I recorded this interview with CP Lee on Friday the 28th of July 2006 and the recording has been available on my aidan.co.uk site ever since. For some time, I’d been planning to do an improved version with better sound quality and with a transcript.
And then on the 25th of July, 2020 came the terrible news about Chris so I decided to move ahead and complete this improved version and here it is. It’s presented using my ‘talking book’ or ‘visual podcast’ style or it could be described as Audio Visual Magazine style. Words and images are presented side by side on screen. Most of the photographs are by me. A few are from public domain sources.
Please check the subtitles for foreign language translations, and also please like the video and subscribe to the channel.
Published by Aidan O’Rourke | Sunday the 2nd of August, 2020
Told you I was missing, but I wasn’t lost
and I was walking through streets in the cold and frost of Manchester.
Looking for the place that I used to know
and then I saw some people and it started to snow on Manchester.
Manchester Anthem by James Herring
What is it about Manchester that makes it such a pre-eminent city of music?
Well that’s the question that’s bothered musicologists for quite some time. It is a city that seems to be uniquely placed in the history of popular music, because it repeatedly jumps in feet-first into great music, great scenes, and on an international level. And we can look at places like Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, we see groups come from there, but it’s never as consistent as it has been from Manchester. And I think that that’s because Manchester, if you look very closely, you can see the tracer bullets being fired throughout history.
There’s always been a tremendous musicians’ infrastructure here in Manchester that’s enabled the different movements or genres or waves of music to happen and to continue and carry on so that one builds on the other. And we can look right back into the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Mancunians demanded and devoured music at an incredible rate.
We’ve got the birth of the Hallé Orchestra, one of the great international classical orchestras. It’s here in 1855, but you go back in 1780 the Gentleman’s Concerts is the beginning of the Hallé. They would get audiences of two and a half, sometimes five thousand people wanting to hear the latest classical music, which if you think about it is very punk. This stuff, it wasn’t classical then it was contemporary but they wanted to hear it.
Also mixed in with that you’ve got the Jewish elements, you’ve got Celtic elements, you’ve got folk elements, all of them pouring into the city, devouringpeople at an astonishing rate, but also producing culture at an astonishing rate. So if you look at say The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson, he writes at length about the creation of working class culture, and music was an essential part of that. It’s not particularly radicalised or political. It’s there as a release mechanism, it’s there as a carriage system to take you away for an evening into a transport of delight.
So by the 20th century, we’ve got the dance bands, we’ve got working-class unemployed jazz bands, groups of people playing kazoos, wearing costumes, trying to outdo each other. They’d go to a football pitch or a recreation ground, then you’d get different jazz bands. Each street would have one, neighbourhoods would have them, cities would have one and by the 1930s they’d have competitions against each other. Who were the best marching jazz bands?
By the 1950s, because of the Second World War we’ve got Burtonwood Aerodrome, Burtonwood American base, which is 25 miles away Manchester and it means that every weekend we get an influx of American musicians who are based there coming into Manchester, also going into Liverpool at the same time, and feeding into the groups that exist, principally, at that time, jazz bands. And the jazz bands were not your kind of Acker Bilk trad, these were modernists, these were people who were influenced by Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, and they wanted authentic black American players if they could get them, but they’d settle for white ones if they had the chops.
A great interest began in Manchester to trace jazz back to its roots and those roots come from folk blues, from whatever. And this led to an interest in people like Muddy Waters, Chicago R&B. So that at the end of the 1950’s, you’ve got a lot of groups who’ve come up watching the emerging rock and roll scene on television or at the cinema. They’ve come through skiffle, so they’ve got instruments, they can play them, but the music that’s being developed is beat music, which essentially a kind of white English version of R&B. But it’s music with a beat, it’s music for dancing to.
And we get by 1964, we can find over 200 beat clubs in the Greater Manchester area. Some have come, some have gone, some are there for the whole period, but it’s an astonishing amount of beat clubs.
Now this mirrors what’s going on in Liverpool at the same time with what is known as Merseybeat, again the word ‘
beat’ races up there. But we get this strange separation. At one time both scenes were mutually symbiotic. It’s only 30 miles away (along) the East Lancs Road. In the early 60s groups from each city would be passing one another on the East Lancs, waving to one another, playing each other’s gigs, going backwards and forwards. People like Epstein, the promoters at Wooler at the Cavern, Danny Petacchi in Manchester, the Abadi brothers would book bands from Liverpool, Manchester, as I say, mutually symbiotic.
But then came The Beatles and The Beatles, for better or for worse, kind of destroyed that amicable relationship, because internationally, people only saw Liverpool and the Mersey poets, the Mersey scene, the Mersey beats, or whatever and Manchester, kind of, became the poor neighbour in musicological terms, so that even though Herman and the Hermit’s, (Herman’s Hermits) who were the second biggest selling English group in America after the Beatles, were from Manchester, if you asked an American, they would say that they were from Liverpool, because they thought there was only Liverpool.
Manchester began to emerge from under that shadow I would say with 10cc at the end of the 1960s, early 1970s, because they brought a studio to Stockport, and this is a major studio, and I think a very under-sung achievement. They put Manchester, Stockport on the map in terms of… “Oh yeah!”, I mean, people came from America to record there. Fascinating place.
So the next wave is created by the musicians themselves. It was in 1972 because there were so few gigs because, not a lot of people know this, Manchester is the only city that I’ve come across that had an Act of Parliament passed to stop beat clubs. They were so, I don’t know, morally outraged at the beat clubs that the 1965 Corporation Act which came into force oddly enough on the first of January in 1966, was designed specifically to stop beat clubs and crush teenage rebellion. Not that it was particularly rebellious, but there you go.
