I got really angry with a feature in the Daily Mail recently about the Labour Party and the North. It used a picture of mills and chimneys belching smoke, probably taken 70 years ago. Anyway, that, and other similar southern-centric rubbish that depicts northerners as backwards cloggies has inspired me to do my latest poster, the Manchester manifesto.
Oldham and Saddleworth poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksBlack Chew Head. When I heard that such a place existed on the moors high above Oldham, I had to use it in the poster. But not only does it sound odd, it also happens to be the highest place in Greater Manchester, hence the high society caption in the poster. The area around Oldham and Saddleworth is dotted with spectacular views and walks, and on a nice day it can rival anywhere in the country. And as for the town's swanky new cinema tagged on to the old town hall, well that's something special indeed. www.statementartworks.com
Wythenshawe poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksIt was a wonderful dream on a post-war town planner's drawing board. Houses fit for heroes on a large, modern estate, or 'garden city', with none of that old mish-mash of narrow streets and diverse design. No, this was going to be uniform, clean and functional. And my parents bought into that dream, so that was the first Jackson family home, in Baguley, a district of Wythenshawe, the new town on the edge of Manchester which became the largest estate in Europe. Most of my aunts and uncles and cousins lived there too. But the dream turned sour, and Wythenshawe became a byword for problem families, crime and town planning gone mad. What's this, though? Wythenshawe, by degrees, is turning itself around, thanks in no small part to the tram line and the train line, both going to the nearby airport and the city centre. Young singles and families are discovering that the housing stock is affordable and not too bad either. Posh apartment blocks are springing up, and the once-dire Civic Centre is looking lively again. Just a pity the old theatre is no longer functioning. Now that would have been the icing on the cake for the new Wythenshawe. This poster in available at statementartworks.com in any size you like!
Man City Pep Guardiola poster original versionThis is similar to the 'Donald Trump' poster, but a little less vulgar, simply because there's no mention of Donald Trump, if you get my drift...
The Mancunian Way by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksThe Mancunian way is not to be confused with the Mancunian Way. The former - the mindset and spirit of the city's people - is very special indeed. However, the road of that name, with a capital W, is about as horrible as it gets. Has anyone ever travelled on it and not be gripped by terror at where to come off and what lane to use, or indeed where the bloody hell they are? My Gran used to have a flat right next to it in All Saints, and she'd say, " Eric, i love it here, because the lights at night are fabulous, what with all the different colours and the speed. Champion." She said champion - a sadly dying northernism - quite a lot, but on the subject of the Mancunian Way I had to disagree with her. Not champion, Gran! So you're not likely to see a smiling couple on a Vespa any time soon on the Mancunian Way, buy hey, I love Vespas, and I quite like couples who smile while motorbiking (see the film Priceless), and I love Manchester, in spite of the Mancunian Way! Great Ancoats Street - now there's a road - and being transformed into something amazing. Go to the Port Street Beer House, and then go for a wander. My Gran and I did that years ago when it was the heart of the textile industry, and it still sends a tingle down my spine.
Manchester Alphabet posterEric Jackson's personal look at Manchester, with his illustrated alphabet of the city. See if you agree or disagree with his thoughts...
Bowdon poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksWhereas its nearby neighbour Hale loves to flaunt its chi-chi trendiness, affluence and desirability, Bowdon presents itself as understated, restrained and 'old money'. Hence there's not a lot going on really - a few posh gastro pubs, a posh hotel, a posh looking green with a few posh shops, posh sports clubs, and a posh Indian restaurant. Oh yes, it's posh, especially when you look beyond the high hedges and gates and wonder at some of the finest houses - indeed mansions - in the whole of Cheshire. Wow, are they grand, which is why they say you're going 'up the hill' when you go from Altrincham or Hale, and that is meant in so many ways. Footballers, TV stars and the generally well-wadded live there, in a very understated way, of course. This poster is available through statementartworks.com at any size you like.
