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Newsletter 1998 Week 10Monday the 9th of March 1998

Lower Mosley Street and the Bridgewater Hall during rain Friday 6 March 1998

Lots of interesting links

Manchester Online
The Evening News Website
Graphics-rich young peoples guide to Manchester
Official website of the group campaigning to save the city's heritage, and encourage the best in contemporary building

Chorlton Web
Community Website

Rebuilding Manchester
With pictures before and after the bomb


Home Page of the author

By the time this page goes online, most of the passengers on the Continental Airlines flight delayed by yesterday's emergency, will have arrived at their destinations in the United States. A video made by an enthusiast in the Aviation Viewing Park, now situated near the A538/M56 roundabout, was shown on tv news reports. The plane, flying to New York (Newark), was about to take off when fuel and then flames spurted from the rear of the middle engine. The escape chutes were deployed, and evacuation commenced. Unfortunately the chute next to the left-hand wing didn't inflate fully and people had to go back into the plane and use others. No-one was injured, though there were few cuts and bruises and one person fainted in the terminal. The incident recalls the Manchester Airport 1985 British Airtours disaster, in which 55 people died.

In the week the Manchester Irish festival got underway, a baggage handlers strike at Dublin Airport has caused widespread disruption to services from Manchester and Liverpool. Air Lingus and Ryanair services have been cancelled. Air Lingus operates services to the Continent, as well as to Ireland, and has been a major carrier at Ringway for over fifty years.

During construction work on the Second Runway (the concrete structure of the new road tunnel is now taking shape), archaeological remains were found under the ground. Archaeologists will have a few months to carry out further investigation of the site.

Dillon's Whistlin' Jig pub, Stockport

Manchester's third Irish festival was launched on Saturday by Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam. She praised the Irish community for their contribution to Manchester, and paid tribute to the city for recovering so magnificently after the IRA terrorist bomb attack on 15 June 1996. The event, staged at the Town Hall, was attended by a large number of people connected with Ireland, among them Northwest Tonight anchorman Gordon Burns, from Belfast. He and the other participants appreciated the four hours of free drink, including lavish amounts of top quality Guinness. I'm hoping to taste some at the Town Hall later in the week.

There have been proposals to classify the Irish community as an ethnic minority. Those in favour say that they have unique problems, such as a lower standard of health, and that services could be targeted better if they were marked out as a minority. But others aren't in favour of the status, and would prefer the Irish to be treated the same as others. Though some still complain of anti-Irish prejudice, I can't see any evidence of it, quite the contrary in fact.

Salford University minus Peel Tower, removed 1994

The chanting of a student demo was heard echoing around St Peters Square on Wednesday, when students took to the streets to protest against the introduction of university tuition fees of £1000 a year. "Education is a Right, not a Privilege" said the posters. In recent years, there has been huge increase in the numbers attending universities, and the Government say the bill for fees should be met by those benefiting from degrees, not by the general tax-paying public.

The 1998 Mardi Gras festival, threatened recently by cash problems, is definitely back on, and will feature even more attractions than before. The event has the full backing of Manchester City Council. And Councillors have voted to give the Freedom of the City to the destroyer HMS Manchester. This would never have happened under previous Labour councils, as such an award would have been regarded as support for militarism. Now that's all changed. Yes, the bright red display cases outside the Town Hall have gone, though the "Manchester Nuclear Free City" notices on city centre streets are still there.

"World In Action", the flagship current affairs programme produced by Manchester-based Granada TV, paid a heavy price for being outspoken last week, when the station had to hand over a huge sum in damages to Marks & Spencers after libel proceedings. It was ruled that the programme had given wrong information concerning the use of child labour among M&S suppliers. The editor, Steve Boulton, stood down last week, though a spokesman stressed the resignation was unrelated to the dispute with M&S. The new World in Action editor is Jeff Anderson.

Tram to Bury at St Peters Square    Rain-swept St Peters Square and Central Library

The Louise Woodward case has been drawing national attention here - Channel 4 tv programme "Dispatches" screened an interview with her, in which she spoke of her fear of going back to prison. On Friday, viewers here saw live coverage of the court proceedings, and the ensuing fire. Today, the face of the 20 year old from Elton, 30 miles south west of Manchester featured on both national and local media reports.

An 18 year old youth was shot in Levenshulme on Saturday, and later died of his injuries at Manchester Royal Infirmary. The police aren't sure whether the crime was drug-related. In the last few days, a man was shot dead on the back door of his home in Blackburn, police there are also unsure if the murder was drug-related. And Longsight police station, between Plymouth Grove and Stockport Road has been moved into an ultra-modern building next door, and the old red-brick building has been demolished.

