Our 1st modern art gallery on the way!
Londoners had a sneak peek at one of Britian's largest modern art hordes when Frank Cohen lent out 30 pieces for the Art Fortnight event in summer 2004.
A collection rivalled only by Charles Saatchi, Cohen has purchased rarely seen work by Grayson Perry, Jake & Dinos Chapman and Takashi Murakami. And since Saatchi's warehouse fire, you can be sure some of these works are even more prized!
The collector has announced his intentions to open a gallery in Manchester as a permanent home for his art, at a site in the developing Spinningfield neighbourhood.
Watch this space!
Votes for Woman
The Free Trade Hall now still stands on the site of the Peterloo Massacre. Here on 13 October 1905 Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney, armed with a banner painted with 'Votes for Women' shouted their question to the Liberals in their meeting - 'Will the Liberal Government give women the vote?' The incident concluded with Christabel and Annie being thrown out, Christabel spitting on a policeman and both of them spending that night in prison.
It was before this pivotal incident however that in October 1903, Emmeline Pankhurst, her daughters Christabel, Sylvia and Adela, Pattie Hall and a small number of other women founded the women only Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) actually in the house which is now a museum and women's centre on Nelson Street.
The Pankhurst Centre - 60-62 Nelson Street, Manchester, tel: 0161 273 5673
The Jerusalem of British Football
For many people across the UK, Manchester is simply associated with two words: Manchester United. You either love 'em or hate 'em. For North Americans, only the New York Yankees can really compare to these mixed passions.
One of the most successful clubs out of all of Britain and perhaps Europe's various clubs, Manchester United are known for their aggressive attacks, trademark red and white jerseys, fanatical fans. David Beckham, once Manchester United and perhaps Britain's best and most famous player at the moment, sadly transfered to a team in Madrid in 2003.
Manchester is also home of football club Manchester City, who remain arch rivals of United, although at this time, their record wasn't as good.
Old Trafford, United's home playing field, is hollowed ground for British football fans, much like Lambeau Field and Fennway Park are for American sports fans. "The Theatre of Dreams," as it's sometimes known, is the largest football stadium in England. Many important events throughout the Beautiful Game's history have taken place on its field.
Last but not least, perhaps one of the best ways for someone like yourself who may come from a country where soccer isn't a passion, and who doesn't have the time to see a home game, the best way to experience this is any major pub or club, where big-screen TVs show the game live as it happens. There you'll experience a truly unique, foreign but otherwise familiar feeling, as the crowd shouts, ooooohs, and anticipates the next goal. Even if you don't know the players' names or the teams or even how British football clubs operate, you'll soon find yourself truly locked in the excitement of the crowd and moment. I highly recommend it! Throughout Manchester and the surrounding region, you can purchase footballs and Manchester City/United football jerseys in sports-related outlets. Don't be surprised if you see a lot of pictures of football players in the stores as well as in pubs: very often they're like the lifeblood of the city.
East Lancashire Railway
If you like railways from the 1950's and 60's then you may enjoy a visit to the East Lancashire Railway in Bury - preserved steam and diesel locomotives haul old carriages from Bury Bolton Street station through the Irwell Valley- the trip to the end-of-the-line at Rawtenstall takes 35 minutes or you can get off at one of the stops along the way and explore the area. The website below provides details of schedules and fares and whether the train is steam or diesel hauled.
If you do go, be sure to pay a visit to the Trackside bar on platform 2 (see 'more photos') - it offers a variety of real ales and food is available.
Directions - from Manchester centre, take the Metrolink tram to Bury, then it's just a 5 minute walk to Bury Bolton Street train station
If you are into Sports Memorabilia
I thought I knew all the shops in Manchester were, but new shops in Manchester seem to spring up without warning. Yesterday I noticed this place, its quite small (on two floors) but full of sports (mainly football) memorabilia. It has a quite a strong Manchester United/City influence as you might expect but there are loads of pictures that may take your fancy. There were also a few autographed James Bond pics and some music pictures. If you go downstairs there is a mini catelogue of British football league grounds priced at forty pounds. Prices vary dramatically but nothing comes cheap here and most items would be too large to carry all the way home.