So there were very very few venues for musicians. And when I started playing in the mid-60s, I could play every night of the week in the Greater Manchester area. By 1970 you were lucky if there was one gig a week. So in 1972 Victor Brocks organised a meeting at the Bierkeller off Piccadilly and the Music Force was founded, which was a musician’s cooperative. And it was a socialist organisation which was going to be, and indeed was musicians taking control of their own destinies.
Now that meant that they had an office where they would ring up, create venues, force venues into taking Mancunian groups. They would provide the transport if it was needed, they rent out PAs, they’d do the posters. Now, all this infrastructure, they even had a newspaper called Hot Flash, a music paper, all of this infrastructure was in place when Howard Trafford, who becomes Howard Devoto, turns up in 1976 at the Music Force offices asking where he might put on the Sex Pistols. And they direct him to the Lesser Free Trade Hall and the rest, as they say, is history. Because we then get with Buzzcocks and Spiral Scratch, which set a template for the punk DIY ethos.
This is the first kind of internationally recognised Manchester music scene, which by 1983 we can lump in The Smiths, the Haçienda has opened, by 1988 we’ve got the whole Madchester scene, by 1996 we’ve got the international recognition of Oasis, by 2000 we’ve got Badly Drawn Boy, we’ve had M People, and it continues to roll. It goes on and on and on.
Manchester is a place that musicians now gravitate to. It’s a place which produces again and again consistently good acts which are capable of breaking it on an international scale.
I can’t remember who actually said this so my apologies, but it’s impossible to talk about Manchester without talking about music and it’s impossible to talk about music without talking about Manchester. I think it’s Haslam.
So it’s not just the fact that we have lots of different nationalities and it’s a place where people come to live, migrate, the point you’re making is also that there is an infrastructure there, going back a long time, that laid the foundation to organising bands and organising music and performances, that that’s also an important reason, which I wasn’t aware of.
I think that it’s definitely my take on it, that infrastructure has always enabled musicians to operate to their maximum ability. It encourages them and it doesn’t necessarily facilitate them in getting a van. I mean, nowadays we’ve got the Manchester Musicians Online, which is a kind of self-help agency. North West Arts are now very interested in… Why are all these musicians in Manchester? They’re also… North West Arts now interested in facilitating recording studios and that kind of thing, which I suppose is good.
We’ve got the Manchester District Music Archive, which I’m one of the trustees of. Even Urbis is very supportive of local musicians and the local music scene, in terms of looking at the graphic design, the posters, album covers, t-shirts, wellington boots. But, no, for me it was the I would argue it’s the fact that there was always an infrastructure there. The cultural influences, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of that, it’s fascinating. Yes, the Irish and the Jews have a lot to answer for.
And maybe something in the water, who was it said that there was something in the water?
Peter Hook said to me, he thought that it was definitely something in the water, when I put the question to him, and we both decided that we would agree on that, which would have been a much shorter answer for you.
What about the American influence and the Northern Soul thing. First of all, maybe you could explain what Northern Soul is. You recently did an excellent BBC radio programme about Northern Soul but for people who don’t know what it is, what is Northern Soul and why was it so popular in Manchester in the north of England?
Um, gosh, that’s like asking what is it about Manchester that makes musicians? Northern Soul is a genre, it’s a musical genre and it applies specifically to a kind of urban Black, urban American dance music that’s still being produced today, but over the sixties let’s say. So a grotesque example would be Tamla, though I know that that’s anathema to most Northern Soul… People would understand that. Black dance music, good good poppy, catchy dance music.
The phrase Northern Soul was originated by writer and promoter and all round genius Dave Godin in an article in 1971, where he’d come to Manchester and seen what was happening at the Twisted Wheel, and said “If this has to have a name, let’s call it Northern Soul” because Mancunian DJs had chosen a specific avenue of Black American music that was very popular in the North West of England.
Now it goes back to 1845 when the first blackface minstrel troupe, the Christy Minstrels appeared in Manchester. Now this might sound quite bizarre but it began a fascination with Black American music. The Blackface Minstrels were playing an approximation of black American music. That strangely enough filtered into Irish traditional music in the shape of the banjo and the bones. They saw them in Dublin and within 10 years people were playing banjos in pubs in Dublin and Galway and what have you, and the bones, which are free, if you’ve killed a cow. So the people in Manchester developed it, they loved it. They couldn’t get enough of this kind of entertainment and they came back again and again throughout the 19th century.
Now in the middle of the 19th century the American Civil War was a period of a great hardship in the North West of England. We’ve survived on cotton and cotton couldn’t get through, because the Union fleets were blockading the Southern ports. Now the cotton workers of the Greater Manchester area were starving, but they marched in their thousands to support President Lincoln for the emancipation of slaves, even if it meant that they would starve.
So it there had always been this very very close affinity between… or a recognition of African Americans and the struggle for freedom, for equality, which carries through into an appreciation of the music, up to a point in the mid 20th century where it becomes almost obsessive.
I think because there was a kind of a recognition or an empathy, a feeling that if you were a white working class kid in the great Industrial North, you in your own way were oppressed and you could look towards Black American music either providing you with a voice, in terms of Blues, or an articulation of your plight, or as a point of release. Within Northern Soul dance music it’s a release. It’s an effective system for carrying you out of your physical body for three minute bursts. As long as the song lasts, you’re dancing and you’re away.
And it also, to go out in another direction, there’s a kind of exclusivity with Northern Soul where people, I think, felt that they were onto something that nobody else was aware of, and that forms a very very tight bond with all the other people who had gathered there with you. So it’s very tribal and I think in the North, whether we’ve been one generation in Manchester or twenty generations, we are very tribal about being Mancunians.
What other influences do you think or connections are between America and Manchester? You mentioned about the cotton industry and how much of an effect…?
