Click here to go to the home page
EWM Home Page | Aidan O'Rourke on Twitter and Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | Contact

Newsletter 1998 Week 6Monday the 9th of February 1998


Lots of interesting links

Chorlton Web
Community Website

Rebuilding Manchester
With pictures before and after the bomb


Home Page of the author

This week's news from Manchester was dominated by commemorations for Munich 58. A memorial service was held at Manchester Cathedral on Friday, and silence was observed at 3.04pm next day before the Bolton Wanderers match. The mood around the Manchester United ground has been sombre and respectful. There's been a steady stream of visitors over the past few days. Flowers have been placed on either side of the Matt Busby statue, and personal messages have been left underneath.

Have a look at the Eyewitness in Manchester Extra Feature, which gives a German perspective on the tragedy: Was Munich 58 the reason why in the 60's Manchester United went on to become, arguably, the most famous football club in the world?

The subject of Manchester's other club, Manchester City, came up in last week's edition of Channel 4's weird & wacky paranormal feature "Fortean TV". Apparently the ground was cursed in the 1920's by Romany gypsies aggrieved having leave and make way for the new stadium. This, according to believers, explains City's poor performance. Also, the ghost of a man called John Worsley has been seen around the stand. Can anyone corroborate these reports?

Trafford Athletic Club won a lottery award of £764,004 last week - the region's biggest award of the month. And universities in Manchester and Salford have been awarded a 1.8m grant for research.

No such luck for the Halle Orchestra, whose financial problems featured in last week's headlines. A rescue plan was drawn up by the board, so they aren't going to go bankrupt. Two pianos and a violin were sold to provide interim funds. The Halle, founded in 1858 by emigré Charles Halle, is the oldest full-time orchestra in the UK.

And a £23m scheme to restore the Rochdale Canal may collapse due to disagreements between the owners and the canal Trust. The delay may mean the loss of £11.9m in lottery funding.

If anyone would like to donate some £m£m£m to Eyewitness in Manchester, I can be contacted at the e-mail address below.

The Carlisle-based company Boss FM is to launch a new radio station in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and south Lancashire. It will carry 24 hour regional news reports.

Laker Airways have withdrawn from the UK, including 4 flights from Manchester. I remember the launch of their Skytrain service at Ringway in 1972, with the distinctive red, black and white livery. Competition from other cut-price operators is said to be responsible for the withdrawal.

Secondary schools in the Manchester area have done well in government performance charts. Among the high scorers were St Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton, Hursthead and Kingsway School, Cheadle, and Ashton-on-Mersey school, Sale. I visited Ashton-on-Mersey school on a photo shoot today, and was very impressed by the modern facilities and business-like atmosphere - a far cry from the schools some of us attended...

Truancy is a major problem, but at Smithills School in Bolton, parents of frequent offenders have been issued with pagers. It the child doesn't show up, the parents are informed immediately. It's part of a experimental "nip-it-in-the-bud" scheme and appears to be highly effective.

Accidents have featured over the weekend. In Stockport, two people were rescued by fire fighters from a burning house on Adswood Lane. And yesterday on Cannon Street, a Metrolink tram was in collision with a bus at the intersection of Cannon St & Corporation St (see recent picture right). No-one was injured.

There's been a stabbing incident over the weekend. Police were called to a house on Evesham Road Blackley. 37 year old Lorraine Randles was subsequently arrested and charged with the murder of her common-law husband Paul Morgan, 45, who died in North Manchester General Hospital of his injuries.

A car chase took place along Wilbraham Road on Friday, during which one of the occupants of one of two cars leant out and shot at the other. Police later made two arrests.

23 year old law student Amer Rafiq, who lost the sight in one eye whilst being taken into police custody at Eid celebrations two years ago, has been awarded an undisclosed sum in an out of court settlement.

The weather was cold and sunny last week, but it has become much milder over the weekend. Saturday and Sunday were cloudy with some bright periods. Today there were mostly leaden skies over Manchester, though I saw a patch of blue somewhere over Chorlton this afternoon.

  • Pressure eases on Clinton, but mounts on Saddam Hussein.
  • Controversial MP Enoch Powell dies.
  • MP Gwyneth Dunwoddy calls the the repatriation of Pooh Bear & co from New York

    Words & pictures ©Aidan O'Rourke

    Subject: The munich air crash.
    While I am fully aware that the loss of all those young footballers was a national tragedy, as Man City fan I am always disappointed to note that there is usually no mention of the other people who perished in the crash. I am thinking specifically of the former City goalkeeeper and England captain Frank Swift. I, and I'm sure many others, would like to see the great man mentioned in some way.
    Many thanks
    From: Unknown
    Dave, please contact Gordon in Williamsburg - message below. Frank Swift will be mentioned in my Munich 58 extra feature, appearing in the next few days.
    My brother and I were heavy fans of Frank Swift. In fact we each have a picture of him on the wall of our home. Hard to believe after all this time, but there it is. We have both often wondered who he left behind and where he might be buried.
    Thank you,
    Gordon T. Adams, Williamsburg, VA. Does anyone know where Frank Swift is buried?

    Subject: Congratulations
    Hi Aidan,
    Happy One Year Anniversary, and thanks for all your hard work. You have given so much pleasure to all us ex Mancurians.
    Here wishing you many more Eyewitness years.
    Thanks for your kind wishes. Nice to hear from people "out there". If all the readers reading this page did the same as you, my e-mail box would be jammed!
    Subject: Titanic Disaster
    Here is something for you that I find interesting and just might be right up your street.
    I work as a Volunteer/Docent at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. About two weeks ago, quite accidentally coincidental to the opening of the new picture about the Titanic, the Museum opened an exhibit called Titanic.
    This exhibit has to do more with the people concerned with the disaster rather than the event itself. It is a very goo exhibit, I might add.
    During the process of doing research associated with the exhibit, I was asked to go through a list we have of the names and known origins of the people who were on the ship. There was only one name listed as coming from Manchester. The name was Adolphe Saalfeld. Hardly a British sounding name, but he was a 1st Class Passenger and did survive the disaster according to the records we have.
    There is no other person with that name in the listings. I do not believe he would have an immigrant travelling 1st Class. He could very well have been a businessman, perhaps associated with the cotton trade. Just a thought.
    I just wonder if your readership might know about this gentleman.
    Thank you,
    Gordon T. Adams, Williamsburg, VA.
    Sounds like he's from Germany, Jewish perhaps. Does anyone know anything about Adolph Saalfeld?


Join Aidan on his Manchester Photo Walk.
Eyewitness in Manchester Home Page | Aidan O'Rourke on Twitter and Facebook | Contact