Tuesday 12 through Monday 19 May
Lots of interesting links

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

Words & pictures by

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.

Drop in whenever you like for news, pictures and information from your favourite city!

EWM UPDATE 11pm Monday 18 May 1998

St Anne's Square

Yes, another day of bright sunshine over Manchester, but oh dear, the local news isn't very cheerful. News media were reporting that Karen Murray, a 19 year old who died tragically while on holiday in Greece, had been treated at a hospital in Manchester. The Greek doctor discovered surgical equipment in her abdomen which may have been there for several years. Later it was reported that she had been treated at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool in 1990. Her brother, highly distraught, appeared on tv screens this evening.

Julie Watts of Little Hulton, found guilty last year of killing her handicapped daughter, won her appeal at Appeal Court in London today. The story was featured on national news reports. Her 14 month daughter Abigail suffered from multiple disabilities.

ITV Teletext reports that police in Manchester have been understaffed due to a shortage of police officers. Areas described as "very busy" have been policed by only two officers instead of ten. I saw plenty of police around Manchester City Centre today, and on tv on Saturday night, fictional police officers patrol the streets of Manchester. Maybe what we need next is another "fly on the wall" documentary, featuring the work of city police. The X-Cars series shown last year was great entertainment. As I write, BBC2's "Made in Manchester" goes out all over the UK, giving a "fly on the wall" view of life in Manchester.

George Kinkladzi, formerly of Manchester City, admitted dangerous driving and was fined 2500 by magistrates in Trafford today. He was also banned from driving for twelve months. Last year he crashed his Ferrari into the M56 motorway bridge near the Four Seasons Hotel, Hale Barns. And in Shaw, near Oldham on Saturday, Phillip Grimwood, aged 18, lost control of his car, crashed through two walls and fell 60 feet. He was killed and the other two occupants were seriously injured. Near Rawtenstall, Azia Khan, said to be from Rusholme, was found near a lay-by with horrific burns after a car fire had been reported. Detectives think it may be a case of attempted murder, and are interviewing a man.

Albert Square was full of people today attending the Festival of Life Long Learning currently on at the Town Hall. There were poetry readings and a reggae band played. The Streets Ahead festival continues this week and will end on Bank Holiday Monday, a week from now, with a parade through the city. With the summery weather, many have been indulging in less strenuous activities, like lazing around on the grass sipping beer and chatting to their mates. That was the scene in Chorlton yesterday afternoon, the sound of the Top Forty coming from the radio later, with Manchester artistes Mick Hucknall and Cleopatra in the Top Ten.

There'll be more sun and warm temperatures. Current Eyewitness in Manchester temperature 60/15.4.

Today's featured person in the Manchester People series is the distinguished opera singer Suzannah Clarke, who I met last Saturday. Among her coming bookings is a fund-raising concert for the Civic Society. The Opera and Champagne Supper event will take place take place at Chetham's School of Music this Thursday, tickets 15

EWM UPDATE 8pm Saturday 16 May 1998

Manchester City Centre from Portland Tower looking South West.  Photo taken with kind permission of Bruntwood Properties

Sorry about the uninspired headline, but it's far too hot to work! Yes, after a misty Friday, the sun came back today, as promised by weatherman Fred Talbot. But what's good news for some is a health hazard for others. According to Dr Ashley Woodcock, consultant, at the North West Lung Centre (reported in other media as the National Lung Centre) at Wythenshawe Hospital, interviewed on BBC 1's Northwest Tonight, asthma attacks often occur during periods when pollution levels are high. Patients come to him complaining of coughs, phlegm, breathlessness and wheezing attacks. It happens, he says, anywhere that's windless, hot and tropical - like Wythenshawe at the moment! The National Asthma Campaign Helpline is on (0345) 010203

Actor Kevin Kennedy said he was scared after collapsing in Didsbury village and spending two nights in Withington Hospital, the MEN reports. He's discharged now, but has to take a lot of pills. "Thank God for the NHS" he said. It's still not clear what caused him to faint - he may have picked up a stomach virus on a recent holiday to the Caribbean - it wasn't drink, the actor emphasises. Scripts for coming episodes of Coronation Street have been rewritten so Kevin has time to recover.

