Salford’s New Order
Nigel Pivaro meets
Peter Hook Ewan MacColl’s DIRTY OLD TOWN
still grabs Salford… Issue 4 Spring 2007
SHOCK ! HORROR ! THE GREAT AFFORDABLE HOMES SCANDAL HIYA BROUGHTON !!! Council Slammed !!! HOT CROSS MUMS AND THE NEW SKOOL RULES… There’s only one team in Salford… CITY Get the SUZUKI METHOD
The Salford Butterfly bogs off…
Plus your day by day guide to all that’s happening…with attitude and love xxx
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INTRO Welcome to this wonderful spring edition of the Salford Star, which features an exclusive meet between Salford legends Nigel Pivaro and Peter Hook…an exclusive insight by Peggy Seeger into Ewan MacColl and his Salford anthem, Dirty Old Town…and an exclusive, beautifully written feature about life in a condemned terrace by Jimmy Griffiths, who, with his brother Guy, was forcibly evicted from Higher Broughton by the council…read it and weep. We’ve also got a pre-election, You Are The Council Quiz where you could win lots of ££££s and sad schoolkids… And we’ve got so much scandal that we’ve had to go up another four pages to fit it all in…the Council slammed by the Audit Commission over Higher Broughton…the new `non faith’ academy run by hard core Christians…the almost non existent affordable housing in Central Salford…and the sad, sad story of the rare Salford Butterfly, whose caterpillars have lost out to Caterpillars. We’ve got brilliant new band Suzuki Method, the area’s top football club, Salford City, and the top Salfordian photographer, Lawrence Cassidy, who’s taking the city’s images to the heart of former apartheid. We’ve even got a regeneration beauty contest in Langworthy and Seedley as the community goes up against the Council – the prize is their homes. Meanwhile, May Day’s coming up and the unions have sent greetings to Salford…Easter’s hatching too and we’ve got a full day by day guide to all that’s happening. Something for everyone then, except maybe the miffed Mayor of Salford. To cheer him up we’ve commissioned a special portrait – Harold Riley eat yer heart out ! So, a massive May Day greeting to everyone in Salford from the Star – and thanks to the unions for helping to keep democracy and accountability alive in the city. With attitude and love – enjoy xxx Printed By: The Magazine Printing Company Mollison Avenue, Brimsdown, Enfield, Middlesex, EN3 &NT Tel: 0208 805 5000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.magprint.co.uk
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CONTENTS... WHEN NIGEL MET HOOKY – on the 25th
anniversary of the Hacienda’s opening, and the 10th anniversary of its closure, guest writer Nigel Pivaro interviews New Order’s Peter Hook about the Hac, the new Ian Curtis film and life in Langworthy and Ordsall….pp 7-10
SCHOOL FOR SANDALS
– Salford’s new `non-faith’ academy run by hard core Christians… `Oh no it’s not…’…`Oh yes it is, for Christ’s sake!’…pp 34 - 36
DIRTY OLD TOWN
– the song…and its creator, Salfordian star Ewan MacColl by guest writer and folk legend in her own right, Peggy Seeger. Plus, how do regulars in the Flat Iron pub relate to the anthem?... pp 12-17
MAY DAY…MAY DAY…MAY DAY…the history of Workers’ Day and greetings from the unions…pp 18-19
THE GREAT AFFORDABLE HOUSING SCANDAL
– There’s supposed to be 20% affordable housing on all new builds in Central Salford. We reveal the real figure’s more like 2%. And we take you inside the Town Hall to visit a planning meeting. Only read with a brown paper bag by your side…pp 20-22
HIYA BROUGHTON – It’s the Griffiths family !
Superstars of anti-regeneration, brothers Guy and Jimmy, and Jimmy’s daughter Madeline, tell their full story for the first time. With added stuff by resident, Sue Davies, and John Earnshaw of the Empty Homes Agency…pp 23-32
SALFORD COUNCIL SLAMMED
– we reveal a report the Council would rather no-one saw…pp 30-31
– There’s only one team in Salford – Becks has watched them, Giggs has played for them…it’s Salford City of course, heading for the big time…pp 52-53
WHAT KIND OF COUNCIL ARE YOU?
– a fun pre-election quiz for all the family – win loads of £££s too !...pp 38 - 43
BOG OFF !!!
– watch Salford’s rare mosslands get trashed, as the unique Salford Butterfly is exiled by the profiteers at Peel Holdings’…pp 44 - 47
HAZEL’S BIG CHANCE
– down in Seedley there’s a regen beauty contest going off to save homes – which side is the Salford MP on?... pp 48-49
SALFORD 7 DISTRICT SIX ?
– Broughtonian photographer, Lawrence Cassidy, takes Salford to South Africa…pp 50-51
ELVIS, LANGWORTHY MEN AND THE MIFFED MAYOR OF SALFORD…pp 54-55
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WHEN NIGEL MET HOOKY… …On the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Hacienda and the 10th anniversary of its closure, Nigel Pivaro chats to fellow Salfordian legend, Peter Hook, about New Order, the hac, the new Ian Curtis film and life in Langworthy and Ordsall… ironic mirth “I’ve always thought that if Salford In 1970’s Salford there was a lone house standing defiantly amongst the rubble of Ordsall’s demolished streets. This was the Hook family home. Thirty-four years later, in stark contrast, I am sitting in the kitchen of Peter Hook’s fantastically appointed 19th Century cotton magnate’s mansion near Wilmslow. The commodious cooking cum breakfast room is triple the size of the homes of Hooky’s upbringing in Ordsall and Langworthy, and the space and décor befit his expansive physical presence and personality.
This is a man who has been famous, not to say iconoclastic, for thirty years. When one considers Hooky’s contribution to contemporary music and his continued input, there is no sense that the house and the five cars on the drive, are not more than earned. Yet despite the obvious self-recognition of his own achievement
people are with you, you’re rocking, if they’re against you you’re f***ed”. Peter Hook first rocked with Joy Division in 1977. “We didn’t set out to be rock stars” he explains “We were just naïve lads enjoying ourselves.”
I ask whether it was this same naivety that allowed him and his musical confederates to go along with the Ian Curtis choice of name for their first band. How did they get away with it ? “Ian got it from a novel The House of Dolls” Hooky replies “He saw it as identifying with the women of the concentration camp brothels, identifying with the oppression of the women of the Joy Division. It wasn’t a celebration of the Nazis, quite the opposite.”
“New Order? The alternative was the Witch Doctor of Zimbabwe!” and the work ethic behind it, Hooky still takes time to consider his good fortune. And he is not averse to expressing a little guilt for having escaped Chimney Pot Park. His best mate still lives on Langworthy Road and he genuinely feels for the plight of the families. He is angry on their behalf. He is angry that the place has gone down the pan, incredulous that it was allowed to happen. “What amazes me is how the place degenerated from when I lived back there in Harmsworth Street” he says “It’s an unbelievable occurrence, where did all those people go?” He’s also distraught that sometime mutual champagne quaffer, canapé muncher and former club owning (Home) fellow traveller Tom Bloxham has chosen to develop the place for the benefit of wealthy outside professionals. At the expense of his Salfordian brethren. “I don’t know who I feel sorry for most, Chimney Pot Park or the yuppies...It will be like Assault on Salford Precinct 13” Hooky predicts with
. I remember my first few episodes of Coronation Street where they’d written this party scene, asked me what tracks I’d like playing in the background, and I wanted Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division. They came back a bit later and a hapless researcher said that the director wouldn’t allow it because of the name. When I approached the director, a dour Scot, he was nearly apoplectic and started ranting `Not only are these bastards called Joy Division, they then form a new band and call themselves New Order’. So what was the thinking behind New Order ? “That was from a newspaper article and it was titled `The New Order of the Khmer Rouge’” Hooky recalls ““We were really impressed with it, and we thought `great, yeah, we’ll call ourselves The Kmer Rouge’ for whatever reason, probably being incredibly drunk and stupid…” It gets worse, I think to myself...Cambodian mass killers…
Photo by Lyndsey Winnington
â€œTo me the when those
“But then we sobered up” he adds “and somebody said `You can’t be called Khmer Rouge’…So Rob Gretton, our manager, ripped the newspaper in half in frustration, threw it on the table and when it landed, there it was, the half with New Order on it. Barney picks it up and says `That’s it, New Order, we’re gonna be called New Order’.
Hooky is currently writing a book on the history of the Hacienda… “I was doing the research this morning, was looking at the figures and we worked out what the Hac earned in 15 years… It earned £15 million, mainly in cash, and that’s on top of the money that we put in. And it all disappeared. I mean, where the hell did the money go ? Because nobody went off to Brazil spending it all on charley and hookers. I’d have been quite happy about that. I mean, if Tony or Rob had phoned me up from Rio and said `I’ve got all your money and I’m surrounded by charley and hookers’ I’d have gone `Top lad…great… fantastic…don’t care…good on you’ because I would have probably done it myself if I’d had the chance. But the fact that it was wasted…it’s heartbreaking.”
strength of Salford has always been its people, and e people aren’t treated well you haven’t got anything...” “The alternative was The Witch Doctors of Zimbabwe because that was the headline on the next page, so radio DJs and record sleeve designers should think themselves lucky” laughs Hooky. The desire to entertain and to provide entertainment for the youth of Manchester led Peter and the band into a 15 year roller coaster of hedonistic masochism with the legendary Hacienda nightclub. The club was opened basically so the band, by then New Order, and its entourage had somewhere to go. Hooky talks of the Hacienda with the reverence of a distantly deceased lover, who provided both pleasure and pain and was ultimately uncontrollable. He’s now pleased that at least the building isn’t some tacky tourist spot. “At one time Virgin Clubs were bidding to buy it” he says “and I’m glad they never got it because it would have been like seeing your ex girlfriend out with somebody else.” There is understandable resentment at what happened to the club, how it made millions but inexplicably lost even more money than it generated. Hooky refers to this as a tragedy, not least because it was his and the band’s money that was keeping the club afloat. The debacle of all the mismanaged finances provided one of the stories for the cult film 24 Hour Party People. “What was earth shattering to me was losing money on every copy of Blue Monday, nobody had bothered to add up the figures and then it turned out to be the biggest selling 12-inch single of all time” he says “It added insult to injury, when people in the audience at the film were laughing about it. I thought `What are you laughing about you bastards? It’s not even funny’. But it was funny because you’d have to be a complete idiot to make one mistake and a complete idiot to make two mistakes…the club and the record…”
Despite the amusing imagery, one feels the sap rising as Hooky delivers his monologue at staccato pace. He continues… “What I hate is that you get very few chances in life and to blow them is a complete waste of time. We were working our balls off, watched our mate die, still carried on, worked hard, toured hard, made good records, earned money and then it just gets wasted...” He pauses for a second… “It’s the same as Chimney Pot Park, isn’t it ? Where’s all the money going ? Where’s it gone ? Nobody will tell you…” I interrupt Hooky to dwell on his astute comparison, and state that when you look at the £88 million that the Housing Market Renewal fund has purportedly spent on Central Salford (basically Langworthy) we’ve got very little for our money. Hooky nods in agreement. “It isn’t there is it ?” he says “And what really upset me about it was all the information that Salford Star was asking for, that was relevant, they weren’t allowed to have…Someone’s gone `If we give this to them then we’re f***d, that’s our jobs down the line’. You don’t get many who do what Salford Star is doing because normally little people are left to get walked on.” Despite his reservations about the content of 24 Hour Party People, Hooky is more positive about the new film, Control, based on the novel by Ian Curtis’s widow, Deborah, and due out
“I don’t know who I feel sorry for most, Chimney Pot Park or the yuppies...It will be like Assault on Salford Precinct 13” And who does Hooky attribute that to? “Tony Wilson of course, and Rob Gretton and us for letting it happen…crass stupidity” Hooky retorts, gripping a steak knife just a little too tightly “Someone wasn’t concentrating, because they didn’t do the figures right. To survive in a shop or selling newspapers on the corner you’ve obviously got to get your figures right otherwise you’re not gonna survive are you? It was allowed to continue for years because our money was subsidising Factory…”
this summer. He’s seen the finished film and is happy with the overall product and, specifically, his depiction in the movie. The film is directed is by Anton Corbijn, who photographed many of the bands of the late 70s and 80s, including Joy Division. The producers had the benefit of Hooky’s advice on the areas concerning the band. However Deborah was ultimately sidelined from the making of the film. “She thought she was going to be consulted and in control of it but at the last minute it didn’t happen” he says “Anton just went
“We watched our mate die, still carried on, worked hard, toured hard, made good records, earned money and then it just gets wasted...” off and did it himself, she was really pissed off about it.” So, beyond the obvious shock and sadness at the loss of a friend, does Hooky feel any resentment towards Curtis for committing suicide ? It came, after all, on the eve of what would have been Joy Division’s first US tour. The answer is a genuine `No’… “It was just a job that we all loved and it was being taken away from us” he recalls “We were all on thirteen quid a week, we didn’t get any beer, there was no excess involved, except for a lack of sleep…” And the women ? “There were no women, English girls are not like that, why do you think New Order went to America?” he laughs “The decision to carry on was easy….the kinship that you had with the group, the roadies and the people around you meant that even though Ian was gone the rest of you were still together. It wasn’t like your best mate had died and you were on your own. So even though it was awful we just thought `We’re gonna carry on’. We did worry about replacing Ian because he was so fantastic and unique, but we still had the music.” 27 years on, I ask Hooky to what he attributes the longevity of the band. He half jokingly puts it down to “how easy going” he is,
and quickly adds that “you don’t get as much time for murder”. He might have legendary status but this hardly registers with him…”I still have to go out and pick up the dogshit and trail round Sainsbury’s every week”. This humility is indeed disarming but what is even more touching is his continued connection with Salford and its people, coupled with his concern about what happens to them. Hooky knows first hand the brutality of having his home compulsory purchased for demolition. The family house in Rothwell Street, Ordsall, was the last to be pulled down, and stood defiantly whilst his mother fought the council for a house in Swinton, only to be disappointed by the final offer of Little Hulton. That was at least preferable to Ellor Street flats. Now, deservedly living in his mansion in Cheshire, Hooky’s lived the dream, but how does he view Salford now ? “I don’t really see a happy ending and I’m very sad about that” he says “To me the strength of Salford has always been its people, and when those people aren’t treated well you haven’t got anything. What I’m concerned about is the massive amounts of money that’s been spent on buildings like the Imperial War Museum, The Lowry, and the BBC thing…but when it comes to looking after people the council can’t seem to get it together…. It makes me think I’ll put myself up for election and I’d do better than that…” Well Hooky if you did, you’d certainly get my vote….
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DIRTY OLD TOWN (1949) words and music: Ewan MacColl © 1951 Robbins Music, c/o EMI,
I found my love by the gasworks croft Dreamed a dream by the old canal Kissed my girl by the factory wall Dirty old town, dirty old town... Heard a siren from the docks Saw a train set the night on fire Smelled the spring on the smoky wind Dirty old town, dirty old town… Clouds a-drifting across the moon Cats a-prowling on their beat Spring’s a girl in the street at night Dirty old town, dirty old town… I’m going to make a good sharp axe Shining steel tempered in the fire We’ll chop you down like an old dead tree Dirty old town, dirty old town… Dirty old town, dirty old town…
DIRTY OLD TOWN
Throughout his life, Salfordian legend Ewan MacColl, made theatre, poetry, writing, acting and singing dangerous. Brought up in a two-up, two-down terraced house in Coburg Street, Lower Broughton, Ewan was beaten up by police on the hunger marches of the 1930s… trailed by MI5 for having `communist’ beliefs…and banned from performing `subversive plays’. Ewan also managed to pen probably the greatest song ever to come out of Salford…
Dirty Old Town.
Here, Ewan’s third wife and long time collaborator, Peggy Seeger -for whom he wrote one of the world’s top love songs – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – gives her own personal take on Dirty Old Town, while we head off to the
Flat Iron pub on the precinct to see how Salfordians relate to the anthem today…
`YOU HAVE TO TASTE THE WORDS…’ Peggy Seeger was Ewan MacColl’s wife and legendary cosinger. Here Peggy gives her thoughts on Dirty Old Town…
E wan and I got together literally on
our very first meeting in March 1956. We used to travel up to Manchester to work on our weekly programme, The Manchester Ramblers, at Granada Television and Dirty Old Town was one of the theme songs. The first time we went up there he took me to Salford, to Coburg Street in Lower Broughton - his street and he said `This is the Dirty Old Town’.
Photo by Irene Young
I’d been brought up in Washington DC in a very comfortable suburb, I was still green behind the ears and I remember being struck by how dirty and industrialised it was – I’d never been to a street like it in my life. There were tiny, tiny little houses all attached to one another like strings of beads, on a cobbled street. Salford itself made a huge impression on me…It was vital, very vital, one of the cogs that make things run.
Ewan talked a lot in the early days about his upbringing. I don’t know if you’ve ever been devastatingly in love but that’s one of the things you do, you want to open yourself totally to the other person and that’s what he did…he told me all his secrets and told me about his upbringing; he cried, he wrote poems and I felt it through him because I couldn’t grasp being brought up in such a place. I don’t think Dirty Old Town is necessarily negative – it’s the same feeling that Ewan had towards Salford all his life, love and hate, that it was a place which was living and breathing, it had a pulse. He was frightened of Salford – he was frightened that he would never get out of the poverty of his childhood, and the exploitation. To him it represented what the whole industrial revolution did to people. We visited his street several times. He didn’t like going back. He felt kind of guilty that he’d escaped the bad parts of it. But when we did go back the conversations with friends and acquaintances who hadn’t left were something to be heard, talking about all the people they knew, and he came alive in a very strange way to me. There weren’t very many of them left and they looked on him as their boy who had gone out into the world and done things. And he looked on them as heroes who had stayed there and fought at the base of operations. To me it was fascinating because he was a different person when he was in Salford. I loved singing Dirty Old Town with him, it’s a beautiful, absolutely singable song and we always sang it when we went to Manchester or Salford. I’ve heard cover versions of it and I’ve never heard a good one. Especially The Pogues. When we first heard their rendition Ewan started laughing. He said that they didn’t understand the loneliness of the song…he wrote to, or phoned up Frank Murphy the manager of The Pogues and said `Look, this isn’t what the song is about’. What he didn’t say was that the lad can’t sing and that the group tried to turn it into a football song. And so, Ewan’s Daughter, Kirsty came along to the Singers Club with Frank, they sat in the audience and Ewan and I sang the song – not that we were the only ones who could sing it but we had the atmosphere you need on it. You need that loneliness. You really need to taste the words, as Ewan used to put it. Those words are honed, they really are, every line is reminiscent of the boy growing up there and the feeling of what the place really is. I don’t know if Shane McGowan has ever been there. Ewan thought you had to go there or be brought up in such a place to sing it properly. Anyway, we 14
sang it and Frank came up to us at the end and he said very quietly `I see what you mean’. But The Pogues still put it out as a single. Dirty Old Town takes a certain kind of singing. Usually, composers sing their songs in the way they mean them to be done so that the performance and the tune and the words create a unity, and I would like to hear somebody else do Dirty Old Town really well. You have to think about what the composer meant when they made those words. It’s more than just words. It requires an imagination that actually graduates into performance so that the performance shows what you are thinking about, rather than just thinking about what instruments are in your band or whether this song is in your range. There’s another of Ewan’s songs…when I first heard Johnny Cash sing The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face I thought it was awful. But then I thought about the man and the loss of his wife, and he’s singing this song as an old man with the voice of an old man. It was just different from the way that Ewan meant it which was in the full young flush of love and passion. And it worked. So you can do songs in different ways but you have to think about what the song is about while you sing it. I don’t think that The Pogues thought about it. The last verse of Dirty Old Town –` we’ll chop you down like an old dead tree’ - the implication to me is that we’ll chop you down and build you again the way that you should be, for the people who live there. But I don’t know that they will as long as there are `developers’ and the idea of `progress’ – they want it built more fancy, and the people who live there can’t afford it any more. It has to be the people who live there who say how it’s going to be. Ewan was appalled when he saw what they’d done to Coburg Street – we went to look for it once and couldn’t find it, it was gone. He hated the things that were put up in its place. He loved and hated the old street but he said the new stuff was unspeakable. It was cheap, it was nasty and had no style. It was nothing but the worst for the working classes, as he put it… They were very sociable little streets. That’s what everybody forgets, keeping the sociability going. It’s like the Baedeker Raids during the 2nd World War. Hitler sent his spies to the UK posing as tourists, using these Baedeker Guides which told you where everything historic was in England, the things that England was proud of. They sent home postcards and photos of places like Coventry, London and Manchester and those were the first places that Hitler bombed - to take away our history, our national identity. And this is what’s happening in our cities now. Their sociability and community are disappearing. The sense of identity is built up with the whole street structure, with the kind of buildings that are on the them – whatever has happened to the dirty old town of Salford has happened because of industrial rapacity but a lot of the old buildings are very beautiful and a lot of those string-of-beads terraced houses could be made into wonderful working class homes. They don’t do it – because it’s expensive but also I think because the developers who come in have no sense of the value of these buildings to the people who live there, people who have been born and brought up there. …I don’t sing Dirty Old Town as part of my set. I probably should but I have problems singing some of the songs I sang with Ewan – I keep stopping and waiting for him to do his verses. I’m not sure I could do justice to it. What would you think of an American woman brought up in comfortable Washington DC singing that song ? It needs an accent doesn’t it ? It needs more emotional identification than I’ve got. But if I ever come to Salford again I will have a try if everyone sings along with me…
WORKING CLASS HERO Ewan MacColl, 2nd from the left, performs on May Day in Preston
EWAN MACCOLL: A brief biog… • • • • • • • •
• • • • •
born Jimmie Miller 1915 in Salford lived in Coburg Street, Lower Broughton left school at 15 and became factory worker, labourer, mechanic and street singer wrote for and edited 9 factory newspapers and took part in hunger marches and unemployment demos in the early 1930s Met and married actress Joan Littlewood and set up political `theatre of the people’ groups, the Theatre of Action and Theatre Union in Manchester. In 1939 police raid a performance of Last Edition, and arrest Ewan and Joan who are banned from theatrical activity for two years During WW2 Jimmie changes name to Ewan MacColl 1945 -52 Ewan writes 11 plays, one of which is Landscape and Chimneys (1949), featuring Dirty Old Town. In the same year he divorces Joan Littlewood and marries Jean Newlove. They have two children, Hamish and Kirsty, who both become musicians. Kirsty goes on to massive success as a solo singer and as backing singer to everyone from Morrissey to The Pogues In 1956 Ewan meets Peggy Seeger and writes for her The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face which becomes a huge hit record for Roberta Flack in the early 70s. From 1957-89 Ewan and Peggy tour the world singing traditional and contemporary songs, re-igniting the folk scene. They have three children, Neill, Callum and Kitty. In 1988 Ewan completes his autobiography, Journeyman. In 1989 he records his final album with Peggy, Naming of Names. Later that year Ewan dies following complications after a heart operation. In 2000 a plaque in Ewan’s honour is opened by Peggy Seegar at Salford’s Working Class Movement Library. In 2001 Peggy compiles 200 of Ewan’s songs into The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook. In 2005 files released by the Government show that MI5 had been tracking Ewan for years, one report by the police stating that he was “a communist with very extreme views” who needed “special attention”.
