Wythenshawe Hall listed on Historic England at risk register

DSC_0001_5Wythenshawe Hall, which was ravaged by a fire in March  has been added to the Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register for the North West.

The historic Tudor hall, built in the 1530s was added to the new list published today which provides a snapshot of buildings at risk of being lost to the nation.

The fire, in March, caused severe damage the roof and part of the original building.

But Manchester City Council has been working with the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall group to restore the Hall to its former glory, and the Tenants Hall was re-opened within months of the blaze.

Members of the Friends group have continued to hold open days and are raising cash to ensure the building rises from the ashes.They are working with the council to identify a sustainable long term use for the building after the restoration.

Police have charged a man with arson who will stand trial in January.


Wythenshawe’s urban poet masterminds exhibition of homeless artists


Words: Alice McAlpine,     Pictures: Conrad Bower

14795801_10157658934260054_549613596_oAn exhibition of work from Manchester’s homeless artists is currently on display at Nexus Art Cafe in the city’s Northern Quarter. It will be available to buy until the 22 October. The money raised will be used to buy vital winter provisions for the homeless. 

The exhibition features work produced in homeless centres, including The Booth Centre and The Mustard Tree, as well as the work of individual artists submitted independently. The artwork has been drawn together to form the Back Inside The Box exhibition, masterminded by ‘Urban Poet’ Ged Austin and producer Brogan Fox.

Ged, from Wythenshawe, explained how the original project, which started last year, was prompted by a series of incidents in Manchester City Centre involving homeless camps and campaigns.

“We came up with the idea last year, when homeless activists were getting kicked out of tents by bailiffs, and people were being really roughly treated. Read More…

REVIEW: All or Nothing @ The Opera House, Manchester

aon-bournemouth-june-2016-613To Mod fans, Small Faces will be a forever a part of their musical and cultural identity with their classic songs as important trademark parkas and Lambrettas.

And they would not be disappointed with this fantastic and often touching celebration of their music brought to the stage by director Tony McHale.

The story is told from the point of view of a 44-year-old Steve Marriot looking back on those raucous and whirlwind four years in the lives of the young musicians who burst on the scene in the sixties to follow their dreams of making great music, only to enter a world of exploitation ultimately ending in tragedy.

Bringing to life those timeless classics – Whatcha Gonna Do About It, Tin Soldier, Lazy Sunday, Here Comes the Nice, Itchycoo Park and of course All or Nothing – the play successfully strikes a balance between musical celebration and a poignant portrayal of betrayal and tragedy with some amazing performance from a very strong cast.

The stand-out performance is Chris Simmons as the older Steve taking on the role of narrator sliding gradually into booze and drug induced oblivion, reflecting the fate of the tragic singer.

For anyone interested in the music and culture of the sixties this is a must-see show, with references to such musical legends as Sonny and Cher and Dusty Springfield.

Tragedy is a definite theme of the production but I wouldn’t want to give the impression the show is in any way maudlin or depressing. What shines through above all else is the power of that great music and why it should be celebrated.

Runs till Saturday October 22

Dave Toomer


Police appeal for help to trace vulnerable missing Benchill man

14650036_1347688581938253_5845393673221477275_nPolice are asking for help to trace a vulnerable 23-year-old man who has been missing from his home in Benchill.

It is possible the missing man, Jacub Gogol who is in need of medical assistance, is sleeping rough in a tent in the Wythenshawe area.

Jacub is a white Polish man with long, dark blonde/light brown hair. He was last seen wearing a long sleeved black top, black jeans and dark trainers. It is possible he may have been sighted in the Wythenshawe Park area.

Police said: “We are appealing to the public in particular dog walkers who may be familiar with local wooded areas in Wythenshawe who may have noticed this male or seen a tent on their travels.

“We are asking that you contact the Police on 101 or 856 4882 quote log no 1942 06/10/16 if you see him/a tent or have any information as to his whereabouts.”

After 10 years helping cancer sufferers, Glenn retires to new life in the sun


Glenn Dawson and Richard Hunt

A Macmillan advice worker based at Wythenshawe Hospital who has helped ease the money worries for people affected by cancer by securing extra benefits, is retiring to the sun after 10 years service. 

Glenn Dawson, 58, is a member of a Macmillan team dedicated to helping people secure government grants and benefits to help reduce the financial problems caused by a cancer diagnosis. 

He devoted his days to help Manchester residents receive the support they need, after losing his wife Emma, 58, to bowel cancer in 2011, and experiencing money worries first hand. 

