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Eyewitness in Manchester masthead
Issue number 7 Saturday the 1st of March 1997

Britannia Hotel at night
Festive lights are a permanent feature on the facade of the Britannia Hotel, Portland Street.

The mysteries of genetics and DNA, are now on offer at Terminal 2 of Manchester Airport, with the opening a new "Gene Shop". The information point, run by the University of Central Lancashire, is manned by hospitality staff and features touch-screen multimedia presentations.

Meanwhile, round on the rear side of the Airport, Runway 2 protesters continue to attract nationwide publicity. Ex-hostage and Cheshire resident Terry Waite gave his support to the "eco-warriors", who are gouging out an ever-increasing network of tunnels, intended to cause delay and disruption when construction work starts soon.

Swampy, alias Daniel Hooper recently arrived on the site, greeted by large numbers of cameramen and reporters. The mud-covered 23 year old eco-campaigner has become something of a national celebrity, after achieving the honour of being the very last protester to emerge from under the Newbury by-pass site last month. The Airport chairman described Swampy as an "irrelevance", and said the work would go ahead as planned.

Another protester standing in the way of the Runway 2 is Mark Bennet, whose 750,000 house is situated just beyond the landing lights. He is lodging an appeal because the Airport have still not put into writing their verbal agreement to buy up his house.

The north west of the United States linked up with the north west of England this week, when Errol Cossey, boss of new Manchester-based airline "Flying Colours" went over to pick up a brand new Boeing 757 from Boeing's plant near Seattle. The aircraft arrived at Manchester on Thursday and will enter service next week, taking holiday makers to the Med. Plane-makers here are watching the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas merger very carefully, due to the large number of aerospace jobs in the region.

"Why travel 6000 miles to have sex with children when you can do it in Manchester?" was the question posed by the Children's Society this week, in a new poster campaign. Other posters had the same message, but were aimed at Leeds, Wales and Bournemouth, where the wording of the poster was widely criticised. The campaign co-incided with a hard-hitting child sex tv drama-documentary entitled "No Child of Mine" shown earlier in the week.

No-one is complaining about the latest exciting development for the area, in the shape of a new Imperial War Museum, to be built in Trafford Park, next to the Manchester Ship Canal. The museum will create about 400 new jobs, and will be linked by a spectacular footbridge to the Lowry Museum and Arts Centre, currently in the early stages of construction on the Salford side of the canal (pictures to be added to these pages soon).

One piece of late-breaking news was the announcement that Simply Red's co-manager Elliot Rashman is to quit. He will concentrate on running his restaurant, bar and hotel business.

With success of the expemental 24 hour opening this weekend of the Tesco supermarket at Prestwich, it looks as though all-night shopping will soon be coming to Manchester.

It's been a rainy, cloudy, and windy week not only here, but all over the UK. Winds of 46 mph were recorded at the Airport on Tuesday, and Thursday was especially dull, drizzly and overcast. By the weekend, the cloud cover had become more scattered, setting the new month off to a bright, but blustery start. Daytime temperatures currently 53 degrees fahrenheit (12 degrees centigrade)

Text and photos by Aidan O'Rourke


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