A pest control company has shared ‘shocking’ images from a house they were called to on a job recently.
The property needed cleaning after the owner had suddenly passed away, but when they got there they discovered the house was overrun with rats.
Pro Pest Manchester attended the job last Monday, to be confronted by around 150 rats running around the house, and one-foot of rat droppings covering the ground.
We spoke to Curt Graham from Pro Pest Manchester, who said: “The smell when you walked inside the property was awful, it just hit you.
“There were rats running over your feet, how the poor bloke lived like that I will never know. Something needs to be done, people shouldn’t have to live like this.”
Curt says the owner had been living in these conditions for a few years and must have slipped through the net.
The man had been at the property in Stockport all his life, but things had got worse over time. “I’d say within the last three or four years it spiraled out of control”, Curt adds.
They managed to control the rat situation but what they had seen inside ‘shocked’ them, with Curt saying the man had been living alongside the rats and had been ‘feeding them out of his hands’.
The whole house was a foot deep in rat droppings, and it took the team six full days and nine skips to clear out the property.
Curt wanted to share the story to raise awareness, and as a way of letting anyone else in this situation know they don’t have to suffer in silence – help is just a phone call away.
He’s started a hashtag – #DontSufferInSilence – to help highlight the issue, so hopefully no one else has to go through what this poor man did.
Street photographer creates incredible Mini Manchester and Blackpool nostalgia photo series
The photography series aims to encapsulate significant parts of Manchester’s history
Whether it be retro beer cans or vintage match boxes, there isn’t much that Gisela Szlatoszlavek will limit herself to to capture the spirit of the city.
While Gisela works full time as a teaching assistant, she is also a keen street photographer with a passion for documenting gentrified areas of Manchester, with her even having published That Golden Mile, a sell-out book on Blackpool street photography.
And it was a combination of these two professions that sparked the idea for her ‘Little’ series, with Gisela finding inspiration during a photography lesson.
Talking on the birth of the miniature series, which sees her create scenes using tiny models, Gisela told Proper Manchester: “The pupils were working with small figurines around the classroom, and it made me think of how well that would work out in the street.
“I started with Blackpool, and thinking of places that make the town iconic and recognisable… like the sunburned men wearing vests and local mums pushing prams.”
And being a local lass herself – she hails from Oldham – Gisela knew that Manchester and its vast history would provide the perfect backdrop for her new series.
She explained: “Everything I’ve done up to now is a nod to something special about the city, such as the Haçienda, the Manchester bee, Manchester United, and Manchester City.”
And despite the series only being a couple of months old, Gisela has countless instalments of a variety of different themes under her belt, all of which give an insight into life in both Blackpool and Manchester.
Her photographs range from trips to the football, chippy teas and seaside fun in Blackpool, and even trips to the iconic Haçienda nightclub – complete with a pair of maracas, of course.
And fans of Gisela’s work will notice a recurring retro theme, which in itself is a nod to her own passion for the 1980s: “That era was fantastic, I wish I could have taken these photos back then.
“So I wanted to try and create a lot of my series around that time period.”
A lot of the props used in the series are genuine vintage too, including retro beer cans found on eBay, cassette tapes and even match boxes from the era.
Putting together these images is no walk in the park, however, with some taking Gisela several weeks to complete from start to finish.
Every aspect of the photo – from the initial idea to the construction itself – is a painstaking process, with Gisela often spending hours at a time scouring through Google Street View to establish which spots will work the best, whether it be the aesthetics, the lighting or just for the finer details to add to the final image.
Gisela then buys the figurines online, and spends even more time hand painting them to adapt them to different scenes – for some photos, she’s even gone to the effort of making miniature outfits using a magnifying glass.
And actually taking the photos is no easier, mainly thanks to members of the public and busy traffic, which Manchester’s city centre in particular has an abundance of.
She explained: “Unsurprisingly, Market Street is definitely the hardest location to work, thanks to the volume of people and things going on in the background. @giselaszlatoszlavek / Instagram
“Because I have to be as low to the ground as possible, I do get members of the public coming up to me and asking what I’m doing and checking that I’m okay… Some people even think I’ve collapsed in the street!
“But most people are lovely, and are just curious and want to know what I’m doing.”
While the Little Manchester and Little Blackpool series remains as a side project for Gisela at the moment, she aims to one day collaborate with other artists, and eventually take on paid commissions.
This is only the beginning for Gisela’s Little series, so make sure to follow her official Instagram page to stay updated with her latest work.
Londoner shares his list of ‘observations’ about Manchester after spending four days here
City centre traffic, dog poo bags littering canals and Mancunian women dressing like Wim Hoff were all big talking points…
Whenever someone from the south is brave enough to venture up North, they’re usually met with a bit of a culture shock.
