The Mancunian Way: Our wettest July ever
Greater Manchester’s rainiest July on record PLUS Parking in town…for a bargain £2,200 AND Corrie clothing line
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Here's the Mancunian Way for today:
Sometimes it’s clear the algorithm is broken isn’t it. Like when Facebook tried to sell me some golf club covers. I’m more of an indoor girl.
Not today though. Today it showed me just what I wanted to see - an advert for Joanie’s new limited edition Coronation Street collection. The cutesy Manchester clothing brand has released a line in collaboration with the soap referencing some of the Street’s most iconic businesses. So you can tog yourself out in a Newton and Ridley jumper, a Roy’s Rolls t-shirt or a Freshco sweatshirt.
You might have to save up though. £50 is quite pricey for a ‘Duckworth Print oversized shirt’. I wonder if Rita would lend me the money? Then again, borrowing money from a pal is never a great idea, as demonstrated by this epic showdown.
Speaking of epic showdowns, chefs Caroline and Martin from Manchester-based bakery Bisous Bisous were on Bake Off: The Professionals again last night and, my goodness, it was tense. I was heavily invested and almost stopped breathing when their nougatine clef note initially appeared to defy physics and then collapsed.
Yes I'm fully aware I need to leave the house but it’s raining constantly.
Speaking of the rain, it was apparently the wettest July on record here in Greater Manchester.
The region had 217.9mm of rain - 242 per cent more than average. The previous record for a wet July had stood for over 100 years. I knew we weren’t all just whingeing about nothing.
Nationally, it was the sixth wettest July on record, with an average of 140.1mm rain. Forecasters say a succession of low pressure systems brought long periods of damp and windy weather to much of the country, making it feel at times more like autumn than summer. It was a sharp contrast to July 2022 - which saw heatwaves and temperatures as high as 40C.
But it is ‘fundamentally not the case’ that July’s wet and windy weather dismisses the influence of climate change, as the Met Office says the UK’s variable climate will continue to have some cooler-than-average months.
“Although July 2023 is considered to be a cooler-than-average July by current standards, for an early climate baseline of 1961-1990, if would have been considered a warmer-than-average July. This a tangible example of how we see the climate changing in our long-term data,” Mike Kendon of the Met Office said.
The cost of parking in Manchester city centre has always been eye-watering, but the prices for some residents now mean they may have to ditch their cars.
Residents living in the Novella building, on the New Bailey estate in Salford, say they were ‘sold’ their flats on the premise of having a half-price ‘residents’ permit’ to park in the NCP car park next door.
NCP initially offered residents an annual parking pass for £1,250. That season pass has now risen to £2,200, meaning some are considering selling their vehicles altogether, as Ethan Davies reports.
To add insult to injury, one resident - whose car was broken into while parked at the site - claims he was told all but two of the CCTV cameras in the multi-storey car park were 'fake'. “The police contacted NCP and there were cameras above my car but NCP said they were fake. They said the only real ones are those going and out of the car park,” he said.
Meanwhile, Novella residents Aaron Eastwood and Joe Lucas say they have no option but to get rid of their Seat Ibiza after the price hike. “They are attracting you to the city centre and then pricing you out while you’re there,” Aaron says. “Ideally we don’t want to have a car, living in the city centre. My partner has to work in Heaton Chapel for St John’s Ambulance.”
NCP bosses have apologised but say the ‘Resident Roving’ season ticket was proving ‘financially unviable’ and has now been discontinued.
Civic leaders in Greater Manchester are formally backing calls for a nationwide ban on disposable vapes. They also want a deposit return scheme to keep the fire hazards out of household and public waste bins.
They say disposable vapes - which use lithium batteries that can explode - are responsible for an 'increasing number of fires at waste management facilities and collection trucks', with 37 fires reported up to June this year alone.
In a bid to deal with the problem, they’re spending £202,522 on thermal imaging cameras for recycling and rubbish disposal centres, as Paul Britton reports. The cost will be split between Greater Manchester Combined Authority and contractor SUEZ.
The fixed cameras are being installed at transfer loading stations at depots. Staff will be able to scan loads before the waste is categorised out for any hot-spots, smouldering or actual fires.
It’s been practically impossible to avoid the hype around the new Barbie movie. So imagine her surprise when Shakila Hussain settled down to watch it at the cinema and noticed her product featured in the film.
Shakila - who is part of the family-run, Gorton-based business Gallant Sports - was stunned when she spotted one of the company’s boxing bags featured numerous times. "During the training session featuring Ryan Gosling we were left in complete shock to see our punch bags featured upfront on the big screen," she told reporter Maisie Lawton.
“It's unbelievable. We're only a small business in comparison to Barbie which is worldwide. We're in shock and excited for being part of this. We'll definitely look back as a moment to be proud of. It's a huge achievement.”
The 200-year-old Red Lion pub, in Withington, has been given the green light to serve alcohol from a bar behind the building, despite objections from neighbours.
The Wilmslow Road pub reopened last year after a £1m revamp, as Joseph Timan reports. It already has a beer garden and, although alcohol could be consumed outside it could not be sold there.
"When the weather is hot, everyone's outside in the garden, so everybody's trying to come from the garden, inside to the bar which creates a bottleneck. It makes it really difficult for people to get served,” JW Lees boss Jacqui Collier told a Manchester Council licensing hearing.