From the top of the 142 bus this morning I saw a line of mums and under-tens stretching from the Palace Theatre right the way up to the corner of Portland Street. The reason: They were auditioning for 45 parts in the musical "Oliver", to be staged at the Palace Theatre later this year. Auditions will continue tomorrow. Maybe one of them will appear in Coronation Street in the future. At the Palace Theatre tonight's the last night of "Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat" and tomorrow night, Tommy Steele will be in concert.

A driver on his way to London was accosted at Knutsford Service Station, yesterday's MEN reports, and forced to drive to Liverpool where they did a three hour "tour" of the city. Finally, the two captors told the driver to return to the A556 near Knutford where they jumped out and were driven away in another car. Both men had Manchester accents, and were in their late twenties. One was white, had ginger hair and was unshaven. The second was of mixed race with curly hair and wore a sovereign ring on his left hand. I can think of more pleasant ways of seeing Liverpool!

Monton Green, Eccles

Residents of Monton, Salford got annoyed with the Council who have stopped cutting the grass on Monton Green due to a shortage of casts. BBC Teletext reports that the picturesque green is one of 50 sites with Salford City Council can no longer afford to maintain. But locals got out their lawn mowers and did the cutting themselves. (BBC Teletext carries north west regional news on pages 160 - 169)

The EWM temperature is currently 66/19, and the forecast is for continued sunny weather

From Melvyn ex from Crumpsall, now resident in Israel
Hi Aidan, thanks very much for your reply and also for the report in Eyewitness. Firstly thanks for the greetings on our winning of the European Song Contest in Birmingham. We are all thrilled over here as you can well imagine. Dana International is terrific!
As regards nightlife in Israel, Tel Aviv is the main center. There is really no difference between here and anywhere else in Europe including Manchester for that matter with all the extreme features if you know what I mean!
About fifteen years ago I visited the bus museum on Boyle St., the visit brought back many childhood memories of the old buses especially the ones with the grey roof. We used to say about an ugly looking person - that he has a face like the back of a Manchester double Decker bus!
The haunted Stockport bus is really very weird, I actually believe in the supernatural, u.f.o's, etc., so to me it seems to me very convincing.
Well Aidan, lots of success for the future with your new Manchester site, Shalom from this part of the world - Melvyn.
The Museum of Transport, Boyle Street brings back childhood memories - I remember taking the number 30 to infants school in Edgeley, Stockport for a penny halfpenny.

From: Ken Steele
To: Aidan O'Rourke
Subject: Hot?
Aidan What the hell is hot. After 18 years in Perth we have 45 degrees C in summer and still manage without air con in the home.
They used to breed them tough in M/C .What happened?
Keep up the good work
Yes, you're right, we're nothing but a bunch of moaning poms! When it gets within a few degrees of freezing we complain because it's too cold and when it goes above 70 we complain because it's too hot! Never satisfied!

I know you didn't want comments from Jeddah or Singapore but I am in Midwest USA so here goes.....mid 60's doesn't warrant air conditioning!! When it gets to mid 70's and up then I will sympathize......we are headed to the upper 80's tomorrow and yes the air is cranked up!!!!! Tell everyone to enjoy the warm could be cold and damp!!! Where and when were you in the Mid East? Keep up the good work......I have your photo rotation on my desktop.
Rich Cook Ft Wayne, IN
I was in Riyadh Saudi Arabia 15 Jul 91 - Jun 92 and in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates from Sep 92 to 15 Jul 96. It's great to be back in Manchester!

From: LR & KB
Glad to see the Wed.13th May update, I have not been looking in for some time so I have only just noticed the great improvement. The weather being 65 degrees at night, in Manchester--here in Texas its 80 at 8:45 pm :-) The daytime high around 90 - 95 degrees, hot for the month of May. (it's El Nino).
Just want to say thankyou for the great treat you provide for us, Manchester ex-pats. The photos are so comforting and familiar, and very much appreciated.
I felt the same when I was in Abu Dhabi - that's why I looked at Virtual Manchester. It was very important to keep in touch with home - and not just the home country but the home city.

