Connect with us
https://propermanchester.com.temp.link/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/secret-suppers-advert.jpg

Feature

The 12 best feel-good films on Netflix to lift your spirits during lockdown

Guaranteed to make lockdown better…

Published

on

If you’re feeling the lockdown blues, here’s 12 films on Netflix that are guaranteed to get you through quarantine. 

Picture this: the kids are asleep, you had a productive WFH day, did a workout, cooked a delicious meal and now you’ve got your feet up, G&T in hand ready for a relaxing evening in front of the telly box.

Everything’s perfect – until you need to settle on what to watch and the whole household ends up in an argument. Sound vaguely familiar?

Well, if this describes every night of your lockdown life – I’ve got your back: I present to you a handy, 22-hour-long list of films for you to work through…  

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Groundhog Day
Re-watch this one if you’ve already seen it because I can guarantee it will be just as great as the first time, if not better. It’s about the tiny town of Punxsutawney (really hard to spell), that has a wacky tradition. TV weatherman, played by Bill Murray, gets stuck in a one-day time loop that kinda feels a bit like all our lives right now.

Jumanji
I recommend going for the original and then following it up with the new remake. With Jack Black, one of the Jonas Brothers, Karen Millan and Kevin Hart what could possibly go wrong? No honestly – you really will laugh a lot at this one.

Blades of Glory
Simply put, it’s hard to be sad when Will Ferrel is on the screen. Put him in a colourful unitard and you just might piss your pants laughing.

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Burlesque
This film is TERRIBLE. That’s what makes it incredible and that’s what we all need right now. Who doesn’t wanna see Cher doing burlesque?! Everyone wants to see that. Get involved – you’ll be singing and dancing in no time at all.

The Terminal
10/10. You need to watch this film in isolation. All about a man, beautifully played by Tom Hanks, who gets stuck in an airport. There’s probably going to be a lot of real-life relatable *feelings* in this. Minus the language barriers and airports, obviously. You’ll probably feel every emotion under the sun and that’s ok.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
An absolute classic, fancy-free skip school movie. There’s a whole heap of iconic fourth-wall-breaking narrating from Ferris, singing and dancing and enough 80s fashion to make you want to redo your whole wardrobe.

Quincy
It’s actually a documentary but I’m slipping it in because it’s fantastic and you will feel inspired. And we all need a bit of inspiration right now. It follows the 60 + year career of Quincy Jones who you won’t realise wrote basically all of the music until you watch this.

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Yes Man
Some light-hearted fun and a Jim Carrey classic that was actually based on a true story. A smile on your face is absolutely guaranteed.

Step Brothers
It doesn’t really get better than this does it? And by now you’ve probably moved all the furniture in your entire house around and screamed ‘there’s so much space for activities’ in an attempt to stay sane while stuck in those 4 walls. If you haven’t done that already, do it now.

Shrek
If I complete a list of film recommendations and Shrek isn’t in it, you have my permission to come after me (from an appropriate distance). It’s not that Shrek is particularly fantastic. No wait, yes it is. Just put it on – you know the drill.

Feature

The story behind Manchester’s mysterious Withy Grove Stores

It looks like it’s not been touched for 40 years, so what’s really going on in there…

Published

on

Surrounded by chicken shops and takeaways sits an oddity in modern Manchester, the Withy Grove Stores.

At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s abandoned, a relic from the 1980s that time and gentrification forgot, confusingly located round the back of the Printworks.

In fact, the safe and office supply store is very much still active, although you can’t just walk in off the street and have a browse – the whole thing raises so many questions, like who owns it? Why hasn’t it been bought and turned into a chicken shop? Is it being used as a front?



Well, the guys over at Manchester’s Finest had a bit of a dig around into the history of the building, and we now have some answers to your questions.

They spoke to a safe and office interior company called Withy Grove Office Interiors, who explained that the company began on Withy Grove in Manchester all the way back in 1850.

However, the history goes even further back, when the Richmond Safe Company was set up by John R Solomon back in 1799, supplying iron-branded and ironclad strongboxes for ships.

The Richmond Safe Company continued to operate until around 1840, at which point they located to offices on Withy Grove and renamed themselves Withy Grove Stores. From here the company expanded, eventually running three sites in the North of England – Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds (the company still operates from Leeds now).


For over 130 years the shop on Withy Grove flogged safes and furniture, impervious to the rapid change and development around it – the Withy Grove Printing House, which printed the Daily Mirror among other titles, closed down in 1985, while the Arndale popped up over the road in the late 1970s.

During the 1980s, it appears the Solomon brothers all fell out over something and each site was broken up and given to one of them to look after. The Leeds site was sold off to private owners by Casper Solomon, but the Manchester location is still very much owned by a Solomon to this day.

A quick check on Companies House shows the Directors of the company are Brian Solomon and Anthony Solomon, and both still own and run the Withy Grove Stores on Withy Grove. Financial statements show the company ran at a substantial loss in both 2018 and 2019, which isn’t really surprising.


So what do they do there and why is it never open? Manchester’s Finest rang up the store’s phone number – found on their still active website – and this is what happened: “The phone was answered by a lovely woman, and we were told that the shop is indeed open and she proceeded to bang out some rather erratic opening times for the week ahead.”

So there you go, if you are in the market for a safe or office chair, give them a ring and grab yourself a retro little number when lockdown is over.

A thread on Reddit also delved into the mystery of Withy Grove Stores, and some people revealed their own experiences with the shop, including actually buying stuff from it.

