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Piccadilly Gardens almost had an Eiffel Tower among other redevelopment ideas

There’s been some strange happenings and unusual plans for the site over the years

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Over the years, Piccadilly Gardens has seen many transformations, with other redevelopment plans that never happened, including almost having an Eiffel Tower.

Once occupied by water-filled clay pits, then the old Manchester Royal Infirmary and even a lunatic asylum, but after several unrealised plans it eventually became a beautiful sunken garden and was given a fountain centrepiece.

In mediaeval times when it was just a barren wasteland filled with boggy clay pits known as ‘Daub Holes’, it was used as a place to publicly shame mainly women accused of being ‘witches’.

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Women who were considered outspoken, non-conformist or who bore children out of wedlock were dunked into these filthy 615-foot-long pits.

It seems the site has alway been a bizarre sort of place right from the beginning and anything constructed there is built on some kind of ley lines.

After the land was donated to the city for public use, it became home to a huge pond with the Manchester Royal Infirmary being built there in 1755, followed by a mental asylum right next to it in 1763.

Many casualties of the Peterloo Massacre were also treated here.

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Eventually, in 1849 the asylum moved to become what is now Cheadle Royal Hospital and the MRI relocated to its home on Oxford Road in 1908.

Following the demolition of the hospital, the site’s fate became uncertain for several years with various plans that never came to fruition.

One of the interesting ideas for the empty space — considered ‘the heart of the city’ — was a huge Eiffel Tower-esque base structure with an impressive manor house to sit on the top of it.

This would have been a really weird and wonderful building to have witnessed but sadly, it wasn’t to be.

L.S. Lowry / Manchester Art Gallery

The empty space was left with an identity crisis, before being landscaped with a sunken garden with grass, benches and flowers — a nice green space to break up the growing industrial metropolis. This was perhaps its most popular reincarnation to date.

Transport interchanges were built in the area in the 1930s which eventually became the bus depot and Metrolink stop we know today.

Another strange use – what’s not strange in Piccadilly Gardens at this point? – was during the 1940s and 50s, when part of the area was used as allotments.

Workers would tend to their vegetables while visitors would take a leisurely stroll around the garden grounds or sunbathe in deck chairs.

Manchester Archives Plus / Flickr

However, over the years it became an attraction for alcoholism and drug use, becoming the part of town many would try to avoid where possible.

After the 1996 IRA bombing, the city underwent an urban renewal programme and the gardens were replaced with flat land, fountains that spat out from the ground. It also gained a concrete slab nicknamed the ‘Berlin Wall’.

The wall has now been knocked down but Piccadilly Gardens is still lacking an identity. Let’s hope this eyesore of a ‘no man’s land’ is given a better use than the mere magnet for pigeons it is at present. Let’s give Manchester the Piccadilly Gardens the glow-up it deserves.

Let us know what you think Piccadilly Gardens should become?

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Woman shares sneaky trick on how to get a half price Maccie’s

You can do what?!

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She went viral on TikTok for sharing the little known hack where hungry fast food fans can bag a Maccie’s for better than half price.

TikTok user Caroline (@caroline.shops) shared the sneaky trick with her followers where McDonald’s lovers can get a burger and fries for £1.99, saying it works ‘every single time’.

The content creator shares numerous thrifty tips and tricks on her account along with her other passions for wigs and fashion.


So how can I get a Maccie’s for £1.99, I hear you ask. Well, according to Caroline you should order something cheap such as a small soft drink at McDonalds and make sure to get a receipt.

She explains that on the receipt, there is a web address and a code. If you head over to the website and enter the code you will be asked to give feedback on your recent Maccie’s visit.

But Caroline has shared that if you skip past answering the questions by selecting that you do not want to answer, you will eventually come to the end where you will receive a voucher code.

This code will allow you to get a Big Mac and fries or a McPlant and fries for just £1.99.


According to Caroline, this thrifty trick also works on a McChicken Sandwich and fries, a quarter pounder with cheese and fries, a Filet-o-Fish with fries or six McNuggets with fries.

As she says: “This code or voucher and go and get the food – you then end up with a drink and burger and fries for £3.18, which is less than half of what it would usually be.”

If you’d rather order a medium drink it will cost you 50p more but you’ll still be saving quite a bit on a meal that would usually cost around £6.49.

And, another way to bag yourself a free meal is by playing the McDonald’s Monopoly, which is running at the moment. Caroline points this out in her clip also.

