|Issue number 4||Saturday the 8th of February 1997|
Women, both famous and infamous, were in the headlines early this week. On Tuesday, Moors murderer Myra Hindley learned she will stay in prison for the rest of her life, and two days later, her partner in crime Ian Brady received the same news.
It was revealed that the 25 year old woman allegedly assaulted and raped in Salford last week had made up the story. She is said to be in need of psychiatric help, and the police won't be pressing charges.
At Piccadilly Station early on Monday morning, Page Three girl Melinda Messenger helped Richard Branson with the naming of one of Virgin's locomotives, "Lady in Red". Later in the week, it was announced that Branson's company will take over the running of Inter City West Coast, which operates the Manchester to London service.
On Monday afternoon, Irish President Mary Robinson came to Manchester and Tameside on official visits. At the Town Hall in Ashton she met the Mayor and members of the Irish community there. That evening she attended a dinner held by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Two of the Manchester Irish community's most famous sons figured prominently in the media this week: In an ongoing argument over song royalties, Morrissey, ex-leader of 80's band The Smiths, appealed against a decision that he must pay one million pounds to the group's former drummer.
Meanwhile, nineties pop superstar Liam Gallagher of Oasis kept the world guessing by denying rumours that he is going to marry divorcee Patsy Kensit next Monday.
The Press were out in force at the Gallagher home in Burnage, and after receiving critical phone calls, the priest at the local Catholic church had to deny there were any plans for a Church blessing. Liam has confirmed that the couple are to tie the knot, but whether it will happen on Monday remains to be seen.
As ever, the week has brought more crime stories: In the early hours of Monday morning, a 12 year old joyrider crashed into a disused pub in Salford, injuring himself and his eight year old passenger, who is seriously ill in hospital. And on Wednesday, three people were shot at during a bungled raid at Council offices in Bury. Securicor, whose employees were targeted by the attackers, are offering a reward of £25,000 for information leading to their capture and conviction.
The next day, Andrew Pountley, convicted of the abduction, rape and murder of 5 year old Rosie McCann, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to 25 years in prison.
Irrespective of crime, life in the city continues in its own culturally diverse way, as we progress further into 1997. Friday was Chinese New Year, this time heralding the Year of the Ox. There are numerous events and festivities planned for the coming days. Muslims too are about to celebrate the Eid, so it looks as though next week will be a colourful one here.
Weather-wise, it's been changeable - cold and overcast at the beginning of the week, with rain, heavy at times on Tuesday. Wednesday was cold too, but by Thursday, temperatures were much milder, and Friday was bright and sunny.
Text and photos by Aidan O'Rourke