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Feature

The real story behind the house in the middle of the M62

The most famous farm in the country…

Jamie Roberts

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David Dixon / Geograph

As you probably already know, there’s a farmhouse situated in the middle of the M62 when you head out of Greater Manchester towards Yorkshire.

It seems to pop up online sporadically, and whenever it does it goes viral, generating a lot of discussion about what the real story behind it is – we shared a photo of it at the end of last year and it got a big response.

Everyone thinks they know the true story of the house, but do you really know why Stott Hall Farm wasn’t knocked down to make way for the motorway?

Who else's mam told them the farmer refused to move in the '70s? 😂😂

Posted by Proper Manchester on Tuesday, 17 December 2019

The motorway was built in the 1960s, including that particular stretch on the moors above Huddersfield where Stott Hall sat in its path, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reports.

According to legend, the farmer who owned the house at the time, a Mr Ken Wild, stubbornly refused to sell his land when planning permission was given to the project, so they had to build around him.

A stubborn Yorkshire farmer refusing to sell his land? Sounds plausible, but the real reason is something else entirely.

Peter McDermott / Geograph

An ITV documentary from 1983 – which was only released a couple of years ago – disproved the myth, revealing that Ken, his wife Beth and the dozens of sheep they owned were actually allowed to stay in the house due to a geological fault.

This fault meant it would have been a huge job to construct anything on their land, so the motorway was just built around the farm instead.

As journalist Michael Clegg says: “A geological fault beneath the farmhouse meant it was more practical for engineers to leave it rather than blast through and destroy it… Outside the noise is relentless but inside it’s as peaceful and cosy as any farmhouse.”

Mat Fascione / Geograph

Ken, whose dad bought the farm in 1934, told the documentary he was glad they were able to stay – and so are we to be honest, as it makes that stretch of the motorway a lot more interesting.

So the next time you’re driving to Yorkshire once this is all over, and someone regales you with the story of the stubborn farmer who wouldn’t move, you can sit back smugly, as you know the truth…

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Feature

It’s three years since the Manchester Arena bombing and the city will never forget

Today is the third anniversary.

Alex Watson

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Manchester City Council

Today, Friday May 22nd 2020, marks three years since the disastrous Manchester Arena bombing at an Ariana Grande concert. 

In 2017, the pop star had just finished playing to a crowd of adoring and particularly young fans, when a terrorist detonated a homemade explosive device in the waiting area of the arena. The bomb tragically took the lives of 22 innocent people. 

This year Manchester will be paying tribute and gathering in remembrance virtually, to commemorate the third anniversary a bit differently with an online service.

Credit: David Dixon

The Manchester Cathedral will be hosting a live broadcast on Facebook and those watching are encouraged to light a candle in remembrance to those who lost their lives.

The Cathedral bells will ring out at 10:31pm, the time the bomb was detonated, with it tolling 22 times – once for each victim. This will also be aired on BBC Radio Manchester.

The virtual ceremonies mark a poignant moment for our city. We stood solid in the immediate aftermath, covered the city in The 22 Bee Project, created the Tree of Hope Trail, stood silent in the Great Manchester Run, projected song lyrics on pavements, hosted the One Love concert as an act of solidarity, and showed the world that ‘This Is The Place’.  

Credit: YouTube

Manchester remembers the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack: Georgina Callander, Saffie Rose Roussos, John Atkinson, Megan Hurley, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, Alison Howe, Lisa Lees, Angelika Klis, Marcin Klis, Martyn Hett, Kelly Brewster, Jane Tweddle, Nell Jones, Michelle Kiss, Sorrell Leczkowski, Liam Curry, Chloe Rutherford, Elaine McIver, Wendy Fawell, Eilidh MacLeod, Courtney Boyle and Philip Tron. 

The youngest of the victims was 8-year old Saffie Rose Roussos, whose mum and sister were also taken to hospital on the night of the attack. Her funeral was the last of the victims, and hundreds of mourners attended to celebrate the life of a ‘little girl with a beautiful smile’. 

Nell Jones, 14, has been remembered for her kindness. Shortly after the tragic event her fellow students designed a community space in her name. It was filled with pebbles, each painted with a heartfelt and touching tribute to Nell.