Bramhall poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksBramhall, which is actually in Stockport but feels more like hard-core Cheshire and has a fabulous Tudor Hall to prove it, now has more gastro bars than you can shake a feta and olive brioche at. Good thing, bad thing? Who am I to judge? But I would add that the Mounting Stone is the best addition to the high street in 20 years, maybe more, which is why it was recently judged to be the best pub/bar in Greater Manchester. This poster, which you can ponder as we go through the Brexit divorce and beyond, is available through www.statementartworks.com
This is the northThat errant 'r', pronounced in bath and path, and probably a few other words, by people from the south of England, is just wrong, wrong, wrong - a stupid affectation probably brought over by the Normans, whose linguistic influence generally stopped at the point now known as the Watford gap. The little 'r' is the one thing that truly separates northerners and southerners. In most other respects we're exactly the same, at least genetically. This poster is available at markets around the Greater Manchester and Cheshire area, and online from statementartworks.com
London poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksEveryone compares my work with old railway posters - except I'd never painted a train - until now. And what better way of linking Manchester with London? Of course the poor capital, bless it, comes off worse in the comparison. How could it not? But then again I am a completely biased Mancunian who loves everything about this great northern metropolis and its lovely little satellite towns. The poster, in all it forms, is available from www.statementartworks.com and selected shops, galleries and even a nice little restaurant in West Didsbury. Chuffing heck!
Warrington posterBe vigilant...on the front line between scousers and Mancs in Warrington
Hazel Grove poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksHazel Grove poster by Eric Jackson, Statement Artworks, featuring the famous Bamboo Club!
Whalley Range poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksWhalley Range. Just the name sounds Wild West. Well, it was wild once, in the sense that drugs and prostitution were its main industries. But now the 'prozzies' have been replaced, slowly, by professionals, and it's becoming so gentrified that the term 'ChoBo' has been coined, by estate agents, to indicate it's the 'Chorlton borders.' Sick, obviously, but let's not forget the fact that Whalley Range possesses some of the finest buildings and streets in the whole of Manchester. It's real, old Manchester. Gritty and gorgeous in equal amounts, rich and poor, trendy and trackies cheek by jowl. And to cap it all there's the Carlton Club, as old school as you can get, but more wonderful and special than any arsey posers' club in the city centre. You'd have to be a real wally not to love Whalley Range. Love goes out to Laurence Hopkins, a mate and one-time resident of the Range, who helped me with the research. www.statementartworks.com
The Ascent of Manc poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksThe Ascent of MancWe've come a long way in the area now known as Manchester...or have we? From tribal, hairy nut-eater to...tribal, hairy nut-eater. Here is the Ascent of Manc poster, released on November 1.Available through www.statementartworks.com, at numerous artisan markets around the north west and selected retail outlets and galleries.
Sale poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksIt's one giant leap for Manc-kind. Welcome to Sale - is it in Manchester, Trafford or Cheshire? Not even the locals seem to know. Let's call it the 'Cheshire borders' then. A fine place, but not without its edge, that is catching up with next-door neighbour Altrincham in the trendiness stakes. My poster features an amazing Industrial Revolution crane on the banks of the Bridgewater Canal in the town centre. It's good, but would it inspire anyone to leap for joy? Who cares, this is Sale!www.statementartworks.com
Chester poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksFeeling hot, hot, hot! Chester, if you believe Hollyoaks, only has drop-dead gorgeous people living in it. So physical beauty, history (dating back to the Romans) and some eye-candy architecture and scenery make for a heady mix in the county town of Cheshire. Poster available from www.statementartworks.com
Burnage poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksSorry, Burnage, for lumping you together with that numpty and Trump-lover Nigel Farage, but there you go. With gentrification comes posher vowels, and the place where I was born and lived for the first six years of my life does genuinely get referred to as somewhere that has got the invisible r before the g. One thing you can bet on, though, is that the borough's most famous sons, Noel and Liam Gallagher, have only ever pronounced is as 'Burnidge'. And I'll toast that sentiment the next time I go for a pint in the Reasons To Be Cheerful bar on Fog Lane. This poster is available at www.statementartworks.com
Cheadle Hulme poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksWhat defines Cheadle Hulme? The magnificent 'Seven Arches' viaduct over the Micker Brook? The quaint old police station - now homes - or the cosy Church Inn? Not anymore. Chat to anyone from Cheadle Hulme, and the conversation will soon come round to supermarkets."You know," they'll say, "we've got a marvellous Waitrose." And who can blame them, as apparently anywhere that gets a Waitrose these days takes a sudden jump up the desirable location ladder. Weird, but true, such is the importance we place on premium priced quinoa, whatever that is, and the ubiquitous prosecco. www.statementartworks.com
Altrincham poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksAfter extensive research (OK, a chat with a few mates down the pub), I concluded that Altrincham must buy more Farrow & Ball paint than any other town in the north, or even the whole country, or maybe in the whole world. So ubiquitous is it, in fact, that it must also be true that using Dulux or Crown is border-line illegal there, and using own brand B&Q is a lynching offence. Hence the elephant's breath reference in the poster. Yes, that really is a Farrow & Ball paint colour. What next, antelope's armpit? The skater, of course, references Altrincham's reborn ice-rink (the original rink formed a VERY important part of my youth), while everyone in the town sets their watches by the clock on the famous tower outside the swanky new transport hub (that's lots of stations to you and me). This poster is available at www.statementartworks.com but does not come with a free sample of elephant's breath paint.
