The city that has featured so often here faced a new challenge this week, and this is how they respond...


Wooden It Be Nice

Of the two churches I visited in Manchester, it seemed right to begin with St Ann's as archaeological evidence suggests that the first church to be built in Manchester was erected near that site though it was destroyed by vikings in the 10th Century. That said my second church can also point to Anglo-Saxon origins as … Continue reading Wooden It Be Nice

The Preservation Game

Aside from the details of the many wonderful buildings in Manchester I find myself looking at street names and musing on their origins, for this can also tell you much about the history of a place.  Running off the part of Deansgate where I'm often based when working there are two streets called Camp Street … Continue reading The Preservation Game


The late 80's and early 90's saw Manchester's creative star in ascendancy, most noticeably on the music scene where Factory Records, The Hacienda, The Smiths, New Order, The Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets and more were part of an explosive mix.  Oasis.  The Verve.  Happy Mondays.  Even Take That drew it's members from satellite towns. Those … Continue reading Bastion

Gotham & Gothic

One of the things that struck me on my recent visit to Dublin was that there are some wonderful old buildings and some impressive modern buildings, but that they often seem to be juxtaposed without any thought as to how they fit together. A street of old brick town houses might be interrupted by a … Continue reading Gotham & Gothic

Manc de Ville

Having written about Manchester's grand hotel, I thought I'd continue the theme and tackle their Hôtel de Ville (a tenuous link I know). The French term for a town or city hall seems appropriate when you look a the magnificent Hôtel de Ville in Paris and then compare it to the Town Hall in Manchester.  Each is … Continue reading Manc de Ville

Geographically Misleading

And so to the Manchester Hotel I mentioned earlier. In 1983 I was a contestant on a TV programme in the UK called The Krypton Factor.  We can draw a veil over my performance at this stage, but one of the memorable elements of the whole experience was that the contestants and their families were … Continue reading Geographically Misleading