The Working Class Movement Library on The Crescent has lots of Ewan MacColl items, including his records, plays and books, and there is a full biog and discography at www.wcml. org.uk Further details on the life and work of Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger can also be found on Peggy’s website www. pegseeger.com All of Ewan’s letters and work papers are at the Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger Archive in Ruskin College, Oxford
Everything You’ve Ever Needed To Know About Dirty Old Town… •
The song was written in 1949 for the play Landscape and Chimneys which was premiered on a tour of mining villages in South Wales in 1951. In the play the song was sung by a character called Ginger.
Apparently, embarrassed by the song’s commercial success, Ewan liked to say that he wrote it in a few minutes to cover a scene change in the play. In fact, there were no scene changes, the song was central to the play and Peggy Seeger says that every word was honed. The original track by Ewan MacColl was released on the Topic label in 1953 and has since been covered by everyone including The Spinners, Rod Stewart, The Pogues, U2, Simple Minds, and Pixies’ Frank Black.
There were originally five verses to the song but the final one was ditched as Ewan didn’t think it was good enough. The full details are to be revealed in a new biography of Ewan by Ben Harker which comes out in October.
Dirty Old Town is still played at Old Trafford before the teams appear and was one of the songs chanted when the crowd aimed to set a world record for mass singing.
Dirty Old Town is believed to be Noel Gallagher’s favourite song.
The gasworks in the song are still standing on Liverpool Street, in Ordsall. You can still dream dream’s by the old Ship Canal and kiss your girl by the nearest factory wall, if you fancy re-living the song.
Dirty Old Town’s lyrics have been altered by various singers over the years. This has led to rumours on the internet that the authorities made Ewan change the original words in the second verse from `smelled the spring on the Salford wind…’ to `smoky wind’ as it showed the dirty old town in a bad light. While many people in the city do sing `Salford wind’ the original words were actually `smoky wind’ and there’s no truth in the rumour…
Do You Have An Orginal Copy Of Dirty Old Town ? You Could Be Sitting On A Fortune… Ewan MacColl’s original 10” record of Dirty Old Town was first released in 1953 on the Topic label and only a few hundred copies were ever pressed. This edition is extremely rare and if you’ve got one it could be worth a lot of money – let us know if you happen to have a copy lying around the place…
Image by Leslie Holmes
What does Dirty Old Town mean to Salfordians ? Photos by Lyndsey Winnington
In the Flat Iron pub on Salford Precinct the song gets played on the jukebox and the regulars still relate…
“Salford was a dirty old town but now the chimneys have gone and everything’s different. I’d rather revert back to the old times because you could leave your door open, anything, that’s the way it was, your neighbours were neighbours.”
“I think it should be the anthem of Salford, or Matchstick Men. Everyone knows it.”
“It’s a good song, it’s about Salford and it should be an anthem for Salford. I work on the buses and people who have been away say `hasn’t it changed around here’…”
“Dirty Old Town is Salford isn’t it… end of story. It’s our anthem, it represents Salford and it’s a fabulous song. I used to live facing the docks, and I walked girls down the canal many, many times…It was always called the `cut canal’ because everyone cut through. There was a boozer called the Clowes on Trafford Road where all the prozzies were for the seaman, and that’s in the words too - `spring’s a girl at night’. That song takes me back donkey’s years…”
“Thirty years ago Salford was Salford but now these developers just want to come in and rip the place apart to make money and they’re not putting anything back in for the community. Ewan McColl was a Salford lad, not a millionaire coming in and taking the profit. I love Salford and live in this community and it is still a community that we have to keep together.”
“I know all the old songs and worked at the docks as a ship’s rigger until Maggie Thatcher came along.
“I’ve known the song since I was a girl because I’ve always lived in Salford. I live near the gasworks and can see them from our house…It’s a Salford anthem – every time I hear it I think about where we live and where we’re from and Salford culture. I like the original version of the song more than all the cover versions.”
“I used to play a bit of music in the pubs but what I’ve found is that people think that Dirty Old Town is something to do with Ireland – but it’s all about Salford – the gasworks on Liverpool Street, and every word in the song is 100% true. People who come from here should be proud of it, it goes down well in the pub.”
“It means a lot to me that song…it’s Salford.”
“It means Salford, it’s us, it’s what we’re about, it’s our heritage, it’s our history. There’s a line in the tune that says `we’re going to make a big sharp axe and chop you down’…but it’s time we stopped the chopping and took the axe off them. The council’s done enough chopping down here now… it’s happening in Langworthy and you see what’s happening in the maternity unit…and the Salfordian is going to cease to exist…I think they want rid of us…There’s nowt for our people here, the youth clubs have gone, everything’s gone…”
“I’m from Ordsall, and the song tells the truth in a lot of ways. I’ve never seen the city look more of a hole, too many people are making money out of the place and the council are turning against Salford people. At the back of Langworthy Road the houses are all going to be demolished, so where are people supposed to live ? Me and my daughter are homeless and we’re getting no help at all…”
MAY DAY… MAY DAY… MAY DAY 2007 “May Day is about taking control of our lives, free from politicians and bosses” May Day Collective 1998
The festive origins of May Day might have been loads of pagan Brits dancing around maypoles but for the working class this international day of celebration and protest, solidarity and struggle, was first celebrated in Salford and Manchester exactly 115 years ago. At the time the Salford based father of communism, Fred Engels, noted how “the English working class joined up in the great international army”.
May Day Greetings from Manchester NUJ Branch Contact: 0161 237 5020 firstname.lastname@example.org
Salford Star's May Day Feature Advert
Amicus in the North West sends
May Day Greetings to the community of Salford
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May Day demonstrations were born originally in America in 1889 to commemorate the Chicago Martyrs, striking workers shot dead by police three years earlier, and in Europe in 1890 with the first International Labour Day in support of the campaign for an eight hour day. Ever since that date, on May 1st there have been demonstrations, rallies, strikes and galas all over the world. And these have been themed with whatever’s been bugging workers at the time – in the 20s they were backing the General Strike, in the 30s they were opposing fascism, in the 80s they were in support of the Miners’ Strike and recently they’ve been themed with the inequalities of capitalism, the defence of public services and promoting the power of trades unionism. May Day has always been a mass expression of what unites working people rather than what divides us… In Britain, May Day became an official national holiday in 1978, and has now been moved to the first Monday of the month, rather than May 1st. But its radical spirit lives on all over the country and all over the world…
MAY DAY GREETINGS FROM
UNISON UNISON Direct 0845 355 0845, www.unison.org.uk
Celebrate May Day on Monday May 7th with a noon march from All Saints Park on Oxford Road to a rally at Albert Square, Manchester “This year we want to celebrate our working class solidarity with the oppressed people of the world and with workers everywhere” say organisers TUFR “This is an opportunity to promote trades unionism and our potential to change the world…” * With thanks to the Working Class Movement Library for info. The Library, on The Crescent in Salford, has an incredible collection of May Day memorabilia including programmes, flyers, features and books dating back to 1926.
‘Salford and North West Members of the National Union of Teachers send May Day Greetings to All Trades Unionists Comprehensive Education for All Say NO to the Privatisation of Public Services’
May Day greetings from the Manchester Evening News chapel of the National Union of Journalists. Supporting quality journalism in the community, backing the NUJ’s ‘Journalism Matters’ campaign and working together to improve pay and conditions throughout the industry.
May Day greetings from the Fire Brigades Union in the North West. Region Five Fire Brigades Union Regional Office, The Lighthouse, Lower Mersey Street, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 2AL Tel: 0151 357 4400 Fax: 0151 357 4409 email: email@example.com
BEAUTIFUL…BEAU …BUT ARE SALFORDIANS REVEALED: THE GREAT AFFORDABLE HOUSING SCANDAL… Spend a couple of days in the public gallery at Salford Council’s committee meetings and feel sick. Squirm as purple-shirted, pinstripe-suited developers dazzle our councillors with plans and models and flashy DVDs of huge glass apartment blocks… while driving juggernauts through the city’s affordable housing policies for the less well-off… Then go home, open the local paper and read Salford Urban Regeneration Company Chairman, Felicity Goodey, bragging about how “This is the start of something huge…Central Salford is about to become a city with its own identity and place which will be truly beautiful…”
`Truly beautiful’ for who exactly ?
C entral Salford covers
the areas of Ordsall, Broughton, Irwell Riverside, Langworthy, Kersal, Claremont, Weaste and Seedley and has a population of around 72,000 people. As a whole, it’s one of the most deprived areas in the UK. Which is why it has had, and is still getting, hundreds of millions of pounds in regeneration money from Europe, central government, the lottery and loads of other places.
The aim of all this funding is to turn the area’s fortunes around. And from the outside it’s all looking good…big shiny apartment blocks going up, funky new housing developments appearing, the BBC moving in, super schools getting built. In twenty years time no-one will recognise the place...But will any Salfordians still be here ? Originally, people were leaving the area because of all the social problems, caused, in part, by poor housing. Now we’ve uncovered evidence which suggests that as the `beautiful’ new Central Salford takes shape, people will be leaving because they can’t afford a decent home. We checked out every single planning application over the last six months to build 25 or more new properties in Central Salford and were absolutely gobsmacked. From applications submitted for nearly 9000 homes, only 175, or less than 2%, are officially classed as `affordable’. Only four schemes, out of 19 submitted, offered any affordable housing at all, even though Salford Council has policies in place insisting on such housing. In virtually every case the developers have crawled through loopholes, with hardly a murmur of protest from councillors on the Planning Panel, who guided by planning officers. Last December Salford Council brought in new guidelines which planning lead member Councillor Derek Antrobus described as “the most radical and toughest review of policy the housebuilding industry has yet seen”. It aimed to ensure all new developments with over 25 properties would include a minimum of 20% affordable housing. This backed up a policy (H4) that was already in existence. And it all looked good when, at the end of last year, a planning application for over one thousand new flats in the Ordsall
ward by developer KW Linfoot plc was rejected by the planning panel, partly because there were no affordable properties in the plans. The application came back to the planning panel in February and there was still no affordable housing in sight. Yet the planning officer recommended in advance notes that councillors approve it. Would they ? We went down to Swinton’s Civic Centre to see… In Committee Room 4 a bank of sharp suited, young-ish, plump-ish developers in pink and purple shirts are sat stroking their briefs. Around a huge long table are slumped about 15, mostly elderly, rumpled councillors, while at the very far end sit two power dressed planning officers, one of whom reads out a description of KW Linfoot’s application, including some changes made to the mix of properties and the justification for the noninclusion of affordable housing… “The viability has been assessed by one of our surveyors and to introduce affordable housing would not make the scheme viable” he explains “…also, the timing of this application…the scheme was `substantially developed’ before the adoption of the guidance. Therefore, it is not considered appropriate to secure affordable housing provision…” These are basically the two loopholes that developers are using. Firstly, the new guidelines state that developers don’t need to provide affordable housing if it makes the scheme “not commercially viable”. All they have to do is submit a financial statement showing this, which is considered by the council’s consultant surveyors…”The commercial sensitivity of this information is not within the public realm” so we’ll never know whether they’re blagging or not. A massive property development company that can build four huge glass towers stuffed with expensive apartments can’t afford to include even one affordable flat ? Secondly, there’s a little bullet point in the policy which states that if “the scheme was substantially developed before the adoption of this Guidance” they don’t have to bother with affordable housing either - even though there was already a policy (H4) in place. And the planning panel ? At the meeting do any councillors ask to see the viability statement or challenge any of this ? Nah. But, after the glitzy fly-through movie show of the proposed horrid glass towerblocks, one councillor asks what the view is like from the top apartments, one chortles
UTIFUL SALFORD… WELCOME ? Planning applications for housing in Central Salford TOTAL NO OF UNITS APPLIED FOR
Sept 2006 – March 2007:
TOTAL NO OF AFFORDABLE UNITS:
Salford City Council policy on Affordable Housing
for new developments:
20 - 25%
Total number of affordable units in
planning applications for Central Salford
Sept 2006 – March 2007:
IS THIS PROOF OF SOCIAL CLEANSING IN SALFORD ? that the blue sky shown on the drawings is misleading as it’s in Salford, and another squeaks “I don’t like the design…I know I’m not supposed to say that..”
A panel councillor, John Pooley, remarks to the meeting “This morning we have granted planning permission for over 1600 flats and none have been affordable…”
The councillors congratulate themselves on their “rigorous process” that “ensures our policies are robust”. And Councillor Antrobus adds that “at some stage the affordable house element will hit home…” Stable doors being shut after bolting horses come to mind…And so the councillors unanimously approve plans for KW Linfoot plc’s 1036 luxury apartments…
There’s a bit of paper shuffling, an uncomfortable silence, and then someone suggests that they all break for lunch…
A councillor remarks “This morning we have granted planning permission for over 1600 flats and none have been affordable…” There’s a bit of paper shuffling, an uncomfortable silence, and then someone suggests that they all break for lunch… Next up at the planning panel is ASK Property Developments Ltd, a massive Manchester-based company, founded by former Simply Red Manager, Andy Dodd, backed by Mick Hucknall and investigated recently by the Standard Board of Ethics because it donated £5,100 to Manchester’s Labour Party, five weeks before it won the multi-million pound contract to build the city’s casino. ASK’s strapline is `creating places for people’ but, alas, it can’t create any affordable housing for people in Salford within its proposed 23 storey curved glass blocks, featuring 654 luxury flats, on the site of the former cinema on Clippers Quay… The planning officer can barely stutter out the reasons…that the scheme was ahem…er…“substantially developed” before the guidelines, and that provision of affordable housing would…er…make the project…er… “not commercially viable”. There’s another swish movie, plus a model of the development this time. And, again, the planning panel councillors congratulate this “exciting prospect”… this “astonishing proposal”…Then, after one of the councillors gets confused about what it is she is actually voting on, they approve the plans unanimously…
According to the Halifax, the price of property in the city has risen by 140% over the last five years, one of the highest rises in the whole country. The affordability issue goes right to the heart of national politics. A confidential leaked report from the Cabinet Office on `tough problems’ faced by the government put “the ability to buy a house” alongside the “rise of China” and “extremist networks operating in the UK”. It’s that important. On every single application to build over 25 new homes that goes before Salford City Council’s Planning Panel it says in black and white that “there is a need citywide for affordable housing”. And on those papers it also says that “the need for affordable housing could have trebled” since 2003. It even gives the reasons for this affordable housing need – that incomes in the city haven’t kept up with the rising cost of buying a house…that the Right To Buy scheme has led to loads of council houses being sold off…that there’s been a decrease in vacant council and social housing…and that the number of people on the Housing Register has risen by over 30% during the last three years alone. They could have also added that homelessness in the city has trebled over the last five years, but that always appears to be swept under the carpet, or laminated floor. Salford MP Ian Stewart actually stood up in the House of Commons in January and told the whole country of this need… “In Salford, we have been aware of the rising problem of affordability for some time” he said “In a city with fantastic economic growth potential, it is vital to have high quality affordable housing if we are to maintain sustainable communities… “The lack of affordable housing has major consequences” he added “Households can be priced out of the market, and people can find themselves living in unacceptable accommodation. Using three times household income as a measure of affordability, analysis by Salford city council demonstrates that few areas in the city are affordable for the
“Even the affordable housing that the Council think is affordable, isn’t for local people...Therefore that 2% figure isn’t even 2%. Young families in Salford can’t afford to buy a new house, they have to either get on Salford Council’s ten year waiting list or buy a shared ownership house that isn’t yours. I live facing Countryside Properties new build where I’ll never be able to afford a property, I’m also by the side of the new Albert Park site, which is also unaffordable for local people. Therefore I shall just live on my council estate forever...”
Rachel Dawson, Lower Broughton
“The new houses are really expensive. I’ll never be able to afford one and even my daughter was trying to save up and she can’t afford one. There’s not a lot of affordable ones going off those figures are there ? I think most people in Salford will think that’s crap really… “
“In my opinion it’s the same old council…it’s just promises, promises, promises and they never deliver. It’s shocking, it’s not even a tenth of what they promised is it, not even close. Something wants doing about it but what, I don’t know…”
Theresa Conway, Seedley
Jimmy Unsworth, Kersal
average household…there has been a huge reduction in the availability of affordable properties in the housing market renewal area, in which the average household income is £19,500 per annum...” …Yet the list of planning permission of one sort or another granted to developers without the need for affordable houses goes on and on and on… Before the new Guidelines were brought in last December, on applications for nine developments totalling over two thousand new homes, the Council’s Policy H4 (of the UDP) which required developers to provide an element of affordable housing, was never even mentioned in passing on planning officers’ reports to the Planning Panel, despite the “need citywide for affordable housing”. And where it was brought up, for instance, on the Media City outline application for 2249 homes, it was instantly rejected by planners because the “significant benefits of the scheme outweigh the need to secure affordable housing on the site”. Since the `radical’…`tough’…new guidance has been introduced, to date, only one developer has been required to comply with it. Yes, on March 1st BH Three Ltd was required by the council to provide two affordable homes… yes two…from a new development of 55 properties on Great Clowes Street. That’s slightly off the 20% affordability, at a mere three and a half per cent. But they had some sort of old planning permission from before the new strategy was introduced. Meanwhile, Chapel Investment Holdings Ltd application for 190 homes on land behind Salford Royal Hospital got through without the need for affordable housing because “the scheme was substantially developed before the adoption of this Guidance”. Vale and Valley Properties’ scheme for 1754 flats in Ordsall got around the policy because it too was “substantially developed before the guidance”…and the company contributed towards the costs of reconstructing the Manchester Bolton Bury Canal, a consideration that “outweighs the need to secure affordable housing on the site”. In other words, no-one gets an affordable home because the developer is paying towards the cost of making the surrounding area pretty which increases the value of the flats they’re trying to flog. It’s putting a picturesque canal before people…making Central Salford `beautiful’…but for who ?
