Stockport named Greater Manchester’s town of culture 2023
‘There’s a real buzz about the place at the moment’
Stockport has been named Greater Manchester’s town of culture 2023 after securing £50,000 to support arts and creativity in the borough.
Local stars turned out including Stockport band the Blossoms and Stockport County’s Macauley Southam-Hales.
They joined the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Stockport Council Leader Cllr Mark Hunter, and a number of representatives from across the town’s cultural scene for the announcement at the Hat Works on Tuesday May 23rd.
The town’s bid was centred around the One Stockport vision to support the local economy, connect communities and promote health and wellbeing. Mayor Andy Burnham said ‘there’s a real buzz about the place at the moment’.
It will be underpinned by four elements that celebrate arts and creativity in the broadest sense, as well as the town’s diverse cultural heritage: Stockport Makes, Stockport Moves, Stockport Sounds and Stockport Tastes.
Stockport’s year as Town of Culture coincides with a number of major public redevelopments and investment in the town, including the Town Centre West regeneration, the refurbishment of the iconic Hat Works museum, cutting edge digital arts opportunities to be opened up through the £2.6m Stockport Creative Campus Cultural Fund, and the development of the £14m Future High Street Stockroom discovery centre.
In recent years, Stockport has been widely celebrated as an emerging hub of creative activity in Greater Manchester, and last year was dubbed the ‘new Berlin’ by DJ Luke Unabomber.
The town boasts a rich cultural history, and is home to Strawberry Studios — which saw artists including Joy Division, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, and Paul McCartney record there.
It’s also home to several historically important public buildings, such as the Edwardian Central Library, and its Town Hall — a popular filming location for several primetime TV shows.
Taking to the floor at Stockport’s Hat Works, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “It’s a real pleasure to be able to announce Stockport as our third ever Town of Culture for 2023.
“The town put forward a strong case for the accolade, backed up by some really exciting plans for events and activities that celebrate Stockport’s identity, its history, but also shine a spotlight on everything that’s happening right now.
“I think the fact that we’ve got Blossoms coming out to support us today just goes to show the talent that is coming out of this place and the pride they have in their hometown.
I’m pleased to see so many cultural organisations and community groups already engaging with the Town of Culture project, because they’re the ones that will really bring this together.
“There’s a real buzz about the place at the moment – the regeneration taking place through the Mayoral Development Corporation is transforming the town centre, and now this recognition and the funding that comes with it will help Stockport capitalise on all of that.”
Council leader Mark Hunter said the town had a ‘rich cultural history’ and he was delighted it was being ‘recognised in this way.
Cllr Neil Emmott, Greater Manchester’s Lead for Culture, said: the title is about ‘celebrating the unique heritage and exciting potential of places across Greater Manchester’. As well as helping ‘people to engage with culture in new and innovative ways’.
The town follows in the footsteps of Stalybridge, which held the title in 2022, and Bury, which was announced as Greater Manchester’s inaugural Town of Culture for 2020 and held the title through 2021 after the coronavirus pandemic put a number of events and activities on hold.
Stockport’s Town of Culture Programme will be announced throughout the year as the programme is developed with residents, local artists, creative businesses and partners.
Man to complete visiting every Wetherspoon pub in Britain and Ireland this week
Now he only has one final pub left to visit
A man will complete his visit to every Wetherspoon pub in Britain and Ireland this week as he sips his final pint to conclude his mission.
Most people like to see how far they can make it in a pub crawl but David Bingham, 60, decided to take it much further than that.
The Derbyshire man, who set out on the task in 2019, will conclude his journey of sipping a pint at all 875 Wetherspoon venues this week, including the 40 that have closed.
Now he only has one final pub left to visit, and he’s booked a flight at the South Terminal in Gatwick Airport in order to tick it off his long list.
The last of the boozers will be The Flying Horse, which is conveniently located right after security at the airport. Wetherspoons has praised his dedication.
Mr Bingham, from West Hallam, has said his other passions are trainspotting and following Burton Albion. He took on the challenge while also pursuing his other hobbies. Mr Bingham told the BBC: “If we were going somewhere new, I’d suss out the Wetherspoons.”
His partner Una Cooper bought him a directory of the pubs and he began ticking them off. “I’ve had a drink in most pubs, I’d say 85%,” he said.
“I’m a lager lad, definitely. The one in Ramsgate [in the Royal Victoria Pavilion] is my favourite because the history behind that building is incredible.
“But there are five police stations, there are churches, there’s chapels, there’s a tram depot, there’s a fire station.
“They just save these fantastic buildings. I love architecture and I love buildings. It’s a history lesson.”
Wetherspoon spokesman, Eddie Gershon, said: “We applaud David Bingham on his outstanding achievement.
“Many people love to visit Wetherspoon pubs across the UK and Ireland, but only a handful have visited each and every one. David will now join that select group.
“He has obviously put in a lot of time and effort into achieving his goal and we thank him for his dedication to our pubs.”
108-year-old reveals secret to long life is having dogs not kids
She was inundated with almost 300 cards to wish her a ‘happy birthday’
An elderly woman has celebrated her 108th birthday and revealed her secret to having a long life was having dogs rather than children.
Ada Daniel has lived at Codnor Park Care Home, Derbyshire, since 2015. Knowing the centenarian had a very impressive birthday coming up, staff at her home put the news out there and appealed for 108 birthday cards.
But Ada was inundated with nearly 300 cards — showing what a popular lady she is.
She also received a very special card from the King and Queen to mark her big day.
Ada couldn’t believe it as she said: “Three hundred? Ooh, gracious! Can’t believe it. Can’t believe it.”
Staff surprised her with a private birthday party which included an afternoon tea and numerous balloons which had been donated during the appeal to make her day extra special.
Kelly Goucher, activity co-ordinator at Ashmere, the company which runs the home, told the BBC: “Ada hasn’t got a lot of family left.
“She never had any children so she doesn’t have any grandchildren so we just wanted to get her as many cards as possible. She quite likes the fact that people know about her because of her age.”
It was Kelly who decided to launch the appeal for 108 birthday cards on Facebook. She said she was shocked at the number of people who responded and wanted to send Ada their well wishes.
She said: “I woke up to 135 messages the following morning of people wanting to send cards.
Kelly also went on to explain that Ada didn’t have children but instead owned a lot of pet pooches. “She had a lot of greyhounds,” she said.
Adding: “She’s definitely a character. I did ask her what her secret was once and she said it was ‘to have dogs, not kids’.”
Boy, 11, seriously hurt in horror dog attack in Manchester
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward
An 11-year-old boy has been seriously hurt after being attacked by a dog in Manchester.
The incident happened on Sunday afternoon (June 4th) in Swanley Avenue, Monsall and emergency services, including an air ambulance were in attendance.
Greater Manchester Police have said the young boy sustained injuries which were not life-threatening in the attack.
A 35-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of having a dog dangerously out of control and the animal was also seized, officers said.
A cordon was put in place along Swanley Avenue, with a number of police vehicles and ambulances at the scene in the immediate aftermath. GMP are now asking for witnesses to come forward.
Officers have appealed for any CCTV, mobile or dashcam footage. Superintendent Nicola Williams said the ‘awful attack’ had left the boy’s family ‘incredibly distressed’.
She added: “I understand the concern an incident of this nature will cause in the wider community, and I want to reassure you we will carry out an extensive investigation into what has happened.
“The dog has been secured and we have made an arrest of a woman who remains in police custody.”
Members of the public can give information by calling 0161 856 1146, quoting log 1530 of June 4th 2023, or use the LiveChat function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.