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HERE ARE SOME OF THE FACES who are helping to make Manchester what it is today, and will be in the future - captured at an invitation-only party to celebrate the second anniversary of cocktail bar Sarasota, on Canal Street in the Gay Village. It's the evening of Wednesday 26 July 2000, and I have my digital camera at the ready...

COUNCILLOR RICHARD LEESE is the Leader of Manchester City Council and appears most days in local press, radio and tv reports. It's almost exactly two years until the Commonwealth Games, and he's sporting the official yellow badge of the Games. I interviewed Councillor Leese in 1998 for my Manchester People section.

CAROL AINSCOW is our host at this evening's event here at Sarasota. She is the MD of the Manto Group, owners of some of the most famous Manchester clubs and bars, including Manto, Sarasota, Generation X, the Trafford Tavern, Paradise Factory and (opening Sept 2000) Gaia . She is also involved in property development in Manchester city centre, including apartment conversions on Whitworth Street, and some exciting new internet-connected workspaces in the Daily Express Building, Ancoats. See for more information.

And just visible in the centre right of the picture is a man who plays a very influential role in Manchester. Do you recognise him? E-mail info (at)

ALAN OWEN has been closely involved in Manchester's Gay Village for over ten years, serving on committees and helping to run the hugely popular and highly controversial Mardi Gras festival.

He is the ex-manager of Canal Street cafe bar Via Fossa and currently manages another cafe bar, Spirit, on Princess Street

His is one of the most familiar faces in the Village.

Visible in the background are the red-brick warehouses of Whitworth Street, most of which have been turned into apartments.

ROBERT MEAKIN is the writer of the Manchester Evening News 'Diary' feature, which focuses on celebrities, personalities and generally what's 'happening' in Manchester. One of his scoops during mid-2000 was the inside story on a most public falling-out between certain members of the Manchester Civic Society.

JANET REEDER produces the colourful and glamorous fashion pages of the Manchester Evening News. She's responsible not only for writing the text but for setting up the photo shoots in co-operation with local model agencies. I met her previously at the launch party of the Hermes exhibition,

The faces of both these journalists appear next to their respective features in the Manchester Evening News, and will be familiar to thousands of MEN readers.

ARMAND BEESLEY is one of those people you're sure you've seen somewhere before. You probably have - on television, in magazines, or at Kendal's department store where he used to run his own salon before going freelance.

Watch out for Armand Beesley on tv, particularly the morning programme TVAM. Who knows, maybe this familiar Manchester face will become famous nationally and internationally...

Remember you saw him here first on Eyewitness in Manchester.

I hope to include more 'people portraits' in future updates of Eyewitness in Manchester. Please let me know if there any personalities you'd like to see.

Join Aidan on his Manchester Photo Walk.
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