A confidential leaked report from the Cabinet Office on `tough problems’ faced by the government put “the ability to buy a house” alongside the “rise of China” and “extremist networks operating in the UK”. It’s that important. This particular scheme did get referred to the Secretary of State, not for any affordability reasons, but because it was thought that there might be too many shops attached to the development. In February, Vermont Developments’ application to build a 27 storey towerblock off Adelphi Street, with 221 `residential units’ didn’t even mention affordable housing…although “the proposal accords with Salford’s aspirations” according to a statement read out on behalf of Felicity Goodey’s URC. Again it was passed by the planning panel councillors who were impressed with the building’s coloured cladding…
Meanwhile, Premierland’s application for 119 apartments in the Irwell Riverside ward, actually stated that “they do not intend to provide affordable housing as part of their proposals for this site”. Again, the planning officer agreed that there was no requirement for affordable homes, because the scheme was “substantially developed“ before the adoption of the Guidance (they had a design discussion in August), and the inclusion of only 12 affordable units would affect the “viability” of the scheme. Even the NDC (New Deal for Communities) objected to this one because there weren’t “20% affordable dwellings”. The scheme was passed without a whimper. Premierland also argued in its application that one of the reasons it had no intention of providing affordable housing was because “substantial levels of high quality affordable housing are already being delivered in Central Salford through the Manchester Salford Housing Market Renewal Programme.” You what ?
Since the `radical’…`tough’…new guidance has been introduced, to date, only one developer has been required to comply with it…they were required to provide two affordable homes out of 55 being built. In the last six months of planning applications the biggest `Renewal Programme’ has been that of Countryside Properties in Lower Broughton, which features a massive 111 affordable properties. These have been provided only “to meet the needs of those residents within the area who are being relocated”, or whose houses are being demolished. There are no other affordable houses in the first phase for any Salfordians wishing to move into the `New Broughton’. The other 74% of properties might just be out of their reach - residents on Spike Island got a letter recently from Countryside inviting them to purchase one of the new houses…for £159,000. “I…consider that requiring the applicants to provide further affordable accommodation would not contribute to the creation of an appropriately balanced and sustainable community” wrote the planning officer …Or, in other words, `we only want people who can afford £159,000 for a house’ ?
These 111 homes make up most of the total 175 affordable properties that have had planning permission. The rest are 34 `shared equity’ properties in Ordsall (where you only own a percentage of your home), and the infamous 28 `affordable’ homes in the Miller Homes/Inspired Developments in Kersal, where the first three `affordable’ shared equity homes are priced between £140,000 and £175,000 (and only 5 out of 230 homes are for social rent). And then there’s the two out of 55 on Great Clowes Street. Phew… Salford Council’s whole strategy for affordable housing to date is screaming failure. So what’s going on ? Are the 15 or so councillors who sit on the Planning Panel just mugs, blinded by the glamour of glitzy new housing developments ? Are they being led by the nose by planning officers who are on first name terms with developers ? Are they too scared to take on developers around the affordability issue ? And do they give a damn about the people who elected them – people who live in some of the most deprived areas of Europe ? Words: Stephen Kingston
HIGHER BROUGHTON…. Another `Award Winning’ Development…. …Another Can of Worms.
In Higher Broughton, the 30 acre Broughton Green development between Bury New Road and Leicester Road has won accolades and awards for its
When the seven year project is completed there’ll be around 700 homes plus a new community hub and sports facilities. It’s being hailed
by Salford Council as “exciting” and “setting the standard for the future of residential development”… …Up until September 2006 Broughton Green had over £13million of central government money alone, plus “significant funding” from Salford City Council poured into it. Yet the development’s wholesale demolitions and
affordable housing strategy has just been slammed by the independent Audit Commission…Over the past few years Broughton Green has seen existing residents dragged
out of their house by bailiffs and police…and the bulldozing of perfectly good, cheap terraced houses…to be replaced by luxury homes in the main development ranging from £235,000 to £480,000… Here, we look at the human
cost through the eyes of the residents…
then we take a peek at that shocking Audit Commission Report, and finally, John Earnshaw, a housing professional of 40 years standing, gives his views on the scheme…
Higher Broughton – the background…
At the back of Broughton Green, out of sight of Bury New Road and the `award winning’ new luxury houses, there used to be two estates of terraced housing – the `Top Streets’ and the `Bottom Streets’ – which stood in the way of the new development. Most of the Bottom Streets were demolished in late 2005, after Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) were slapped on the houses. Now the Council wants to demolish most of the houses in the Top Streets, and a decision on their future is pending after a Public Inquiry… Meanwhile, 19 new `affordable’ homes have been built on Vincent Street, ranging from £115,000 to £138,000…Houses in the main development range from £235,000 to £480,000… “Broughton Green is…the creation of a new community…Part of the wider jigsaw of the city’s visionary regeneration plans…”
From Broughton Green Brochure
area…no clear statement “There was no comprehensive plan for change across the whole Partnership” of the over-arching regeneration objectives of the Higher Broughton
Audit Commission Report December 2006
LIVING ON THE FRONT LINE Higher Broughton’s Jimmy Griffiths and his brother Guy are infamous as the only people in the country to be forcibly evicted from their own homes as a result of `regeneration’…Here, Guy, Jimmy and his daughter, 18 year old Madeline, tells what it’s like to live through years of tension in the terraces…
JIMMY’S STORY Over the late summer and early Autumn of 2005 my brother and I became minor media fixtures in the local press, radio and on North West television. This came about because we were the first, and as far as I know, the only people in this country to be evicted from their own homes by John Prescott’s much vaunted ‘Pathfinder’ Regeneration Scheme. The physical aspect of this was carried out by Salford’s Labour Council.
t the time this seemed to be the complete antithesis of council leader, John Merry’s pledge that he remained “committed to the people of the area”. He reiterated this at a face-to-face meeting in February 2005, that the remaining residents and myself would not be evicted. Selective amnesia, a virulent disease amongst career politicians, has erased this promise from his memory. Not so the casualties of this programme of urban vandalism.
Let me now return to the spring of 2000, when Salford Council stated its intention, (remember this word, it is very important and will crop up again), to purchase all of Wiltshire St, Hampshire St and parts of Vincent St for `demolition’ or `selective demolition’ or `possible renovation’. You tick the option which you desire. It will become clear, that when a decision needs to be made, Salford Council are always `positive, possibly, maybe’…
First and foremost, these ‘pathfinder’ areas are joining the dots and destroying the few pockets of mainly Victorian terraced homes that escaped the slum clearances of the sixties and seventies. Secondly, the legal machinery used to gain compulsory purchase orders on Higher Broughton, where the houses are not in any legal definition ‘unfit’, was never designed to instigate a de-housing policy and therefore raises the question: ‘how moral is this ?’
At a meeting in Broughton Library, (thanks girls, you were supportive all the way down the line), the council’s representative reiterated that it was Salford’s intention to purchase the houses with the aim of putting a playing field on the site. Very green! Very eco-friendly, showing concern for the bored teenagers of the area. Except that the present ‘Topfields’ recreation area was to be built on, with prices of the new houses being too expensive for the people being displaced.
It should be borne in mind that at the time of astronomical rises in house prices, up by an average of 700% in some of the terrace streets in Higher Broughton not affected by CPO’s, the removal of the poorest from the housing ladder can be seen as catastrophic and bodes ill for the stability of the city. When one is denied a stake in society, why care about or follow that society’s norms ? One only has to look at the riots in Oldham in 2001.
The council’s representative stated that if we did not go by negotiation, (capitulation?) the council intended to apply for a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). Of course there were people who quickly accepted the deal offered by the council. Inevitably, there were the latecomers to the area who had only seen the descent into despair and the lethargy that accompanied the property market collapse of the early to mid 90’s. They upped sticks and
moved out in the first wave. Almost to a man/ woman they left Salford behind, moving swiftly out of the city. Just as quickly, the asset strippers and vandals moved in. Coping stones, slates, drainpipes, central heating boilers and copper pipes were magic-ed away in brightest day and darkest night. Windows were bricked in and front doors smashed open. I myself caught a youthful pyromaniac experimenting with a box of matches and a deserted house filled with unopened mail and unread free papers. The area had become a magnet for all the worst examples of anti-social activity. The council must accept some culpability in encouraging this activity. As an example, if a window was smashed in a vacated house, several phone calls to the council, (a sort of verbal pass the parcel) resulted in the smashed windows being boarded up. But because the adjacent window was still intact, this was left to be broken the next night. Some more phone calls and this window is boarded up, but not the two undamaged windows upstairs and so on. A prime example of ‘best practice’. This scenario was to reoccur 198 times in Hampshire St alone during a twelve month period. The winter of 2000/01 saw more people move out, leaving a hardcore who still believed the neighbourhood could be regenerated
in s e m o h d e h s li o m e d f o r Total numbe + Higher Broughton to date: 500 Total number of `affordable’ new houses to date: 19
and turned around. Salford Council’s stated practice insisted that as each property was vacated all services, water, gas and electric were terminated and the houses cleared of the detritus left behind by the vacating occupants. Some hope! In the house facing mine, the burglar alarm went off. Shrieking siren, flashing light equals interrupted sleep. Never mind, this will all stop when the back up battery runs down. After all, the council will have terminated the services, they said so. Twenty four hours later, no change. Luckily an unknown wielder of a lump hammer forcibly removed it from its anchorage.
century cut no ice. Neither did the fact that I discovered, two years later, water had been left running in the empty properties either side of my house! Obviously the council followed its stated practice of terminating the services… In fact, I ended up in taking the council to the small claims court, in an effort to make them behave responsibly over the houses they now owned. Needless to say, I was unsuccessful. The judge qualified this verdict by saying as it remained Salford Council’s ‘intention’ to demolish them, it was alright to disregard the quality of life endured by the remaining
...the circus finally rolled into town...Three removal vans, an ambulance, half a dozen police officers, the radio, the TV, the sheriff and enough deputies to make Wyatt Earp jealous. Residents also began complaining about dampness, which manifested itself as a creeping lurgy, enveloping everything in its path. Wallpaper, clothes, records, books, video tapes and furniture all succumbed. My daughter’s asthma noticeably got worse around this time. A complaint to the council about the dampness in my hallway, which seemed to be emanating from their empty properties either side of my house, brought this professional conclusion … the culprit was my clothes rack hanging from the landing ceiling. The fact that it had probably been hanging there for close on a
residents. They still had not applied for a CPO, instead (so it seemed to me), relying on siege warfare to see off the remaining residents. It took another year and an appeal to an all party review panel, that we managed to get convened against much stonewalling by the council, that instigated the Great Cleanout of 2003. Every day, including weekends, a three ton tipper truck plus a crew of three emptied all the combustible matter and rubbish left in the properties acquired by the council. This operation took three weeks. Shortly afterwards, in late May, a demolition team moved in on the even numbered side of
Hampshire St. The council was at great pains to point out the disturbance caused by the demolition of the 25 properties to the remaining residents would be kept to a minimum. For fourteen weeks across the summer of 2003, dust, noise and anti-social behaviour occupied this oasis of despair. Bricks were launched through the windows of occupied homes. Stolen cars used the resulting croft as a stock car track and vans roamed the street, using it as a rubbish dump. A flatbed dropped a load of garden soil and garden debris onto the street one Friday teatime. Despite reporting the incident to the council and supplying the offending vehicle’s registration number, nothing was done. In the end I became quite fond of that hillock, with its covering of wildflowers, during its eighteen month residence on the street. I wouldn’t like the reader to feel that it was all doom and gloom, only about 95% of the time. In the spring and summer following the demolition, nature quickly gained control of the land that had been missing from her for close on a century. With a little help from my brother, poppies and wild flowers sprang up all over the newly-made croft. Birds of a type I had never seen in industrial Salford arrived. A fox made his lair in a boarded up house at the top end of the street, entering and leaving via the vandalised airbricks.
It was unusual but by no means rare to see him wander down the emptly silent street close to midday. Then finally, as a mid-summer dusk rolled over the street, a bat made its grand entrance, foraging on the wing, between the
MADELINE’S STORY… I was seven when all this started and I’m 18 now…there’s nothing from my childhood still standing. The worst thing is that it was supposed to be for my own good and that really bothers me. I went to Brentnall Primary School and a couple of years after I left they knocked it down…then I went to Kersal High School and in my last year of GCSEs I had to go to a completely new school because they knocked it down…and then when I’m doing my AS levels at college and supposed to be concentrating on exams, my house is under threat. I got my results the day before we got kicked out. I know exactly what they’re doing. My friends always say I’ve got my head screwed on and after all I’ve been through I kind of have to have my head screwed on…my view of politicians is that they’re all lying quite blatantly. This is happening all over the place – in Salford, in England, in Zimbabwe – it’s the same bloody thing. The day after we got evicted I was walking to college down our street and I looked into my home – it was the most depressing day of my life…
pools of light cast beneath the street lamps. The peace and tranquillity, and above all the quiet in the heart of the city, was something to be savoured. But more frequently it was the asset strippers, fly tippers, vandals and bored teenagers who vented their spleen on the forlorn terraces. There is nothing worse than trying to sleep while listening for that smooth scraping sound, which denotes a roof being stripped of its slates, hoping it is too far away to affect your own roof. In the autumn / winter of 2004 the houses that backed on to mine were demolished. It was a quicker job than the evens of Hampshire St, and because Salford Council admitted liability over bricks from the demolition site finding their way via front room windows into occupied homes, remaining residents were supplied with riot shield type coverings for vulnerable glass. Almost simultaneous with this, Salford Council finally got a CPO on the streets, leaving the final seven households to gird up their loins. It was nearly five years since the Housing Associations sold their properties en masse to the council to start the ball rolling, and seven years since councillor Bill Hinds told me that ‘Topfields’ was a carrot to raise finance to demolish the streets. And ten years since the rumour of demolition was first mooted. This was denied in writing by the council (I have a copy of the letter). The most outrageous fact to emerge from all this is the council’s role in me being evicted from a home I own, thus reducing my social
status from being on the first rung of the property ladder to being that of a voyeur. I can look at the properties not affected by demolitions but cannot afford to buy one with the derisory compensation being offered by the council’s purchasing department. And I don’t mean the new properties on Broughton Green. I am not a greedy man, but even the identical type of terraced houses not covered by a CPO in the adjacent area are beyond my reach. If I put in all the compensation I received, I could be a stakeholder in one of the council’s 19 Social Housing replacement properties built not thirty yards from where my home was. I
struggled to cut through the steel security gates, but when they finally did I walked peacefully out into the glare of the attendant media and the sniggers of the police officers. I don’t know what caused the hilarity, as I told them, “If they did it to me, they can do it to you.” John Merry, who is the local councillor and leader of Salford Council, was conspicuous by his absence that fortnight. He was on (political) “holiday”. When questioned about this matter - the eviction, the CPO etc - he says he owes a duty to the Council Tax payers of Salford. (Citizens of Salford is not the same thing). So,
There is nothing worse than trying to sleep while listening for that smooth scraping sound, which denotes a roof being stripped of its slates can own a third of a terraced house on the site where I once owned all of a terraced house. So, things finally ran their course. The eviction was scheduled for the Bank Holiday Weekend Monday 30th August 2005, except that year Monday was the 29th. Another example of Salford Council’s ability to put two and two together and make five. It was the following Monday, the 5th September, when the circus finally rolled into town. Three removal vans, an ambulance, half a dozen police officers, the radio, the TV, the sheriff and enough deputies to make Wyatt Earp jealous. The accompanying locksmiths
for the privilege of being evicted from my own home, that I worked for, brought a family up in and generally did what New Labour and Tony Blair in particular call being a ‘good citizen’, I was charged over £900 (duty to the council tax payers, remember). All this was done in your name dear reader. Why? I think we’ll let the great Al Read** have the last word…. “‘Ave I offended you?” ** For younger readers Al Read was a Salford sausage maker, turned comedian, who took the country by storm over the radio in the early 1950’s.
PROPOSED COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER - HIGHER BROUGHTON REGENERATION AREA No 2.
REPORT OF THE STRATEGIC DIRECTOR FOR HOUSING AND 4.4
PLANNNING: January 2005…
In deciding to make a CPO, full regard must be had to the Human Rights Act and Convention, and in particular Article 1 of the Act and Article 8 of the Convention. It is considered that, in this case, the proposed interference with human rights is reasonable.
GUY’S STORY… I’m seen as a trouble maker by the council because they had to get the police and the bailiffs to get me out of my house. But I’m a very altruistic person and what they’re doing here is wrong and unjust, like it is in Langworthy. Basically they’re getting rid of people who are poor or working class, so somebody more affluent can come in.
Look at this area – I can get to Manchester in ten minutes on the bus, there’s a library on the doorstep, Albert Park, Broughton Baths…I can walk to Cheetham Hill in 12 minutes – I’m in the right location, my house wasn’t unfit, yet I got turfed out – something’s wrong isn’t it ?
What’s up with these people, didn’t they have Lego when they were kids ? It started over ten years ago and they’ve used crap speak like `We need to assemble a big enough parcel of land to make it attractive to developers to facilitate a regeneration’ – basically what they mean is they want to get you out of your house and let somebody make a lot of money… They said that two thirds of the residents wanted some form of demolition but, according to the same survey, two thirds also wanted some form of renovation. The old people just wanted to live somewhere nice before they
died – by throwing us out they’ve scared a lot of people. We weren’t after loads of money we were just after a house for a house. Or to be left alone.
Our surveyor has been involved for five years and he says he’s never seen anything like this. The houses weren’t unfit, there’s no road coming through, yet they’ve used government powers for the benefit of a private company.
We were thrown out September 5th 2005. I’d paid my mortgage off over 15 years by working 70 hour weeks…but by the time the bank had provided the deeds Salford Council owned my house.
At first only the bottom streets were coming down, and the money was supposed to be invested to save the top streets, where I moved after they’d pulled my other house down…Now they’re coming with CPOs for these and it’s gone to a Public Inquiry.
They first offered £18,000, then £21,000, then £36,500. On what they’ve offered me, plus the £25,000 relocation grant I’d still be over £75,000 short on one of the new three bedroom `affordable’ houses they’ve built on Vincent St…that’s £75,000 short to move fifty yards up the same road… I’m taking them to a tribunal and if I win, and even if they give me £100k for the house, what would I have won ? Another house ? I had one to start off with. And It doesn’t compensate me for the ten years of crap I’ve been through. If I take the £25,000 relocation grant I have to stay in central Salford. What are they scared of ? If it’s such a wonderful place to be, are people going to clear off ? If you’re exploiting people over the price you’re giving them for a house, building expensive ones they can’t afford and then you are making them live here, it’s rubbing your nose in it…
The same happened to a woman in Hampshire Street – she stuck it out for a couple of years, accepted the council’s offer, bought a house at the bottom of Turner St, put all her money into it, got everything done – what’s happening now? It’s coming down. This is real lives they’re playing with - what’s up with these people, didn’t they have Lego when they were kids or something ? We’re still waiting for the results of the Inquiry but what have you got here as your local councillors ? John Merry – council leader… Jim King, former mayor …Bernard Murphy, new mayor – and they can’t sort out seven streets – the only solution they can do is social, or economic, cleansing. That’s their only solution – the final solution.
