Corona virus (COVID-19)

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I have become aware that some organisations (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Cares, Talking About My Generation) have taken the decision to cancel events or meetings due to the corona virus (currently until the end of April).

Currently our meetings will continue, but we will need to check if the situation changes.

I think each person has to make their own decision on whether or not to attend future meetings and trips of Out In The City.

Everyone can help support the response to the coronavirus by:

  • following public health authorities’ advice, for example on hand washing
  • reducing the impact and spread of misinformation by relying on information from trusted sources, such as that on http://www.nhs.uk/ or http://www.gov.uk/
  • checking and following the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice when travelling and planning to travel
  • ensuring your vaccinations are up to date as this will help reduce the pressure on the NHS through reducing vaccine-preventable diseases
  • checking on elderly or vulnerable family, friends and neighbours
  • using NHS 111 (including online, where possible), pharmacies and GPs responsibly, and go to the hospital only when you really need to. This is further explained on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/urgent-andemergencycare/when-to-go-to-ae/
  • being understanding of the pressures the health and social care systems may be under, and receptive to changes that may be needed to the provision of care to you
  • accepting that the advice for managing COVID-19 for most people will be self isolation at home and simple over the counter medicines
  • checking for new advice as the situation changes.

St Helen’s Glass … and a bit of a catch up

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International Women’s Day – 8 March 2020

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been celebrated globally every year on 8 March since 1910 and is intended as a chance to champion gender equality and women’s rights, galvanising the movement for gender equality.

This year’s theme was around equality and choosing to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

Unsurprisingly, internet trolls and men’s rights activists seek to undermine this one day dedicated to women by taking to social media to respond to IWD tweets by asking: “When is International Men’s Day?” According to Google Trends, International Men’s Day was the number one trending topic in the UK, with thousands of searches for the term.

International Men’s Day does in fact exist. It takes place every year on 19 November. They will be asking about “Straight Pride” next.

Birthday Celebrations – 11 March 2020

Between 10 March and 16 March 2020, six members of Out In The City are having birthdays! We will be 65, 72, 72, 68, 54 and 80 – a grand total of 411 years!
For more photos click here
Trips & Adventures – 12 March 2020

We travelled to St Helens via Wigan North West on one of the windiest days of the year. It was sunny but cold and on the way home there was a little drizzle revealing a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

St Helens developed rapidly in the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries into a significant centre for coal mining and glassmaking. It was also home to a cotton and linen industry (notably sail making) that lasted until the mid-19th century as well as salt, lime and alkali pits, copper smelting, and brewing.

Glass producer Pilkington is the town’s only remaining large industrial employer.

After dining at The Glass House (the local Wetherspoons pub), we walked the short distance to The World of Glass Museum.

We enjoyed a glass blowing demonstration and a film before looking at the exhibitions and the tunnels showing the remains of the original kilns and buildings

For more photos click here

Dippy on tour!

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Trips & Adventures – 5 March 2020

The Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus cast, is going on a natural history adventure across the UK. “Dippy” lived in London for over 100 years but now he’s on an adventure around the UK. Following his visits to Dorchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Cardiff, “Dippy” had arrived at Number One, Riverside, Rochdale.

Nine intrepid explorers made their way by train, tram and foot. We followed the footprints and gasped when we discovered:

We had set off from Victoria Train Station, but on the last part of our journey, we took the tram passing the Hippodrome Cinema (now demolished), the Essoldo Cinema (now demolished) and the last ABC Cinema in Greater Manchester (now the Regal Moon – a Wetherspoon’s pub).

On our way to the Baum pub on Toad Lane, we passed the Town Hall and the Gracie Fields statue. Rochdale Town Hall was said to have been on the Nazi shopping list, due to its impressive architecture. Hitler admired it so much he wanted to dismantle it brick by brick and rebuild it in the giant new capital city of the Third Reich – Germania – which would have featured buildings from conquered territories.

The Baum pub is highly recommended, although it’s a bit out of the way and a little difficult to find. The pub was crowned winner of the national pub of the year competition by real ale group Camra, due to its range of beers, atmosphere and warm welcome to customers. The pub has old world charm and the food was excellent.

We visited The Touchstone’s Museum before making our way back to Manchester.

For more photos please click here
For details of our next outings please click here

National Coalmining Museum, Wakefield

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Trips & Adventures 

Last year Manchester Pride gave out 53 grants to LGBTQ+ community groups, organisations and charities for projects and initiatives in Greater Manchester including Out In The City. We are very grateful for the grant and would like to thank Manchester Pride. The money was used to fund visits and trips for our members.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

A small number of us went to The Bridgewater Hall to see the Royal Northern College of Music Opera Gala. The group featured a soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and baritone. We were treated to short pieces by Verdi, Gounod, Mozart, Bizet, Handel & Tchaikovsky amongst others. It was excellent and we all thought it was the best concert we had seen at The Bridgewater Hall.