Well the River Mersey finishes, it flows down the Pennines and it finishes in New York. So you’ve got that direct straight line across the Atlantic, and will leapfrog over Liverpool. I mean Liverpool must have been so fed up when the Manchester Ship Canal said “Well, we’ll just bring the cotton to Manchester up this big river.”
Do you know it was supposed to end in Didsbury? The original Ship Canal Company had their first meeting at Fletcher Moss and the guy lived there, and he envisaged it being like on his doorstep, so you just step onto the ship and go to America whenever he wanted to. So it would have carried on through Northenden up to Didsbury Village, which… Imagine what it would have been like!
The affinities with America, that direct line, emigration, immigration, a two-way street. Lots and lots of business was with America, particularly Cottonopolis, which we’ve already talked about. Entertainment, musicians, Stan Laurel is from here, Charlie Chaplin was in the seven Lancashire Lads clog dancing troupe, before going with Fred Karno to America.
So the Mancunian Film Studios existed in the 1920s doing silents and then gave up when sound came along. But a guy called Burt Tracy who was from Droylsden had gone to Hollywood with Stan Laurel and had worked for Mack Sennett came back to Manchester and Laurel and Hardy were coming to visit at the Midland Hotel, and he said to Johnny Blakeley from Mancunian film company: “Oh, come along and meet the lads”. And they got there and Stan Laurel said “Well why aren’t you making films any more,” and he said “Wow, it’s too expensive,” and he said, “Well just hire a studio.” So they did and they made the first George Formby movie, which is a massive hit.
All because Laurel and Hardy came to Manchester and Burt Tracy knew them, Mancunian knew them, and we get the birth of the proper Mancunian Film Company, which feeds into Granada Television and the BBC in a direct bloodline in the same way that music is feeding in, in that Steve… I can’t remember his second name… sadly he’s been dead for a long time, if you look at the logo for Band On The Wall, there’s a man with glasses and a little beard and a beret, and that was Steve who revitalised the Band on the Wall in the 1970s.
Now in the thirties he’d been in the schoolboy jazz team in Ancoats, the Little Rascals jazz band and they played at the Cotton Club in Harlem. So he’d gone from Ancoats to Harlem, as a kind of novelty act, played there, came back obsessed with jazz and we get that whole thing in the 1950s, which feeds back into a desire to discover the roots of jazz, which takes them to see people like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, who were all regular performers in Manchester. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, all these people loved playing in Manchester, and they also they used to say things like it reminded of America, probably just being nice. But Alexis Korner who’s one of the founders of the British Blues had a flat in Manchester because he played up here so much because kids wanted R&B, they wanted Blues.
Elton John when he was in Steampacket with Rod Stewart said that the greatest place on the planet to play in terms of audience reaction was The Twisted Wheel. If they liked you, that was it, you were made, you were back there every other week and you know, people had permanent residencies then, and Spencer Davis, Steampacket etcetera.
People like Neville who’s in one of my books about Bob Dylan, the first book I wrote, Like the Night, Neville worked at ABC television in Didsbury and every penny he had went on collecting Blues records. And he couldn’t believe it one night when Spencer Davis said:
“Oh, we need somewhere to stay for the night.”
He said: “You can stay at my ’ouse,”
and he lived in a council house in Wythenshawe with his mum. He took Spencer Davis group back. And he had a reel-to-reel tape recorder and they just sat in his front room all night and played Blues for him.
And you hear stories about kids in back-to-back terraced houses in the 1970s with lino on the floor paying fifty quid for a single because they’re that obsessed with the ownership, of that authenticity, of that belonging.
I’m out of the loop in a way now, but I don’t know if there’s still quite that same obsession with the authenticity and how House music pans out into Black dance music. Is Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez a black New York DJ or a white New York DJ? I wouldn’t know. But for years and years and years the white working-class kids in the north west of England were very very obsessive and very very possessive about Blues music because they had an affinity for it and they had a recognition of it.
I think I understand a bit more now actually from what you’ve been saying about why it is that Manchester has just got this magic, what I call magic about it, in terms of music. But you’ve really just scratched the surface. You’ve written… how many books have you written on music?
Specifically I’ve written, had published three books, one on Bob Dylan’s films, which we’ll forget about, even though it’s very good, but the first one is about Bob Dylan playing at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1966, which is a very pivotal moment for music generally.
What’s the book called?
That’s called Like the Night and in a sense it was the pivotal moment of the documentary last year, the Scorsese documentary, the ‘Judas’ shout, and it’s one of the great climactic moments in music history.
Now the most important book relevant to this is Shake Rattle and Rain, which is a history of popular music in Manchester from 1955 to 95, and if I only have the wherewithal, I would write Shake Rattle and Rain 2, which would be the history of popular music 1855 to 1995, because I just keep discovering more and more about it all the time, and how they all interlink.
And just as a little aside, tell me about a few of the famous musicians that you’ve interviewed, maybe Manchester ones, maybe other ones.
Well, met or interviewed in my time, I met Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend, it’s very hard to remember … Everybody! Because I was a professional musician for years and years.
And the name of the band that you played in?
Well, the first band was Greasy Bear then the next band was The Albertos or Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias, and we played our way around Europe and did the obligatory bit of America.
But in terms of interviews for the book, I got hold of as many people as I possibly could. So Peter Hook, Clint Boon, Pete Farrow, an old beat group member, yes he is old, so he’s an old beat group member.
Basically anybody I could get hold of. Bruce Mitchell, who’s been playing since 1955 and is still playing with the Durutti Column, Vini Reilly, Ed Banger, Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley, but then also other people like Richard Boon, who is essential to the history of Manchester music. He ran New Hormones, which was Buzzcocks’ management company, but they also facilitated Linda Sterling and John Savage. At the moment I’m compiling a list of people who are to do with Manchester music. Not musicians per se, because they get neglected.