The brewery is trying to attract more families to the Grade-II listed pub, but neighbours have concerns about the beer garden bar attracting 'rowdy customers'. They complained that they 'already suffer from excessive noise' when the beer garden is open during good weather.
Didsbury West councillor John Leech also objected and suggested any outdoor bar should stop serving alcohol by 9.30pm and the beer garden should be shut by 10pm.
Pub bosses say the outdoor bar will stop serving at 10pm with the beer garden closing at 11pm. Councillors approved the premises licence variation, but the licensable area was cut to limit the location of the outdoor bar.
Eurovision legend Conchita Wurst will appear at Manchester Pride this year.
Organisers have announced the final headliners and they include electro artist Alison Goldfrapp and dancer, drag performer and DJ Raven Mandella.
Goldfrapp will be performing on the Saturday night alongside artists including Black Peppa, Jodie Harsh and international drag icon Pabllo Vittar. Mandella will headline Black Pride MCR on the MancUnity Stage, also on Saturday.
They will join the already announced Jake Shears, Gok Wan, Danny Beard, Natasha Bedingfield and Lisa Scott-Lee on this year’s bill.
Pride takes place across the city from August 25 to 28. All the details are here.
And that’s not the only big announcement this week. Organisers of Homobloc have announced the event will return to Mayfield Depot again on November 4, with an all-star lineup including The Blessed Madonna and Peaches.
The ‘queer block party for all’ will also feature Mercury Prize-nominated Jessie Ware, Australian electro band Confidence Man, house legend David Morales, Prosumer, Todd Edwards, Romy and SHERELLE.
Meanwhile, London’s Horse Meat Disco will take over the rooftop space of Mayfield, with a host of programming from cinema screenings, in-session podcasts, talks and acoustic performances to pop-up shops. All the details are here.
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Wednesday: Sunny changing to cloudy by late morning. 20C.
Road closures: A57 Eccles New Road, Weaste, westbound closed due to Metrolink works from James Corbett Road to A5185 Stott Lane. Until Sept 25.
A667 Stoneclough Road, Kearsley, in both directions closed due to roadworks between Brook Street and Quarry Road. Until Oct 1.
Birchfields Road, Levenshulme, northbound closed due to one-way system and roadworks from Moseley Road (Levenshulme) to Dickenson Road (Longsight). Until Aug 4.
Trivia question: Beetham Tower has been known to hum at a standard musical pitch of B3 during high winds. In 2007, it disrupted the filming of which television show? Coronation Street, Cold Feet or Life On Mars?
Revamp: ‘Extensive’ re-roofing works are to be carried out at Ashton-under-Lyne’s Grade-Two listed historic town hall. Tameside Council is endeavouring to repair the iconic building on Market Square after winning nearly £20m in Levelling Up funding in 2021. Previous planning documents had revealed the scale of the works needed to restore the 183-year-old building in the town centre to its former glory. A new application for listed building consent has now been submitted by the local authority which includes ‘extensive re-roofing works’, as well as gutter replacements, localised repairs to stonework and repairs to the main part of the building. More here.
Square: Plans for a new public square in Rochdale have been given the go-ahead. The Station Square project will transform the area leading to the town centre's train station. The council forged ahead with the ambitious plans despite losing out on £20m in ‘Levelling Up’ cash earlier this year. The town hall submitted a planning application for the multi-million pound scheme which includes street art, better signage, enhanced lighting and improved walking and cycling routes. Details here.
Health centre: Building work is set to begin on a long-awaited new health centre which will serve more than 13,000 Oldham residents. The Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership has confirmed that construction of the new Shaw Medical Centre, based at the site of the former Shaw Baths on Westway, is scheduled to start next week. The development, led by United Healthcare Developments Ltd, will begin on-site in August and is due to be completed by the end of summer 2024. Approved in November last year, the brand-new health centre will replace The Village Medical Practice and The Oak Gables Partnership whose shared building has been deemed no longer fit for purpose by health chiefs. More here.
Park: Council bosses have revealed what a brand new six-acre public park in Oldham could look like if plans are given the go-ahead. The local authority is planning to build 'Jubilee Park' on land due to be made vacant after the current Tommyfield Market building is demolished. It forms part of a wider regeneration project for the town, which is also seeing the revamp of Spindles Shopping Centre, and the creation of a new indoor market, and the intention to build thousands of new homes in the centre. The new Jubilee Park will also be created on land occupied by the former Oldham Sports Centre in Lord Street. A planning application has now been lodged by the local authority. Details here.
This feature by nostalgia writer Lee Grimsditch is a fascinating read. He’s been speaking to Lynda Carroll, the landlady of Hulme’s notorious Eagle pub during the 1970s.
She took over The Eagle with her husband Brian in late 1976 at the request of a friend and says she didn’t quite realise the task in hand. "It was okay until we settled in there after about six-months and then thought, 'oh God!'.
“I don't know how I lasted the couple of years I did, it was that rough,” she says, explaining that both she and her husband were physically assaulted during there time as licensees.
"We were quite able to manage it but things got worse in the end - fights and things like that.”
Lynda says The Eagle's reputation as a rough pub was linked to the poverty and drugs that were rife on the surrounding estate. However, she does have happy memories of it.
"It was just the nearest watering hole surrounded by that bullring of flats with nothing else there," she says. "But they made you laugh in their own way, listening to their stories."
You can read the full feature here.
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The answer to today's trivia question is: Coronation Street.