SUE’S STORY… Sue Davies has lived in the Top Streets of Higher Broughton for almost 24 years…
ohn Merry, the leader of Salford Council, was in the paper a long time ago saying “We aim to re-house with dignity” – now is that a joke or is that a joke ? Where’s the bloody dignity here ? They made us offers at the beginning that they couldn’t follow through. They changed the goalposts so many times. They came round – `What kind of house would you like ?’ And to some of the older people…`Do you want bungalows ?’…And they all said `Yes that would be lovely’. And they build everyone’s hopes and dreams up and then look where we are now – all these tinned up properties... We always said at the meetings that we wanted semi-detached houses with a bit of a driveway so we can get our cars off the road …maybe a small garden at the back, just a bit of your own space. `Oh yes, yes, fine, fine’ they said. And then I went to another meeting a little further down the line and the woman there said `Oh no, no…they won’t be semi detached, they’ll be in a row but there’ll be different roofs’…I said `Hang on, you’re telling us that there’s no need for pavement terraces any more and what are you building but a block of terraced houses ?’ Then do you know what she said ? It’s a classic and I swear it’s the truth…she said `Well the ones on the end will be like semidetached…’ I said `Are you for real ? You silly witch, of course they will because they won’t have neighbours on the end of them – or else they’ll be a continuous line or a circle’. I thought `Does she think we’re so simple ?’ We got offered so many things – `You can swap like-for-like’ – that went out the window. `The
council will give it you as an interest free loan’ – that went out of the window. My next door neighbour, Jeanette, was 85 and died of cancer before she managed to get out of here. She lived here all her married life. In a way I’m glad she’s died because I don’t think she could have coped with all of this… These poor people who have worked all of their lives and are now in retirement… Who in their late 70s, when they’re not in good health, wants to go looking for houses to buy and negotiate all the pitfalls of buying a house ? Ken across the road is blind and he’s in his late 70s – he can’t see anything and has got to learn all over again where he’s walking in his own home – and what’s he going to do for an equity loan, which over ten years is gaining interest at one and a half per cent above base rate ? You don’t need someone who’s blind and in their late 70s going round trying to find somewhere to live. I’m 56 and I don’t want to take on a thing like that. I find it all really stressful. I’m waiting for an offer from the council and somewhere to live . I’m not going to buy a house, why should I invest all my money into another house at my age ? I’m 18 months away from finishing my mortgage, only for the house to be snatched away from me at the last minute. But it’s my home, I’ve worked really hard for this. They’ve offered me £39,000 and I’m still negotiating. I was thinking of buying somewhere but you’ve got to stay within the central Salford area and I didn’t want a house here after what’s gone on and I can’t see things
getting any better. So I’ve opted for a council house. First of all they told me I couldn’t have a council house, they only gave flats to single childless people with no disabilities…what do they want me to do, adopt ? Cut a leg off ? You think to yourself why should I go into a flat – I’ve got my house and this is it. If I did buy a house in Central Salford it would have to be a fantastic house needing no repairs because all my money would be tied up in it. When they talk about a new house they say `You’ve got your relocation grant and the disturbance money’ but is it only me who thinks that your upheaval money and your disturbance money is yours, to put new carpets in and make things nice and comfortable – why should you have to plough that into the actual money that’s paying for the house ? They make it sound like they’re offering you a good deal and maybe to some of them it has been but I don’t think anyone has really got a good deal out of this. All demolition does is divide and rule – divide all the community up so they can conquer the land back again and use it for whatever they want to use it for. I know just one person who has moved out of a demolished house and moved back into the new houses. The only way it’s benefited most of the community is that they’ve now moved away from this regeneration and hopefully are living in nice houses somewhere else…I think it’s for the benefit of the people who are making the money…
COUNCIL DAMNED BY COMMISSION “Affordability…clearly only applies to the more affluent local households…” The Audit Commission is hardly a radical body. It’s an independent watchdog that aims to ensure that public money is properly spent, and chose Higher Broughton for a `Performance Review’ because it received over £13million, the highest level of Housing Market Renewal (HMR) funding in Salford between 2003 and 2006. The massive housing project has been created by the Higher Broughton Partnership – a partnership between Salford City Council,
Getting Rid they got rid of the rigs they got rid of the ships they ripped up the cobbles and pulled down the slums they got rid of the fog and the thick yellow smog they sacked all the dads and retired all the mums they got rid of the pubs they got rid of the docks they put everybody in a concrete box they got rid of the dirt they got rid of the smell and i think they got rid of salford as well. Tony Levy
the Royal Bank of Scotland, Inpartnership and City Spirit – and the Commission looked at the role of public money within this – who takes the risk (Salford Council) and who gets the profits (everyone else). Its remit wasn’t necessarily to look at affordable housing. Indeed, it praises Salford Council in parts and salutes the Partnership’s objectives to establish `housing products and neighbourhoods that will attract new, more affluent residents’. Yet, in a 40 page report, released last December, the Audit Commission, in its own bureaucratic terms, let rip…
Here’s the main points from the Audit Commission Review with a translation underneath… Audit Commission (AC): the financial return to Salford City Council will not be high in phase 1, and the return for other partners, particularly the Royal Bank of Scotland, is high in relation to the risks borne. Translation: Private developers are gambling with public money and nicking all the profits. AC: The plan was initiated by the developer… Translation: This explains the above point
30 www.salfordstar.com 31
AC: It is surprising that there has not been an explicit statement of the regeneration objectives of the Higher Broughton Partnership – how its development will contribute to the future sustainability of the whole Higher Broughton area… Translation: Have you worked this out on the back of a fag packet or what ? AC: The master plan focuses on a very narrow area – only the area that is to be cleared and re-developed – so says little about how the re-development will integrate with the wider area and act as a catalyst for physical change within it… Translation: How the hell’s this going to benefit Salford ? AC: There is a need to balance commercial viability with regeneration outcomes. While Salford City Council is on the Board as a key partner, it is still important for there to be a shared understanding of the overarching and long standing objectives of the Partnership, both to guide its members and to be publicly accountable. Translation: It looks like you’re getting rolled over by the private developers who have their own agenda. And you’re not telling anyone. But it’s our money you’re chucking away here… AC: Where residents are to move into a new home at Vincent Street the gap between values of old homes and the cost of new homes has typically been around £60,000 Translation: Affordable ? You’ve knocked their homes down and now they’ve got to find at least sixty grand on top…
AC: In one sense, public subsidy…has paid for high quality, larger homes at a relatively affordable price…Affordability is relative and clearly only applies to the more affluent local households. Translation: Tax payers’ money has helped pay for the massive houses priced between £235,000 and £500,000 which are really cheap for the area… if you can afford it…You’re stretching the word `affordability’ until its knicker elastic almost snaps.
AC: The NRA (Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment) report suggests that a majority of residents supported the need for some clearance in the worst areas but wanted to ensure that work to other homes would take place at the same time to support home owners…work to existing stock has been limited to alley gating. Translation: Hello, the community asked for some selected demolition, not to bulldoze the whole bleedin’ area…They just wanted their houses done up and you’ve done nowt but shove up a few alley gates… AC: In the first 178 homes at Broughton Green there is… no housing for existing residents affected by clearance, and no shared ownership or homes for affordable renting. It would seem very obvious that the first phase should provide homes for people being relocated. Translation: Before you knocked everyone’s house down in the 1st phase you never even thought of building new homes for the peasants to move into, you were so busy concentrating on the expensive huge luxury houses and flats. AC: Residents of the “top streets” feel that the area is getting worse… Translation: What a fantastic success this has been… eh? Dickheads !
John Earnshaw, Low Demand Project Manager with the Empty Homes Agency, gives his views on the treatment of the residents and their terraced houses…
’ve been involved with some of the Higher Broughton residents and I think there’s been a lot of work done behind the scenes in Salford – we haven’t involved the local people. We’ve had to go to a Public Inquiry for the CPO to find out officially what’s been going on. We are looking to get some quality consultation and involve the local people in decisions that are being made. All we’ve been trying to do is retain a small number of properties either at the Top Streets or the Bottom Streets. We had several meetings about the Bottom Streets and they failed, which resulted in Guy and Jimmy being evicted last year. Now we’re trying to retain some of the properties on the Top Streets. Most of the houses that are remaining are in very good condition compared to where I’ve been working in Hull, Liverpool, Newcastle and Birmingham. I’ve seen properties around this estate on the other side of Leicester Road and on parts of Wellington Street that are in a far worse condition but they are going to stay up. I would like to see copies of the individual structural surveys that were carried out to arrive at those decisions. We’re in the year 2007 and CPOs are draconian ways of resolving problems. They’re a violation of human rights and it’s time that local councils realise that they are elected to serve the people, they’re not there to be us and them.
I’ve been a housing professional for over 40 years and I don’t fully understand CPOs, so these poor people at grass roots haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance to understand any of it. The case in Liverpool, where the judge said that demolishing Liz Pasco’s house was an infringement of human rights has turned it into a whole new ball game. We’ve got various people saying that it’s not applicable but the judge said that it was not legally possible to demolish houses that are in a good condition. I’ve seen the properties at Edge Lane in Liverpool and these here in Salford are in far better structural condition. The sad part about the 19 ‘new’ houses they’ve put up on Vincent Street is that, in essence, they are still rows of terraced houses, the only difference is that they’ve got pitched roofs and big dormer windows. Cosmetically they look nice because it’s a variation and they’re new, but after a while they will be tomorrow’s slums – the only thing that might save them is if there are only a few. But if they start to do row after row in this area you’re repeating the mistakes of previous generations. The whole situation of demolition and clearance as an answer needs much more thought than there is at present, as we are dealing with people’s communities and their lives. The other thing is whether the properties we’ve replaced are affordable. The ones on Vincent St were about £135,000 and the ones
on the playing fields are over £200,000 and that, having spoken to several local people, is not affordable. I’m on the Department of Communities and Local Government Advisory Network and I submitted a report to the House of Commons in February 2005 to which the government responded that they wanted to see more refurbishments than demolitions. I am prepared to meet with Salford Council in an effort to get both sides to sit around a table and start negotiations. I’ve got an e-mail from Councillor Merry saying that they’re now looking into having some refurbished properties. I think they’re beginning to accept local people’s opinions and views and that they might have been wrong at the outset. To me, this is all about quality consultations through locally set up partnerships.
CPOs are draconian ways of resolving problems. They’re a violation of human rights I think this is an ideal opportunity in Salford to all sit around the table, and bring in the people who live here, with the attempt to make this a very successful scheme. And it can be…with some more thought and imagination. What local communities don’t want is a wholesale job lot demolition.
That’s The Ticket… No doubt, to protect all the fat
cats descending on the city, the council wants to upgrade its security systems and CCTV provision. So, they paid “experts in this field” NCP £40,000 to do a report. You’ll never guess what one of their “expert” recommendations was to help pay for the upgrade…Yes, you’ve guessed it – “the sale of city council car parks”…Would that be to NCP by any chance ?
LET’S ALL STORM THE LOWRY WITH THE FAB HAZEL BLEARS HOODIE…
he big question this spring is whether they will let you into The Lowry wearing the fab new Hazel Hoodie (£22.80), one of a range of items in the Hazel For Deputy shop, all available on her website (www.hazelblears.com). As readers may recall, local lads got chucked out of the Quays art palace after two minutes wearing such a garment. Hope she doesn’t turn up in one or she’ll be out on her arts before she can say `I’m from Salford, me…’ Other suck-up stuff in the online boutique includes the `Deputy Leader of the Pack’ mousemat (£9.19) and the Hazel For Deputy wall clock (£18.10). All instantly collectable, I’m sure. So what’s next – the Hazel For Deputy wooden spoon ?
OOPS…ONE OF OUR STARS HAS SLIPPED
The Clock of Despair Number of days in which Salford Council promise to acknowledge complaint forms:
Number of days since complaint forms about Oaklands Nursery were handed in at Salford Town Hall with no acknowledgement:
oooh it sounded like one livid Lead Member Briefing recently as heads of departments were summoned to explain why the Council had lost a star rating for its Culture and Sport performance, down from three stars in 2005 to two stars in 2006. Singled out by the Audit Commission for falling below the lower threshold were `resident satisfaction parks/open spaces’ (that’ll go down well with the Lottery bid panel for the Irwell City Park), the percentage of school kids engaged in high quality sport (hey, that Triathlon’s had a really inspirational affect), and the percentage of the population who are within 20 minutes travel time of three different sports activities (the new so-called `Sports Village’ in Lower Kersal that’s just a load of footy pitches didn’t help that one either). An `improvement strategy report’ was demanded almost immediately. A word of advice from Mary – why don’t you just stuff the prestige stuff that excludes everyone and spend your millions on grass roots community stuff ? Dead simple really…although the developers might not like it.
INTERESTING RATES…. I
f you’ve been struggling to pay a mortgage taken out with the council I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that while everyone else in the country has been benefiting from low interest rates over the past three years, you’ve been paying well over the odds. As interest rates have decreased from over 8% in 2003 to as low as 6.31%, the council has been charging its mortgagees the same high rate for over three years. The financial wizards’ excuse ? Er… `No-one told us’. I’m pleased to report that the council is now about to remedy the mess and `adjust accounts accordingly’…
CANNES CAN… I
would like to offer my deepest sympathy to the 20 councillors and officers from Salford City Council who got caught spending around £7000 of council tax payers’ money on a jolly to London for a local government awards ceremony. Of course they won nothing and even got stuffed by Rotherham Council. But I feel extremely sorry for them. For while they were quaffing a mere two bottles of champagne and seven bottles of wine between them at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, the real trough tuckers at Manchester Council were returning home from Mipim, the huge international property beano in France. For the duration of the event, Manchester had a huge yacht moored in the marina at Cannes, complete with on board parties and galas. Salford ? Strictly third division liggers, it seems.
If you’ve got anything Mary Burns should know about email firstname.lastname@example.org
I t might only be a chat on the phone but you
can feel Steve Chalke’s charm slipping by the second…Steve Chalke, tv personality, Baptist Minister and founder of the Oasis Trust, has been gushing about his proposed new Oasis Academy on Salford Quays when the links between Oasis and the Evangelical Alliance are brought up and how this might impact the new `non-faith’ school… “Have you read our ethos ?” he asks “That’s got the answer in it…If you’ve read it through you’ll see that we exist unconditionally for all faiths and no faiths, that’s what we do…Faith isn’t an issue at all, as you will see from the ethos…” But surely the aims of Oasis are the Evangelical agenda ? “That’s not our aims at all” he cuts “You know what I’m talking about don’t you, our ethos ?” Yes, but it says that you expect your staff to buy into Christianity and the aims of the organisation…
“You must have read somebody else’s…it doesn’t say that at all” he snaps “It says that we’re a Christian Foundation, it doesn’t say that. I know for an absolute certainty that it doesn’t say that…our Christian faith is what motivates us and drives us forward, it’s not what we expect of anyone else…” Cut to the job description for a curriculum leader at the new Oasis Academy in Enfield… OUR ETHOS…”It is vital…that our staff own our Christ-centred ethos and the values which flow from it”. Cut to an advert for someone to run the Oasis Enfield Academy…”We are looking for a Principal…who owns Oasis’ Christian ethos…” “If you’re still worried, having read our ethos and values statement” adds Steve Chalke “check with the education authority and councillors who are working with us, if what you’re saying is the case, which it’s not…”
Er…I’m still worried… Cut to the office of Jill Baker, Director of Education for Salford City Council… “The staff don’t have to buy into Christ” she says “My understanding is that you don’t even have to be a Christian to be the Principal, let alone a member of staff…” …But it says you have to “own” their Christcentred ethos… “It depends what you mean by `own’” she says “You wouldn’t want to work for a school where you didn’t own the philosophy on which that school was built…” …But the Oasis Trust has as its object the “advancement of Christianity”… “That obviously influences the organisation…” …But Oasis are part of the Evangelical Alliance and it says here that they’re …`people who want to see the Christian viewpoint inform
SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
The God Squad will be running the new ‘non-faith’ Academy at Salford Quays with no control from Salford City Council…
WHO ARE THEY ? WHAT ARE THEY ? WHY ARE THEY HERE ?
Stephen Kingston checks out the missionary position… and influence public opinion through media, through government and through public life…’ They’re about changing society… “Aren’t we all ?” she offers “It’s just that we choose different ways to do it…” Yeah…but we don’t get millions of pounds from the government to `educate’ a city’s kids in a private school with no control from the local authority…especially when we’re knocking down a non-faith state school, ironically called Hope High, to do it. If it was Marxists doing this saying it wasn’t political…or Muslims saying it wasn’t religious, would it happen ? Maybe the fact that Cherie Blair endorses Steve Chalke’s fundraising efforts has something to do with it…Or maybe that Tony Blair has given lectures at the Oasis church.co.uk in London…Or maybe that David Cameron visited an Oasis project in India…Or maybe that Steve Chalke hosted a book launch by Jim Wallis, hailed as Gordon Brown’s `religious guru’…Or maybe that Jill Baker, Director of Education of Salford City Council, is an active member of Elmwood
Church in Salford, which is linked to the Evangelical Alliance ? So Jill, how did the relationship with Oasis come about ? “I heard that Oasis sponsored academies” Jill Baker recalls “I looked on their website and thought `Yeah, they seem to have the sort of philosophy…a social inclusion philosophy… and they might be appropriate’…” Nothing to do with Elmwood Church then ? “As far as I’m aware there is no formal connection between Oasis and Elmwood” she explains “I think in the past Steve Chalke has spoken at our church, and I haven’t been there when he’s spoken, so I suppose there is some sort of connection there….I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a committed Christian…I’m very up front about that so I was clear from the beginning that this was not me pushing Steve Chalke or his organisation… “I’ve been very careful that all of the decision making has been very open” she adds “…
My faith is fundamental to the person I am and the way I do my job, and I know that because of that, in this situation, some people will read things into it…I just wouldn’t want to muddy the water with people thinking there’s a personal issue here. But inevitably people do think like that…” What we find a bit scary about this Academy, isn’t the fact that it’s being run by an organisation which wants to bring “the good news of Jesus to the poor”, led by a bloke who wants “to drag the church into the big wide world and the world into the church”. No, no, no. That’s not the problem at all. Indeed Salford already has an Academy run by a church organisation called United Learning Trust. But the one that’s already here declares itself as a `faith school’. The new Oasis Academy declares that it’s not a faith school… Oasis argues that it won’t be pushing religion down the throats of its pupils, nor trying to convert them, nor teaching creationism. But we don’t think that the organisation has made its aims crystal clear anywhere. It doesn’t
mention them in the press releases that Salford Council has put out about the Academy…”The charity, which was established by Steve Chalke MBE in 1985, delivers education, healthcare and housing initiatives in the UK and abroad”...It doesn’t say it also delivers the `good news of Jesus’… Neither does it mention this anywhere in the consultation forms which parents had to fill in about the new Academy…the consultation forms that were designed by Oasis (check the subliminal `O’s all over it) and were sent back to Oasis, not the council. Anyway, on the forms it only says that Steve Chalke’s Christian faith has “inspired him”. So did parents have the right information on which to make a proper judgement on the proposed Academy ?