Worsley poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksNo, it's not polluted - it's the iron oxide, or something like that, that seeps into the water, which gives the Bridgewater Canal in Worsley its distinctive orange colour, an almost identical hue to that of tomato soup, in fact (many thanks to my old mate Simon Donohue for coming up with that comparison). And that, along with the classy Arts and Crafts homes and buildings, makes Worsley one of the most sought-after districts north of the Irwell. The jewel in Salford's crown. Deliciously rich! So cool is it, in fact, that it was recently featured in the The Great British Interior Design Challenge. Now that's trendy. This poster, by Eric Jackson, is available from A4 size all the way up to A1, through statementartworks.com and at the usual markets and selected shops/galleries.
Manchester's 10 Commandments with Alan TuringHere is the updated edition of my Manchester's 10 Commandments poster, with Alan Turing replacing Ian Curtis as the cover star. This is to celebrate the Royal Exchange Theatre, in October, putting on Breaking the Code, the play about the troubled computer genius and war hero who was shamefully hounded to his death by the establishment because of his homosexuality. The computer pioneer, who helped decipher German messages in the Second World War, worked at Manchester University and remains one of the city's greatest ever figures. Without him, the Allies may very well have lost the war, while the development of computer technology would arguably have been delayed by years if not decades.
Timperley posterTimperley, the home of the late, great Frank Sidebottom, is one of those places that instantly evokes the description of 'nice'...a safe, pleasant, middle-of-the-road suburb of Altrincham. But as we all know, things aren't always what they seem. How else could it have inspired something as surreal as Frank? And what's normal or nice anyway once you get behind closed doors? Think about that the next time you go for a pint at the Stonemasons Arms in the village centre...This poster is available from Statement Artworks (statementartworks.com), from numerous markets around the north west and some shops and galleries.
Prestwich poster by Eric JacksonDid you know that the temple folly in Heaton Park is the highest point in Manchester? Or that there's a fine collection of trams from around the world in the park? Or that on the other side of Bury Old Road there's another great bit of open space in St Mary's Park, along with its lovely clough? Or that there's also Philips Park, not to mention a few golf courses on Prestwich's boundaries? Blimey, it's like living in Richmond, and it makes Prestwich a great place for families, dog walkers and, more recently, the urban trendies. OK, strictly speaking, most of Heaton Park comes under Blackley, but it's the natural playground for the people of Prestwich. If you didn't know any of the above, then you deserve to be beaten on the bottom with a copy of Woman's Weekly (check out your Victoria Wood songs to understand that). The late, great comic was born in Prestwich, where the billiant writer Howard Jacobson was brought up, and which is now home to Guy Garvey of Elbow fame. The town is home to north Manchester's largest Jewish community, and has a bustling high street and very smart tree-lined avenues. This poster, by Eric Jackson, is available on www.statementartworks.com
The Heatons posterGo on, you've heard it so many times, haven't you? Strike up a conversation with anyone from the Heatons, especially Heaton Moor, and you'll get: "It's just like Didsbury, with so many great shops, bars and restaurants, and the houses are amazing, but so much more affordable." And then you'll hear the 'added value' bit. "And it's so much easier to get into the countryside and the Peak District here, yet we can still get into town in 15 minutes on the train. And we've even got the 192 bus every minute."Now they've got the revamped, Art Deco style Savoy cinema to boast about too, and who can blame them? It's a stonker of a place. See the latest movie then pop over to Damson, one of the hippest restaurants in the north west.The four Heatons - Moor, Mersey, Chapel and Norris - form the trendiest corner of Stockport, giving the town a much-neeed cachet. If that gold dust could be sprinkled over the regeneration projects currently sweeping Stockport, then the town will once again be able to lure in the visitors from the affluent suburbs.This poster is available through www.statementartworks.com
Stretford poster by Statement ArtworksStretford is famous for its association with football and cricket, with United and Lancashire County Cricket Club on its borders in Old Trafford, but it was once celebrated for having one of the finest cinemas in Britain.A few years before the outbreak of the second world war, the Longford Cinema opened its doors for the first time, and its revolutionary design and state of the art interior and acoustics were hailed as 'the future' of wide-screen entertainment.Sadly, the once-grand building has changed hands, closed, re-opened, been neglected and finally abandoned to rot. Admittedly it's on the unlovely Chester Road, but it remains a scandal that nothing has been done to use this masterpiece in some way. Instead, it has been daubed various shades of blue and pink over the years and stands as a testimony to council inertia.Myposter features it in steam-punk mode and the Hopkins family of Old Trafford on the tandem. As for the geezer on the flying machine? That was instead of a flying pig, which is about as likely to happen as something being done about the great Longford Cinema.
