NEWSLETTER 1998 WEEK 17
Tuesday 21 through Monday 27 April
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OTHER MANCHESTER WEBSITES
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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.
Starting Tuesday 14th of April, reports and are added to the page through the week, appearing in reverse chronological order. Reader messages will also be added. On Monday night the completed page is put in the archive, and a fresh page is started for the next seven days. Please visit at any time during the week for the latest updates.
On weeks when I'm not in Manchester, previously written articles and pictures on current topics will appear on the page.
EWM UPDATE Monday 27 April 1998 12 midnight BST
NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS
At present there are no major local news stories, so unlike other news media, I won't bore you with "filler" items.
The weather: Yesterday and today, it's been extremely changeable. Clear and sunny this morning, showers, some heavy by late afternoon, hail showers yesterday. EWM temperature: 46 fahrenheit, 8 celsius.
Later this week, for my "Manchester People" series, I hope to interview Anthony H Wilson, key person in the development of the Manchester music and club scene of the 1980's, including New Order, Factory Records and the Hacienda. Also well known broadcaster on local and national TV.
If you have any questions you'd like me to ask him, please e-mail me at
I was particularly interested in your photograph of Victoria Station.
I was a telephonist on the switchboard at Victoria (and at London Road) when I worked for British Railways in the mid to late 1950s.
There were 15 girls working on the Victoria switchboard at one time taking calls from the public for train enquiries and connecting railway people to internal lines to Crewe, Euston and all stations in between.
I particularly remember Beryl Broadhead (later Silberstein) of Moss Side and Lil Branagan of Droylesden.
If anyone has contacts with any of the Victoria or London Road switch girls of that period I would love to hear from them.
Kaye Hawley (formerly Kathleen Hawley) Perth, Western Australia.
A word of thanks to you...I have made contact with a cousin I never knew thru your site.
EWM UPDATE FRIDAY 24 APRIL 1998 11pm BST
Nynex Arena and Victoria Station.
EC TRANSPORT OFFICIALS DON'T TAKE THE TRAIN
An EU conference on transport is currently in progress in Chester. Delegates are discussing ways of shifting more traffic from road to rail. But the government is being accused of trying to prevent the honoured European guests from seeing for themselves the sorry state of our railways. Instead of arranging for the participants to use the train to travel between Manchester and Chester, they've been transported by road. Recently I featured a picture of Moston Station. Victoria Station is looking well, and under renovation, as is Piccadilly Station.
KILLER JAILED FOR 20 YEARS The malevolent face of Paul Gaye has been widely featured in local media, alongside that of his victim, Suzanne Rarity. 32 year old drug addict Gaye was found guilty of torturing and then murdering the 7 year old daughter of his girlfriend. The court in Manchester heard how he locked Suzanne up for a week and subjected her to 100 separate injuries.
Police officers have commented the case was among the most disturbing of their career. And today questions are being asked as to how the killer was allowed to get away with the crime. Why didn't the school from which she was absent, the social services and the Council do something? Whatever the conclusions, it's too late to save the life of lively seven year old from Moss Side.
HOUSE FIRE IN COLLYHURST
Toddler Rachel Crowther died in a fire on Thornton Street, Collyhurst during the early hours of this morning. The girl's mother and uncle escaped, along with five other children. And in Stockport, a 67 year old man was killed in a fire in his 10th floor flat in Norris Towers. In Wythenshawe a man is suffering from severe burns after trying to save a family from a house fire on Plowden Road.
MANCHESTER UNITED FOOTBALL FANS' SCORE OWN GOAL
The "Calypso '98" official club music CD is to be released on Monday, in which 42 United fans sing the words "Sing up for the champions", referring to United's victory in the Premiership. But the Reds are almost certainly going to lose to Arsenal. A case of counting chicken's before they're hatched.
MARKETING MANCHESTER IN TRANSITION
Two years ago, the organisation Marketing Manchester was set up with the aim of doing just that - promoting the city region to the world. But there have been many criticisms - last year's "Up and Going" marketing campaign which many considered to be lacklustre - and the organisation still has no website, despite my offer of help! A new Chief Executive is to be appointed and the board is to be reduced from 19 to 12.
Most people reading this page will agree that Manchester is a vibrant and fascinating city, but I'm told by a recent visitor to Japan that when she went to tourist offices looking for info on her home city, she found wall to wall info on London and the south, but nothing on Manchester. And as a Middle East expat, I often had to counter stereotypes of clogs, flat caps, smog and back to back streets.
How soon will it be before trend-setting Manchester has an image as positive and identifiable as Seattle, Prague or Milan?