And many of them are still around
But most people wouldn’t know they were.
And yet they’re enormously influential.
Very very influential.
Can you give me an example of one of these influential people that you would see around?
Um, well, if you were in Stoke Newington, you’d see Richard. In Manchester you generally can find…
Tosh. Now what would we say about Tosh? I mean, the founder of Rabid Records, he was a jazz saxophonist in the 1950s. In the 1960s played with Victor Brock’s Blues Train. He’d also played with John Mayall, was a founder member of Music Force in 1972, founded Rabid Records in 1977, has been creating a massive kind of digital video archive of Manchester musicians, which we don’t currently know the whereabouts of! He’s misplaced it, but he was trying to interview every single musician he could get hold of. So there have been people trying to chronicle it and hold it together. That’s now being carried out by the (Manchester) District Archive, Music Archive.
That’s what I also wanted to ask you about, because if people are interested in finding out more about Manchester music in general, where can they find the information?
It’s on our website, which is just undergoing reconstruction, but if you do a Google for Manchester District Music Archive, you’ll find it. And it’s being relaunched at the end of September in an interactive way.
So what we want people to do, is… it’s a bit like Wikipedia, in that you can access the information we have and you can add your own information to it. And we don’t just want Jeff Davis, who played bass guitar in the Rattlesnakes, or The Denton Boomerangs, we want people who went to gigs who would say: “Yeah I used to go to Rafters and I thought it was fantastic, and I can remember Rob Gretton deejaying,” or what have you?
So we want the memories, because music can’t exist without the audience and we want their reaction just as much as we want the input from musicians. So this is the new website, which is launched at the end of this coming September, will be the springboard, it’ll be kind of virtual museum which is the springboard towards us hopefully opening up the actual physical premises.
Okay, well that was a fascinating little session there, scratching the surface…
…of a fascinating subject so thank you very much.
Thank you very much!
Ich habe im Juli 2018 dieses Video gemacht. Es präsentiert meine Auswahl der fünfzig besten und schlechtesten Gebäude in Manchester. Ich interessiere mich seit meiner Kindheit für die Architektur von Manchester. Seit ich dieses Video gemacht habe, sind viele neue Gebäude entstanden. Vielleicht schreibe ich einen neuen Beitrag zu diesem Thema. Hier das Transkript des Videos.
Hallo und Willkommen in Manchester. In diesem Video präsentiere ich meine Top Fünfzig der besten und schlechtesten Gebäude in Manchester und Umgebung.
Zuerst die schlechten…
Nummer 50, das Arndale Centre, von Hugh Wilson und Lewis Womersley 1972 bis 1979
Hässlich und viel zu groß, aber als Einkaufszentrum sehr erfolgreich.
49. Das Library Walk Link Building 2015
Zerstört das Effekt der beiden Klassik-Gebäude und blockiert die Fußgängerpassage.
48. Der Piccadilly-Gardens-Pavilion und die Piccadilly-Mauer von Tadao Ando, 2002
Einfach hässlich und erinnerte mich sofort an die Berliner Mauer.
47. Number One Piccadilly Gardens von Allies and Morrison 2003.
Es wurde auf einer Grünfläche gebaut und blockiert die Ansicht der historischen Gebäude.
46. Dieser Wohnblock entstand 2014 im Vorort Northenden
Das Design ist nicht schlecht aber hier im Dorf ist es zu groß und zu dominierend. Das Gebäude ist größer als in den ursprünglichen Plänen.
und jetzt zu den besseren…
45. Piccadilly Plaza von Covell Mathews and Partners, 1965
Viele hassen es aber für mich ist es spannend und futuristisch.
44. Bernard House, Piccadilly Plaza, 1965
Hatte ein sehr interessantes Dach. Leider wurde es 2001 abgerissen.
43. Der Beetham Hilton Tower von Ian Simpson Architects, 2007
42. Das Trafford Centre von Chapman Taylor and Leach Rhodes Walker, 1998
Architekten kritisieren es, aber Millionen Besucher finden es gut!
Nummer 41, der Maths Tower der Universität Manchester 1968
Schön aber nicht mehr mit einer modernen Universität kompatibel und 2005 abgerissen. An seiner Stelle entstand…
40. University Place von John McAslan + Partners, 2008
An der Uni heißt es ‘the tin can’ – die Blechdose.
und nun zu den guten…
39. Wythenshawe Park Tennis und Bowls Pavilion vom offiziellen Stadtarchitekten LC Howitt 1960
Ein kleines Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.
38. Number One Deansgate von Ian Simpson, 2002
Schön aber, wenn Sie Ihre Privatsphäre schätzen, nicht so gut!
37. Furness House, auch Manchester Liners building – 1969
In den ehemaligen Manchester Docks, jetzt Salford Quays – erinnert mich an die Liberty Hall in Dublin
36. Das 1962 gebaute Terminal am Manchester Flughafen, von LC Howitt und Besant Roberts
War für mich als Kind spannend und futuristisch. Hier mein Foto aus dem Jahr 1973.
35. Manchester Airport ATC Tower by CPM Architects 2013
Beeindruckend und sieht ähnlich aus wie andere Tower überall in der Welt.
34. Pall Mall Court von Brett und Pollen 1969
Ein schönes Gebäude der sechziger Jahre.
33. 55 King Street von Casson, Conder & Partners. 1969
War eine Bank und ist jetzt eine Boutique.
32. Das City of Manchester Stadion von Arup, 2002
31. Owens Park Tower von Building Design Partership, BDP, 1968
Ein Studentenwohnheim mit schönen Aussichten.