Martyn Hett, a PR manager and social media star, was also tragically killed in the attack. He was widely recognised for his quirky humour and infectious sense of joy. 

Kelly Brewster, 32, was tragically killed as she threw herself in front of the bomb to shield her sister, Claire Booth, and her daughter Hollie. They survived the injuries but Kelly lost her life in a selfless act of compassion. 

Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, from Leeds dreamt of being an architect to ‘build her mum a house’, but her dreams were robbed as she tragically lost her life in the incident. Her mother and grandmother survived the explosion and remember their ‘clever, talented, creative girl’. 

A Police Officer of 19 years, Elaine, 43, lost her life while waiting in the foyer with her partner, Paul. Paul left the explosion with serious injuries while Elaine tragically lost her life. She is remembered for her ‘kindness, love’ and ‘huge heart’. 

Many other parents and family were waiting to pick up their children after the concert, including Alison, Lisa, Angelika, Marcin, Jane, Michelle, Courtney and Philip. 

Ariana Grande released a message of solidarity to her fans and the victims of the attack this week on the approach to the anniversary saying: “I want to take a moment to acknowledge and send my love to everyone that is feeling the sadness and tremendous heaviness of the anniversary coming up this week. 

“Not a day goes by that doesn’t affect u and all us still. I will be thinking of u all week and weekend. My heart, my thoughts, prayers are with u always.” 

Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were otherwise affected on that tragic day – we will never forget.

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Feature

The truth behind claims NASA has discovered a parallel universe next to ours

The real story…

Alex Watson

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A recent report from New Scientist states that ‘strange particles’ found in an experiment in Antarctica could be evidence of a reality ‘where everything is upside down’.

I took a deep dive to find out whether we really should believe everything we see on the internet. Short answer is no. 

The plausibility of the statement has been amplified for ‘sensational reasons’ according to particle physicist Peter Gorham from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

What has essentially happened is a report has explained that scientists have concluded a rare event from very rare particles that defy our current understanding of physics.

We currently do not have the knowledge of parallel universes to determine definitively whether this new research is indeed a parallel universe.

There is also, according to Forbes, zero evidence to support the Daily Stars report of a ‘parallel universe, right next to ours, where all the rules of physics seem to be operating in reverse’.

Credit: Jeremy Thomas / Unsplash

Many articles have surfaced, mostly quoting each other, referring to a pay-walled post from New Scientist on April 8 that says ‘we may have spotted a parallel universe going backwards in time’ in its headline.

The article gathers a collection of information from three different scientific papers that essentially all point towards us needing to potentially consider alternative explanations behind the science.

So what is the experiment that has caused everyone to go cuckoo?

ANITA-IV. Credit: Drummermean / Wikipedia

This is where it gets really science-y. The original research paper from the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA), found ‘upward pointing cosmic ray-like-events’ from its balloon-based experiment.

ANITA is a stratospheric balloon-based experiment that has a radio antennae pointed back at Earth that detects radio waves emitted by very high-energy and very rare neutrinos as they strike an atom of ice.

These ‘new’ headlines are reporting on an experiment from 2016 whereby ANITA detected some signals that were best described as ‘anomalous’ that, according to New Scientist, ‘seemed impossible’.

The article went on to state: “Explaining this signal requires the existence of a topsy-turvy universe created in the same big bang as our own and existing in parallel with it. In this mirror world, positive is negative, left is right and time runs backwards.”

There were three main hypotheses for the detections: astrophysical explanation, systematic error or physics beyond the Standard Model.

IceCube. Credit: Amble / Wikipedia

Scientists at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory tried to search for the source of those signals, ruling out ANITA’s Standard Model explanation of the anomalous neutrino events in January 2020.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is in the South Pole and is made-up of 5,160 optical detectors buried in the ice that detect neutrinos passing through, reacting with hydrogen or oxygen atoms in the ice.

Essentially, Icecube and ANITA are detecting similar things, however IceCube is a remarkable tool to follow up ANITA. For each anomalous event ANITA detects, IceCube should detect many, many more.

In this instance, IceCube did not. The idea that these events recorded by ANITA came from some intense point source should be ruled out as the chances of ANITA seeing an event and IceCube not are very slim.