A user called MR_EXCELLENT wrote: “I rang Mr.Solomon myself a few years ago to ask if I could rent a bit of space in the building, he declined stating he gets dozens of calls every week asking him to ‘sell up’. He told me his dad built the building and he’ll never sell, I told him how much I like the building and how much I’d hate to see a big company ruin it, he told me he thought it would make an excellent Italian restaurant. Good chat! He seemed to be happy to talk to someone who appreciated the building but he could have just been too polite to tell me to fuck off.”

Redditor asidonhopo added: “I went in about 8 years ago or so. Wanted a nice comfy computer chair and it looked like they had some interesting old school office stuff in there, so I rang and the lady said she’d be around that Saturday and to knock on. Her dad used to own the place apparently, she was dead happy for me to just root around through all the old stuff and chat away.”

Pedro-a-go-go actually bought something from there: “I’ve bought stuff in there before, admittedly about 15 years ago. Needed a load of office ‘in trays’ for work. There was a lot of standing about as the bloke was dealing with someone buying a safe, and couldn’t work out how it to change the combination on the safe he was demonstrating. He ended up snapping a teaspoon and jamming it in the lock to try to get it to change. The person didn’t buy the safe. Also office in trays are REALLY expensive….”

And so did Redditor scottynoble: “I bought a safe from there in 2008. Still have it. Friend who recently passed away was a big deal at printworks recommended the place and got me a discount. Was like stepping into 1971, lovely people.”

Continue Reading

Feature

If you’re having really weird dreams this lockdown here’s why

(Don’t worry, you’re not the only one)

Published

on

Matthew Henry / Unsplash

If you’re finding yourself having super weird dreams and actually being able to remember them in the morning, don’t panic, you’re not alone.

Tonnes of people across the country have been reporting the exact same thing during lockdown. Luckily a scientist has given us a clever explanation that will calm down all our fears that self-isolation might be getting to us.

There are a lot of contributing factors that stem from being in lockdown that are changing our dream patterns. One of the biggest one is increased stress and anxiety levels due to the uncertainty of the world right now.

Credit: Stephen Oliver / Unsplash

Many, in fact, most people are finding themselves with financial worries and pressures like never before.

Cabin fever is also a huge factor to our unconscious thinking patterns and a lot of people are having dreams of being stuck, whether that formulates as a room with no doors or a shipwreck you’re stuck on – it all comes down to a feeling of being stuck inside. Which is pretty self explanatory.

We’re all also spending more time than ever with the same few people which will be having an effect on your dreams.

Other reasoning comes down to the fact that our homes are physically warmer because we’re all in it, potentially with the heating on. When we’re asleep and warm we have more vivid dreams.

Credit: Kate Stone Matheson / Unsplash

Some people’s dreams might not be that spectacular – finding themselves down the local having a frosty pint of their favourite beer (which does actually sound spectacular tbh) – and that’s completely fine too.

Life has become monotonous, what with ‘going to work’ including rolling out of bed and walking the 10 steps to the dining table. Basically we’re just missing normality and craving the things we would do in an average week.

There’s even a reason as to why we’re all remembering our dreams like they’re a blockbuster movie too.

Credit: Damir Spanic / Unsplash

As we’re all having a little lie-in in the morning, with some of us not even setting an alarm, we can move into that REM sleep.

While we’re in REM sleep our brains are more active, dreams get longer and more vivid. With our alarms not going off, we stay in this type of sleep for longer, dreams extend, get weirder and we can then remember them when we get up.

So whatever your dreams involve, you’re not crazy just isolated!! Keep dreaming kids!

Continue Reading

Feature

Who remembers Manchester’s hugely popular Granada Studios Tour?

Ahh the memories…

Published

on

cantwont & Markus Schroeder/Flickr

It was Manchester’s answer to Universal Studios, but with the Coronation Street set…

After a successful decade-long run of providing fun for Manchester, the demise of the Granada Studio Tour began after visitor numbers dwindled – meaning the tour sadly shut up shop for one last time.

One of the biggest reasons as to why can be put down to poor businesses practises at ITV, which saw the company lose millions.

The main culprit was the Sky-like service called ‘ONDigital’, which launched in 1998 and was forced into administration just four short years later.

Granada Studios Tour, Manchester
davekpcv / Flickr

It was pretty much the exact same concept as Sky, only the exclusive shows were essentially rubbish and the whole thing flopped.

At this point the Granada Studios Tour was seen as a large and unnecessary expense, and unfortunately closed down.

The tour was the brainchild of Granada producer David Plowright, who proposed to create a ‘Hollywood-on-the-Irwell‘ – and that he did. Sort of, anyway.

The tour first opened its doors in 1988, expecting to welcome 250,000 in the first year, but in the initial eight months alone 600,000 people visited to take in the sights.

Arguably the most popular attraction was the Coronation Street set which in 2013 moved to MediaCity, built on an even bigger scale with the chance to go inside too!

In 2018 Victoria Street was added, which features a garden and memorial bench paying tribute to the Manchester Arena bombing 22 victims and Coronation Street super fan Martyn Hett.

The old Granada Studios Tour might not have been the bright lights of LA or Hollywood, but you don’t get much more Mancunian than that cobbled street! 

What are your favourite memories of the tour? 

Continue Reading

Receive our latest news, events & unique stories

Privacy and data policy

We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase

Copyright © 2019 Proper Manchester