50 YRS AGO & TODAY | 1 YEAR AGO | IMAGE COLLECTION | EYEWITNESS@DS98 | MANCHESTER PEOPLE
IN THE CITY MUSIC CONVENTION IN FULL SWING
THE BEE GEES, NEW ORDER, OASIS, THE HOLLIES, THE BUZZCOCKS, all these acts have one thing in common - they're from Manchester, of course. And now Music Biz people from around the world have converged on Manchester for the sixth "In The City" music convention and festival.
The Midland (now the Crowne Plaza Midland) is the centre of activity. This is where visiting delegates stay, and where the seminars and meetings take place. There are full conference amenities, a press office a net bar and a radio station too. Most of the activity seems to be taking place around the bar (the one that sells liquid refreshment).
Participants, wearing their coveted "In The City" official delegate pass, go out into the city to the various venues to see bands, both established and unsigned, as well as drink in pubs and cafe bars, eat in restaurants and hopefully clinch deals. There was a great atmosphere in the Midland this afternoon, as I took the pictures below. In The City founder and boss, Tony Wilson, was scurrying back and forth across the lobby, making announcements over the P.A. Nile Rogers, of Chic ("Le Freak") had just arrived, he said, and was just about to give a talk. Also, Fergal Sharkey ("A Good Heart These Days is Hard to Find") was in the bar. Sponsors MTV had set a camera up in the corner and were doing interviews.
The official website is at www.inthecity.co.uk and was put together by Net Nannies' Tim Gulson, who told me about yesterday's interview with Malcolm McLaren (very influential impresario, ex-manager of the Sex Pistols, ) - it's on the website. The Bee Gees are also expected, I'm told, and will be sharing their thoughts with delegates. Richard Fairbrass (of Right Said Fred "I'm too sexy") was also in attendance.
I was out last night and the night before sampling some of the new Manchester talent, including European, Grimace, Caesar Lounge and many others. They're all hoping to be "discovered" and who knows, maybe one of these bands will be the next Bee Gees (incidentally, the only group ever to have number top ten hits in four separate decades). Listen to them in Real Audio on my Manchester Unsigned Bands website. The art work for the festival has been done by Jai Moodie - it's superb.
I'm off out this evening to see some more bands and to take more photographs. The weather this evening is cool and cloudy. Today it was sunny, with clear blue skies, as you can see in the picture of Oxford Road above. Current EWM temperature is 59/15. More Eyewitness in Manchester updates, including pictures taken on a superb guided tour of of Rochdale Town Hall - part of this weekend's "Heritage Open Days", will follow very shortly.
THOUSANDS ATTEND HERITAGE OPEN DAYS
YESTERDAY WE DROVE TO ROCHDALE and went on a superb guided tour of the Town Hall. This remarkable 1860's neo-Gothic edifice has much more to it than meets the eye. Tour guide John Royle brought the building to life with anecdotes about its every nook and cranny. We sat in the Mayor's parlour, stood in the main hall and listened to organ music, admired the stained glass windows and looked out from the balcony.
The tour was part of the Heritage Open Days, a very special weekend when hundreds of properties and attractions up and down the country can be visited by the public free of charge. Many aren't normally open, like the church of St Francis, Gorton and Hathersage Road baths. Other buildings extending a special invitation to visitors included Chetham's Library, which we visited on Saturday, St Leonard's Church, Middleton, Manchester Velodrome, Manchester Town Hall, the Manchester Police Courts, Minshull St, the Pump House Museum and many many more.
OTHER CURRENT MANCHESTER HEADLINES
MANCHESTER UNITED fans hold a protest rally tomorrow at the Bridgewater Hall. They have received support from Roger Taylor of the rock group Queen and Mick Hucknall of Manchester band Simply Red. They hope to block the take-over bid by Rupert Murdoch. Meanwhile, an American buyer may outbid Murdoch for Britain's most famous club.
TRAFFIC CHAOS blocked roads around the newly-opened Trafford Centre over the weekend. Many had predicted that this would happen - traffic jams stretched for several miles up the M60 motorway.
MANCHESTER EDUCATION AUTHORITY has avoided getting "six of the best" from School Standards Minster Estelle Morris. She told the authority that their plans to improve standards have been accepted, but must take place within a certain time limit.
From: Kaye Hawley
As a side story to your piece on Mrs Gaskell - I attended Ducie Avenue Central School in Whitworth Street, Moss Side, 1947-51 (The red brick double storey building is still there but it now provides accommodation for the homeless.) One of our four house factions was called Gaskell because of the writer's connections to the area. (The others were Anson, Whitworth and Worsley)
Cheers from Perth, Western Australia. Kaye Hawley.
Ducie High School exists today, on the corner of Denmark Road and Lloyd Street - I think this is close to the location of your old school. I'm trying to find the red brick double storey building you mentioned. This area changed enormously in the 1960's, but quite a few buildings are still there, most famous of which is the Whitworth Art Gallery. Take a trip back in time below to Manchester in 1948...
NEWS FROM MANCHESTER, SATURDAY 4TH OF SEPTEMBER 1948
PREVIOUS EYEWITNESS UPDATE THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 1998