”Our Christian faith is not what we expect of everyone else” Steve Chalke, founder Oasis Trust
“It depends which parents” says Jill Baker “The ones who came to the meeting had the chance to sit down and cross examine the founding director – he encourages people to look at his website. He’s not ashamed.” We looked at the Oasis website, and lots of other ones too. Amongst all the stuff about religion we also found how Oasis had recently employed the services of a design company to re-brand itself and its logo. `Holy Spirit’ doves and fishes were considered but rejected in favour of the `Circle of Inclusion’…which “reminds us that everyone is included when it comes to God’s love”. An exclamation mark - `!’ – from the Oasis name was dropped as it was felt to be “an expression of danger or warning”, and, the re-branding company wrote that the resulting new brand and identity for Oasis fitted the “need to attract parents to elect to send their children to these schools. The identity has the added benefit of being appealing to the kids”. But behind all this `sophisticated’ marketing, what is Oasis actually providing ? Salford Council is giving Oasis the land on which to build its Academy free of charge. The government funds all the running costs of the Academy and all the building costs except “up to £2 million” which the sponsor provides. In the Expression of Interest for the Academy which we’ve obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Oasis are only promising “up to £1.5million”. So, for a possible one and a half million quid investment Oasis gets a brand new multi-million pound iconic building on one of the most prestigious sites in Salford plus all its running costs, and complete control over what is taught in the Academy…
Not bad business at all for an organisation that is struggling financially. Steve Chalke, who has been running marathons to raise finance, said in The Guardian recently “We have no money”. And this is borne out by the last set of the company’s accounts which stated “income fell short of plans” (although it didn’t stop one employee earning £50,000 - £59,000). So, you have a financially insecure Christian charity getting public money to run a `non-faith’ private Academy. What does Salford get in return ? It says on the government website that Academies `draw on the expertise of the sponsor’…The Academy is going to specialise in `media and ICT’. Does Jill Baker believe Oasis has any expertise in these fields ? “Steve Chalke works for the BBC, he has connections there” she offers, adding “But they don’t need to have that – they are the people who sponsor it…So their expertise is about community and regeneration, social inclusion…” …And God squaddy things ? “Parents will make that choice. In the future if you don’t want anything to do with a school based on a faith philosophy then you can still send your child to Buile” Jill concludes “We’re not saying you have to send your child here, there are a range of schools – we’re not taking anything away.“ Oh but you are – you’re taking the local authority controlled non faith community Hope High school away. So is Salford Council happy with all this ?
”It is vital…that our staff own our Christ-centred ethos”
Job description Oasis Academy Enfield. “They’re happy” she smiles “They just need to find out if the community think it’s something they can sign up to…” But did the community ever manage to find out what they were signing up to ? “You’ll never have community renewal…without individual renewal - it’s impossible” Steve Chalke told the Jesus Army magazine “The only hope is the gospel.”
The consultation on Oasis Academy: Salford finished 2nd March 2007
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www.salfordstar.com peter cunliffe.indd 1
37 25/3/07 12:58:48
Deep in the main council chamber at the Civic Centre in Swinton, Salford’s ruling council and its power dressed, unelected officers are getting a good pasting. The awkwardly titled Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, are lining up awkward questions about Salford’s Building Schools for the Future programme. Council Leader John Merry answers with talk of “tremendously exciting opportunities” and a “radical transformation of life chances”, before challenging them to come up with something better… So, we’re taking him up on that challenge…
Phone a friend ? Nah… 50/50 ? Maybe…
ask the audience…
We thought we’d
So join us for this special Salford Star election time school quiz and find out if you could run the council any better…
Collect happy and sad school kid tokens as you go, plus question marks and pounds and then add them up at the end and see how you did... With special thanks to Karen Gribben, Kate Furnell Leslie Auger, Rachel Dawson & Leslie Holmes
You have a school called Hope High which is very old and needs modernising… Do you… Tell everyone it’s very
A) popular and you’re going to do it up
You’d be right four years
A) ago when the Salford
Council said that it was going to “provide enhanced facilities” and do “expansion of two popular schools – Buile Hill and Hope High”. Unfortunately saying it now is completely wrong – collect 1800 sad school kids.
Flatten it and flog the
B)land off for housing
Correct ! The Council
B)reckons the land is
worth £10,785,000 collect ten million £… and collect a bonus ? if you spotted that before they demolish Hope in three years time they’re spending half a million quid doing bits of it up…
If your council had some of the worst academic results in the country and you saw that pupil numbers were falling would you… Rejoice and think `Yeah, man, what a brill chance to reduce
Aclass sizes and give every pupil more time and care’
A) Don’t be silly – collect ten sad school kids
ASK THE LOCAL COUNCIL ?
Knock schools down,
Jill Baker, Strategic Director Children’s Services, Salford City Council
B)merge ‘em, make `em bigger !
Correct ! Merged: Moorside Swinton High - 1200 B) and kids; Merged: North Grecian St Primary and Charlestown Primary - 420 kids in a new Broughton primary… Increased: Walkden High to 1500 kids Trashed: St George’s, Hope High, North Grecian Street, Charlestown Primary – collect ten £ and 1000 sad school kids
“This isn’t about saying that the parents are happy with what’s happening in that school so we’re not going to touch it…We’ve got to balance the needs of current and future generations…It isn’t just a popularity contest…”
You spend years with lots of highly paid consultants working out an intimate case for the reorganisation of schools in Salford. You do a city wide consultation on your results. Then someone points out that you’ve got all your figures wrong. Do you…
ASK SOME LOCAL MUMS ? What do Charlestown Primary School parents think about their school closing and merging with North Grecian Street in a Broughton new build ? “They’re just going to shove all the kids under one roof in bigger classrooms, so the ones who are struggling will fall behind” Amanda Pover
“They’ve just spent loads of money on it and they’re going to knock it down. I know it’s a damn good school” Zoe Rowlands “I don’t want the school to close because my son’s already been to one primary school and it will disrupt him moving again” Lisa Hadfield
Admit you shouldn’t be A)anywhere near a school with a maths department
“I’ve got a two minute walk here but if the school shuts down I’ve got a half hour walk” Marianne Westbury
“It’s not on - they’re not thinking of people” Gillian Rowlands
As if !…
Change all your figures B) dead quick and hope no-one notices
Correct ! In February the
B) Council had to revise all its
school pupil figures because it had somehow managed to plan an extra 750 surplus places in its new programme. The adjustments that followed included leaving Harrop Fold with 300 less places and a quarter of its new school redundant. Collect 750 ?
ASK SOME HOPE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS
left to right: Steph Taylor, Lisa Holden and Lauren Mutch
Steph Taylor: “I don’t want Hope High to close because it’s tight on people who live near the school because now it’s going to be so far from here.“ Lisa Holden “It shouldn’t shut down because if it moves to Ordsall not many people from around here could get there in time for school. Also, I’m not a Christian and I go to this school and if it gets changed that’s not fair.” Lauren Mutch “I don’t want it to close because it will be down Ordsall and that’s hard to get to, and it should just stay where it is. It’s a good school.”
Hope High only has 11% of its pupils drawn from Ordsall, the nearest residential location to the new Oasis Academy on the Quays. You have to justify it. Do you… Tell everyone that Ordsall is a disadvantaged area and it’s only
A) right that kids from that estate
should have their own high school with links to the BBC and media city
Correct ! You’re thinking A) like a politician. Use disadvantaged Ordsall, even though you wouldn’t dream of actually putting the new Academy in the middle of the current estate because of “perceptions of the area”. Collect 300 sad school kids and 100 ? and a million £.
Keep it under your hat that there’s thousands of new expensive
B) houses going up in Ordsall aimed at families of BBC employees
Correct ! You’re thinking like a politician. LPC Living recently put in a planning application for 260 properties in Ordsall (of which only 52 will be `affordable’). It talks about the BBC and the Quays and “capturing higher paid workers and their families”. Meanwhile, admissions will, in the future, be based on distance from the school (bye bye Duchy kids). So whose kids will be going to the shiny new Oasis Academy ? Collect 900 sad school kids, and one billion £.
If faith was seen as a major national issue, dividing communities up on religious grounds, would you… Build more A) faith schools
Correct ! Kind of. The proposed Oasis Academy, which is replacing the non faith community school, Hope High, is being run by a Christian organisation, and is making its new staff `own’ its Christ centred ethos. But it’s not declaring itself as a faith school (see School For Sandals feature). Collect ten? and 900 sad school kids
ASK THE NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS ?
Build more non-faith B) community schools
Leslie Auger, Secretary of Salford NUT and a former president of the union. “We’re objecting from a national point of view to academies because it’s privatisation and gives people who have got lots of money the right to take a school out of local authority control and responsibility to pursue their own ends.”
In yer prayers…
Your council has a great Travel Plan which is all about reducing the need to travel, reducing pollution and encouraging walking, cycling and public transport. You want to build a new Oasis Academy and you say you’d like kids from the ex-Hope High School to go to it. Do you put it…
If you did a citywide questionnaire on your proposals for the future of Salford schools, and only 4% of respondents thought that high quality buildings was their main priority, while 46% thought that academic results was the main priority would you…
focus on new buildings
focus on B) academic results
Correct ! Especially when
B) Er..haven’t they been trying to do this for years ? Collect a ?
A) you can jump through
government hoops to get a whiff of £100million for school buildings. Unfortunately, the Audit Commission noted in December, that Salford’s new Albion High School “has recently emerged from special measures, showing that capital investment is not necessarily sufficient to achieve high standards”… Collect 100 million £
On the site of the old
school or A) flattened somewhere where the kids can get to it easily
Tut, tut, tut…
you’ll never make a politician or council official…
Miles away on the edge of
Quays, on no bus route, B) Salford and on a site that’s gridlocked and grizzled with pollution
Correct ! Even in its
B) submission to the
government Salford Council has noted “noise and air quality issues due to the close proximity of the site to Trafford Road”…Collect ten ? and 900 sad (coughing) school kids
Areas bordering the Quays have male unemployment rates twice the national average, while your council policy states that “the future of existing businesses and employment opportunities” are “key issues” in Ordsall. Do you put your new Oasis Academy… On top of a mini-industrial that’s home to small A)estate businesses employing local people.
Correct ! The Academy is A) going right on top of one of the few remaining affordable mini-industrial estates in Central Salford. Even the Council recognised that by plonking the Academy on the King William Street site it would lead to “Loss of employment land” and “potential extinguishment of businesses”. Collect one million ?
ASK A SMALL LOCAL BUSINESS ? Alan Spindler and his daughter, Gemma run Kensie’s hairdressers on Broadway at the side of the Mission building. They’ve invested thousands of pounds in equipment, trained local school kids…and now they’re getting turfed out to make way for the Academy.
Anywhere else that involve blitzing B) doesn’t local businesses and employment opportunities
You’re too logical !
left to right: Gemma and Alan Spindler with school trainee Lauren Coleman
“I get a lot of older people who only have to cross the road to come here and we’ve done things like a `Happy Day’ for single mums” adds Gemma “They’ve said we might have a year left here and after that we could possibly go on the new Ordsall precinct but at the moment we’ve got nowhere to go…”
You want to build a new Oasis Academy and you have a choice of 7sites in Central Salford. Your main priority would be…
ASK A SMALL LOCAL BUSINESS ? A1 Sheds, on the King William Street mini-industrial estate, is one of the small businesses being turfed out to make way for the Oasis Academy… “The council are not supporting us, they’re shipping us out, we’re just meat… it’s like you’re on a production line, stamped and moved on. Yet a business helps to develop an area – we want to get bigger and better and we’ve always said we want to employ people from the area. We’ve been just over 2 years, we signed a five year lease and then we just got a letter saying `You’ve got to move’…This unit is affordable for a small business like ourselves, it helps keep us afloat, but the ones that we can go to aren’t as affordable. Yet they’ve offered no compensation for that or loss of earnings or anything…It’s terrible the way we’ve been treated - they’ve shafted us…” Peter Anderson, partner in A1 Sheds
“Gemma’s worked seven days a week for two years to build this business up and we’re devastated that they’re taking it off us” says Alan “We’re the only hairdressers around here that charges affordable rates and Gemma lives in Ordsall so she knows the local people. It’s like a little community place but they’re taking things away from Ordsall again, saying `It doesn’t matter about those people’…tarah !”
a site that’s perfect for a school
be built, providing easy access, A) to near the local community, with lots of room for playing fields
No chance !
a site that’s in a B) prestigious location
Correct ! Churchill Way had “image issues”…Blodwell St? “not the image that is being sought”…Ordsall ? “Perceptions of the area may affect enrolment”…The council’s working group wrote that “if the provision of a top quality school…on one site is…the most important priority…Churchill Way…makes the most sense”. However, “if image is …a fundamental priority” it had to be sites on the Quays. They thought kids might drown on the Dock 9 site, so King William Street was chosen, even though it’s a crap place to put a school. Collect 900 sad school kids, twenty million £ and a trillion ?
You want to build a new Oasis Academy, you have a sponsor with no links to Salford and you want the place to be popular with the community. Do you… On its 100th anniversary, attempt to bulldoze Salford Central Mission, one of the last remaining gems of the A)city’s heritage…and bulldoze the local shops attached to it…cos they’re in the way of your favoured site
Correct ! And they would have got away with it if it hadn’t been for those pesky people from the local community who kicked up a fuss, backed by a few caring councillors on the planning committee. They might have to integrate the Mission building into the Academy but nothing’s been decided yet. Collect one ?
Put your Academy somewhere else
HOW DID YOU DO ? Count all your smiley schoolkids, sad school kids, £s and ? and see what kind of council you would make…
Mostly smiley school kids – you’re a
great council and all the school kids will live happily ever after
Mostly sad school kids – oh dear, it
seems you have a long way to go before you get anywhere near your pledge that `Every Child Matters’
ASK A LOCAL ARTIST ? Leslie Holmes, artist based at the Mission “This building holds memories for thousands of people still living in Salford and I think its importance to the city is crucial. Buildings of the quality of the Salford Central Mission last for centuries, it’s a crime to demolish them. A solution must be found to incorporate it into plans for a new Academy”
Mostly £ - you seem to be driven by finances rather than need while educating your city’s children.
Mostly ? – you obviously don’t know what
you’re doing. You couldn’t run a second hand book stall, never mind a large city council
! F F O G BO
THE PLIGHT OF THE SALFORD BUTTERFLY A sad story of greed, profit, big business, environmental disaster, useless authorities and the exodus of threatened birds and butterflies…
Not too long ago Salford had its very own, very rare butterfly called, of course, the `Manchester’ Argus or Large Heath. It was browny orange, had big fierce `eyes’ tattooed on its wings, and unlike most butterflies which like to bask in the sun, this ‘ard Salford strain didn’t mind a bit of drizzle. It used to thrive on the boglands of Chat Moss but when the railways came, around 150 years ago, it became extinct in the area, only surviving in the Lancashire lowlands. Until, that is, a few years ago when there was a move to re-build its habitat and bring this unique butterfly home… Words: Stephen Kingston
It’s early spring 2007 and I’m stood on some muddy tracks watching
Salford’s land bleed to death. Almost as far as the eye can see there’s an expanse of sterile black soil without so much as a blade of grass peeping through. At the edge, deep ditches have been dug with pipes stuck in the sides to drain the water. In the foreground a confused hare has taken a wrong turn and scampers across the drying, dying soil before twitching his nose in disgust and hopping off onto the wild grass beyond its borders. At the far end of the site a digger is secretly loading the soil - which used to support one of Europe’s rarest habitats - onto a huge tipper truck. This land, which has taken thousands of years to mature, will end up on garden centre shelves as products like grow bags for tomatoes, lasting for a few months in people’s greenhouses before getting chucked away. Welcome to Astley Moss East, right on the edge of Salford’s boundary with Wigan. It’s the world of Peel Holdings, the exploitation of peat and the lost battle of the Salford Butterfly.
It’s the world of Peel Holdings, the exploitation of peat and the lost battle of the Salford Butterfly. Raised bogs. They’re not sexy like dolphins or tropical coral reefs but in terms of global importance they’re premier league. They exist in the middle of damp nowhere, and are formed over the ages from waterlogged mosses which expand like a wet sponge and rise above ground level. On the top grow some very special plants and bugs which attract rare birds and butterflies. Underneath the surface are deep layers of peat, and below that, clay, sand and gravel which attract profit sniffing big business.
To get to the peat, the land has to be stripped and drained. As the water continues to drip out of Astley Moss East and the digger continues to eat the peat and pile it onto the truck, Salford City Council don’t know that this is even happening, despite the fact that they are supposed to be monitoring the site. “We are not aware of any peat extraction since October 2005” says a council spokesman. Our photos tell a different story. But then the recent history of Astley Moss East has been the unauthorised extraction of peat by Peel Holdings, owners of most of Salford’s precious mosslands (and an estimated 20% of Salford itself). Peel Holdings (last known group operating profit £105,679,000) is also the huge corporation which owns the Manchester Ship Canal, a handful of airports, the Trafford Centre and the Media City development at Salford Quays. Media City is soon to be home of the BBC’s Children’s Department, making programmes like Blue Peter which implore kids to be environmentally friendly. Peat bogs are incredibly environmentally friendly because they act as `carbon sinks’ which store huge amounts of carbon – 5000 tonnes per hectare. They also absorb 0.7 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year from the air. The site at Astley Moss East is around 100 hectares. By digging up the bog enormous amounts of carbon dioxide that have been locked up for centuries are being released into the atmosphere. Nice… The UK has lost 98% of its prime lowland raised bogs over the last century. Flattened for farming or raped for peat, they are listed as one of Europe’s most threatened habitats, and are so rare that even slightly trashed, or `degraded’ ones are protected in law, a directive passed down from the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
For over two decades Astley Moss East has been a battleground between conservationists who want to preserve the bog and its creatures, and those who want it mined for minerals and peat. In the middle with the power to swing the outcome has stood Salford City Council hugging its Mosslands Heartland policy, flaunting its expensive `There’s Tons of Grass In Salford’ campaign and armed with a battery of eco strategies which state things like “the council believes that by working to conserve biodiversity, it is not simply fulfilling international and national obligations but is also improving the quality of life for Salford’s residents, now and in the future…” Yet, when push has come to shovel, the council’s caved in to the peat merchants. And unauthorised extraction of the land has gone on and on and on...to the point where there’s little of this prime habitat left to protect. A quick scan though 20 years of planning applications for Astley Moss East shows a history of blatant neglect of the Salford Butterfly’s home. In 1984, when unauthorised peat extraction began, the Moss was a Grade A Site of Biological Importance and a breeding ground for one of the country’s most threatened birds, the Nightjar. Since that time it’s been a story of the council resolving to take action, followed by the tame granting of retrospective planning permission to extract peat with sloppily worded conditions that have never been fully met.
“In my opinion Salford Council just rolled over and let a big developer ride roughshod all over them” Tim Melling RSPB There have been half cocked restoration schemes submitted and legal wrangling over wording, delay after delay in coming to conclusions…. and all the time in the background the peat has been taken from the land, whether authorised or not. In the interim, the Nightjar has left Salford as a nesting site forever and the Salford Butterfly’s bog has been battered. In July 2004 it all came to a head when officers at Salford Council recommended that enforcement action be taken against Peel Holdings for “clear breaches of planning permission”… .that are “seriously undermining the new policies relating to the Mosslands Heartland”. That enforcement action never happened, and there are constant references in planning appraisals to the `compensation’ the council might have to pay Peel Holdings if peat extraction was stopped. Instead, despite objections, the council passed planning permission in December 2004 giving Peel Holdings permission to extract not only 50,000 cubic metres of peat every year for 13 years but also license to extract almost three million tonnes of sand and gravel, which lies underneath the peat, for 18 years. It left ecologists gobsmacked. And the Salford Butterfly in permanent exile.
ecologists) and to manage a site at Botany Bay (owned by Peel, and soon to be part of its own `Forest Park’ development). The planning officer considered that these proposals, together with the “high quality of the sand and gravel” to be sold “outweighs the loss of the ecological resource that is degraded peat”.
Tim Melling, conservation officer for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, is an expert on the Salford Butterfly, or the Large Heath Coenonympha tullia to give it its posh name. He had hoped that Salford Council would have sent Peel Holdings packing, that the Astley Moss East bog would be restored and that eventually the butterfly could have been reintroduced to the area.
The permission was also granted on the proviso that the Greater Manchester Geological Unit be commissioned to monitor Peel Holdings’ compliance with the conditions. When we phoned the Unit recently, over two years since the condition was imposed, they knew absolutely nothing about it, although they have subsequently been given the monitoring contract.
“It is possible to recreate its habitat relatively swifty and there was a fantastic opportunity to do this at Astley Moss East” he explains “However, Peel have now got permission for the further removal of peat and the gravels underneath which will leave a great big hole in the ground and this, basically, has scuppered any possibility of restoring the Large Heath because the area left isn’t big enough.
