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Tuesday 10 June 2014

Why Manchester’s gay village must be consigned to history

We still need safe LGBT spaces. But the future lies in decentralising the LGBT community in Manchester. We must reduce the power of a controlling elite that has us by the throat.

There may have been some good intentions behind the setting up of a “gay village” area more than 20 years ago, but now it’s time for all of us to acknowledge what a horrible and perverse thing it’s become.

It’s time to dismantle the gay village and spread our businesses, organisations, ourselves and our pink pounds across the city once again. The way things were quarter of a century ago…

Unfortunately, idealistic ideas about having our own area were exploited by marketeers, politicians, unscrupulous business types, events organisers and even charities. Now it’s time to show them who’s the boss: the consumer. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 12:26 am
Friday 15 November 2013

Canal Street in the 1880s: Ginger Liz, Cockney Jim and Dirty Alf

In the 1880s the Manchester Evening News published a series of articles which were then gathered together in a book called “Criminal Manchester.” One chapter is “Canal Street: Ginger Liz and Cockney Alf.”

You can download a PDF of the whole book here, courtesy of Chetham’s Library.

And here’s Chapter X about Canal Street:

CRIMINAL MANCHESTER

EXPERIENCES OF A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Reprinted from the Manchester Evening News

CHAPTER X.

CANAL-STREET : GINGER LIZ AND COCKNEY JIM.

I have described the life that hides itself in Charter-street, Deansgate, and Gaythorn, and in this, my concluding article, I shall cover the remaining ground that can properly be dealt with, though it is scarcely so prolific as the districts that have already been under notice.

Its area is much wider, however, though its special criminality is decidedly of an inferior order, and is so scattered that it loses much of the dangerous character which is developed when its component parts are comprehensively grouped together. It has many features peculiarly its own, and as it consists of three detached localities, these features are pretty distinctly marked in each. The districts are Canal-street, Ancoats, and London-road. (more…)


Filed under: Bygone Manc,Crime,Gay,History,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 6:06 am
Monday 5 September 2011

A public discussion with Julia Grant (video)

Watch a video of the full two-hour discussion

Following my recent interview with Julia Grant, she suggested that perhaps I could organise a public discussion about the future of the August Bank Holiday event (which has been known as Manchester Pride since 2004) and the gay village.

This was arranged with the help of other members of the Facebook group Facts About Manchester Pride and was called: “Pull Your Fingers Out and Claim It Back” — a reference to something that Julia said in the interview.

The discussion took place on Thursday 25 August 2011 at the Hotel International on London Road, opposite Piccadilly Station.

The first half was about past and present. A chance for people to ask follow-up questions about the interview, or anything they’d ever wanted to ask Julia Grant. The second was about the future. What changes we would like to see and how to achieve those.

You can watch the whole thing here. It’s in four parts, with a total running time of 128 minutes.


Filed under: Gay,History,LGBT,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 5:30 pm
Saturday 16 July 2011

Interview with Julia Grant (video)

A 70-minute interview with legendary Manchester gay village business woman Julia Grant.

Julia Grant talks on video

A decade ago, Julia Grant was one of the best-known business owners in Manchester’s gay village and an outspoken voice in both the LGBT and mainstream media.

After Mardi Gras 1999 raised nothing at all for good causes, she ran the successful and free-to-enter GayFest for two years. But, some people — including local councillors and Manchester City Council — weren’t happy at all.

Unexpectedly, in 2002, Julia sold Hollywood Showbar and her other businesses and left. Despite rumours and malicious gossip since then, she didn’t speak out in public.

Now, in this exclusive interview Julia Grant reveals the LGBT history that you won’t see at the current Manchester Pride exhibition at The Lowry gallery. Plus she recalls the events that drove her out of the city.

This was recorded on 10 July 2011 during the Sparkle weekend.

GayFest 2001 fundraising (June 2017)

For years one of the malicious smears against Julia Grant around the gay village was that she “ran off with all the money raised from GayFest 2001.” A couple of years ago, PW and I set out to try and trace the GayFest money.

It wasn’t difficult. We were able to confirm with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and George House Trust that they had received their funds almost immediately after the weekend. By that point Body Positive North West no longer existed. But we were able to see the accounts and the money from GayFest.

Between the three of them this was the vast majority of the money raised by GayFest 2001. It seems the remaining 12.25% went to an array of smaller organisations. It was near impossible to trace it more than a decade after the event. Small organisations and projects were not required to publish full audited accounts with Companies House or the Charity Commission.

That doesn’t mean anything was amiss and what we can say for sure is that 87.75% of money raised by GayFest 2001 reached the three major charities mentioned.

Julia Grant is a controversial character. But this was an unfair and wicked smear against her. Did any of these three major charities ever refute the malicious reputation she had been given? They had benefited enormously from the work of her and her team at GayFest.

Overall there can be no doubt that some people who wanted a different sort of event were happy to see Julia discredited.


Filed under: With video — GS @ 3:47 am
Sunday 20 March 2011

Eight held after stabbing on Canal Street

Eight men have been arrested after a man was stabbed in Manchester’s gay village.

BBC


Filed under: Crime,Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 8:54 am
Friday 11 March 2011

Manchester’s gay village topped the city centre league for violent crime again in January

The crime level street map for January shows that the gay village was again the worst spot in the whole city centre for violent crime (orange).

Violent crime in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

Anti-social behaviour in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

The village was the top spot for anti-social behaviour too (blue). I’ll let the map showing all crimes (grey) speak for itself…

All crimes in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

You can see December’s stats in my post here.

Check out these and other stats on the Police.UK website.

By searching with a postcode you can check crime details for any area. The website also gives information about your local policing team and beat meetings.


Filed under: Crime,Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 2:42 am
Tuesday 1 February 2011

Crime level street maps reveal Manchester’s gay village is the worst part of the city centre for violent crime

The government’s new crime level street maps show that Manchester’s gay village was the worse hot-spot for violent crime in the whole city centre in the month of December.

Figures for violent crime in December 2010 show that the gay village is the worse hotspot in Manchester city centre

(more…)


Filed under: Crime,Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 7:47 am
 
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