30. Peter House von Ansell and Bailey – 1958
So alt wie ich und mit einer nach außen gewölbten Fassade. Gegenüber steht…
29. Number One St Peters Square von Glenn Howells Architects, 2015
Ein elegantes Gebäude mit einer nach innen gebogenen Fassade.
28. Das Granada TV Building von Ralph Tubbs, 1956,
Erinnert an die goldene Ära des britischen Fernsehens.
27. Das Lowry Hotel von Consarc Design Architects, 2001.
26. das Contact-Theatre von Alan Short and Associates, 1999
Ein schönes, interessantes und auch verrücktes Gebäude
25. Islington Wharf von Broadway Malyan, 2000
Futuristisch mit schönen Aussichten.
24. Oxford Road Station von William Robert Headly and Max Clendinning, 1960.
Der Bahnhof ist aus Holz gebaut und erinnert an das Sydney-Opernhaus.
23. The Royal Exchange Theatre by Levitt Bernstein, 1976
Ein Gebäude in einem Gebäude. Sieht aus wie das Lunar Module.
22. Die Bridgewater Hall von Renton Howard Wood Levin, 1996.
Das neue Zuhause des Halle Orchesters, das vom deutsch-britischen Musiker Sir Charles Hallé 1854 gegründet wurde.
21. The Toast Rack – Hollings Campus von Leonard Cecil Howitt, 1960
War eine Cateringschule. Die Form repräsentiert die Funktion.
20. Manchester Cancer Research Centre von Capital Symonds – 2015
19. Das Nationale Graphene-Institut von Jestico + Whiles – 2015
Hat Facetten wie ein Juwel.
18. The Quay Bar von Stephenson Bell, 1998
hat Preise gewonnen, war aber als Bar nicht erfolgreich und wurde 2007 abgerissen.
17. MMU Business School & Student Hub von FCB Studios 2012
Ein sehr schönes Gebäude aus Glas.
16. Das Stockport Pyramid 1992, ein Wahrzeichen von Stockport.
15. Manchester International Office Centre former Renold Chain – Cruikshank & Seward, 1955
In der Nähe vom Flughafen, ein sehr frühes Beispiel der modernen Büroarchitektur. Ich unterrichte in diesem Gebäude.
14. Der neue Bahnhof Piccadilly von BDP 2002
Meiner Meinung nach, der schönste moderne Bahnhof von Großbritannien. Ich nutze diesen Bahnhof täglich.
13. Gateway House von Richard Seifert and Partners, 1969 wurde in den letzten Jahren renoviert und sieht jetzt sehr schön aus.
12. The Lowry von Michael Wilford, 2000
Mit seiner Fassade aus Metall und seinen verrückten Formen unverkennbar.
11. The Maths and Social Science Building von Cruikshank and Seward 1968
Für mich als Kind, ein Symbol der Moderne.
10. The Renold Building von W.A. Gibbon des Architektenbüros Cruikshank and Seward, 1962
Ein Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.
09. Der Hexagon Tower von Richard Seifert, 1973
Dieses futuristische Gebäude sieht wie der moderne PC-Tower aus.
08. Das Daily-Express-Building von Sir Owen Williams 1939
Visionär und zukunftsorientiert – im Gegensatz zur Zeitung, die vor vielen Jahren ausgezogen ist. Das Design beeinflusste Sir Norman Foster.
07. HOME von Mecanoo. 2015
Dieses Zuhause für Kino, Theater und Kunst sieht bei Tag und Nacht toll aus.
06. Das Siemens-Gebäude von Buttress Architects ,1989
In Süd-Manchester, vom Bauhaus-Stil beeinflusst.
05. Das Imperial War Museum North von Daniel Libeskind , 2002
Repräsentiert eine vom Krieg erschütterte Welt.
04. The Civil Justice Centre by Denton Corker Marshall, 2008
Sehr groß, sehr teuer, aber meiner Meinung nach ein Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.
03. Urbis von Ian Simpson, 2001
Ein tolles, spannendes Gebäude. Mein Manchester-Megaphoto wurde hier ausgestellt. Seit 2012 ist es das Nationale Fußballmuseum
02. One Angel Square von 3DReid, 2013
Für viele Leute das beste moderne Gebäude von Manchester, aber meine Nummer Eins… ist…
01. The CIS Tower von Gordon Tait, 1962 beeinflusst vom Inland Steel Gebäude, Chicago von Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 1956. Seit 2004 ein riesiges Solar-Projekt. Ich habe im CIS-Tower unterrichtet.
Und was ist dein Lieblingsgebäude? Bitte schreib es in die Kommentare unten.
Bitte liken und abonnieren, danke.
Vielen Dank fürs Zuschauen und auf Wiedersehen in Manchester.
Bitte liken und abonnieren.
As part of my photo e-book project, I’ve made a selection of my best photos of Stockport and presented them in a free photographic e-book. My aim is to present my entire portfolio on different places in a series of photo e-books. I decided to start with Stockport as it’s my home town.
I was born and grew up in Stockport and I’m based here today. My childhood memories of Stockport are of a grim northern town like the one featured in the film ‘A Taste of Honey’. It was smoky, industrial and predominantly working-class. We often view that era in black and white, but there were splashes of colour – the trees and flowers and the shiny red and cream buses.
In 1974 the local authority area was expanded to include surrounding villages and residential districts and suddenly, the place called ‘Stockport’ became a lot bigger and more diverse.
There isn’t a specific theme, I just chose from all the photos I’ve taken of Stockport over the years, including some very recent ones. My favourite motifs in Stockport are:
The Market Place – in Germany this would be designated ‘Altstadt’ – old town. Still, it looks very attractive, parts of it have been restored and it has a wide variety of architectural styles. St Mary’s Church is interesting because of the stonework. When it was renovated, they inserted new stones. It reminds me of the reconstructed Frauenkirche in Dresden. The Market Hall looks great. It has been restored and lovingly painted. The effect of the glass and colours is superb.