Salford’s mosslands are about to be Commercialised, awesome style with Peel Holdings plans...
“Lowland peat bogs are of paramount importance” he adds “In terms of global biodiversity the thing that Salford could have brought to the party would have been their conservation and restoration. That would stand head and shoulder above anything else they could do for biodiversity in this region. This was a golden opportunity that was just sitting there, and in my opinion, they just rolled over and let a big developer ride roughshod all over them. Salford Council could have come out of this with bouquets and smelling of roses – in the end they lost a lot of respect from a lot of people. They could have created something of international importance but instead they are just tinkering around the edges, green wallpapering to make it look like they’re doing something, but underneath there’s nothing.” In return for planning permission Peel Holdings proposed, amongst other things, to make an artificial lake in the huge sand and gravel hole; to try and recreate the bog at Astley Moss artificially (a plan scorned by many 46
“I said ‘dig up the black peat and gravel’, not the Blue Peter Garden...”
“We know we need to maintain a balance between development of our city and maintaining and conserving the city’s diverse environment” says Salford Council’s Lead Member for Planning, Cllr Derek Antrobus “We are concerned about the progress made regarding some aspects of this planning application and I have asked for further reports detailing action taken by the applicant and progress in ongoing negotiations with them.” Judith Smith, the County Bird Recorder, is an absolute authority on the mosslands area. She’s been monitoring the site for many years and placed a passionate objection to Peel’s peat plans for Astley Moss East. She argues that while the “ineptness” of Salford’s Planning Department back in the 1980s was to blame for the loss of rare Nightjar birds, the lack of defence for peat sites goes all the way through to the government’s Natural England (formerly English Nature) agency in Peterborough, and the Government Office for the North West locally.
Bleeding the land…
Can you dig it ?
Moss or Loss:
“We are not aware of any peat extraction since October 2005” Salford City Council 21st Feb 2007
Literally across the road from Astley Moss East, which is in Salford, are the conserved Bedford and Astley Mosses, which are in Wigan. Check out the sign and it tells you everything you need to know…`Peat takes thousands of years to form but only seconds to destroy’…read it, then hop across the road and see the destruction before your very eyes… “I remember vividly the then head of GONW, Marianne Neville-Rolfe, speaking at the launch of the North West Biodiversity Audit in 1999 saying that `Greater Manchester was primarily an economic development area and therefore it might not be possible to provide the degree of protection to valuable wildlife habitats that might be offered elsewhere’” she says “I was appalled and challenged her twice in writing to confirm that but she never replied. I have given up trying to get any protection for sites from Natural England – brick walls come to mind…” And this could have been the end of the story – the Salford Butterfly exiled in lowland Lancs, the Nightjars nesting sites knackered and the rare bogs rattling to the sound of Caterpillars rather than caterpillars. But no. Unfortunately it gets worse. Salford’s mosslands are about to be commercialised, awesome style...with Peel Holdings’ plans for a racecourse, Forest Park, the Port Salford rail and freight terminal, Salford City Reds stadium, more roads and more railways. Even Salford Council is getting the jitters…. “Peel Holdings clearly have their own vision for parts of Chat Moss” stated a Report to the Lead Member for Planning in June 2005 “There is concern that unless the public agencies, led by the local authority, have their own vision for Chat Moss, the opportunities to revitalise this unique former mossland landscape could be lost in a series of uncoordinated proposals that do not confer any real long term benefits for the City”
‘ello, ‘ello, ‘ello…what’s goin’ on here then ? This photo of a digger quietly shovelling peat at Astley Moss East was taken in the morning of 15th Feb 2007.
Whether this means that the Council are going to start standing up to Peel Holdings or that they just want to get in on the economic act is anyone’s guess. A clue on what the Council would like to do can be found in a presentation by planning officer, Nick Lowther, back in 2002, when he stated that the mosslands “could provide a significant wildlife resource” but that “land ownership is a key issue”. He listed `mineral extraction, commercial racecourse, rail/freight warehousing and potential road/rail connections’ as major pressures on the mosslands. Salford Council’s vision for those mosslands is due out any week, while Peel Holdings’ Forest Park, racecourse and Port Salford schemes are due back at the council’s planning panel in May. “Salford councillors need to realise what a lot of valuable wildlife sites they have” says Judith Smith “The mosslands and Botany Bay Wood are a vital green lung for the county of Greater Manchester”. Those green belt sites are in the hands of Peel Holdings. On Astley Moss East the digger continues to load peat onto the lorry. Carbon continues to escape into the atmosphere. The land continues to bleed… The battle for Astley Moss and the Salford Butterfly has been lost. But the war might just be beginning…
Here’s your big chance, Hazel… Grass roots democracy has been one of the key themes of Hazel Blears’ bid for election as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Yet, a stone’s throw away from the Cornerstone, where the Salford MP launched her campaign in a blitz of publicity, residents whose homes are up for demolition are experiencing this `democracy’ first hand… S
peaking in South London in March on the campaign trail to be the Labour’s Deputy Leader, Hazel Blears got all passionate about involving everyone in politics.
experience in resident participation and empowerment, at a cost of thousands of pounds, to find out what the community wanted for the area.
“I want to see more power passed to our communities…so that local people can take control of their own destinies” she declared “If we want a lively democracy, with people taking part, we have to enable people to make real decisions…For me, that should be a key theme of a fourth Labour term.”
TPAS sent out a newsletter promising “We are simply employed to ensure that…what you do say is captured fully, honestly, openly, and used as a basis to shape the future…” Over the next few months TPAS contacted the community through a series of open days, home visits, study days, flyers and newsletters. The result was a 165 page detailed report which appeared in early March just as Hazel Blears was making her speech about empowering communities. Everyone agreed that the report accurately reflected the voice of the residents…
On Hazel’s own Salford doorstep, in the streets across the road from the Cornerstone where she launched her bid for Deputy Leader, and directly opposite the Urban Splash Chimney Pot Park development which she initiated, residents are tasting this `democracy’.
“I want to see...local people take control of their own destinies” Hazel Blears
The scenario dates back over a year ago when people living in the area around Nansen Street, Kara Street and Norway Street learned that their homes were to be demolished as part of the Pathfinder `regeneration’ proposals. Banners, placards and posters went up in virtually every house opposing the plans, and to defuse the anger the Seedley South Working Group was formed, made up of community reps and members of the Seedley and Langworthy Board. The community reps were told not to talk to the press. In August last year the Group appointed the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS), a national organisation with 18 years 48
“There is very strong and seemingly overwhelming opposition to demolition and a real desire to keep the community together…” Apart from 9 properties, the community wanted to retain and refurbish all the terraced houses in the area…and had spent hours working on how the scheme would work practically, socially and financially. But later in the month Salford Council put out a newsletter with a completely different “new set of proposals for the neighbourhood” involving 52 demolitions…”This is in direct response to the community’s desire to see more of the existing properties retained and improved” it boldly stated. “They told us that our plans weren’t radical enough and that there’s no Wow!’ factor” says Kevin Ainsworth, whose family home on Nansen Street is now up for demolition, adding to the stress and heartbreak of having a 15 week old baby suffering with kidney failure and a five year old lad who has known nothing but the threat of his house coming down since the day he was born.
“The Wow! factor to me would be `WOW! They’ve kept a community together…WOW! Haven’t they done those terraced houses up nice ?’” Kevin adds “They see tinned up houses next to you and think you live in houses with Belfast curtains but it’s not like that at all. People look after their homes here and have invested a lot of money in them. Daniel, who lives in Norway Street, has done his house up like a London penthouse, all on split levels with the walls stripped and re-plastered – but it’s in the plans to be knocked down. Not WOW! enough…” “These are affordable homes” Kevin explains “but they keep saying nobody wants 2up2downs. Do they not ? So why has Urban Splash just done up over 400 of them across the road ? Is it that they just don’t want us ? They keep saying they want new people in the area. Well, to me, that’s social cleansing.”
“They told us our plans had no Wow! factor” Kevin Ainsworth, Seedley South Residents Association
The Council was originally only putting forward its own plan to demolish 52 houses to Pathfinder but has since done a U-turn and is now putting forward the community’s plans too. “I hope they don’t just use community involvement to tick that box” says Kevin “`Tenant Participation ? Tick ! Independent Surveys ? Tick ! Working Group ? Tick ! All done and now we can scrub it out’...” Time will tell whether Salford’s residents are really being listened to, as it’s come down to a regeneration beauty contest between the Council and the community. Are you serious about grass roots democracy, Hazel ? Here’s your first test case. WOW !
Meanwhile, ex residents of the Chimney Pot Park area prepare to take Salford Council to court…
A group of former residents of the houses which were re-born as the Urban Splash upside down terraces are getting together to see if they can take Salford Council to court. They argue that the houses were sold to the council on the understanding that they were being demolished rather than refurbished. “My dad lived in Co-operative Street, loved his house, didn’t owe a penny on it and would never in a million years give up his deeds to that property for Salford Council to refurbish it and give it to someone else” says Mark Carlin “He was bullied out of it for a mere £11,000. Who in their right minds would give a property for peanuts for someone else to live in? It’s ludicrous and I’m sure there’s a law against it…” As well as needing a friendly `no win no fee lawyer ’, the group also wants to hear from other former residents of these streets who might want to take further action. Contact Kate: mobile phone number 07709 149142 firstname.lastname@example.org>
SALFORD 7 SALFORD 6 DISTRICT SIX? A Salfordian photographer is drawing comparisons between South African apartheid and what’s going off in the Salford regen process today…
he most moving room in the District Six Museum in Cape Town, South Africa, houses a display of old street signs. They’re very normal street signs with very normal names like Primrose Street, Hanover Street and Gray Street. Except that these signs are virtually all that’s physically left of a community that was cleansed from the area called District Six. In 1966 it was declared for `whites only’ and by 1982 over 60,000 people had been removed to outlying areas and their homes flattened by bulldozers. The supervisor in charge of the demolition was instructed to throw the old street signs into the sea but he kept them as a reminder of what used to be there. Now they take pride of place in the District Six Museum, founded to keep such memories and experiences alive, so people never forget. Meanwhile, in Salford, top documentary photographer Lawrence Cassidy, who’s originally from Lower Broughton, recognised the parallels and has been over to the District Six Museum discussing the mounting of his own exhibition, Salford 7. In South Africa, they get the connection… “The District Six Museum collects memories and photos of people who were removed from area, and my project in Salford involves collecting family albums and photographing the streets before they are erased forever too” he says “Since beginning the project some of the last streets in Lower Broughton have been demolished, including Earl Street and Kempster Street in 2006 and Wheaters Crescent in 2005 which housed families that had lived here for generations. “In Higher Broughton, the Hampshire Street and Wiltshire Street area, including Hanover Court, was also demolished, again erasing a complete enclave of the city” he adds “along with Broughton High School, also demolished in 2006.” Lawrence is a former Broughton High School pupil who grew up to exhibit his photography and win awards all over the world. He’s worked with communities from Mexico to Serbia but, it seems, there’s no place like home for politically powerful inspiration. “Given that virtually all Central Salford is becoming new build, and traditional terraced housing is being replaced by retail stores, flats and light industry units – residents having often been removed to overspill estates decades ago – the physical evidence of that past is also virtually completely destroyed” he says “The areas cannot
rview) Kathlean Tyson and family in Low er Broughton (see page 46 for inte
be reconstructed but can be recaptured in images and memories, enabling younger generations to relate to the history of Salford and their cultural identity.”
“Ironically Salford 6 is now also undergoing dramatic change” Lawrence says “and the importance of recapturing lost memories seems to be a current and vital issue.”
When Lawrence does an exhibition he doesn’t just have nice photos in frames – he wazzes them up larger than life and pastes them onto walls, wraps them around industrial tubes or forms them into wild patterns to make an instant impact. They’re massive proud memorials to proud communities.
South Africans who bore the full brunt of apartheid are about to be shocked by what’s happening in Salford. How sad is that ?
He used his own family photographs in Part 1 of his Salford 7 exhibition which was shown at The Lowry in 2005, and eight family albums from other Salford families in Part 2, Industrial Landscapes, shown in Preston and Blackburn, and expected back in Salford Museum for 2008. They will all probably be exhibited in the District Six Museum…
Lawrence has teamed up with fellow Salford artist Leslie Holmes for a joint exhibition at Salford Lads’ Club during Architecture Week 2007, titled The Street of 1000 Children. Using films, photo albums, news cuttings, a 1980’s music video and the remains of a cobbled street. The Street of 1000 Children runs at Salford Lads’ Club June 16th (11am 4pm) 17th (12noon-4pm), 23rd (11-4pm), 24th (noon-4pm) further details www.salfordladsclub.org.uk
Sunbeds, Beauty Treatment and Unisex Hairdressing Salon
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104 Seaford Road, Salford M6 6EP 0161 792 4445
K & S NEWS Newspapers Magazines Greetings Cards Mobile Phone Top-Up Gas & Electric Top-Up Fresh Bread and Milk Opening Times Mon-Fri 6.00 am - 6.00 pm Sat 6.00 am - 4.30 pm Sun 6.00 am - 1.00 pm 171 Langworthy Road, Salford 0161 736 3218
Photos Nicola Stead
Forget Man United, FC United and the rest…There’s only one big football team in Salford and they are called City… Words: James Marshall
I t’s a chilly Saturday afternoon and I’m
watching Salford’s biggest football club. Some fans are viewing the game from the warmth of the clubhouse, others are sat with the players’ WAGS in the main stand…the majority are spread out along the touchline and behind the goal four hardcore fans are huddled together waving a tangerine Salford City `Pride’ banner. There’s an air of optimism all around the place. Riding high at the top of the North West Counties top division, the team has a realistic chance of being promoted this year, and crowds have been slowly getting better. Today there must be at least 150 fans, reveling in the family atmosphere and sampling the club’s famed pies, peas and gravy. As far as football in Salford goes, it doesn’t get any bigger than this. Salford is the only big city in the country without a professional football team …and being the only (even) semi-professional team in the whole of Salford, the city’s soccer hopes begin and end here - down a little suburban side street in higher Kersal, on one of the most historic pitches in the country. But it’s to the future that City are looking, and former player and local businessman, Darren Quick, who became the new chairman in the close season, is helping to make the club’s dreams a reality. “I’m trying to raise the profile of the club by attracting additional investment into it” he explains “So far we have had quite a bit of success with the club and with a bigger budget it helps the manager to give us the best chance in getting promoted out of this league.”
City finished fifth last season and won the NWCFL League Challenge Cup. This season, their profile has never been higher as epic battles with local rivals FC United have brought record attendances. Over four thousand fans saw the Ammies beat FC United 2-1, to end the Rebels’ 12 game winning streak, in a match which had to be switched from Moor Lane to The Willows to cope with the crowds. It showed the potential for Salford’s footy ambitions, even at this level. Now that the club has secured a long term lease on their ground from the council, every week improvements to Moor Lane are being made to get City’s home to match those ambitions. There’s already a huge pitch with a surface that wouldn’t look out of place at Old Trafford, and floodlights which have been added since the club moved here in 1978. Behind the scenes there’s also an army of volunteers who keep the club afloat, particularly Mr Salford City, Ged Carter, who has been involved with the club for 20 years with jobs ranging from chairman to manager to groundsman and general organizer. Behind the bar - which also doubles as the club shop selling replica shirts - Lib Dem councillor, Stephen Cooke, pulls the pints and in the refreshment hut Babs serves up those top pies. Everyone’s working together and there’s a definite buzz about the place that something big is about to happen.
‘We have brought a lot of local, young kids through from a youth system which we set up at Irlam” he says “We are now doing really well.” City stars like Moores, Whitehead, Robinson, Moses and Burrows might not be household names, but they’re certainly doing the business for City, which has had some famous faces grace the Moor Lane turf down the years. In 1992 Manchester United sent a team of youth and experience to Salford for a friendly game. The match was organised by the former City player-manager, Billy Garton, and amongst the players that day was budding superstar, David Beckham, who made a return some years later to watch his friend Dave Gardner turn out in the tangerine shirt. Apparently, Becks parked his car behind the goal and watched the game through blacked out windows. If he ever comes back he might not be able to get his car in there as more and more people are coming along to cheer on the lads. As the `ultras’ banner behind the goal says, Salford City FC are the Pride of Salford. Trafford-based billionaires, Man United, might be one of the world’s sexiest clubs, but here at the other end of football it’s all very real. And getting more exciting by the day…
On the pitch, stability has been the priority for manager Gary Fellows, who was appointed in 2005. His backroom staff has been behind him all the way, especially assistant manager Gerry Clowes.
SALFORD CITY FC
(at Moor Lane) Mon 9th April 7:45pm v Ramsbottom Sat 14th April 3pm v Bacup Borough Sat 28th April 3pm v Nantwich Town (at Gigg Lane) Sat 21st April 3pm v FC United Check fixtures, results and cup games at http://www.nwcfl.co.uk/
SALFORD CITY FC
Nickname: The Ammies Founded: 1940 Moved to Moor Lane 1978 Record Attendance: 4058 (The Willows) v FC United Record Attendance: 3000 (Moor Lane) v Wickham FA Vase Manager: Gary Fellows Chairman: Darren Quick Famous Players: Ben Thornley, Dav e Gardener, Rhodri Giggs and Billy Garton Famous Fans: David Beckham, Rya n Giggs and Robson Green (filmed Northern Lights at Moor Lane) Official website: www.salfordcityfc .net Admission: £5 (£2)
Salford City’s Number 1 Fan Tony Melia is a season ticket holder, has been supporting the team for eight years and is the ‘stato’ of City. “My best memory of the club was when we won the League Cup last year against Cammell Laird at Skelmersdale” he says “We also did really well in the FA Cup just missing out on the first round which would have been some achievement.”
Salford City `hardcore’ Supporting the club since the early 90’s, Mark, James, Dan and Ian have been through thick and thin with the club. ‘I started coming to City last season properly” says Ian “Being a proud Salfordian I thought I’d come down and watch my local team. I had a lot of pressure to go and support FC United but this is my team.” The lads travel home and away with the team and have set up their own website to promote the club www.salfordcitymad.co.uk . “We are all trying to do our bit to promote the club” says Mark “And hopefully bring more people down to support City.”
Salford City FC
Darren Quick, Chairman
Photo by: Nicola Stead
CAN YOU DIG SALFORD’S MEN ? Click on the website of the brilliant
Langworthy Men’s Action Group and the first thing you see, next to Salford’s crest, is a statement from the founding meeting for the Civic League of Help on May 23rd 1908…
“In Salford today chronic poverty is undoubtedly the normal condition of a large number of its inhabitants. So obvious is this unhappy feature of our social life that unconsciously it comes to be regarded as inevitable and therefore beyond remedy…” Underneath, William Smid, has written `Don’t know about you but reading this statement not much has changed with the lifestyle of Salford, this city that I hold close to my heart”. Two years ago William and a group of men who felt left out of Central Salford’s regeneration and suspicious of the authorities leading it, decided to do something themselves.
GET IN ON PARTY IN THE PARK 2007
Langworhty Mens Action Group committee members pose with shovels by their new allotment
They founded the Langworthy Men’s Action Group (LMAG) to “promote a more positive life style and encourage males of all ages to contribute to their community.” These aren’t the fake words of do gooders or people getting paid wads to tick some boxes. These are the words of Salford’s men who mean what they say, who have brought up families in Langworthy, Ordsall and Pendleton – the heart of old Salford. They’ve set the Group up from scratch, trained to become mentors, found funding to do footy sessions, and fathers and families trips to Blackpool, and now they’ve got their own allotment in Weaste, given to them by the Council. “They said `Are you willing to take young offenders as a community service when they come out of prison ?’” recalls LMAG’s John Higgins “We said `Yes of course, that’s what we want...the more the merrier !’”
“We’ve got two plots of land and at the moment they’re all overgrown but when we get them sorted we want to grow veg like onions, beetroots and leaks to give away to OAPs, and we can produce flowers for Salford In Bloom” he adds “This is a good thing and we need as much help as we can get.” William Smid, LMAG’s Chairman, emphasises that it’s going to be a true community allotment, that it’s about people doing stuff for themselves and supporting each other to do it. And everyone’s invited. Contact William on 07961 294505 www.lmag.moonfruit.com The Langworthy Men’s Action Group has its AGM on 28th April 4pm at the Cornerhouse. All welcome.
