FACT Liverpool

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Trips & Adventures – 5 December 2019

We travelled by train from Manchester to Liverpool Lime Street, and then walked to FACT (The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology).

Before viewing the exhibition “You Feel Me” we made our way to the Garden Cafe for delicious butternut squash soup. It was so good I’m sure that Mary Berry or Jamie Oliver would have approved. This was followed by a variety of sandwiches – halloumi, bacon or tuna. In the cafe there was a profusion of greenery, but to be fair, there aren’t quite enough plants to warrant the name “garden”.

Red button alert:

What a coincidence – we were in a cafe called “The Garden”, whilst last Sunday I went to see a Derek Jarman film called “The Garden” and last week we visited the Portico Library which had a section called “The Garden”.

 

The exhibition was interesting and our guide, Joan, was very enthusiastic and informative. We started off in the Learning Space, which is an area where people can explore and create together. At the heart of this space is a new mural by illustrator Laura Callaghan. her vibrant dense artwork focuses on the lives, labours and rituals of those who identify as female and non-binary.

We snuck into the exhibition spaces which featured painting, ceramics, video, virtual reality, game design and sound by a group of seven artists critiquing and disrupting dominant systems of control.

We were given a treat by visiting the projection room which featured not only digital equipment, but also analog equipment. FACT is about to present Peter Jackson’s original Middle Earth saga “The Lord of the Rings” in its entirety on 35mm print. They are one of the few cinemas outside London which can show films on 70mm print, and had a copy of “My Fair Lady” on 70mm.

We stopped off at a hostelry on Bold Street before making our way back home.

For more photos click here

World HIV Day events

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There were lots of events this weekend for World HIV Day in Manchester.

The UK AIDS Memorial Quilt Trail had panels in 12 Greater Manchester locations, including HOME, Central Library, Manchester Art Gallery and the Cathedral.
To Whom It May Concern by Jordan Roberts
There was a launch event for a new art project with portraits and letters by people living with HIV in Manchester. The event included talks, poetry performance, drag, vogueing, interview panels and music.
The film The Garden by Derek Jarman was shown at Cultureplex.
Jarman subjectively explored a series of issues, from Section 28 to witch-hunting attitudes towards gay priests, and his own impending mortality.
Still Beginning at Cultureplex was a programme of seven new short films from Visual AIDS New York covering diverse aspects of HIV work and action from anti-stigma work to public sex culture, highlighting pioneering activism.
The videos by Shanti Avirgan, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Carl George, Viva Ruiz, Iman Shervington, Jack Waters/Victor F M Torres, and Derrick Woods-Morrow will be available on-line soon.
World HIV Day Vigil in Sackville Park
The annual inspirational memorial service was held with George House Trust and special guests.
Reading The Epidemic at Cultureplex featured special guests reading and talking about HIV and AIDS past and present using poetry, education, memoir and personal testimony.

 

Mystery trip

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Trips & Adventures – 28 November 2019

Passports – check, walking boots – check, umbrellas – check. We were ready for our mystery trip. Were we going to Tony’s house for tea and cakes? Were we visiting a tattoo studio to get matching “Out In The City” tattoos? Actually, nine brave souls solved the first mystery – which was to find Stand J at Piccadilly Bus Station in the centre of Manchester.

A couple of minutes walk away on Charlotte Street is the “hidden gem” of The Portico Library, an independent subscription library designed in the Greek Revival style by Thomas Harrison of Chester and built between 1802 and 1806. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a Grade II* listed building and has been described as “the most refined little building in Manchester”.

The library was established as a result of a meeting of Manchester businessmen in 1802 which resolved to found an “institute uniting the advantages of a newsroom and a library”. A visit by four of the men to the Athenaeum in Liverpool inspired them to achieve a similar institution in Manchester. Money was raised through 400 subscriptions from Manchester men and the library opened in 1806.

The library is mainly focused on 19th-century literature, and the first secretary was Peter Mark Roget who began his thesaurus here.

Other notable members include John Dalton, Reverend William Gaskell, Sir Robert Peel and more recently Eric Cantona.

