio for talk productions and another for television interviews (staff there witnessed the fatal Woolworths fire next-door in May 1979). The BBC’s main TV studio was in a old church on Dickenson Road in Rusholme. While another former church nearby, on the corner of Birch Lane and Plymouth Grove, was used as a garage for the outside broadcast lorries. (more…)