FUN AT ST JOHN’S…
Last year, Party In The Park at Douglas
Green, with its bands, DJs, stalls and rides, attracted over 2000 people. This year it aims to be even bigger and better and more groovy, and the organisers are looking for any Salford musicians who want to showcase themselves at the event on July 21st. There’s no fee but you get to play on a big proper stage, with a big proper Salford audience, and you’ll get loads of exposure… For further details contact Graham Cooper on 745 7025 54
Council for the Care of Churches has recommended A report just released by 2thelisted St John’s Church, on Murray Street in Higher
that the threatened Grade St John’s, built Broughton is “worthy of consideration for a higher listing status”. John Clowes, is Rev vicar first its Victorian Gothic style in 1836 on land donated by pe value”. townsca and tural architec rable conside praised as “a very fine church, of quality and The report explains that the stained glass, in particular “is of the highest Salford ation. conserv of need te despera in and importance” but is currently grilled up parish. the by up taken been never has it but 2003 in this for Council offered funding have petitioned However the Care of Churches report has re-fired campaigners who opens for only y currentl It going. the Bishop of Manchester to keep the church month. a service Sunday one and s weddings, funerals, baptism gner Philip Clark “I was thrilled to receive a copy of this report” says St John’s campai around.” miles for thing finest the it’s – church “It would be criminal to close this
WHAT’S MIFFING THE MAYOR ? S
o, the Salford Star gets invited to a brilliant fund-raising event organised by the Ascension Church in Lower Broughton, for Rendezvous, a self help group run by cancer patients and based at St Ann’s Hospice Day Care in Little Hulton. Everyone’s thrilled because the Mayor of Salford, Bernard Murphy, has come to lend his support, and naturally we want to take a photo to mark the occasion and publicise Rendezvous’ fantastic work. Unfortunately Councillor Murphy refuses to have his photo taken with the group if it’s going in the Salford Star (what have we done ?), and storms off in a major mayoral miff. We thought `That’s lovely isn’t it ? We’re the only media in the city that turns up and he doesn’t want to know’…Never mind. As we didn’t want to exclude him, we’ve commissioned a special drawing of the mayor by a 6 year old Salfordian which has been carefully grafted onto the publicity shot we were allowed to take. Hope he likes it. Meanwhile, Rendezvous continues to go from strength to strength, raising money for St Ann’s, Macmillans and Christies, and promoting well being. “We are all increasingly affected by cancer and it is vital that there should be support for people close to home when they most need it” says Rendezvous co-ordinator Val Bennett “The group provides emotional and practical support, together with complimentary therapies, relaxation sessions, talks from professionals and from people about the lighter side of life. We also provide transport for those who need it and the group is open to all cancer patients in the Salford area. The group is delighted to have this vote of confidence from our Mayor as we need all the support we can get from community leaders and local business people…”
Rendezvous meets at St Ann’s on the last Tuesday of every month 7-9pm and on the second Monday of every month 10ammidday for art and craft therapy. Rendezvous also has a further fund-raising Coffee Day and Bring and But Sale on Tues 17th April 10am-10pm at 31 Bridgewater Rd, Mosley Common, Boothstown. For further details on Rendezvous call Val on 790 4346
WHOLE LOTTA RAKIN’ GOIN ON Photo by: Tony Miller
Salford’s `community films’ just keep on getting more spectacular. The Fruits of our Labour is the fifth minimovie by Lower Kersal Young People’s Group and features everything from bombs to broccoli and the surreal site of Elvis digging his roots…
rive down Littleton Road in Lower Kersal and there’s this huge allotment site by the side of the River Irwell festooned with flags of all countries. But then Lower Kersal Allotments have a bit of a colourful history that’s being brought to the screen by local youngsters and a few oldies too. “I’ve lived around here for 30 years, passed the allotments and not really bothered” says Tommy Lever who helps run the Young People’s Group “We did some filming there for our last film and then we all starting asking questions, like how it all started. It gave the young people the opportunity to do some research and since then it’s been a learning curve for us all.” They found that an Elvis impersonator once worked a plot there, and so one was instantly recruited to star in the film. But social history came alive for the cast re-enacting the `Dig For Victory’ era when food was grown to sustain the community during the two world wars.
“We were filming in a place in Irlam pretending it was an air raid shelter and it felt like there was a bomb dropping” says Liam Newbigging, 15, who plays a lad called Charlie helping his dad grow food in the war. “The film’s based on a guy called George who is 100 and he’s looking back on his lifetime which is tied in with the allotments” Liam adds “The bombing scenes are very real.” With location shoots at the Pumphouse museum to give it an extra feel of forties
authenticity, and with involvement of top film makers REELmcr, it’s inspired many of the cast to continue creating… “I’ve never done any acting before” says 11 year old Sean Maffey who plays Peter in the film “but I definitely want to carry on…” The Fruits Of Our Labour will be shown at various venues in the community on completion.
New Salfordians Amanda and Chris Annesley with twins Mathew David and Jack Robert born on New Years Day. Mathew weighed 4lb 13 and was born at 15.49 and Jack weighed 5lb 14 and was born at 16.12 Dear Salford Star is spot-on. Despite Just read your piece on `mediapity:uk’ and unfortunately your analysis it meant to. One is nor and benefit to going isn’t nity commu the hype, nity’ all the ‘commu say; watch ns politicia what to listen of the rules-of-thumb of Political Science is: `Don’t money is not the that spotted already have you nately, where they put the money’. Unfortu , put policies onal’ ‘aspirati of lots read I life, another In nity. commu going to the Salford was there that realised one until out by Government and others, which all sounded great ‘hype’. read onal’ no cash to make them happen. For ‘aspirati will be used to The reality is that community projects will be bled of funding that l BBC staff will technica and onal professi of ‘encourage’ the Beeb to Salford. The majority in cleaning except nities opportu job local of on expansi relocate so don’t expect a huge from flogging off cash, of plenty them with bring will They s. canteen in working floors and in the process, will expensive London properties, to buy the best of local properties and, able to even more unafford more even become they force up local property prices so that local people. growth that leaves the In community development terms, it’s called ‘emiserising growth’; market does so Free the what It’s it. of because poorer majority few better off and the well to the Third World. Paul Edwards
Please… Salford has a bad enough reputation, you are our Salford Star - but the spelling on your website leaves a lot to be desired. Makes us Salfordians look uneducated too ! Tc-train1
Reply: yes, we know but can’t change the front page…if anyone reading this is skilled in website sorting and wants to give us a hand please get in touch. In the meantime Salford Star features are up on the website – just click on `atricles’ on the front page – ta…
I have contributed an article to your magazine in the past, been fortunate enough to have read all three issues and have come to the conclusion that there is a general feeling amongst residents of regeneration areas that their views are being ignored. ..that it doesn’t matter what we think, councillors will do what they want anyway. This is a defeatist attitude to take because the people who make these decisions about our lives and our areas are nothing more than elected representatives. They are there to voice our concerns about issues. If you do not feel that these people you’ve elected have your best interests at heart then go to the polling station and vote them out. It is as simple as that. You voted them in, so if you’re not happy with them, vote them out. Thankfully, we still live in a democracy. So use your vote in the local elections – one or two shocks might just make your local councillors sit up and realise just who put them there. And if they respond and act in the interests of the electorate, the world will be a better place…well, certainly Salford…but it’s a start. John Yendall Langworthy Road
Dear Salford Star As a Salfordian living over the river in Manchester (much to my family’s dismay) I want to thank and congratulate the young men who were treated unfairly at the Lowry for highlighting, so well, one of the many barriers confronting young people who try to join in public life, not just at the Lowry but in many so called ‘public spaces’. (I’ve just watched it on the internet and was moved to write this as it brought up many memories for me) As a child and young woman growing up in Salford, we had a choice of good youth clubs to go to from King Street on the Height, to Reggie’s dance club (under 18s) at Cross Lane. We could get on the bus in a group and the conductors would know us and not be scared because we were all together. We would hang out at the top shops and no-one was concerned as people exchanged hellos. It just feels that there was a little more respect given to young people when I was younger and the things we did were a bit more valued. I think we gave this respect back (most of the time - all teenagers need to have the occasional strop in order to avoid being boring adults). A group I’m involved with, Unity Arts, had a festival at the Manchester Art Gallery recently. Out of the 700 or so people there, many had never been in the gallery before and a large group of young people came from Salford. They were brilliant and had a great time.
Dear Salford Star, Dave Mcmanus, singer, songwriter, a man with passion for all things Salfordian, and a contributor to your magazine passed away on Christmas day 2006.
Dear Salford Star. I read an interview in Salford Star in which John Cooper Clarke was asked about a play that had been produced in 2004 called “36 Hours”. He dismissed the piece as “...an excuse to put on a nylon wig and do my material”. His associate known as Ricky then chirped in with “It was rubbish...we tried to talk to them but we lost our rag...” Mr Clarke should know better than to rubbish a performance, which he has never seen, nor read and knows very little about which is a shame because I think he would enjoy it. The other gentleman is only bitter because we did not let him re - write our script so it was about him and make himself out to be a kind of Mancunian Keith Richards. Keith Harris would be more appropriate.
A great person missed by all who knew him. Listen to some of his music on www.davemcmanus.com Craig.
36 Hours was a great piece of theatre. Never a serious biog, it used all manner of objects and sources to create a universe on stage at the centre of which was an idiosyncratic, Northern English poet. We used John’s (as well as other’s) material where we saw fit but never in gratuity and never was it the main focus of the show - as it no longer is to the poet himself. What’s more it worked! It was nominated for two Manchester Evening News theatre awards and won many categories in Studio Salford’s own award ceremony that year. I would however be grateful if you would print this letter as I feel the manner in which they dismissed this work was totally out of order.
Sorry if the above sounds like a rant from the past - and I’m sorry too that many adults, policy makers and decision makers forget that our young people need access to public spaces too - including art galleries especially when your mum, dad, granny and grandad have paid for it (and mine). Incidentally, when I took my 80 year old mum to the Lowry for the first time about 18 months ago she wanted to know who had given us permission to go in, and was I sure she could have a cup of tea in the bar. Good on you for what you are doing! Colette
I have an idea on improving Broughton, and decreasing the risks on roads. People are riding motorbikes on streets because it is closer to any open field. So I think there should be a 24hr motorcylce area for people who want to ride on their motorbike. It would be supervised at all times to make sure nobody was hurt.
I think instead of just focusing on the looks of Broughton, also focus on preventing accidents in Salford.
Neil Bell - EAT THEATRE
Thanks. David Wroe
I would like to reply to the letter by Joanne x regarding her comments on the regeneration of Langworthy (December issue). She stated that some people in Salford were afraid of change and that the houses were affordable and brilliantly designed. Where Joanne x is hoping to live on Langworthy, the original residents were all robbed by the council, none more than the residents of Co-operative Street, Osbourne Street and Keswick Grove. They were told their homes were going to be demolished and are now at this point in time being refurbished. The council paid them a pittance for their deeds. Welcome back to Salford, Joanne x and I wish you all the best in your new home. I lived at 20 Wheaters Terrace, Lower Broughton for 73 years. My mum and dad were the first tenants and I moved there when I was 7. All my children were born in the house. It was one of the best houses in Salford but they knocked it down. I was the last person on the whole estate… Did I want to stay in my house ? I wanted to die in it. But now it’s gone.
Ken McKelvey Salford
Alfred Broughton, 81
I belatedly got a copy of the Christmas “Salford Star” from a friendly solicitor who knew I would be interested. I am a chartered surveyor who specialises in CPO and therefore might be considered one of the enemy from your point of view, although I hope not, and I have been involved in this sort of work in Salford for three decades, most intensively over the last 10 years or so. I was heavily involved in the Seedley & Langworthy Homeswaps, I am also involved in the Littleton Road scheme, the Duchy Road scheme and the bottom and top streets schemes in Salford 7. Salford is not actually a bad council, when compared say to Manchester, but I have to say that the lip service paid to “sustaining communities” has always been quite misleading, when one only had to look to see what was actually going on and, as your articles concerning Kersal and Lower Broughton clearly states, one of the main effects of regeneration is to break up some very long standing communities. How it was done early on in both
Manchester and Salford was to either allow, or some would say stimulate urban decay to the point where the council effectively had a duty to intervene, go for a CPO and redevelop. The fact that councils such as Salford and Manchester have so willingly got into bed with developers for profit, patently against the interests of their own residents, indeed voters, has been quite unwholesome to see. That is not to say that Salford council do not have some extremely good officers at both my valuer level and on the ground housing officials who all have to work in the framework that has been established from on high. Probably by far and away the most successful “sustaining communities” scheme that I am aware of in the North West has been the Seedley & Langworthy Homeswap scheme which has been an enormous success and actually has resulted in only about 10% of the residents staying in the area as far as I can tell. You obviously have a healthy suspicion of local officialdom; from what I could see in Seedley & Langworthy, I was also extremely
cautious about the central government representative. One topic that you migth find worthy of investigation and comment in future, because, sure as little apples, this is a process that is only part way through, is to look in some detail at the endless “consultations” that are held by the council where often quite junior housing officers either go on house visits or meet with residents at drop in sessions and where the very last thing they want are the residents views but the consultations are in effect to update the councils knowledge per se and the officers concerned very rarely have new information that they are able to impart to the consultees. I am not a Salford resident but I really liked your magazine and I am just sorry that yourself or somebody like you did not have the brilliant idea to start it much earlier on, which may even have helped save some communities which have now gone or going. Best wishes Peter Cunliffe, FRICS
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Method and Madness… Suzuki Method are creating a real buzz with their dark electro-rock tales of city life. Tim Powell meets Salford’s exciting music exports…
Photo by Lyndsey Winnington
W hat’s in a name? For most bands the
answer’s ‘not a lot’, but for the Suzuki Method it couldn’t be more appropriate. They’re named after the technique invented by Dr Shin’ichi Suzuki, where kids learn classical music by immersing themselves in it from a young age. A bit heavy I know – but do you get it? No? Ok, sythn player Grant explains, “It’s about learning music by listening to music. The band’s music is all our influences, poured into one thing – rather than being just a punk band or something”. A nice theory, only slightly ruined by guitarist Adam, “but it’s a b*****d to Google!” Comprising the classic rock’n’roll family tree of brothers, mates and the bloke down the road, the band all hail from Swinton. Brothers Grant and Adam are joined by vocalist Matt, second guitarist Elliot, bassist Martin and sticksman Jake. The band’s world revolves around their home studio, where different combinations play most nights. Whoever’s there “pushes their influences forward” says Grant, until this builds into a tune. It’s a bit different with the lyrics, with Matt – who’s always been “quite deep” apparently – coming out with stuff that “seems mental at first, but is actually really good”. This process comes across in the songs – from the sinister disco of Decade Blue, through the pure escape of Delicate to the upbeat electro-pop of You Make Me Wonder. Forget rent-a-quote ‘best band in the world’ nonsense, their aim is simple - in the words
of Adam, “all we want to do is write a load of brilliant songs and play them live. We’ve so many people that love the band I reckon we’ve just gotta ‘ave it in 2007”. However, this lack of a master plan hasn’t done them any harm. They’ve already won a heat in Xfm’s unsigned showcase and been photographed by Natalie Curtis, daughter of Joy Division’s Ian. Most impressively, they were selected to play in last year’s ITC; Manchester’s annual love-in for the music industry’s egos and chequebooks. They played by far the loudest gig I saw all week – and the one best supported by real fans. Whilst the dreamed after milliondollar-record-deal didn’t transpire, the band have had a load of gig offers off the back of it - including a Grand Prix after-party and a support slot with the Engineers - in addition to their normal local gigs. To date they’ve produced one EP – Decade Blue – with plans for a follow-up soon. Recording is done at Blackfriars’ Blueprint Studio, where recent inmates read like a who’s who of Manchester music. Despite this pedigree the studio have gone out of their way to list the band on their website as ‘one to watch’. While everyone’s watching, the boys all agree that if they didn’t come from Salford they’d be a different band. “Salford’s seen as run down, but the music from here is so great it shows you how accessible it is to get into” says Grant, “If you really love it, you can be
like the people on the records”. I ask if there is a Salford ‘scene’. “We haven’t encountered it” replies Adam. However, they agree that this isn’t due to a lack of bands but to a lack of non-pub venues (“If we were a covers band, we’d be laughing”). For this reason, Manchester is seen as a path to success the band has even been accused, of taking the scenester’s route of playing nights such as High Voltage. They’re keen to deny this: “Coming from here, you come from the place that created that music and those haircuts – you don’t have to pretend you do” says Martin. “It’s not a hobby while at university, we’re not going to move to Kent and become estate agents” states Adam definitively. The Suzuki Method are well named… http://www.myspace.com/suzukimethodmusic http://www.suzukimethod.co.nr
What you didn’t know about the Suzuki Method * Jake, the drummer is the son of Paul Ryder, founder of Salford legends Happy Mondays. Paul also manages the band. an early gig, Mr * Since going “absolutely ape” at fficial mascot uno and d frien a Trout has become gs a certain brin and gigs s nge arra He d. to the ban cing, dan ted star brand of good luck – “since he a word Just ”. cing dan ted star loads of people have he hard so ks skan guy this gh: of warning thou nearly had my eye out.