Since then he has personally secured more than £16 million in benefits for people affected by cancer through working for the service, based at North Manchester General Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary and University Hospital of South Manchester in Wythenshawe. 

He said: “The role of a benefits advisor is very important, as more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer every day. In a lot of cases some people have never claimed benefits before, or never thought they would have to, and that’s when we can help support them and secure the benefits or grants they are entitled to.

“I will really miss being part of the Macmillan advice team in Manchester, which provides such a vital service. But I feel a real sense of achievement, to not only have helped raise more than £16 million in benefits for people affected by cancer, but to know the service we provide has such a massive impact on their lives.”

Glenn, who has two children and a grandchild, and was part of the team that started the Macmillan Benefits Helpline, is retiring to Portugal with his wife, Linda, where he plans to work in property management and run karaoke nights in their local bar.

Richard Hunt, Macmillan Partnership Manager for Greater Manchester, added: “I’d like to thank Glenn for his unwavering and dedicated support, both professionally and personally, over the last 10 years. He has been a fantastic asset to the team, and a great ambassador for Macmillan, and he has helped provide vital financial support and advice to thousands of people affected by cancer in Manchester, when they have needed it most.”

 The Macmillan Advice Service in Manchester, which is provided by Manchester City Council and funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, works to help address the financial needs of people affected by cancer.

 It was launched in 2006 and has raised more than £52 million in extra benefits for people affected by cancer over the past decade.

 For further advice, or to make an appointment to see an advisor, contact North Manchester General Hospital on 0161 922 3517, Manchester Royal Infirmary on 0161 276 3244 / 3246 or University Hospital of South Manchester on 0161 291 4931 / 2165.

150,000 people expected to gather in Manchester to celebrate Olympic heroes

Wythenshawe councillor, Sue Murphy is urging everyone to cheer on Britain’s Olympic heroes when they parade in Manchester today.

Cllr Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We are so proud to host the national parade for our Olympic and Paralympic Heroes and I’d like to encourage as many people as are able to get out into the city centre and cheer on the athletes.

“The event in Albert Square will be a fantastic show and we’re all looking forward to hearing from some of the biggest names of the Games. Albert Square will be busy but there will also be big screens across the city centre, which will give some of the best views of the event.”

Manchester is hosting the spectacular event when more than 150,000 people are to join in the celebration saluting the record-breaking Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

Olympic and Paralympic stars, Jessica Ennis Hill, Dame Sarah Storey, Max Whitlock, Jade Jones, Nicola Adams, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Nick Skelton, Jonnie Peacock, Jody Cundy, Ellie Robinson, Ellie Simmonds, Jack Laugher, Richard Whitehead and Team GB’s Women’s Hockey Team will be amongst the roster of athletes being celebrated.

Thousands of people are expected for Manchester’s Heroes Parade where hundreds of Olympic and Paralympic athletes will tour the city centre from 4.30pm followed by an event in Albert Square, outside the iconic Manchester Town Hall from 5.30pm.

Match of the Day favourite Mark Chapman and Blue Peter star Helen Skelton will host the Albert Square celebration, welcoming the athletes on stage and interviewing some of the biggest names of the Games.

Rebecca Ferguson will perform live, singing some of their best known hits to the crowds in Albert Square.

The Welshmen behind the Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir will also be on hand to add their atmospheric tones to the event, which will be topped off with a grand finale.

The event is completely free, but capacity is limited in Albert Square and access will be restricted when the space is full and screens will be at Deansgate – at John Rylands & Armani; Cathedral Gardens; Exchange Square; and Cross Street – atthe junction of South King Street

The parade itself will begin at Liverpool Road, down the length of Deansgate to Hunts Bank, round to Corporation Street, Cross Street and into Albert Square.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: “Our Olympic and Paralympic heroes made the nation proud with their dedication, talent and incredible success in Rio. Now is the time for the public to come out on to the streets of Manchester and show their appreciation for these amazing athletes.”

Businessman bids for funds for invention to put brakes on bike thefts

obaidah-and-bike-2A Wythenshawe entrepreneur is hoping his brand new invention will help to cut cycle thefts in Manchester and across the UK.

Obaidah Sheikh, 22, came up with the idea for the ‘Stingray’ after having his own bike stolen three times – once by a gang of men who pushed him to the floor.

The device, which has launched on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, combines a powerful front light with a motion sensor which triggers a 140db alarm – right into the face of the crook. Read More…

%d bloggers like this: