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Feature

These are Strangeways most notorious inmates

With some surprising entries…

Alex Watson

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Peter McDermott / Geograph

Strangeways, officially known as HM Prison Manchester, has been home to executions, riots and some of Britain’s most notorious criminals.

It’s been home to some very infamous criminals over the years, as well as some people that will genuinely surprise you.

The prison isn’t too far from Manchester’s City Centre, and if those walls could talk…

Credit: Dickinson’s Real Deal

David Dickinson
Let’s kick off with a weird one, shall we?! The nation’s favourite shade of orange and self-confessed antique expert, David Dickinson, served three whole years of a four-year sentence there.

It was way back when he was 19 and got arrested for fraudulent trading. He’s since described this time as ‘horrendous’ and that he learned to ‘take it on the chin and accept it was his own fault’.

Dale Cregan
Easily one of Manchester’s most notorious killers of this century is Dale Cregan. The one-eyed murderer began his life of crime from an early age dealing drugs.

Cregan shot Mark Short in the Cotton Tree Pub in Droylsden and attempted to kill three other men. He violently murdered Short’s father a few months later. He then made national headlines when he lured two female police officers to his property, ambushed them with gunfire and a grenade brutally murdering them both.

He handed himself in and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order on June 13th 2013.

Merseyside Police

Paul Taylor
The famous ringleader of the 25-day Strangeway riot of 1990, Paul Taylor famously ended up on the roof of the prison.

The riot is still the longest prison riot in British history. One prisoner was killed alongside 147 injuries to police officers. Taylor and Alan Lord were sentenced as the ringleaders and were charged with the murder of Derek White, a prisoner who died of his injuries from the riot.

Strangeways suffered extensive damages which required a £55m refurbishment of £55m.

Val Kerry / Flickr

Ian Brady
The child murderer and paedophile Ian Brady is one half of Britain’s infamous killing pair, The Moors Murderers.

The pair brutally murdered five innocent children and buried their bodies in the vast Saddleworth Moors. Brady was found guilty of three murders on 6th May 1966 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ian Brown
An unlikely person to ‘bump into’ if you ever found yourselves wandering the halls of Strangeways would be Ian Brown. But the Stone Roses frontman was sentenced to four months in the summer of 1998.

He was charged for threatening behaviour towards a British Airways flight attendant and captain. He served two months of his sentence and wrote three songs including ‘Free My Way’.

Emily Davison
Suffragette Emily Davison visited Strangeways twice in her efforts for the women’s rights movements. First for disrupting a meeting with Chancellor David Lloyd Geoge and throwing rocks at the windows. During this imprisonment, she went on a hunger strike losing 21 pounds and was released just five and a half days later.

Her second visit just two months later, for throwing stones, saw her in Strangeways for two and a half days. Davison later died after being kicked in the head by a horse during the suffragette’s demonstration where she ran onto the course at Epsom Derby.

Harold Shipman
Shipman is Britain’s most prolific serial killer, with his victim number lying between 215 and 260 people. He often targeted the elderly, injecting them with lethal doses of diamorphine.

His killing spree lasted for 23 years, creating one of the worst cases of serial killings ever documented. He was arrested on September 7, 1998, and was held in Strangeways. His trial took place at Preston Crown Court in 1999 and it took four months to find him guilty of just 15 cases of murder.

He was sentenced to 15 life sentences and a four-year sentence for forgery. He was transferred to Wakefield Prison in 2003 where he committed suicide on the eve of his 58th birthday.

Dyfed-Powys Police

Mark Bridger
Bridger was charged with child abduction, murder, and attempting to pervert the course of justice on October 6, 2012. April Sue-Lyn Jones disappeared after being sighted climbing into a van near her home a national and very public appeal followed to find her.

The morning after her disappearance, Bridger was arrested. He pleaded not guilty but a series of DNA evidence suggested otherwise. He also later confessed to a prison chaplain that he was ‘probably responsible’ for her death. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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Feature

Inside the Wigan home ‘frozen in the 1970s’ that’s on the market for the first time ever

This is ICONIC!

Alex Watson

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Regan and Hallworth

If you love the ’70s you’ll love this house that is going on the market for the first time, which will transport you to the decade of platforms, flares and shag pile carpet. 

The family home in Wigan is thought to be going on the market for the first time ever, but inside is a ’70s lover’s dream.

Throughout the entire house is décor from the decade, including a retro orange sofa, plenty of frosted glass and shag carpets of course. 

It’s three bedroom and is tucked away in Parbold on Croasdale Drive.

Regan and Hallworth
Regan and Hallworth

Estate Agent Regan and Hallworth say that ‘despite requiring extensive modernisation’ the house ‘has an undeniably timeless appeal’.

You’ll also find teak wood storage units in just about every room, and plenty of earth-toned accessories throughout. 

Regan and Hallworth

There’s a huge copper fire place in the living room complimented by dark brown walls and a patterned ceiling. 

The kitchen is covered with white cabinets with a wood trim, an unusual corner sink situation, plus a fitted microwave on the lower half of the cabinets. 

Regan and Hallworth
Regan and Hallworth

The bathroom is covered in dark marble tiles and a frosted window above the bath, complimented by gold furnishing and trims on both the toilet and sink – plus a gold shower! 

For all the quirky features the house is actually surprisingly minimalist, it’s bright and has a big open plan living room. 

