OK, I confess. Some people have accused me of being a bit parochial, a bit too obsessed with my home town and its near neighbours. Guilty. In my defence, I was born in Manchester city centre, went to my first school in Manchester, supported Manchester City from the age of four and even went to watch United occasionally with my mate Rod Gibson. I was also the arts editor, TV critic, travel editor and deputy features editor on the Manchester Evening News, where I worked for nearly 20 years. I may live in Stockport, which I also love, now, but I’m still always going into town to meet friends, watch City or just to enjoy the buzz. But to address this ‘professional Mancunian’ thing, I’ve decided to go national with my new map of the British Isles. Now, surely, no one can accuse me of being too Manchester-centric. Surely. This will be available to buy in the regular formats from Wednesday, July 25. www.statementartworks.comRead More
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.