Wythenshawe photographer Callum Harrison in with a shot of Image of the Year

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Callum Harrison

Wythenshawe photographer Callum Harrison has reached the final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition.

The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers with overseas members. Each year it runs an on-line monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries.

During 2017, the competition has attracted around 1200 entries per month from the most talented of photographers.

allum’s image, “Precious Metal is one of just 12 selected by the Guild for the final

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said:”One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our monthly competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering. To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year Final is without doubt an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented Callum is.”

Precious

Precious Metal

Callum said: “Believe it or not, this image was shot in Wythenshawe in a make shift studio. I simply love photography and put a lot of effort into developing my skills. One way I do that is to enter the Guild’s competition. It drives forward photography standards month after month so it helps me push myself.

“The images I see getting awards each month are inspirational, so knowing just how high those standards are, to have one of my images shortlisted for the overall Final from the many 1000’s submitted across whole year is really exciting. I couldn’t believe it when I found out.”

Callum’s image along with the others will now be printed ready for the Competition Final in December, when highly regarded Judges will be coming together from across the country and overseas to choose the overall winner. The final outcome will be announced at a lavish Awards night in a magnificent Jacobean mansion in Cheshire on 3rd February 2018.

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Sharston man Junior is Stagecoach champion

Stagecoach Manchester employee Junior Grant was awarded the Silver Community Champion award at the annual Stagecoach Champions Awards.

Junior, from Sharston, has over 38 years’ service with Stagecoach Manchester, and was commended for playing an active role in the Moss Side community. In addition, Junior assists with the Message Trust, which is a Christian charity working to improve the lives of young people, as well as providing the Remembrance services at the depot’s War Memorial.

Junior received a trophy, cash prize and a two night stay in London incorporating the award ceremony.

The event was also attended by TV personality Jessica Wright, who presented winners with their awards. Earlier this year, Jessica took part in a campaign to celebrate the style of Stagecoach’s bus passengers across the UK.

Stagecoach Manchester managing director, Elisabeth Tasker, said: “I’d like to congratulate Junior for his award and specifically for the decades of hard work he has put in to serve and improve his local communities. Junior’s award is proof that the invaluable activities he undertakes, both in and out of work, do not go unnoticed and he continues to be a testament to Stagecoach Manchester.”

Concern for missing man last seen in Wythenshawe

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Missing: Declan Leather

The family of  20-year-old Declan Leather, last seen in Wythenshawe more than a month ago, are becoming increasingly concerned about his welfare.

Declan is from Stretford and was last seen on November 2nd in Wythenshawe.

Police have issued an appeal for information about his whereabouts. He was wearing a black tracksuit with Nike bottoms and a Northface Jacket

A police spokesman said: “Declan may be sleeping rough or sofa surfing but we need to make contact to ensure he is safe and well.

“If you see Declan please ring 101 and quote ref MP/09/0044083”

MP raises “deep concern” over US leaks in the wake of Manchester Arena bomb

wp-1478947269179.jpegWythenshawe MP Mike Kane has signed a joint letter to parliament’s intelligence and security watchdog expressing grave concern about the leaking by US officials of the identity of the Manchester Arena bomber while police were still investigating the atrocity.

Salman Abedi, detonated the bomb, at the Ariana Grande concert, which killed 22 people in May. It was the deadliest attack in Britain since the 7/7 bombings in London.

The New York Times, named the suspected killer as Salman Abedi, and shared pictures of the crime scene hours before Manchester police revealed Abedi’s identity, after the details were leaked by US officials. Non-U.S. media followed, again citing U.S. sources.

It was feared at the time the leaks had compromised the fast-moving investigation by Greater Manchester Police.

Mr Kane signed the letter, along with other Greater Manchester MPs, the Leader of Manchester City Council, Richard Leese and Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham to the chairman of the parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.

And this week the Wythenshawe MP raised the issue with Home Secretary, Amber Rudd during a debate following the release of a report into terror attacks.

Mr Kane said: “Every Greater Manchester MP, Mayor Andy Burnham  and Richard Leese, the leader of the city council, have signed a joint letter to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee expressing  our concern that Salman Abedi’s name was shared with our colleagues in America and subsequently leaked, placing Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and the investigation in an intolerable situation. Does the Home Secretary share our deep concern about that?”

The Home Secretary replied: “Many of us—not least my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister—raised that issue with our opposite numbers, and such leaks are completely unwelcome and inappropriate.

“However, we must not underestimate our incredibly important close relationship with the US on intelligence sharing and support, and we must be cautious of any eventuality that might endanger that relationship. That sort of close intelligence sharing saves lives in this country.”

Shortly after the leak in May Mrs Rudd told the BBC police had been very clear that they wanted to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise and said the leak was  “irritating”.

 

 

REVIEW: Evita @ The Palace, Manchester

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Madalena Alberto as Evita

It was stunning performances by a strong cast that made this production of Evita, a show worth watching.

But seeing for the first time the Rice and Lloyd-Webber take on the woman who battled to escape the obscurity and poverty of her life as a struggling actress to become the spiritual leader of the nation – it simply confirmed my prejudice that the musical theatre legends are really not all their cracked up to be. Read More…

REVIEW: A Christmas Carol @ The Bolton Octagon

Marc Small       Pic: The Other Richard

A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic tale of of redemption which is familiar to almost everyone. It has been done so many times that it is a brave person indeed who decides to attempt to bring it to the stage and make it fresh.

But it is mission accomplished for the Bolton Octagon team who have managed to pull off something quite remarkable for their Christmas production this year.

Bolton writer, Neil Duffield, who adapted the Charles Dickens masterpiece for the stage, is no stranger to children’s productions – and it shows. There is the perfect blend of Dickens’ dark message, playful humour and festive spectacle which makes this just right for children of all ages.

The structure of the story brings a freshness which delight the audience. Dickens’ words come spinning at us through the decades and are remarkably apt. If I’m not mistaken Duffield adds some themes of his own about Scrooge’s cruel observations about the homeless “choosing to sleep” in shop doorways.

The staging is wonderful with some marvellous effects which don’t go over the top and Ben Occhipinti’s direction brings a pace to the the story which has you glancing your watch when we reach the interval, thinking “is it that time already”

Marc Small is excellent as the dour despicable miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, haunted by four ghosts whose task it is to make him see the error of his ways.

We are so familiar with the story we know the outcome, but it is what we encounter on the journey which makes this show such a joy. Special mention has to go to Sue Davaney whose portrayals as the Spirit of Christmas Present, the Charity Lady and Mrs Fezziwig are forces of nature.

A real treat to get you in the festive mood.

Runs till January 13.

Dave Toomer

REVIEW: Cilla the Musical @ The Palace Theatre, Manchester

downloadThe incredible story of the rise to stardom of the nation’s favourite, Cilla Black is brought to the stage at the Palace Theatre in Manchester this week.

And the show is the perfect tribute to one of Liverpool’s finest daughters who made it to the big time from humble beginnings on “Scotty Road”. Read More…

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