JODRELL BANK RESEARCHERS IDENTIFY EINSTEIN'S RING
Not a misplaced family heirloom, but a gravitational effect visible only by using a MERLIN, a network of linked telescopes, one of which is Manchester's radio telescope Jodrell Bank.
Scientists there have observed the effect which arises when radio light waves from one galaxy are bent by an invervening galaxy, as predicted by Einstein sixty years ago, but never seen until now.
And Tameside MEP Glyn Ford has spoken with space advisers from Russia, Japan and China on measures to avert an asteroid hit of the type that wiped out the dinosaurs, and could prove disastrous for residents of Ashton, and other parts of the world. Glyn Ford is a former lecturer at Manchester University.
Congratulations on the new-look site with the regular updates.
Just to prove that Coronation Street is truly an international thing, I spotted a 'Free Dierdre Rashid' billboard at the Otago Highlanders vs Wellington Hurricanes Super12 rugby clash here in Dunedin the other day.
It was sponsored by a local 'Rovers Return' pub, & it's quite scary as to the obsession of these people because I think the episodes with the actual incidents are still a few months off being shown here yet!
Seeing the plan for the proposed monstrosity they want to put up at the Free Trade Hall reminded me that a few years back there was a rumour that they were going to build a big skyscraper near to Victoria Station.
Do you know if anything more came of it?
Do you know of any of the history of Stevenson Sq as a venue for free-speech?
I don't but maybe someone out there does! As for today's venue, I think it's the Internet!
EWM UPDATE WEDNESDAY 22 APRIL 1998 11 am BST
FREE TRADE HALL INQUIRY IN ITS SECOND DAY
The Free Trade Hall Inquiry is now in its second day. With Manchester City Council in strongly in favour of the plan, and various conservation groups bitterly opposed to it, the debate is passionate. City Council Deputy Chief Executive Howard Bernstein is arguing that the hotel development is a vital part of the redevelopment of that area of the city centre. He is supported by Bill Enevoldson, senior partner at financial consultants KPMG.
But objectors have described the plan variously as "a massive cheese grater atop a wedding cake", "an overwhelming alien feature" and, as Civic Society Chairman Carolyn Blain said on Granada Reports last night: "like something from a painting by Hieronymous Bosch".
Hieronymous Bosch: c1450-1516 Dutch. Fantasy painter: Most famous paintings: "The Garden of Earthly Delight" (1504), "Last Judgement" (1510) and "Hell" (c1510).)
Most commentators agree that a hotel is needed in that part of the city, and that a new use has to be found for the Free Trade Hall. The front and side facades are all that remains of the original 1854 building after it was gutted in the 1940 blitz. Most of the present day building dates from 1951.
Many people, including myself, attended Speech Day ceremonies and concerts at the hall. Manchester punk band, the Buzzcocks, played there in late seventies. But as well as standing on the site of the Peterloo Massacre, the hall is most famous as being the home of the Halle Orchestra, until they moved to the Bridgewater Hall in 1997.
OPERATION NOEL NETS DRUG DEALERS
Police have carried out raids on heroin and cocaine dealers in south Manchester. Thousands of pounds were seized and 11 people were arrested as part of "Operation Noel". And according to a recent police report, 78% of crime suspects in Trafford tested positive for drugs, though drugs workers there said the research was flawed.
BUS DRIVER APPEARS IN COURT
Darren Vickers, the bus driver accused of murdering James Lavis will appear in Manchester Crown Court today. The five year old boy was last seen alive on the 5th of May last year.
BERNARD MANNING ENCOUNTERS OPPOSITION
Manchester-based comedian Bernard Manning has caused controversy in Blackpool. He is due to take part in the seaside town's first comedy festival. But in the opinion of Liberal Democrat councillor Robert Wynne, Bernard Manning's act contains racist humour, and wants the council to write to the organisers of the festival to tell them the Blackpool local authority doesn't endorse the type of humour the comedian uses in his act.
Bernard Manning, who owns the Embassy Club in Harpurhey, recently appeared on the Mrs Merton Show, and made no secret of his opinions about other races.
Weather : Cloudy. EWM Temperature 54 degrees fahrenheit 12 degrees celsius.
Have you done many black and white photies? I'm sure you have, but it occured to me while I was mooching around your gallery that a few Black and whites might give the place a bit of - personality? Documentary? Depth? What do you think?
Good luck, and congratulations on such a great site.
ps. How about some b+w portraits of the wonderful people you see roaming around the streets of Manchester? That could be interesting!
Yes, coming soon. In the meantime, how about the black and whites of the Free Trade Hall? Personally I think colour is the standard medium nowadays, but black and white is better suited to some types of image.