We enjoyed tomato and basil soup and a range of delicious sandwiches with our teas and coffees. Whilst soaking up the relaxing atmosphere, Michelle told us about the history of the building and some of the incredible books in the collection.

Part two of our mystery trip was to visit Gaydio, the UK’s first LGBT FM radio service which launched full-time on 18 June 2010.

The station attracts around 850,000 listeners per month, making it one of the biggest LGBT media platforms in the UK. Matt, who presents the morning Breakfast Show, gave us a talk and a tour of the studio. Gaydio is broadcast on 88.4 FM in Greater Manchester, as well as online and via mobile apps. We were made thoroughly welcome and really enjoyed our visit.

Finally, we popped into The Richmond Tea Rooms in the heart of Manchester’s gay village for refreshments and rather large slices of cake!

More photos can be seen here

 

 

 

Clitheroe

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Trips & Adventures – 21 November 2019

We travelled by train from Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe, a town 34 miles north west of Manchester. It’s a little known fact that Jimmy Clitheroe (1921–1973) a comedian well known for his radio shows was born in the town.

The name Clitheroe is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon for “Rocky Hill”, and the town’s most notable building is Clitheroe Castle, said to be one of the smallest Norman keeps in Britain.

Before we climbed the steep hill up to the Castle we stopped off at the “Mechanics Institute”, which served traditional English meals such as steak pie with local homegrown vegetables and sticky toffee pudding with custard.

The climb was worth the effort as the views from the top of the Keep were fantastic. The Castle stands atop a 35-metre outcrop of limestone and is one of the oldest buildings in Lancashire. It is also the only remaining castle in the county which had a royalist garrison during the English Civil War.

According to local legend, stepping stones across the River Ribble near the town are the abode of an evil spirit, who drowns one traveller every seven years. We were lucky though and managed to get back on the train to Manchester.

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The Transgender Day of Remembrance has been observed annually on 20 November as a day to memorialise those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. Out In The City would like to mention this to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.

Marple Bridge

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Trips & Adventures – 14 November 2019

Red button alert: Mr Essoldo left the Out In The City meeting early on Wednesday to travel to Littleborough as a specialist independent bookseller had telephoned him to confirm that his first edition had arrived. Imagine his delight when the Metro newspaper advertised the fact the very next day!

We had arranged to meet at Piccadilly train station near the ticket office to catch the 11.19am train to Marple. We made our way to Platform 1 and sat at the back of the train, but one person was missing. My telephone rang and we discovered that Walter had rushed to the front of the train to see if he could sit on the driver’s knee.

We arrived at Marple railway station about half an hour later and made our way to Marple Bridge, an area downhill from the small town of Marple. The pavements were wet and slippery as the council had neglected to clear the leaves. However, we soon warmed up when we reached the Norfolk Arms. This is a fantastic pub with an open fire, fabulous homemade food and a great atmosphere.

 

Marple Bridge is a predominately stone-built village situated on the banks of the River Goyt, just to the north east of Marple. Historically the location had significance as a bridging point on the route between Stockport and Derbyshire and where water power was available initially for a forge and corn mill. Marple Bridge developed from the 18th century as a small urban centre. Of special importance is the landscape setting of Marple Bridge formed by the steep-sided valley of the River Goyt.

After dining we took a short walk through Marple Bridge, but the weather was not favourable. It was wet and cold, so we ducked into a café for teas and coffees!

Miss Marple is a fictional character in Agatha Christie’s crime novels and short stories. Christie may have taken the name from Marple railway station, through which she passed.

Some members of the group caught an earlier train in order to attend the Older & Bolder meeting at the LGBT Foundation. There was a film screening of Pay It No Mind featuring Marsha P Johnson.

Marsha P Johnson was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. A founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, Johnson co-founded the gay and transvestite advocacy organisation STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera. A popular figure in New York City’s gay and art scene, Johnson modelled for Andy Warhol, and performed onstage with the drag performance troupe Hot Peaches. Known for decades as a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village, Johnson was known as the “mayor of Christopher Street”. From 1987 to 1992, Johnson was an AIDS activist with ACT UP.