Sunday 23 February 2020

Pauline and Albert were Guests of Honour at Old Trafford for Manchester United’s home game against Watford. Age UK, Cadburys and Manchester United decided to have eleven older fans, instead of children, as the mascots to greet the players on the pitch. They were originally called ambassadors and then became Guests of Honour. Out of the eleven, two were LGBT!!!

They each had a guest who joined them for the day and they were picked up by a limousine in the morning and taken home by the same car after the game. They were given enormous respect and hospitality throughout the day. Pauline said: “It was like winning the lottery. If you had asked any of us growing up in the 1950s as small children if we could ever walk out on the pitch with “our team” … we would have thought that was a fantasy. Yesterday our dreams came true. I have been a Red for 66 years now.”

All eleven were photographed and filmed. They spent the day practising to be in position for the game, then actually shaking hands with all the players and the manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and then watching the game with their guests in fabulous seats. They also found time for the complimentary food and drinks of course! Pauline added: “Being on the pitch in front of 73,000 plus people was both special and unique. And the big bonus was winning 3-0 with three fabulous goals”.

During the course of the game Carole and Pauline were asked to be on BBC Breakfast This Morning. The topic was loneliness amongst older people.

 

On This Morning Carole and Pauline both talked about how new doors have opened in their lives and Pauline also promoted the LGBT community including Out In The City. They were also interviewed by MUTV as well.

27 February 2020

I have struggled to download the photos from “Whats App” about the trip to the National Coalmining Museum, hence the delay in this post. I will post the photos another time when I can access them. But there’s one or two from Facebook and the internet.

We travelled by tram, two trains and two buses and eventually arrived at the National Coalmining Museum. We had a nice lunch in the cafe and ended up a bit late for our tour ‘darn pit’ at 2.00pm. Our guide, an ex-miner with a ‘reyt’ broad accent, was a bit annoyed as he confiscated our ‘contraband’ (watches, phones, cameras and rucksacks). He told us Manchester people about electricity as if it were a modern technology that we had never heard of!

However with loads of experience under his somewhat heavy tool belt, he soon lightened up as we squeezed into the lift cage taking us 160 metres below ground. (Blackpool Tower is 158 metres tall!)

He got us to “shut that door” in the style of Larry Grayson and led us through narrow passages as he gave us a talk through 180 years of mining, explaining the origin of the expression ‘shut tha’ trap’ when families (including women and children) worked in the pitch black mines for twelve hour shifts and the only schooling was on Sunday.

The Mines and Collieries Act 1842 barred women, girls and boys under 10 (later amended to 13) from working underground, leading to the widespread use of horses and ponies in mining in England. Sadly, the pit ponies often went down the pits for life.

When we were ‘done and dusted’ we were free to explore life above ground. We all agreed it was a great day out.

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery

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Trips & Adventures – 20 February 2020

The train from Manchester Piccadilly to Warrington was so crowded that most of us had to stand, but the journey took just over twenty minutes, so it wasn’t too bad.

We walked from the station, through the shopping centre to avoid the rain, and ended up at The White Hart, a nice quiet pub. There was table service and the food was really high quality. Most of us chose jacket potatoes with various fillings which we enjoyed, but Walter had steak and ale pie and huge chunky chips. However, they forgot to put Peter’s meal through the till, so he wasn’t served until most of us had finished our meals! In the circumstances he was given a free meal.

We then walked to the Warrington Museum and Art Gallery to view an exhibition of paintings by Eric Tucker, known as “The Unseen Artist”. This special exhibition features work by Warrington artist Eric Tucker, whose prolific talent came to light after his death – family members discovered several hundred paintings and thousands of drawings while clearing out his home.

He has been dubbed Warrington’s ”secret Lowry” in recognition of his chosen topic – working-class life in a Northern town, from the smoky pub to the bustling street scene. Following a pop-up exhibition in Eric Tucker’s home last year, this is the first opportunity for the public to see a much wider selection of the artist’s work. We thought that the paintings also had the style of Beryl Cook.

His paintings show pubs filled with cigarette smoke as couples chat or men huddle together in groups, wearing flat caps, relaxing and enjoying themselves.

Eric Tucker lived with his mother and his stepfather before they died and he never married. He has been described as a “complex character and there was a lot of sadness in his life”. While “funny, sociable and affable”, he was also “shy and diffident and a bit of a loner”.

After our visit we went through the old fish market, and had a photograph at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the Golden Square shopping centre. The sculpture was fashioned in stone by Edwin Russell and depicts Alice joining the March Hare, Dormouse and the Mad Hatter for a tea party. Alice looks distinctly bemused, rather than amused!

For more photos please click here

For details of next outings, please click here