Regan and Hallworth

It’s also been designed with an upside-down layout meaning the bedrooms are on the ground floor while the living room is on the second floor, taking advantage of the views over the trees. 

The house is located on a leafy lane and features a glass-front, extensive driveway space with a double garage and plenty of greenery to enjoy from your orange sofa.

Regan and Hallworth
Regan and Hallworth

Regan and Hallworth add: “We don’t believe that ‘Beech Hill’ has ever been on the open market before and offers an incredibly rare opportunity for a wide range of buyers to purchase a home of true distinction with tons of potential without having to pay the huge premium you normally expect to pay to live in one of West Lancashire’s most sought after locations.

“Available with the added benefit of no upward chain, early viewing is highly recommended.”

Offers are in excess of £400,000. Find out more info here

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Feature

A look back at Manchester’s greatest nightclubs and venues

How many have you been to?

Proper Manchester

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21 Piccadilly Friends And Clubbers / Facebook

Over the years numerous iconic nightclubs, bars and pubs have disappeared from Manchester. Some of these venues have been legendary, others, well, were just a bit dodgy.

Either way, if you visited one it will have left a lasting impression – whether this is positive or negative is another question entirely.

With that in mind, what better time to take a little trip down memory lane and remember some of the forgotten clubs of our city. Enjoy…

Piccadilly 21s

Piccadilly 21s was a ‘90s party paradise located in Piccadilly Gardens. It had a reputation for being very loud, very messy and very sticky, with cheap drinks to boot – there were even chandeliers in the bogs.

Unfortunately it also had a reputation for being rough as owt, after it managed to attract gang members and other unsavoury clientele in the late ‘80s and 90s, and it eventually shut down in 2004.

These days it’s a Premier Inn and a Nando’s – so the floors are probably just as sticky to be fair.

Manchester Past

Rotters

Besides having a name which would prove a branding nightmare for modern PR-led venues, Rotters boasted some of the best parties in the city, after it took over the site from Romanoff’s.

Located at the top of Oxford Road, in the ‘70s and ‘80s Rotters was a hugely popular nightclub, especi

It was housed inside the old Gaumont Cinema, and sadly the whole building was demolished in 1990 and replaced by an NCP car park.

Pips

Pips, located behind the cathedral, was a popular nightclub in the ‘70s, and was frequented by local musical celebs like Joy Division, Ian Brown, Morrissey and Johnny Marr.

It boasted four different rooms playing a variety of music, including a Punk room, Soul room and the infamous Roxy room with a huge Brian Ferry painting on the wall.

Pips closed in the early ‘80s before becoming a club called Konspiracy – which closed not long after.

Manchester Libraries

The Plaza

The Plaza was one of the city’s most popular venues to dance to the likes of Sinatra and Elvis in the ‘60s, and was located on Oxford Street.

Owned by Jimmy Savile, the disgraced DJ pioneered lunchtime disco sessions for the city’s young workers, where you could grab a quick lunch and soft drink while having a dance.

It later turned into Tiffany’s in the ‘70s, complete with fake palm trees and loads of disco balls, before finally becoming Tropicana, which closed in the late ‘80s. It’s now a Pizza Express.

The Hacienda

We couldn’t do a list of iconic Mancunian nightclubs and not include what is arguably one of the most famous venues in the world.

Founded by Tony Wilson in 1982, the Hacienda managed to define a whole era in the city, putting ‘Madchester’ on the map. Acid House and rave culture was born here – as were New Order and the Happy Mondays.

The club closed in 1997 and was demolished 18 months later, with a block of nondescript red brick flats now on the site – called The Hacienda Apartments.

Mikey / Flickr

Jilly’s Rockworld

Jilly’s was a Manchester institution. Originally called Fagin’s, it opened in 1970 on Oxford Road before being renamed Jilly’s in 1983, eventually adding Rockworld to the end.

The alternative club was always packed full with a cross section of people with a passion for guitar music, including punks, skaters, goths, metalheads, and indie kids.

Underneath was another club called the Musicbox – previously Rafters – but sadly both venues shut their doors back in 2010.

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Feature

There’s a hidden tranquil waterfall located in the hills above Rochdale

This looks so peaceful!

Alex Watson

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@thesijones / Instagram & @lockdownwalks / Facebook

If you’re after some tranquillity in your life (let’s face it – we all are), this is the perfect escape and it’s not too far away from Manchester. 

Tucked away in the hills above Norden in Rochdale is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by luscious woodland, and its the perfect weekend walk.

Naden Valley is home to four huge reservoirs Naden Higher, Naden Middle, Naden Lower and Greenbooth, which all offer perfect exploring options and ample walking opportunities.  

lockdownwalks/Facebook

From the top of the valley you’ll find stunning views of Manchester city centre’s skyline towering over the hills in the distance. 

The trickling waterfall is in the southwestern corner of Greenbooth reservoir, and is actually heading towards the United Utilities-owned reservoir after running through a housing estate. 

There are clear circular footpaths around each reservoir that are perfect for a gentle stroll and are mostly accessible. 

There are several flights of stairs to reach the waterfall which is slightly off path and requires a bit of careful exploring. 

If waterfalls are your thing, you could also head to Rivington Pike’s forgotten Japanese Gardens just outside of Chorley. 

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