Credit: Jay Ruzesky / Unsplash

The paper concluded that: “An astrophysical explanation of these anomalous events under standard model assumptions is severely constrained regardless of source spectrum.”

This translates to us lot who are definitely not physicists as: ‘we don’t know where these signals come from’. It does not translate to: ‘they come from a parallel universe’.

A mathematician has explained the science behind this experiment in a nicely condensed Twitter thread that you can read here.

The reports of a parallel universe comes from a paper that reads: “In this scenario, the universe before the Big Bang and the universe after the Big Bang is reinterpreted as a universe/anti-universe pair that is created from nothing.”

Forbes reports the only real conclusion from this experiment is that the ‘Standard Model concerning neutrinos—fundamental particles—doesn’t explain the detection of a rare kind of event by ANITA.’

Credit: Alarn Light / Flickr

A scientist who specialises in Neutrinos and dark matter who works on IceCube Neutrino Observatory responded to the tabloid news reports of a parallel universe, clearing up that their words have been twisted in a list of tweets.

Safa writes: “NASA has discovered that y’all should not be getting your news from the new york post”.

He also states in a tweet that: “ANITA’s events are definitely interesting, but we’re a long ways away from even claiming there’s any new physics, let alone an entire universe.”

The release regarding the research paper mentions that ‘other explanations for the anomalous signals – possibly involved exotic physics – need to be considered.’

One of the leads from the paper, who has been investigating these detections for the last two years, took to Twitter to further clarify a few things. You can read the full thread here.

Credit: Long Ma / Unsplash

Essentially, Alex Pizzuto states that ANITA detected strange signals that are ‘hard (but not impossible) to remedy with our current models of physics’.

He also goes onto explain that although scientists have to come up with ways of modifying our understanding of physics, that may ‘require bizarre beyond the standard model ideas’, that there are also some ‘COMPLETELY non-exotic explanations as well’ such as astrophysics.

So while the experiments could be due to physics beyond our current understanding, a lead from the paper, Safa explained that: “it looks like we’ll have to wait for the next generation of experiments, which will increase exposure and sensitivity, to get a clear understanding of this anomaly.”

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Feature

Some of the most brutal reviews of Greater Manchester towns

These are ruthless…

Alex Watson

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Bill Boaden / Geograph

While we definitely think Greater Manchester is the greatest place on earth, we can’t help but have a laugh at these terrible reviews of areas of our region.

ILiveHere.co.uk is a website specialising in providing terrible and brutally honest reviews of areas across the UK, and each year it releases a list of the top ten worst places to live in the UK – here’s the list for 2020, if you’re interested.

We’ve hand-picked some of the best insults the site has dished out to areas across Greater Manchester – take it all with a pinch of salt and remember it’s just a laugh!

Credit: G-Man

Mossley

In an article titled ‘Mossley, home of ‘Who’s got the most toes competition’ you can imagine what the rest of the review was like.

In a small section that’s without profanities, the review describes the town with a nod to evolution: “Darwin clearly left Mossley out when he wrote origin of species.” Not exactly something you’ll see on a poster board for the town…

Credit: Martin Clark / Saddleworth Church / CC BY-SA 2.0

Saddleworth

The reviews of Saddleworth are all pretty similar in their incredibly derogatory comments.

This one sums it up: “Saddleworthians are easily spotted in a crowd amongst their fellower Oldhamer’s. They’re the ones who have fake accents, no wit and a false sense of superiority. Yes if you like a bit of bullsh*t and self congratulations you’re in for a treat.”

Credit: Andrew Stopford / Flickr

Rochdale

Unfortunately, Rochdale has made the site’s top 10 worst places to live in the entire country list two years running.

Most of the reviews see some pretty catty comments about the inhabitants of Rochdale, with one stating: “Majority of the residents disdain this town. The sole act of living here, and even being associated with Rochdale is a disgrace. Not for trivial, but rather major reasons. In fact, the (not so) respectful residents may just happen to be the contributory factor!

“Possessors of low IQ, users of unknown speech codes, devoted to ‘grime’ and overly fond of drugs, in particular marijuana- are few of the admirable traits and practices common among the youth.”