The feature I photograph the most is probably the railway viaduct. It dominates the town and is a masterpiece of Victorian engineering that is still in daily use. I travel over it normally a few times a week. There are great views of the town and looking west over Cheshire. I took some photos in the 80s of the viaduct, which at that time was in need of renovation. The renovation took place and today it looks good. The best time to photograph the viaduct from the town centre is in the morning and from the west of Stockport is in the afternoon. I have taken it pretty much from all angles. I also drew a sketch of it, based on my 1980s black and white photograph.
Click on the image above to download the e-book. If you would prefer it in epub format, click here
Another great feature of Stockport is the River Mersey. I often cycle along the river to the west of the town. I include one dusk photo of the river taken from Heaton Mersey at the very end of the book.
The town hall is a major landmark. I’ve been impressed with it since I was a child. The intricate stonework and the perfectly shaped clock tower are a marvel and completely different from buildings constructed today. Diagonally opposite the town hall is the War Memorial Art Gallery, which reminds me of civic buildings in Washington DC. When I was a child I had winning paintings displayed here two years running and I won a camera each year. I didn’t realise at the time that it was a foretaste of what was to come.
Another feature of Stockport I find visually captivating is the M60 motorway. I’ve taken lots of dusk and night photos with light trails. From Wellington Road North, the view along the motorway, under the railway viaduct, is stunning and you will see another major landmark of Stockport, The Pyramid, formerly occupied by the Co-operative Bank.
Stockport has countless parks, gardens and green spaces. The town is criss-crossed by all kinds of footpaths and wooded valleys, some only a short distance from residential districts. I’ve lived in cities with virtually no green spaces, so it’s great to live in a place with so much greenery. In my opinion, Stockport has some of the most desirable residential suburbs anywhere in the country. They have developed around villages, which still have a strong character of their own. These include Cheadle and Bramhall, which are featured in photos in the book.
I chose Bramall Hall for the front cover because it is Stockport’s oldest and possibly most famous landmark. It’s a half-timbered mansion begun in the 14th century and extended in the 16th and 19th. It is impressive even by today’s standards. We can only imagine what people thought of it in the Middle Ages. Also the photo of Bramall Hall has space for the title in the sky area at the top! Cover images have to have available space in the right places. There’s also some space underneath for the author’s name.
Why am I using the e-book format?
Because I love looking at photography books, both printed and electronic. I like putting together a cover design, I enjoy doing layout and it’s nice to package up my photos in a self-contained format that people can keep. It’s independent of any website and can be forwarded from one person to another. The layout is very simple but I may try more complex layout in future.
I’ve collaborated on some book projects in the past, including Liverpool Then and Now, Manchester Then and Now and Around the M60, Manchester’s Orbital Motorway. At present I prefer to concentrate on smaller e-book projects, like this one. The book can also be printed on demand.
I find it frustrating that many people don’t select their best photos, presenting them in a continuous, never-ending stream on social media or dumped on their computer with no curation or organisation. I like the idea of curating, which simply means to choose.
I also think it’s important to describe the photos, though in these e-books, the captions are brief. I am planning extended versions with a longer text.
The text is in three languages – English, German and French, my native language and my two foreign languages. I studied German and French at Trinity College Dublin, majoring in German and I’ve taught them for many years.
Through the e-book format I can bring together my two main areas – photography and languages. Actually, many photography books are presented in two or more languages. Photography is a medium that spans cultures and languages. I would like to promote the local area to an international audience.
I want to bring my languages as much as possible into my creative work. I can help my students to learn and I also learn myself when I am researching the titles. It helps me to know how to describe local landmarks, and I can use this linguistic knowledge if I’m giving a local photographic tour to German or French-speaking visitors. I’ve made a vocabulary sheet for language students. It’s called the Vocab Extractor sheet.
The photos were taken on a variety of cameras. The black and white photos of the viaduct were shot on my first camera, the Fujica STX-1, loaded with Ilford HP5 black and white film. The two townscapes were taken on a Nikon F50 film camera – I decided not to remove the dust and scratches! Other photos were taken on a variety of cameras, most recently the iPhone 8 Plus.
The Stockport e-book is the first in a series. Other titles include Manchester city centre views, The Liver Building, Monochrome Manchester and many more.
This photography e-book is free of charge. That’s because it is really a showcase of my photography and I’d like as many people to see it as possible.
I’m asking people to support me on Patreon, so I can continue my artistic and educational projects.
I’m a coach in languages and so I am keen to explore languages – especially German. I want to provide useful content for a wide audience on issues concerning the UK and Germany.
Following a suggestion from a colleague, I decided to look at the question of the UK’s National Health Service and how it compares to the health system in Germany.
I’m giving a very brief overview of a complex subject. I’m going to give some personal opinions as well as general information based on my research. There are some statistics as well. I’ve tried to ensure everything is factually correct, though some information may go out of date.
Which health system is better? The British NHS or the German healthcare system?
It’s complicated! So let’s look at some key facts, and by the way I’m going to give some useful words and phrases in German later.
OK, so what is the fundamental difference between the UK system and the German system?
The UK NHS is owned and run by the state and it’s free at the point of use.
The German system is mostly free at the point of use but it’s paid for through contributions to a health insurance scheme that’s closely regulated by the state.
In Germany people pay for the health system by paying social insurance contributions into a health fund – Gesundheitsfonds . The money then goes into a Krankenkasse or health insurance ‘pot’. The money is taken directly from salaries and the employer also contributes 50%.
In the UK, the money to support the health system is provided by the government, mostly through general taxation.
