We met at Jenny’s Restaurant, part of The Britannia Hotel in the centre of Manchester. They have a three course self-service buffet style meal for £7.50. It’s excellent value and we all enjoyed it.
We then made our way to the Greater Manchester Police Museum, located on Newton Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It is a short walk from the restaurant. This former police station was built in 1879, but closed in 1978.
Today it is the Greater Manchester Police Museum with archives detailing the history of policing in the area.
Our guide, Allan, brought history back to life at the Police Museum, with lots of information and interesting stories. Imagine stepping back in time to a Victorian Manchester, not the city of commerce and corporate splendour but a hidden city of gas lamps and narrow alleys, of slums and unruly alehouses. Now imagine a busy police station in the heart of that city from where police officers arrested criminals and upheld the law.
Upon its conversion to a museum in 1981 the interior was redesigned to reflect its past and now serves as a reminder of Victorian policing. The building was Grade II listed in 1994 as the Former Newton Street Police Station.
One of the exhibits is a helmet named “Bobby Dazzler”, one of two helmets worn by officers to recreate Banksy’s “Kissing Coppers” mural at Manchester Pride 2016. Each helmet is made of 5,000 reflective tiles
“Kissing Coppers” is a Banksy stencil that pictures two British policeman kissing. It was originally unveiled on the wall of The Prince Albert pub in Brighton in 2004 and gained significant attention due to Banksy’s notoriety as a provocative street artist and activist. “Kissing Coppers” has frequently been regarded as one of Banksy’s most notable works, so much so that it was selected as the most iconic British piece of art at The Other Art Fair in London.
We saw the charging room, cells and the court room. Altogether it was a very interesting visit.
More photos can be seen here.
World AIDS Day
This year marks 40 years of the HIV response. Whilst medical treatment has developed so much that an HIV diagnosis no longer means a death sentence, there’s still work to do in raising awareness and understanding of HIV, fighting stigma and discrimination and inspiring people living with HIV to live healthy and confident lives.
This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the urgent need to end the inequalities that drive AIDS and other pandemics around the world.
Without bold action against inequalities, the world risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030, as well as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a spiralling social and economic crisis.
Forty years since the first AIDS cases were reported, HIV still threatens the world. Today, the world is off track from delivering on the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030 not because of a lack of knowledge or tools to beat AIDS, but because of structural inequalities that obstruct proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment.
Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be ended as a matter of urgency if we are to end AIDS by 2030.
Although there is a perception that a time of crisis is not the right time to prioritise tackling the underlying social injustices, it is clear that without doing so the crisis cannot be overcome.
Tackling inequalities is a long-standing global promise, the urgency of which has only increased. In 2015, all countries pledged to reduce inequalities within and between countries as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
As well as being central to ending AIDS, tackling inequalities will advance the human rights of key populations and people who are living with HIV, make societies better prepared to beat COVID-19 and other pandemics and support economic recovery and stability. Fulfilling the promise to tackle inequalities will save millions of lives and will benefit society as a whole.
But ending inequalities requires transformative change. Political, economic and social policies need to protect the rights of everyone and pay attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalised communities.
We know how to beat AIDS, we know what the inequalities obstructing progress are and we know how to tackle them. The policies to address inequalities can be implemented, but they require leaders to be bold.
Governments must now move from commitment to action. Governments must promote inclusive social and economic growth. They must eliminate discriminatory laws, policies and practices in order to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities. It is time for governments to keep their promises. They must act now, and we must make them accountable.
Five Facts about HIV
1) HIV is an easily managed medical condition when diagnosed early.
2) People who don’t know that they’re HIV positive are more likely to pass it on during sex.
3) People living with HIV and taking effective treatment cannot pass HIV on to anyone else. U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable).
4) HIV discrimination and stigma haven’t gone away.
5) Testing for HIV has never been easier.
Out Late is a film by Beatrice Alda and Jennifer Brooke, made in 2008. Watch the trailer here:
Out Late is an inspirational and moving documentary about five individuals who made the courageous and life-altering decision to come out as lesbian, gay or transgender, after the age of 55.
Why did they wait until their 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s to come out? And what was the turning point that caused each of them to openly declare their sexuality? From Canada to Florida to Kansas, we explore what ultimately led these dynamic individuals to make the liberating choice to live openly and honestly amongst their family, friends and community, perhaps for the first time in their lives. Their stories are nothing less than extraordinary.
It’s available to rent or buy here.