EWM UPDATE 10pm Wednesday 13 May 1998

Ashton Canal Basin, near Piccadilly Station & London Warehouse... family of ducks

"Summer's here, and the time is right for dancing in the street... *" well they soon will be, during one of the many festivals and events planned for the coming months. In the meantime, it's "hot in the city*", as guys sling their jackets over their shoulder, girls stride out in breezy summer dresses, or figure hugging halter-neck tops and shorts, whilst outside the pubs, drinkers stand or sit clutching refreshingly cool pints of bitter or lager. Asian youths driving souped up Mazda's cruise along Wilmslow Road with newly-fashionable Asian pop blaring from the stereo. In Moss Side, the Caribbean-style weather gives a transatlantic feel - Galaxy 102 is playing Cleopatra - once a bunch of Moss Side girls in tracksuit gear, now International stars - still in tracksuits!

In the Centre, round St Peters Square, even with all the windows open, offices are hot and stuffy - few have air conditioning, and at rush-hour, it's hot, dusty and hazy. Still, according to Professor Cooper of UMIST School of Management, (as reported in today's MEN, page 5) people work better when it's sunny.

For me it's too much - five years in the Gulf have put me off hot weather, roll on the cooler weather and the rain!

After a lorry accident last night, part of the M60 motorway near Northenden had to be closed, causing massive traffic jams. The truck crashed into a bridge support around 10.30pm - the driver managed to jump out before impact - he's in Wythenshawe hospital with two broken legs and head injuries. The motorway has been closed all day, and drivers are awaiting news as to when it will re-open - probably not in time for tomorrow's morning rush hour. In the meantime, engineers work non-stop to repair the damage.

And at Manchester Airport, a bus ferrying passengers between a plane and Terminal Two collided with a plane, injuring several passengers. The wing of the Onur Air MD88 broke the windscreen of the bus, missing the driver's head by inches. Airport authorities the didn't know how the accident had happened, and said an inquiry into the incident will be launched. Thank goodness the accident was only minor - the injured passengers, taken to Wythenshawe Hospital, were only slightly hurt.

And a Fokker 100 of Air UK reported hydraulic problems before landing at Ringway today. It landed safely.

Interest in last week's local elections was definitely lacking - so much so that I even forgot to report them! - I turned up to a deserted polling station last Thursday - ten minutes too late - they close at 9pm for local elections, 10pm for general elections. Still, I don't think it made much difference - irrespective of my vote, Labour continue as the dominant force in Manchester Town Hall. But in some areas of central Manchester, the turnout was only 10%. Something needs to be done! Maybe we'll have a New York-style charismatic mayor in Manchester before long! Meanwhile over in Liverpool, the LibDems have taken control of the Council from Labour.

Jane Cherrington, 25 and Michael Topping, 32 were banned for life from breeding and keeping animals, other than their two pet dogs. They admitted to 21 charges of cruelty to animals at their house in Peel Green, Eccles, from which they ran a puppy farm. RSPCA officers discovered 27 dogs and puppies living in appalling conditions. The couple were ordered to pay 300 costs and do 240 hours of community service.

The broadcaster Anna Ford was given an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Manchester today (as reported on ITV Teletext). She's also a graduate of the University.

The 34 year old actor Kevin Kennedy, who plays Curly Watts in Coronation Street, has collapsed, as reported in ITV's News At Ten. ITV local news continued the story, saying the actor had collapsed outside the Crown pub on Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, and that he hand't been drinking. Kennedy was taken to Withington Hospital, and is thought to be suffering from a virus.

Yes, it's pretty hot tonight - the Eyewitness in Manchester temperatures is currently 63 degrees fahrenheit, 17.5 celsius - and please, no e-mails from Jeddah or Singapore saying how cold that is! You've got air conditioning, we haven't! The forecast calls for mostly dry weather, temperatures in the low seventies/twenties and later, thundery showers. And those quotes* are of course from "Dancing In the Street" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and "Hot in the City" by Billy Idol.

Join Aidan on his Manchester Photo Walk.
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