Ouch…

Credit: Keith Williamson

Harpurhey

All I know of this place is to avoid it, and this review seems to agree: “When me mam told me we were moving to Harpurhey in 2002, I was devastated.

“When she showed me the estate we were going to move on to I tried to throw myself under the 52 bus. Unfortunately it never turned up on time, I don’t think it ever has since. Here lies the problems with Harpurhey.”

Credit: Andrew Stopford / Flickr

Bolton

One of my few experiences of Bolton involves venturing to a nightclub called J2. I got attacked by a girl for looking at her in a takeaway, after being served triangle shapes of buttered toast in J2 a few hours earlier. Great times.

This reviewer really isn’t a fan of the place either: “Superficially at first the greenery, rivers Croal and Irwell seem appealing… unfortunately, soon you have a suspicion that all is not as it appears-in fact the whole place gives the impression of nature reclaiming post-holocaust man-made destruction, the greenery taking from direct sight the utter ruination wrought by hundreds of years of poisoning the land, and utter despoliation of the environment.

“The place has a sort of chemical stink…a miasma…even on the freshest of days.”

Credit: Eugene Regis / Flickr

Salford

Salford has come a long way in recent years so I’m going to guess this review was left a while back, probably by someone from Walkden: “Charles Darwin would have had a field day here, as Salford not merely proves the theory of evolution but actually allows a casual observer to witness the process in reverse.”

Credit: Andrew Stopford / Flickr

Stockport

This one really paints a picture of the home town of Blossoms, maybe it was left before the Plaza had a revamp: “The average Stopfordian seems to roll out of his bed around eleven, take a 192 – or better still a deathtrap Corsa with a stolen stereo more powerful than it’s engine – down to sign on and then simply hangs around in the town.

“They aren’t even entertaining like the drunks in Manchester they’re just, well… ****!”

Credit: Rept0n1x

Bury

I’ve never ventured to Bury so I can’t vouch for how true this one might be: “Bury has its own perfume – Eau de Weed which is particularly noticeable between the Spotted Cow and the Old Crow on Bell Lane.”

Credit: Parrot of Doom

Stretford

Widely recognised as the next victim of gentrification, here’s a cracking and detailed review of the south Manchester suburb: “The local park is full of teenagers who have broken the children’s climbing frames. These teens are usually swearing their heads of pissed off white ace and that’s just on a Monday afternoon.

“The local council then put a murder tape round it for nearly two years. The people who cant escape have taken to impaling themselves just to end it all.”

What you waiting for, get on the property ladder here and cash in?!

Credit: Gerald England / 28-32 Wallgate, Wigan / CC BY-SA 2.0

Wigan

Honestly, I’ve only ever been to Wigan once and I went to Spoons, so my view of it wasn’t too dissimilar to this review: “The hub of the pissed-up activity at the weekend is King Street, a place where (to nobody’s surprise) there seems to be a murder once every couple of years.

“The road is closed to traffic every Friday and Saturday night, giving the drunken oafs the freedom to lurch around trying to find the taxis that aren’t allowed to drive down that road, or the takeaways that apparently aren’t allowed to serve anything that won’t make you ill for a couple of days.”

Credit: Rept0n1x

Droylsden

This is my hometown so I can say what I want about this shithole. Enjoy this considerably kind review: “Let us begin with the very heart of Droylsden – the precinct. Dominated by the vast grey concrete tumour that is the Concord Suite.

“A building so hideous that to gaze upon it leaves a stain on the scorched retinas of the observer. Imagine if you will, a building so hideous it makes the newly built Tameside Council Pension offices look like Cologne Cathedral.”

The square has got a little better since the Silly Country opened, still…

Credit: Rept0n1x

Wythenshawe

This one makes you do that deep breath in you do through your teeth when someone says something a bit risque: “It actually has some decent shops here to be honest, well catered for the masses of ball bags, moaning about paying 5p for a JD bag they’ll use for the rest of their lives until the black paint has come off and it looks like a dandruff encrusted version of it’s former self, sleeveless bubble coats to match.”

So there you have it some of the most brutal and degrading reviews of Greater Manchester we could find – we still love it though.

You can read more ruthless reviews here. If you’re offended, please please please, don’t let us know in the Facebook comments.

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