Bollington posterThe folly of White Nancy stands sentinel over the Cheshire town of Bollington in the foothills of the Pennines and on the edge of the Peak District National Park. From White Nancy you can see across the Cheshire Plain, with Manchester in one direction and Jodrell Bank and the Welsh mountains in the other. Cheshire's Chamonix then? Well the people have a kind of mountain man sensibility, judging by the amount of Gortex and Nordic walking poles on show. It's a lovely place, though, albeit mostly strung along one winding road, so it's hard to pinpoint a centre. The cricket ground is amazing, as are some of the pubs and parks, and to top it all there's a micro-brewery. So when you finish any of the many walks on offer, there's always a great pub and a pint to look forward to. The very big one downside for me - no railway station. But that's not Bollington's fault, just that cretin Beeching who closed half the stations in the sixties. The poster is available at markets and online at www.statementartworks.com
Manchester City Pep pills posterSorry, couldn't resist this. I don't normally change my posters, but in view of recent events I felt I had no choice in this case. Works on a political, sporting and medical level. And hey, we've got to find something amusing in the situation. Top trumps! www.statementartworks.comThe poster is available to buy at www.statementartworks.com
Eccles poster by Eric JacksonDo you know Eccles has one of the finest restaurants in the north west? Put it this way, if Smiths was in London, Giles Coren would think it was the best thing since sliced Prosciutto. It's not all good, though - the one-way system is like entering the third circle of hell. It's a pity, because within it there's the Church Street area, which would not be out of place in a quaint market town or village. Of course, Eccles is famous for its cakes, which are beyond wonderful. Just don't mention Chorley...This poster is available through www.statementartworks.com
Hale poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksOn the outskirts of Altrincham, Hale is the chi-chi suburb most people in Trafford aspire to. It's the place to be seen and, occasionally, spot the odd celebrity. It's got the lot, from artisan bakeries to trendy bars and restaurants. It's a bit of a mystery how the very wonderful Railway pub has survived. It's only a pub, for god's sake. Of course, it's not all sweetness and light - most locals hate the clock tower, and it's a constant niggle that although posh, Hale isn't quite as posh as Bowdon, which is just 'up the hill ' and is where most of the celebs actually live. This is my latest poster and it will be available at numerous markets in Greater Manchester and Cheshire from this weekend (Jan 16-17) onwards.Eric JacksonStatement Artworks
Urmston posterOK, it's not the Bermuda Triangle, but it still has its own mythology and mysteries. Bordered by the Ship Canal and the Mersey, Urmston, Flixton and Davyhulme are virtually unknown to people from outside the area - the proverbial end of the line. But when outsiders do stray into that triangular patch, they are often pleasantly surprised by the leafy streets, fine houses and semi-rural oases, and the Urmston Bookshop is an absolute gem. Just one elephant in the room, which people try to ignore but can't - the sewage works. You can buy this poster through statementartworks.com or you can buy it at Knutsford and Altrincham markets this weekend.
Tameside posterIt's not West Side Story - this is Tameside Story!Tameside, to the East of Manchester and Stockport, is a loose confederation of former mill towns and suburbs. Like the EU, it has not always been a comfortable union. Who, after all, wants to be part of something with 'side' in its made-up title? But the area has some nice countryside and several little gems, such as the Stalybridge Buffet Bar, which is actually on the platform at the train station. It's one of the top 10 pubs in the north west.My poster features the Ashton War Memorial, a fine piece of civic sculpture.The poster is available at markets throughout the north west, including Knutsford, Altrincham, Manchester Northern Quarter, Urmston, West Didsbury, Macclesfield, Wilmslow and Eccles, at selected galleries and shops and at www.statementartworks.com
Didsbury posterYou don't have to be in the media to live in Didsbury, but...
