NEWSLETTER 1998 WEEK 22
Monday 26 through Sunday 31 May
LAST WEEK 1 YEAR AGO NEXT WEEK
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 9pm BST Thursday 28 May 1998
PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO TAKE THE TRAIN
The railways are on the up and up! With both Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations undergoing extensive renovation, independent train operators are introducing new services, and vying with each other to provide cheaper tickets. For the first time since the end of the Second World War it will be possible to take a train from Victoria to London. And a direct service to the capital from Rochdale is proving popular with people there, who don't have to cross Manchester to get to Piccadilly Station. It's possible to get a return ticket for £20, though with some restrictions.
There are also direct services from London to Manchester Airport, as reported recently in Eyewitness in Manchester. Since the Conservatives privatised the railways a few years ago, Railtrack have taken over the stations, railway lines, land and other property, while the job of running the trains has been given to private operators such as Virgin Trains and North West Trains. But there's a long way to go yet before the service is as good as in some parts continental Europe. And despite the re-emergence of competing railway companies, things will never be the same as in the golden age of railways in the 1930's, when the Great Northern Railway built their goods warehouse, now being converted into a leisure complex.
If you fancy a touch of railway nostalgia, the Museum of Science and Industry has the oldest passenger station in the world, and a working steam engine at weekends. And the East Lancs Railway runs regular steam-hauled services between Bury and Rawtenstall.
MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER
A 22 year old man from Chorlton appeared in court today charged with the murder of "good samaritan" Nick Centi, who received fatal stab wounds on outside Deansgate Station, Whitworth Street on the 5th of April. Mark (reported alternatively as "Marc") Wilson's solicitor told Manchester magistrates his client will "strenuously deny" the charges. He was remanded for a week and has made no application for bail.
NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL
National tv, radio and newspaper reports have featured the tragic case of Stephen Mills, the 35 year old man who was hunted down and murdered by a lynch mob on an estate in Monsall, north Manchester. As reported in last Friday's Evening News, the incident happened on Wednesday the 20th. He was cornered by a group of people and later stabbed. By the beginning of this week, news reports were saying it was a case of mistaken identity - they'd got the wrong man.
And on this topic, I have an eyewitness account of my own: Eight years ago, on a Sunday morning around 3.50am, I was confronted on Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield, by a group of youths. One of them tried to grab me, but I ran away, shook them off, entered a call box and dialled 999. But then one of them opened the door, slammed his hand down on the phone and gave what amounted to an apology - they had mistaken me for someone else. I lived to tell the tale, but unfortunately Stephen Mills didn't.
And Manchester's reputation for unharmonious living was given another boost on BBC's Crime Beat this evening, featuring video camera footage of residents of council estates in south Manchester being harassed by noisy, abusive and drunken neighbours. The faces were blanked out, and the bad language was bleeped but the nightmare was all too clear. Much in evidence were Greater Manchester Police and their white vans, which I've been seeing quite a lot of on the streets recently. Luckily, the troublemakers were evicted after being caught on video cameras provided by a special unit at Manchester Town Hall set up specially to deal with the problem.
COOLER WEATHER RETURNS
You never know where you are with the weather here! After a bout of midsummer-style magic, it's back to cold winds and cloudy skies. Sitting in an outdoor cafe on Albert Square today, you could be forgiven for thinking it was February, though the outdoor gas heaters help to keep the cold at bay. Rain came later in the afternoon, and at 9pm the Eyewitness in Manchester temperature was 53/11 degrees.
After some uncertainty, an exciting new development has secured the future of Eyewitness in Manchester. As from early next week, this website will be moving to a new URL and joining forces with a larger, existing website.
I hope to develop the content, and increase the frequency of updates. The design will be revised, and the photo collection will be presented in a new, more easily accessible format. Be sure to drop in early next week to get the full picture! I can't guarantee to have cheerful news for you, but you'll find the same Eyewitness accounts, features and of course, lots of photographs