The NHS was launched in 1948 at what was then Park Hospital in Urmston near Manchester. Today it’s Trafford General Hospital. A blue plaque commemorates the launch.
British people are proud of their NHS and often compare it unfavourably to the US system. They like the fact that it’s free, unlike the American system which relies mostly on private health insurance.
Aneurin Bevan – he was from Wales and that’s a Welsh name – was Labour health minister and he is credited as the father of the NHS. A statue of him is in the centre of Cardiff, on Queen Street.
The UK system is more like the old East German system and that’s not a criticism. The East German health system provided a good, basic service, though without the expensive equipment found in the West.
After the end of Communism – nach der Wende – the West German system was introduced into the East.
The German system goes back to the late 19th century, when under Otto von Bismarck, Germany pioneered the welfare state.
This system is still in use today. Krankenkassen are non-profit making organisations, that are governed by strict regulations.
The biggest state-run Krankenkasse is the Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse. There are many private Krankenkassen offering a range of packages at different contribution levels.
You are required by law to pay into a Krankenkasse. You can see it on your pay slip. If you earn above a certain amount, you can insure yourself with a private Krankenkasse. Many cater for specific professions.
In the UK, the National Health Service is paid for by the government. The amount paid by the government varies depending on which political party is in power, whether Labour or Conservatives or a coalition.
Statistics indicate that the NHS received considerably more money under Labour governments than the Conservatives, though the Conservatives dispute this.
It’s important to note that the UK also has a private healthcare system which people can gain access to by paying for private health insurance. People also receive private healthcare as a benefit or ‘perk’ of their job.
So in theory, whether you are in Germany or in the UK, if you have a higher income and/or a better job, you can get better healthcare by paying more. To what extent that is true lies outside the scope of this essay!
The NHS has had a funding crisis for many years – German system is not perfect but it’s well-funded.
Due to Brexit, the NHS has a serious staffing crisis and it’s getting worse. Many staff have left and fewer people than before are being recruited from the rest of Europe. A no deal Brexit would be very bad for the NHS for many reasons.
How much do both countries spend on health? Germany spends 11.1% on health care, the UK, 9.8%.
Which hospitals are reputed to be the best in the UK and in Germany? I don’t think it’s possible to give a reliable answer to that question, but here are are some well-known ones: in the UK, Guys Hospital in London is famous, also Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, The Christie in Manchester and more.
In Germany the Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, the Charité in Berlin, Asklepios Klinik Barmbek – Hamburg and the Uniklinikum in Köln are all highly regarded.
What are the practical differences between UK and German hospitals? To find this out, I went for a walk around a few hospitals in the UK and in Germany.
One thing I noticed walking around the Uniklinik in Cologne is that each department or unit functions as an independent practice – eine Praxis . I saw a children’s emergency Praxis behind the main building.
In the UK most departments and units display the NHS logo. Services based around for instance, a hospital or the local ambulance service are organised as an NHS trust. This arrangement is intended to provide more autonomous control. Some medical services are provided to the NHS by outside companies, for instance Fresenius, a German-based company.
At UK hospitals you’ll see adverts for fundraising – which is often needed to pay for basic hospital equipment, such as scanners.
In Germany you just don’t see this, pretty much all main medical services in Germany are fully funded.
This is especially true of hospices. St Ann’s Hospice near Manchester receives just over a third of its funding from the NHS. That means it needs to raise around £20,000 every day just to keep the hospice running.
They organise glamorous celebrity dinners, midnight runs and many other fun events. They operate charity shops as well, but is it right that a facility providing a basic healthcare service needs to do this to raise money?
In Germany hospices are fully funded.
Here are some more differences I found:
The emergency ambulances in Germany have a two-tone sound, but in the UK, they have an oscillating tone. The German siren is called the Martinshorn, named after the company that makes it.
In the UK the emergeny ambulances are yellow and green and in Germany they’re red, like the trains. In both countries you often see the same basic vehicle, the Mercedes Sprinter.
On the side of the ambulance in the UK, you’ll see the emergency number 999 and you can dial 111 for non-emergency medical issues and advice.
In Germany and other mainland European countries, the emergency number for fire brigade and ambulance is 112. The 112 number also works in the UK and on any GSM phone anywhere in the world.
In recent years, smaller hospitals have closed and their services, including A&E have transferred to larger single-site hospitals.
This means ambulances have a longer distance to go than before. I hear many ambulances passing every day in the UK but when I’m in Germany, I seem to hear fewer? Is that really the case? I’m not sure.
Parking at hospitals is an important issue. At German hospitals, it’s generally free for a period, then there’s a charge.
This is also the case in Britain, though some have very expensive charges, for instance Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport.
If you are a citizen of another EU state visiting Germany, you can receive healthcare on the same basis as German nationals
Thanks to the UK’s membership of the EU, citizens from other EU nations are treated for free by the NHS – or more exactly, the NHS charges the cost of the treatment to the home country.
And UK citizens travelling in the rest of Europe can receive treatment on the same basis as nationals. It’s not necessary to take out medical insurance, as you do when travelling to the United States, for instance.
I once had a bike accident in Germany, and I was given first class treatment at the local hospital. The bill of 233,50 Deutsche Mark was charged to the UK and I didn’t have to pay anything.
If you’re from the UK and are unfortunate enough to suffer illness or an accident in Germany you’ll be able to gain first hand experience of healthcare in Germany and so you’ll be better able to answer the question of which has the better system, the UK or Germany.
But before I come to that question, I’m going to give you a short German language lesson.
What do doctors ask you when you go and see them?
Doctors in the English speaking world say ‘What seems to be the problem?’ or ‘What can I do for you?’ or maybe ‘How can I help you?’