And this week, one Londoner fared no differently.
Taking to Reddit, the anonymous man explained that he had spent four days in Manchester and, while he described the city as ‘glorious’ and said he couldn’t wait to visit again soon, he was left with a few observations and questions.
He began by noting how ‘very small’ the city is – though he did point out that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because he was able to ‘walk everywhere’.
Beats getting the tube, doesn’t it?
However, he then pointed out how nobody moves out of the way while walking in different directions in the street (presumably Market Street…), saying it made him feel like he was ‘in the Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony video’.
Other observations included a ‘disproportionate number of great restaurants’ and a lot of ‘beautiful buildings that seem to be falling apart’.
And, in one perception that may surprise many, he gushed at how ‘very quiet’ Manchester’s city centre roads are, mainly thanks to the ‘revolutionary lack of traffic’.
He also questioned if all Mancunian women are avid followers of Wim Hoff, a Dutch motivational speaker famed for his love of running through snow and ice wearing next to nothing.
With this, he admitted that their ‘ability to sport such minimal attire in such minimal temperatures was humbling’.
And staying on the topic of Mancunian clothing, the Redditor pondered what the obsession is with suit style jackets for women, while also pointing out the ‘lack of effort from their male counterparts’.
He added: “Tight Jeans, a branded white tee and some Yeezy’s seem the standard uniform.”
However, not all of his observations were so light hearted, with him noting a blatant difference in Manchester’s racial diversity compared to that in the capital.
He wrote: “It’s very white. Having grown up in London I am used to seeing a fairly even spread of brown people. For such a metropolitan city this was the biggest surprise for me.
“I only had one instance of racial abuse. This is something that I don’t get in London.”
And he rounded up his observations with a question that many Mancunians will have asked themselves over the years: “Why are there loads of dog poo bags scattered along the canal toe paths? [sic]”
You can read the full post here.
MANCHESTER’S MOST HAUNTED: The haunting of the Town Hall
More than just council officials lurk the Town Hall’s corridors…
Manchester has had its fair share of ghostly happenings over the decades, what with its dark and grizzly industrial past.
There’s the poltergeist of Westhoughton, a ghostly Black Shuck dog lurking within Manchester Cathedral and the sinister Grey Lady of Cheetham’s School of Music.
But did you know that the city’s Town Hall has its own sinister story?
Completed in 1877, the Grade I listed building is home not only to Manchester City Council, but apparently a few ghostly residents, too.
There have been countless reports of ghost sightings within the walls of this historic building over the years, with the spirits of deceased councillors allegedly roaming the many halls and corridors.
But the most frequently seen ghost is that of a Victorian police officer who is said to have died in the late 1800s.
Rumour has it that despite his death hundreds of years ago, this ghostly bobby continues to patrol the halls of the building, scaring off countless visitors and ghost hunters in the process.
Ian Waring, a member of the Tameside-based paranormal investigations group Shadow Seekers, claims to have seen the spirit in the flesh in what he called an ‘incredibly strange and bizarre’ encounter.
It happened during one of his guided tours of the building, where he takes on the ghost hunting persona ‘Flecky Bennet’.
Ian told Mancunian Matters at the time: “I took this big gentleman around the first part of the tour in the town hall, and then he disappeared.
“He was stood in the middle of the group, but no-one saw him disappear and there was nowhere he could have gone, it was a big open area.
“The next day I explained to the town hall what had happened and they said he sounded like a police officer who died in the late 1800s.
“I looked up a photograph of him and it was definitely the man who was on the tour. It was incredibly bizarre, really strange.”
But people had been experiencing this ghostly copper decades prior – around twenty years ago, an unsuspecting electrician had been working late at night in the upper reaches of the building when he felt an eerie ‘disturbance’.
When he looked around, he found a Victorian-looking gentleman staring at him and silently smiling.
The electrician fled the scene and reported what he had seen to his foreman, who of course didn’t believe his tale. At this, the foreman instructed the terrified man to return to upper reaches to collect his tools, which he refused to do.
Eventually, the foreman went to collect the tools himself but, minutes later, returned with a look of sheer terror, having clearly experienced a firm telling off by the officer himself.
Other myths in the building include a spirit that hates the sound of whistling – anyone found to be making the noise is plunged into darkness with a few slamming doors for good measure.
Some members of staff also claim that the late Mayor of Manchester Abel Heywood haunts the the clock mechanism room, which seems appropriate considering he gave his name to the hour bell in the clock tower.
But fast forwarding to today, the Manchester Town Hall is still undergoing its extensive £328m renovation, which poises the question as to whether its ghostly inhabitants will still be there upon completion.
Though there will be only one way to find out…