Visit Canal Street. It's the...
Visit Canal Street. It's the lively heart of the town, full of pubs and colourful people. It's always buzzing until late. I arrived on Sunday afternoon in a mini heatwave during the Commonwealth Games and spent the next day at Sportcity (where the stadium is located)in the baking sunshine soaking up the hospitality of the Commonwealth Games volunteers, who were the cheeriest, friendliest people I've ever met. Who said it's grim up North? Well done Manchester for making everyone so welcome.
The 'Madchester' music scene developed in the late 1980's and early 1990's in Manchester, centered around Tony Wilson and Factory Records. The musical style of 'Madchester' was a micture of indie rock, psychadelic rock and dance music. The major artists assosciated with the scene were The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, The Charlatans, 808 State and A Guy Called Gerald, to name but a few. The Haçienda night club, owned by Factory Records, was the spiritual home of the followers of this scene. Manchester music had been dominated by the post punk era indie bands such as The Smiths, New Order and The Fall immediately before this period and were a great influence on the Madchester bands.
In 1988, a number of songs came together to form the begining of the Madchester scene, most notably 'Elephant Stone' by The Stone Roses, 'Wrote for Luck' by The Happy Mondays and 'Voodoo Ray' by A Guy Called Gerald.
The end of 1989 saw Madchester achieve country-wide dominance, with 'Move' by Inspiral Carpets, 'Pacific' by 808 State, 'The Madchester Rave On EP' by The Happy Mondays and 'Fools Gold/What The World Is Waiting For' by the Stone Roses all being released now. It was the Mondays record which coined the word Madchester, as it had previously been suggested as a T-Shirt slogan for them by the Bailey Brothers, their video producers.
Madchester peaked in 1990, but after that the scene began to deteriorate. The Haçienda closed its doors in 1997 after Factory Records went bust, and Manchester then lost much of its musical importance.
However, the Madchester bands are still extremely popular, and Manchester still has a thriving music scene, with bands such as Oasis still world-wide superstars.
Cricket at Old Trafford
Cricket is a very English game, more popular in our commonwealth countries than here in the UK. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Pakistan all have good cricket teams. The game is practically unheard of in the USA. So for those people here is a brief explanation of probably the world's most complicated sport!
Two teams of 11 take turns to bat and bowl. The batting team send 2 men at a time onto the field to stand in front of a wicket at each end holding a bat. A wicket is 3 stumps of wood with small pieces of wood or bales resting on top. The bowler from the other team throws a ball aiming at the wicket and the batsman has to try and hit the ball. If the ball hits the wicket or certain parts of the batsman then the batsman is out and is replaced by another one. If the batsman hits the ball and it goes far enough then both batsmen run to the other wicket. They can run just once or more times if the ball has gone farther. If the batsman hits the ball over the boundary of the field and it bounces he is awarded 4 runs, if he hits it over the boundary without it bouncing this is 6 runs. If the ball is caught by the other team then the batsman is out. When 10 members of the batting team are out the other team bats and they bowl. The game is won by the team who have scored the most runs with the least batsmen being out.
Matches vary in length - test matches last 5 days from 10am to around 6pm, 20/20 matches are around half a day and there are also one day matches. In the UK cricket teams are organised into counties - Warwickshire, Kent etc rather than towns or cities.
Old Trafford cricket ground is the home of Lancashire county cricket club and we have some very good players in the team. Two of Englands International team players play for Lancashire - Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson.
Watching a game of cricket in the summer (!) can be a really good day out. I like to go to the "test" matches which are the 5 day games between 2 international teams. It is very relaxing - spectators can drink while the game is playing and there are lunch and tea breaks. Some of the spectators get dressed up in fancy dress costumes. As the day goes on some of the crowd get very drunk as we Brits like to do at these events but generally it is all very English and jolly.
The problem I had here, was how to pronounce this town. I was told about it and before making Manchester, I wanted to see BURY Pronounced "Berry". One if the biggest institutions is the the FairField Central Hospital Shown in this pics.
Isn't really the best.
Located in the heart of the city, the Arndale Centre in a way dominates the shopping area of the citycentre. With its completion in 1979, it is one of the largest covered shopping centre in Europe. After the 1996 IRA bombing at the Arndale Centre Bus Station, the shopping centre has now got a face-lift and looks better than ever now! The Arndale Centre may well have all the shops you need, but to be honest, they are the same shops you will find in any city centre throughout the UK. Yes, they are all under one roof. The focal point has to be the great aroma from Millies Cookies floating around, so make sure you don't leave the place without getting some!