Social media users jumped to the comments to say how they are already onto this cheeky tip, with one clever person suggesting: “Order a dip next time it’s 10p still get a receipt.”

Another commented: “I have been using this for years.” And a third said: “I do this every time. I also do this all whilst logging into the app at the ordering machines so I earn points too!!”

Meanwhile, others had no idea about the handy hack and thanked Caroline for bringing it to their attention. One person typed: “I didn’t actually know this, thanks!” A second put: “Smart move,” added a second.

And, a third said: “Thinking about all the mcdonalds receipts I’ve thrown out.”

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Man divides internet with ‘genius’ method of cooking a fry-up

But some people weren’t so sure

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A man has gone viral on TikTok as he shared the strange method of how he cooks a fry-up, with some labelling it as ‘genius’.

TikToker Lawrence (@lawrencetiktok90) stunned followers with the rather different way he likes to make a Full English.

There’s already a huge debate around what does and doesn’t belong on the plate of a full brekky, with many who believe hash browns do not and others claiming neither do black or white puddings.


Afterall, the dish is a British staple and has been known to be the cure for many a hangover. However, we all don’t seem to disagree much over the way to put one together.

But people have been left absolutely gobsmacked at seeing how Lawrence chooses to cook his fried breakfast.

Apart from the tinned items, the rest of the food is usually fried – except those who choose to make it a little healthier and use the grill.


The usual cooking method means multiple pans are being used across the hobs at once and involves quite a bit of washing up to do.

Well, not when Lawrence cooks. He likes to pack all the ingredients into just one pan, including the tinned items – and the tins aswell by the way.

In the video he wraps his hand in a tea-towel and warns his audience: “Be careful it’s not too hot.”  He then removes the lid off the beans he describes as ‘lovely’,  and slops them out onto the plate.


Then he carefully opens the tin of plum tomatoes and scoops some out onto a plate, while using the tea towel to hold the heated tin.

If you’re not a fan of the clean up job after cooking a Full English then this hack could be the way forward. The one pan does make for less washing up and some have even called the technique ‘genius’.

Commenting on the clip, one user simply said: “That sir is genius.” While another put: “Easiest way to heat up food while camping keeping it in the tin but never thought of doing it at home.”

Someone else wrote: “Lawrence with the 200 IQ cooking move.” While someone who clearly hates doing the dishes typed: “One pan dinner, love it.” And another added: “This is pure gold!”

Others weren’t as convinced by the idea, as one penned: “Hazardous.” And someone commented: “The tea towel dipping into the food upset me more than the tins on the pan.”

Another asked: “How do you know that the tin is hygienic to be on the pan with the other food (sorry I’m a bit ocd).”

Completely against the idea, a fourth said: “Nah. Beans and tomatoes cooked in the can IN THE PAN is bananas.”

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Heinz set to launch new curry flavour range of its baked beans

There’s a new twist on the staple

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Baked beans brand Heinz has announced it will be launching a range of new flavours of its baked beans, which is sure to have fans divided.

The new flavours are sure to add a little spice to the tomatoey blend of sauce and beans as it brings out three new curry flavours.

The new twist on the original will see them come in the flavours of  Tikka, Jalfrezi and Vindaloo, and will be available to shop in Asda from this Thursday (October 5th).


The launch coincides with National curry Week which celebrates traditional Eastern cuisine which became a favourite dish among Brits.

Now, households can spice up their beans on toast with all the taste of their favourite takeaway.

Around 40% of Brits already admit to adding some form of spice to their beans, but now they don’t have to with these three new flavours.


The Tikka Masala beans come in a creamy warmly spiced sauce, the Jalfrezi has a medium kick to it, while the Vindaloo is much more fiery and intense.

But will the new curry range go down as well with baked beans fans? We’ll have to wait and see. The manufacturer already sells up to 2.5 million tins of beans a day.

Alessandra de Dreuille, director of meals and insights for Heinz, said: “We think it’s about time that two of the nation’s favourite dishes, curry and Heinz Beanz, came together, and as soon as we heard that Brits were adding spice to their Beanz, we knew we were on to something!”


According to The Sun, the new curry range announcement comes after some Heinz fans realised the company had cut the number of beans and upped the amount of sauce in their cans this year.

The 415g cans went from 51% beans to 50%. It works out as around an estimated 10 fewer beans per tin.

Meanwhile, the price has gone up from £1 to £1.40 in the past year.

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