Poynton poster Anyone who has ever driven through Poynton in Cheshire will relate to this picture. The landscaping may be pretty, but the chaos and confusion caused by the 'shared space' roundabouts are ugly. Still, the village managed to get a posh Waitrose out of the arrangement, and on the road to Macclesfield there's now a massive Aldi, meaning more traffic and more chaos. Oh well, that's progress! The A4 poster in framed and mounted formats will be available at the Treacle Market in Macclesfield from this Sunday (Jan 31). You can also buy it online at www.statementartworks.com
Manchester City posterVery chic at the Etihad with Manchester City
Chorlton posterChorlton ...beyond any blurb!
Manchester United posterKeep the red flag flying high for Manchester United
Macclesfield posterStay in peak condition with beer and sex and chips and gravy in Macclesfield
Knutsford posterKnutsford poster by Eric Jackson, Statement Artworks (www.statementartworks.com)
Wigan posterWigan hasn't just got pies - as folklore would have it - but also plenty of balls...rugby balls, footballs (the town can accommodate clubs of both codes) and Uncle Joe's Mint Balls. Of course it was also the epicentre of Northern Soul and its 'pier' inspired the author George Orwell. For this poster I've borrowed the imagery of Soviet era propaganda, in keeping with the red of the Mint Balls logo. Come the glorious revolution, it will be free Mint Balls all-round. Or perhaps not!
Stockport posterDiscover the pyramid, the source of the Mersey, Europe's largest brick structure and some diabolical car parks in Stockport
Manchester posterWhat, no whippets? in Manchester
Sale & Altrincham posterSo close, but who is the evil twin in Sale and Altrincham?
Alderley Edge poster by Eric JacksonAlderley Edge is a pretty Cheshire village with some nice shops and businesses and a great big escarpment, but oh, there are aspects to it that are beyond parody. This poster isn't even a mickey-take - just walk along the high street and you'll see places offering botox, unabashed, and any number of other treatments. You can't actually live on another planet yet, but time spent in Alderley is the next best thing. This Eric Jackson poster, framed or mounted, featuring the Bubble Room, a watering hole frequented by footballers and their wives and the young wadded Cheshire set, will be for sale this weekend at various markets, including Spinningfields, the Northern Quarter in Manchester, Sandbach and, most importantly, the Alderley Edge Christmas Market at Alderley Edge Cricket Club on Sunday, December 13. Visit statementartworks.com
Wilmslow posterAnyone for creative accounting in...Wilmslow
Manchester northern powerhouse posterThe government says we are, so it must be true. Manchester, the great northern powerhouse. Flex those muscles!
Bury posterBlack pudding puts you in the mood for love in Bury
Cheshire posterThe search for intelligent life goes on in...Cheshire
Liverpool posterStuff Breakfast at Tiffany's...take me to Concert Square in Liverpool.
Bolton posterBolton poster by Eric Jackson, Statement Artworks (www.statementartworks.com)
Salford posterVisit the Venice of the north...in Salford
Lancashire poster by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksThe Singing Ringing Tree sound sculpture stands high on the moors close to Burnley, and most importantly, on the Lancashire side of the border with Yorkshire. When the wind blows, its tubular steel construction gives off an eerie, enchanting whistle. Of course, this isn't aimed to denigrate our lovely friends from Yorkshire. We never tire of hearing how Yorkshire is the greatest county in Britain, with the best beer and the best food and the best scenery. A quote heard on a recent flight to Hamburg, said by a Yorkshire bloke on a stag do to a German man in the next seat: "The next time you come to England you should forget about Manchester or Liverpool or London. They're rubbish compared to Yaarkshire. Yaarkshire's got everything. Go to Leeds - it's brilliant." He didn't, of course, mention anything about football. The models, by the way, are my beautiful friends and neighbours in Cale Green, Simon and Mandy Morrison and their daughter Emma.
Manchester manifesto poster, by Eric Jackson, Statement ArtworksI got really angry with a feature in the Daily Mail recently about the Labour Party and the North. It used a picture of mills and chimneys belching smoke, probably taken 70 years ago. Anyway, that, and other similar southern-centric rubbish that depicts northerners as backwards cloggies has inspired me to do my latest poster, the Manchester manifesto.
Cheadle posterWhere out of town shopping is better than sex!