German speaking doctors might ask you ‘Was fehlt Ihnen?’ – What’s wrong with you, literally what’s missing from you? Also ‘Was kann ich für Sie tun?’, What can I do for you? or maybe ‘Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen?’ – How can I help you?
Let’s look at a few complaints
Ich habe Kopfschmerzen. – I have a headache.
Ich habe Halsschmerzen. – I have a sore throat.
Ich habe Magenschmerzen. – I have a stomach ache.
If the pain is coming from your hand, foot or leg you can say ‘tut mir weh’ – (it) hurts
Meine Hand tut mir weh.
Mein Fuß tut mir weh.
Mein Bein tut mir weh.
For other parts of the body, consult a good dictionary!
If there’s been an accident and you need to phone 112 you can say:
Es gab einen Unfall. – There’s been an accident.
Es gibt Verletzte. – There are injured people.
Okay, so let’s get back to the important question: Which system is better, the UK healthcare system or the German health system?
In doing my research I found an interesting video on the BBC website (link below) with some interesting information:
- Waiting times for operations are shorter in Germany, typically three to four weeks in Germany.In England most people wait 22 months for orthopaedic operations.
- Germany has three doctors per 1000 population, but the UK has two.
- Germany has three times as many hospital beds compared to the UK.
- Germany spends 11.1% of its GDP on health, Britain 9.8%.
- Most Germans pay 7% of their income for healthcare. Their employer pays the same.
Most people I’ve spoken to who are familiar with the German healthcare system say it offers a higher standard of service. But people in Germany have to pay for their system directly out of their salary. Some pay many hundreds of euro each month.
The British healthcare system provides a good system too, and though people don’t pay contributions directly towards the health system, the NHS is paid for through taxation and a share of National Insurance contributions.
Despite its current difficulties, the majority of people in Britain are proud of their health service and they appreciate the work done by medical professionals at all levels. By and large they still support the original idea of the NHS, that is, to provide free universal healthcare and most people are reluctant to move towards a US-style system.
So that’s it, a quick, hopefully informative and maybe entertaining overview of a very complex subject. I hope it will arouse your curiosity and encourage you to look for more detailed information online.
If you’re interested in learning German, go to www.aidan.co.uk/german/.
If you’re visiting Germany, I wish you gute Reise! and if you’ve visiting the UK, enjoy your trip. And to all EU nationals visiting another EU country, don’t forget to bring your EHIC card!
Here’s the link to the BBC video I found.
What’s Stockport famous for? It’s the last stop on the West Coast line from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, it’s seven miles south east of the city centre and it’s my home town! But what else is it famous for? Oh yes, it’s the home of a groundbreaking recording studio that existed from 1967 to 1993, Strawberry Studios.
So what made Strawberry Studios different? The first thing is that it wasn’t in London. The music industry has been mostly based in London – it still is. But in the mid-sixties, a visionary group of people wanted to set up a studio in the north.
The driving force was Peter Tattersall and Eric Stewart. It was named after Eric’s favourite song, Strawberry Field, which was released in 1967.
It originally started in another location but moved to an industrial building on Waterloo Road in 1968. Incidentally this is just by the location of the Stockport air disaster of 1967.
They wanted to provide a recording facility to match those in London, but close to Manchester. They offered cheaper rates at night so that local bands could afford to record there. They made full use of the latest recording technology.
The band 10cc were closely involved in the studios and they recorded many classic songs there, the most famous of which is “I’m Not In Love”, which featured groundbreaking use of tape loops to create rich layered vocals. It was a number one UK hit in 1975 and reached number two in the US. Many other artists recorded at Strawberry, including Paul McCartney, Neil Sedaka, the Bay City Rollers and most notably, Joy Division.
Despite the success of I’m Not In Love, 10cc split in 1976, continuing as two separate entities. The studio sadly closed in 1993, but the name survives both as a legend of music and as the name of the building.
In the seventies I lived just 10 minutes from Strawberry Studios and though I was active in music in the eighties, I never had any involvement there. The achievements of 10cc and Strawberry Studios are a source of local pride in Stockport and so in the year of the 50th anniversary of the setting up of the studio, it was natural that there should be a commemoration and exhibition.
It opened on 27 January, 2017 and though I couldn’t make the opening, I attended in late February. It’s housed in Staircase House in Stockport’s historic Market Place. The house contains exhibits about the history of Stockport on five levels and I can highly recommend it.
For me, the high point of my visit was entering the 10cc exhibition in the basement exhibition area. The two adjoining rooms are packed with many fascinating objects, musical instruments, photographs, videos and audio recordings.
Eric Stewart’s Gibson ES 335 semi-acoustic guitar is proudly placed in a display cabinet. The guitar was used on all four 10cc albums.
The exhibition is packed with lots more artifacts, including 45 rpm discs, badges, amplifiers, music cassettes, brochures, post cards and the original sound equipment used by producer Martin Hannett.
I was intrigued to see an original Marshall Time Modulator, and another piece of equipment which had the name ‘Martin Hannett’ inside the case. There was also an example of the ‘gizmo’ a device invented by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. An electronic copy of the studio bookings diary from 1980 to 1981 contains many famous names.
I was overwhelmed by just how many fascinating items of memorabilia have been crammed into such a relatively small space. I found it all fascinating and absorbing.
I was lucky enough to meet the curator of the exhibition, music historian Peter Wadsworth. He told me that the exhibition was an extension of his PhD thesis, which is on the subject of Strawberry Studios.
For anyone who is interested in the history of music in the Manchester area, this exhibition is a must-see. And if like me, you lived through the Strawberry Studios era, and remember the artists and songs of that time, it will bring back many happy musical memories.
I am in Love – runs from 27th January 2017 until 29th January 2018. Stockport Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. Entry to the exhibition is free. Stockport Museum is located at 30 Market Place, Stockport, SK1 1ES.