Black 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 and Bowdon, two South Manchester places that are quite close geographically but miles apart demographically, which is why doing this northern poster malarkey is so much fun! And it shows I've not just been sitting on my arse doing nothing since Christmas.
It 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!
Whereas 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.
Stretford 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.Read More
The 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 country 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. The poster is available from www.statementartworks.com, selected local galleries and shops and the best markets in the north west.
Sir Ian McCartney, the former MP for Makerfield, who held posts in the Labour government's Cabinet and was also Party Chairman, received a framed Wigan poster by artist Eric Jackson to mark his retirement from local politics.
The presentation was made by incumbent Makerfield MP, Yvonne Fovargue, on behalf of the constituency. Sir Ian, whose latest role was head of Healthwatch Wigan, is moving back to Scotland.
The Wigan poster is one of over 25 images designed by former Manchester Evening News arts editor, TV critic and travel editor Eric Jackson, who quit journalism last year to return to his first love of painting.
Working under the company name of Statement Artworks, Eric sells his 'modern retro' posters, which combine the look of old travel posters with edgy, tongue-in-cheek messages, at markets and at various galleries and shops through the Greater Manchester and Cheshire region.
You can see his full range of work at www.statementartworks.comRead More
One of my favourite walks in the whole of the North West of England is up and around Rivington Pike, close to Bolton.
The beauty spot, with its distinctive folly and stepped path, has been a popular day out for Boltonians and other Lancastrians for over a hundred years - a welcome respite from the work in the mills and mines of the Industrial Revolution. The views stretch across the Lancashire plain below, all the way to the coast and Blackpool Tower.
But beware, the bogs, linked by countless streams and springs, on the plateau at the top can catch the unwary by surprise. Of course the people of Bolton don't really look down on the rest of Lancashire, not in a snobby way, at least - just physically.
This is my latest Statement Artworks poster and is available in A1 and A2 sizes from www.statementartworks.comRead More