The brothers Gallagher, international ambassadors for Burnage and Manchester City Football Club, currently on tour in Australia, have been gaining more adverse publicity in recent days: Liam was charged with assaulting a fan who tried to take a photo of him, and one of their concerts was described by Noel as "appalling", and he said it was Liam's fault. Some fans seemed to excuse their behaviour, but other observers are less impressed. See "reader feedback" below.

A new superstore has opened in Hulme - and here it is, a far cry from the tiny corner shops & cobbled streets that once stood on this location. The site, which has a petrol station (60.9p a litre - £2.71 a gallon - for premium unleaded: cheap), has an open, out-of-town feel, but it's within sight of the city centre.

New Asda store in Hulme

If you've ever got frustrated at how long it takes for an e-mail message to get from New Zealand to Manchester, spare a thought for the soldier who sent a postcard from France which was delivered to the Stockport home of Alan Rawsthorne. The card was dated July 24, 1918, addressed to a "Miss Hunt" and signed "George". Mr Raswthorne wants to trace their descendents, to if you have any info, you can send me a message...

It's been an overcast week, with cold temperatures, and lots of rain. On Thursday and Friday, more or less continuous rain fell on Manchester, causing huge pools of water to gather on city centre streets. Yesterday was mostly cloudy, but today started off bright, sunny but cold. By the afternoon, it had clouded over.

  • Princess Diana scratchcards go on sale
  • Ethnic conflict erupts in the Kosovo province of Yugoslavia
  • Sinn Fein sets out its demands as part of a settlement, but fails to return to the peace talks today.

Words & pictures ©Aidan O'Rourke
The news items featured on this page are abstracted from local and national media reports. While I make every effort to ensure the information is as accurate as possible, I assume no responsibility for errors, whether on my part or on the part of the media sources. Please notify me of any inaccuracies, and I will correct them immediately.

location: Columbus Ohio USA

Connection with Manchester: I am from Manchester. I was born in Longsight and grew up in Old Trafford. I emigrated to the States after I graduated from the university.

What's best about the feature: The local news but especially the pictures of various parts of Manchester. It is only when you leve your home town you appreciate what you had. Here in the States anything built before 1950 is old. Columbus in particular has hardly any buildings built in the last century. All the strip malls here look the same. In fact on a trip to Miami Florida I noticed how everything was similar to Columbus take the palm trees away and no difference. Manchester has Class style and individuality. The same goes for most cities in England, though I am naturally biased towards Manchester.

What could be improved?: I think you are doing a good job. Keep it up mate. The content is good precise and it is refreshing to get a local's perpective of things that have not gone through the corporate strainer.

From: Leonard Nicol
Location: Ft. Wayne, IN USA

Connection: Born in Manchester Jan. '65 Lived in 22 Kempton Rd, Burnage all my life until moving Stateside. Acacias primary school Attended Parrs Wood High School. Moved to US July '83

What's best about the feature: The whole newsletter!!! The local news and developments. The photos are second to none! You capture the atmosphere every time - I fell like I am standing viewing the scenes myself.

What could be improved?: Has anyone started developing smell technology??? This is about the only thing missing. Until that happens the only thing would be more, longer newsletters, more photos

Requested photographs?: Burnage, The babies hospital, The area around Acacias primary school. Stockport market. Piers A and B at the airport

Are you aware of any aerial photos of the airport?

From: Richard Cook

Yes, in the book "First and Foremost" about the history of Manchester Airport. I haven't got any... yet. In the meantime, here's Stockport Market

Location: Calgary, Canada

Connection with Manchester: Used to live in Prestwich

What's best about the feature?: Your marvellous photos, plus lots of interesting local news items.

Your website is far better than the MEN website. (My italics: AOR)

What could be improved?: It's perfect the way it is.

Requested photographs?: I enjoy seeing all your photos - places I know as well as places I don't know, but as I'm from Prestwich, that town would be my preference.

Melanie McCluskey

Location: Sydney

Connection with Manchester: Born and bred in Stretford. True MUFC follower. Parents still live there Schooled at St Ann's Stretford and St Bede's College. Last job in Manchester with Ernst & Young before arriving here late 93 with my young family

What's best about the feature?: Extremely good up to date news. Photographs are excellent. Demonstrates the pride and affection people have of our great city

Just to be connected is good -

What could be improved?: Can't think of one at the mo - a great job done

Mike Conway

Dear Aidan,

What a bunch of yobs you sent out here!If Cathay Pacific had any sense they would have dumped this collection of foul mouthed, pissed-to-the eyeballs morons masquerading as human beings somewhere over the Indian Ocean. I don't think they will be treated as tolerantly when they get to New Zealand.

Regards Stan McTighe

Don't blame me! I'll try and send you out some polite, well-mannered Mancunian rock stars next time. Trouble is, I don't know any!


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