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HAPPENING IN SALFORD JEALOUS, JETS AND ROCK N ROLL… SALFORD MUSIC PAST AND PRESENT
stablished Salford groups Hanky Park, Fast Cars and Salford Jets are lining up with the city’s up and coming bands including Jealous, Same As It Ever Woz, Mear Catz, A Precious Echo and The Mekkits for a mega charity gig at the Willows in May. Presented by Paul from salfordmusic.com and Andy Fenton who did the charity World Cup Come On Win England CD last year, the event is being put on to raise funds for the Five Stars Scanner Appeal which started in Salford’s Wallness Tavern exactly 30 years ago. “We’ve tried to get a good cross section of Salford bands, from the Salford Jets and Fast Cars, who have amazing musical histories, to bands such as A Precious Echo and the Mekkits, who are just starting out” says Paul. It should be a very loud iconic night with the best of current Salford sounds on show. If you’re wondering where the city’s music scene is, check this out… Salford Music: Past And Present is at the Willows, Willows Rd M5 5FQ Sunday 27th May 6pm – 1am Tickets £10 or £15 (inc buffet). Further details www.salfordmusic.com ; www.gogomad.com ; www. thewillowsonline.co.uk 0161 736 8541
MUSIC/DANCE/ COMEDY/DRAMA LISTINGS Mon 2 – Sat 7 April Girls Night The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 Mon – Thu 8pm, Fri 5:30pm 8.30pm, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm £14 - £20 Mon 2 April French Classics organ recital by Jonathan Scott inc Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Peel Hall, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT 0161 295 5223 1pm £3.50 (£2.50) 2.30pm Mastervoice free Tues 3 April The Stillman String Quartet performing works from Beethoven and Shostakovich. Peel Hall, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT 0161 295 5223 1pm £3.50 (£2.50) 2.30pm Mastervoice free
Tue 3 – Sat 14 April Eclipse – The Circus Musical The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 7.30pm, Fri 6 April, Wed & Sat mats 2pm. No show Sun 8 April. £20 - £24 except for Tue 3 all seats £15 Wed 4 April Wed 4 April Jazz at the Kings The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605 Fri 6 April Big Jim White The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 Sat 7 April So 80s The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Sat 7 April Three Singing Pigs The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 suitable for ages 3-9. 11am & 1pm Adults £7, Children £5 Mon 9 April Free Minute Warning Comedy evening Tickets free (bookings only) 9pm Salford Arts Theatre Westerham Avenue, off Liverpool Street, M5 4AD, 0161 925 0111 or 0161 737 2188
Wed 11 April Gary Nash The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 Tue 10 & Wed 11 April The Billie Holiday Story The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 8pm, Wed mat 2.30pm £17
Thu 12 – Sat 14 April Easter Bites Nat Youth Theatre The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 8pm, Sat mat 2pm £7 Fri 13 April Some Robbie Some Day Robbie Williams tribute The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Fri 13 April Embryo eclectic cabaret night Studio Salford The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 832 3605 Fri 13 April Sounds of the Rat Pack The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009
Sat 14h April Embryo eclectic cabaret night Studio Salford The Kings Arms, Bloom street 0161 832 3605 Sat 14 April The Drifters The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Fri 13 & Sat 14 April Encore George Piper Dances The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 8pm £14 & £16 Sun 15 April Singalong with Donna and Tony The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 3-8pm
Sun 15 April Count Arthur Strong – The Musical The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 8pm £13 Sun 15 April Donovan The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 7.30pm £24.50
SALFORD’S JEKYLL AND HYDE T
he prestigious Salford Musical Theatre Company might be an amateur outfit but they put on massive productions in huge venues, and raise money all year to enable them to do it. This year’s musical extravaganza is based on the well known novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, and follows the story of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde’s psycho personality split which brings mayhem to the streets of London. 35 cast members take on a variety of roles, from prostitutes and newsreaders, to the main characters. In the am-dram world this is as professional as it gets. Go see for yourself… Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde runs from the 1st May-5th May at the Lowry Tickets cost £11, £13, £15 and can be purchased from the company’s own ticket office on 01204 578216 or by contacting the Lowry box office. Kelly McFarland
Tue 17 April The Fell Clarinet Quartet includes music by Farkas, McGuire, Piazzolla and Gershwin Peel Hall, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT 0161 295 5223 1pm £3.50 (£2.50) 2.30pm Mastervoice free Wed 18 April Salford University Big Band Peel Hall, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT 1pm free Wed 18th April Jazz at the Kings The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605 Tue 17 – Sat 21 April The Taming of the Shrew & Twelfth Night The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £14 - £18 Fri 20 April Lucy Porter The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 8pm £12 Fri 20 April David Hayes The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 Fri 20 April Mayor of Salford Charity Dinner with Las Vegas Nights The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Sat 21 April Soul Brothers Band The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Sat 21 April The Howff bands The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605
Sat 21 April Waqt (Time) British and Indian dance The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 7pm £10 Sun 22 April Reginald D Hunter The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 8pm £13 Sun 22 April Dennis Locorriere Ex Dr Hook vocalist celebrates hits and history 7.30pm £19 - £23 Sun 22nd April Singalong with Donna and Tony The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 3-8pm Mon 23 – Sat 28 April The Unexpected Guest By Agatha Christie. The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 7.30pm, Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm £16 - £22.50 Mon 23 April Comedy Sportz comedy impro 7.30 pm £4 Salford Arts Theatre Westerham Avenue, off Liverpool Street, M5 4AD, 0161 925 0111 or 0161 737 2188 Tues 24 April Oliver Heath (Violin), Christopher Murray (Cello) & Benjamin Powell (Piano) Peel Hall, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT 0161 295 5223 1pm £3.50 (£2.50) 2.30pm Mastervoice free Tue 24 – Sat 28 April Oliver! The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 8pm, Sat mat 2pm £8 - £12 Wed April 25 Gary Nash The Black Lion Chapel Street 0161 834 9009
Wed 25 April Vital Signs: Chrissie Gittins Readings by award winning writer of short stories, poetry and Radio 4 drama. 2pm Adelphi House, Adelphi Street, The University of Salford, M3 6EN 0161 295 5223 or see www.arts.salford. ac.uk Wed 25 April Festivity Salford University Brass Band & Adelphi Brass Band Peel Hall, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT 1pm free Fri 27 April Brothers of Soul The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Sat 28 April Abba Arrival The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Sat 28 April Orange Plastic bands: Beep Seal, Alela Dine and Spunk The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605 Sun 29 April Songfest 40th Anniversary of Salford’s MAPAS Local junior and high school choirs, plus adult choirs The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 4pm £6 Mon 30 April Chetham’s School of Music Showcase St Philip with St Stephen Church Encombe Place, Salford, M3 6FJ 7.30pm £3.50 (£2.50) Tues 1 May The Munch Manship Quartet Peel Hall, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT 1pm free
Tues 1 May Johnny Winter The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £22.50 Tues 1 – Sat 5 May Salford Music Theatre Company Jekyll and Hyde The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 7:15pm Sat 2:15pm and 7:15pm £15 (see feature) Wed 2 May Elkie Brooks The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £18.50-£21.50 7:30pm Wed 2 May Gary Nash The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 Wed 2 May Jazz at the Kings The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605 Thurs 3 May The Ultimate Psychic Show The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Thurs 3 May 3 bands and a DJ The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605 Thu 3 – Fri 4 May The Luckiest Man In The World The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £5 Thu 3-Sat 5 May Derren Brown The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £18.50-£21.50 Fri 4 May Unbreakable & Classic Party Hits The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Fri 4 May Big Jim White The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009
COYOTES CALLING… In the fast and furious world of amateur inline hockey, Salford reigns supreme. James Marshall checks out the Pendlebury Coyotes, ten years at the top… The Pendlebury Coyotes are about to mark the club’s 10th anniversary of competing in the upcoming sport of inline hockey, which is a bit like ice hockey only played indoors with wheeled skates. The Coyotes, Salford’s only major inline hockey team, has acquired a bulging trophy cabinet recently, winning National, European and World championships. In September last year the under 21 team won gold at the World Amateur In-Line Roller Hockey Championships, held at New York’s famous Madison Square Gardens. The Coyotes, who had entered the top-flight competition for the first time, beat off the cream of the crop from around the hockey world to put Salford on the map. Major success was also accomplished by the senior team who won the European championship in Sheffield and came runners up in the World Championships in America.
To celebrate the Coyotes anniversary the club has organised a special tournament to be held at the Deeside Arena on the 21st April with up to 24 top teams from the UK competing. Entry is free and proceeds from raffles and auctions at the event will go towards Pendlebury Children’s Hospital. In the meantime, the team have upped sticks from Pendlebury and now play at Broughton recreation centre most weekends, running six teams of all ages. “If you want to watch it’s free to attend” says coach, Tony Camilleri “Or if you want to get more involved, training is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and everyone is welcome to come down and take part.” Fancy watching or playing for the world champs ? Further details about the club and all the fixtures are at www. pendleburycoyotes.co.uk
Sat 5 May 80s Experience The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541
Mon 7 May Roy Harper The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £16.50
Tues 8 – Sat 12 May Bedroom Farce The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £12.50-£20
Sat 5 May Daredevas The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £8
Mon 7 – Sat 12 May The Gruffalo’s Child The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £9
Sun 6 May Singalong with Donna and Tony The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 3-8pm
Tues8 May Trio Zambra gypsy melodies, French café music and seasonal Vivaldi St Philip with St Stephen’s Church Encombe Place, Salford, M3 6FJ 1pm .£3.50 (£2.50)
Tues 8-Sat 12 May NT Connections Festival Youth Theatre The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £3 Wed 9 - Fri 11 May Open Road University staff-directed performance piece, devised and performed by students on the BA in Contemporary Theatre Practice. Robert Powell Theatre, Allerton Building, Frederick Road Campus, The University of Salford, Salford, M6 6PU 7:30pm £4 (£3)
Sun 6 May Jan Akkerman The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £16
Wed 9 – Fri 11 May Yippee ! (2006) The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £16 Fri 11 May Pop Goes The 90’s The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Sat 12 May Abba Arrival The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541
Sat 12 May Positively Bloom Street Bob Dylan tribute The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605
Fri 18 - Sat 19 May Nederlands Dans Theater 2 The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £18-£26
Sat 26 May Acoustic Anarchy album launch The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605
Sat 19 May
Sat 12 May Wishbone Ash The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £16.50
The Drifters The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 Sat 19 May The Roach Twins The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605
Sun 13 May Sam Brown The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £15 Sun 13 May Singalong with Donna and Tony The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 3-8pm Mon 14 May Free Minute Warning comedy evening Tickets free (bookings only) 9pm Salford Arts Theatre Westerham Avenue, off Liverpool Street, M5 4AD, 0161 925 0111 or 0161 737 2188 Tues 15 – Sat 19 May Nothing But The Truth The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £16-£18
Fri 1 June Mutton The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £8.50 Fri 1 June Storm The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £6 (£21inc dinner)
Sun 27 May Salford Music Past & Present in Conjunction with The Five Star Charity Appeal for RMCH (see feature) The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541
Sat 2 June Stayin Alive The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £8 (£19.50)
Sun 27 May Singalong with Donna and Tony The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 3-8pm Sun 27 May Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £14
Sat 19 May Craig Hill Kitty Pleasures The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £10 Sun 20 May Singalong with Donna and Tony The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009 3-8pm Sun 20 - Mon 21 May Pam Ann The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £16
Mon 4 – Sat 9 June Office Suite The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £14 £22 Tues 5 – Sat 9 June Angels In America Part 1 Millennium Approaches The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £18
Sun 27 May Punt and Dennis The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780
Fri 8 June Themed Devils and Angels Night The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £6 (£11.95/£21)
Sun 27 May The Elves and the Shoemaker The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £7
Wed 16 May Gary Nash The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009
Tues 22 May Darren Day The Music of Manilow and More The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £15, £16.50-£18.50 Tues 22 – Sat 26 May Dublin By Lamplight The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £16 £18
Wed 16 May Jazz at the Kings The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605
Fri 25 May Abba Mia The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541
Wed 16 May Freddie Starr The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £14.50 £18.50
Fri 25 May The Howff The Kings Arms, Bloom Street 0161 8323605
Friday 18 May Dave Hayes The Black Lion Chapel Street, 0161 834 9009
Fri 25/Sat 26 May Taylor Mac The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £10
Fri 18 May Absolute 80’s The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541
Sat 26 May Soul Brothers Band The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541
Mon 28 May Comedy Sportz comedy impro 7.30 pm £4 Salford Arts Theatre Westerham Avenue, off Liverpool Street, M5 4AD, 0161 925 0111 or 0161 737 2188 Tues 29 May – Sat 2 June Danny The Champion of the World The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £14 £18 Tues 29 – Wed 30 May Justitia The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £14 Thu 31 May Two Men Talking The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £5 Thur 31 May – Sat 2 June Food The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £12
Fri 8 June Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf and Back To The Futon The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £10 Sat 9 June Tom Thumb The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £7 Sat 9 June Abba Arrival The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £8 (£25) Sun 10 June Primal Pulse The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £18 £24 Sun 10 June Waterson Carthy The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £16
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THE TRUTH The Truth, starring Langworthy actor Stephen Lord and World Premiered at last year’s Salford Film Festival, is now available on DVD – it’s not to be missed…
With Robbie in rehab for his 33
birthday and celebs from Kate Moss to Jade Goody checking into the Priory at the first whiff of bad publicity, the world of expensive ‘retreats’ is an obvious target to satirise – as critically lambasted ITV sitcom The Abbey proves. However, The Truth is in a different class. Part black comedy, part murder mystery, the film focuses on a group of dysfunctional strangers attending new age therapy programme Adventures in Truth run by predatory Californian Donna Shuck (Elizabeth McGovern). Wheelchair bound teenager Candy (Elaine Cassidy) is the lone voice of sanity amongst an assortment of delusional egomaniacs and self-help addicts, quickly deciding she wants to leave the seven step course in quackery. However, nobody escapes Serenity Lodge that easily, and the murder of Croatian maid Mia flips the
Mon 11 - Sat 16 June Rocky Horror Show The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £18-£27 Tues 12- Sat 16 June Kiss Of The Spiderwoman The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £18 £22 Fri 15 June Now 80s The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £6 (£11.95/£21) Sat 16 June Soul Brothers Band The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £8(£25) Sun 17 June Salford In Motion Dance pieces from local schools The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 6pm £6 Sun 17 June Slaughterhouse Live The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £12 Tues 19 June Driven The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £12 Tues 19 June The Magic Flute The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £13-£50
comedy into a knife edge adventure in paranoia.
pretensions aside and enjoy a wicked night in…
The script marries blinding one-liners with gruesome cruelty, combining jibes at New Age mumbo jumbo and the ‘me’ generation with moments of real suspense. Put your
The Truth (15) written by George Milton & Mark Tilton, Guerilla Films £15.99 Jo Knowles
Wed 20-Fri 22 June Opera North Rigoletto The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £13-£50
Sun 24 June The Man Who Planted Trees The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £7
Thu 21 June Opera North Katya Kabanova The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £13-£50
Mon 25 June Ad Hoc Dance The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £5
Fri 22 June Unbreakable The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £6 (£11.95/£21)
Tues 26 June Francis and Power in Deep Dark Cuts The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £10
Sat 23 June Opera North Dido and Aeneas/Los Noces The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £13-£50
Tues 26 June Martin Simpson The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £15
Sat 23 June The Drifters The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £10 (£26.95) Sat 23 June Barry Cryer The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £15 Sat 23 June Dr Bumm’s Story Machine The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £7 Sat 23 June Timeless The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £8
Wed 27 June Ola Onabule The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £14 Thu 28 June One Man Star Wars The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £15 Thu 28 – Sat 30 June Yesterday When I Was Young True story of a Salford-born dominatrix Madam Stars Erin Shanagher The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 £5 £7.50
Sat 30 June So 80s The Willows, Willows Rd M5 8FQ 0161 736 8541 £8 (£25)
Exhibitions/ Talks/Events Trinity Youth Theatre Project Every Saturday Sacred Trinity Church Chapel Street/Blackfriars Road Free Contact Phil 07980 166331 Saturday Playhouse – Make Your Own Art Every Saturday The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 www.thelowry.com 11am – 12.30pm £3 (£1.50 Salford Residents) The Galleries & Studio Sat 31 March – Sun 24 June Ian Berry: In the North/The Water Project international photojournalist’s iconic images The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780
Until 29 April Lowry At War The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 Until Jan 2008 Shop Till You Drop Exhibition exploring shopping habits in Salford over the last 150 years Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0821 free Until 28 May Fellow Travellers Work of 15 artists who identify themselves as gay (etc) including art by Holly Johnson Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0821 Sun 1 April At Home with the Tudors Learn how the Tudors lived and try your hand at Tudor crafts led by costumed guides... 1:00pm to 4:00pm free Ordsall Hall Museum, 322 Ordsall Lane, Ordsall, M5 3AN 0161 872 0251 Mon 2 April Words and Music morning of harmony with Rev D.J Barnett Swinton and Pendlebury History Society Pendlebury Methodist church Bolton Road 10am £1 0161 7366191 Mon 2 April Bunny Hunt Follow the clues to find the hidden bunnies! 2:00pm free Ordsall Park, Trafford Road, M5 07713 998401 www.salford.gov.uk/parks-or.htm
Mon 2 April Easter Egg-stravaganza! Easter themed fun, including egg decorating, egg rolling and egg and spoon races. Bring a hard-boiled egg. Activities start at 10.30am Ordsall Hall, Ordsall Lane, M5 3AN 0161 872 0251 Wed 2,9,16,23 May, 6,13,20,27 June Art In The Garden Adult art course creating garden sculpture The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 Tues 3rd April Easter Crafts Make simple Easter decorations to celebrate the season. Sessions will be held at 10.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Drop-in. Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0821 Wed 4 April Bunny Hunt Follow the clues to find the hidden bunnies! 2:00pm free Mandley Park, Leicester Road, M7 07713 998401 http://www.salford.gov.uk/parks-bb.htm.. Wed 4 April Eastertime Fun Easter arts, crafts and games for kids aged 6-12 2:00pm free Clifton Country Park, Clifton House Road, Clifton, M27 6NG 0161 793 4219
Wed 4 April Easter Bonnet Making Make some fancy Easter head wear and bring it to the Easter bonnet parade on the 9th April. Sessions will be held at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm Ordsall Hall, Ordsall Lane, M5 3AN 0161 872 0251 Thur 5 April Young Friends Action Day Conservation day at Kersal Dale 1:00pm free Kersal Dale, Radford Street, Kersal, Salford M7 0NT 0161 607 1759 Thur 5 April Easter Hunt Find the hidden eggs in Worsley Woods and win a prize. Suitable for families with children aged 6 - 12. 2:00pm free www.salford.gov.uk/worsleywoods Fri 6 April Easter Bunny Hunt With a map and some clues see if you can find the Easter bunnies who are hiding in Blackleach Park 11:00am free Blackleach Country Park, Hilltop Road, off Walkden Road, Walkden, M28 3QQ 0161 790 7746 Sat 7 April – Sun 17 June David Miles: Inspired By Lowry The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 Mon 9 April 2007 Easter Bunny Hunt Bunny hunting in Clifton Country Park. Drop into the Visitor Centre and collect your map. Best to book. 11:00am free Clifton Country Park, Clifton House Road, Clifton, M27 6NG 0161 793 4219 Mon 9 April Easter Bonnet parade Bring you Easter bonnets to the Hall and join in the parade. The parade will start at 2pm. Ordsall Hall, Ordsall Lane, M5 3AN 0161 872 0251 Tues 10 April Stories from the Hall storytelling sessions throughout the day each lasting about 40 minutes 10.30am - the people who lived at the hall in Tudor times. 12.30 /2.30pm - ghostly tales of Ordsall Hall (not be suitable for very young children) Ordsall Hall, Ordsall Lane, M5 3AN 0161 872 0251 Tues 10 April to Fri 13 April Screenprinting Easter School 11:00am to 5:00pm £185.00 Hot Bed Press, 1st Floor, The Casket Works, Cow Lane M5 0161 743 3111 Wed 11 April Red herrings and white elephants Walkden Local History Group - talk by Don Palmer £1.50 Guild Hall, Guild Avenue, Walkden, M28 3AS 0161 778 0881 Wed 11th April Dress to impress! Try on some Victorian costumes and have your photograph taken in your finery. Drop-in. 2.00-4.30pm Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0821
Thurs12 April Gallery Tots Stories, songs and games in the Victorian Gallery for pre-schoolers 10:30am free Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0800 Sat 14 April Paint seasonal watercolours or pastels of Blackleach Country Park 2:00pm free Blackleach Country Park, Hilltop Road, off Walkden Road, Walkden, M28 3QQ 0161 790 7746 Tues 17 April – Fri 4 May When Anything Looms Showcasing work from artists based in the North West. Opening event: Tuesday 17 April, 6.00pm – 8.00pm The Chapman Gallery Chapman Building, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, M5 4WT. 0161 295 5223 www. arts.salford.ac.uk Monday – Friday, 12.00pm – 6.00pm free Wed 18 April History of the Post Office Boothstown and District Local History Group 7:30pm £1.50 Boothstown Community Centre, Standsfield Drive, Boothstown, M28 4NB 0161 778 0881 Sat 21 April to Mon 23 April Advanced Screenprinting Course 11:00am to 5:00pm £95.00 Hot Bed Press, 1st Floor, The Casket Works, Cow Lane, M5 0161 743 3111 Sat 21 April Friends of Kersal Dale Fence Work Action Day 10:00am free Kersal Dale, Radford Street, Kersal, M7 0NT 0161 607 1759 Sun 22 April Salford Museum and Art Gallery Heritage Walks Programme Ordsall Hall and Salford Quays Featuring Ordsall Hall, the site of Haworths Mill, Pomona Docks, Salford Quays and Ordsall Park. Approx 3 miles, circular Meet at Ordsall Hall, Ordsall Lane, Salford 1.30pm £2 adult/children free Walk Leaders Janet Bolton and Ann Monaghan 0161 778 0881 Mon 23 April Ian Berry Photography Lecture The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5780 7pm-9pm £5 (£4) Wed 25 April Blackleach Model Boat Club meeting 7:00pm free Blackleach Country Park, Hilltop Road, off Walkden Road, Walkden, M28 3QQ - 0161 790 7746 Fri 27 April Salford Floral Art Society with Dawn Weaver £4 Methodist Hall, King Street, Irlams o’th Height, M6 www.sfas.colsal.org.uk/
QUEEN VIC COMES TO SALFORD T
o celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lark Hill Place, Salford Museum’s ace, almost real, Victorian street, there’s lots of events and celebrations happening over the next few months. Events include the Visit of the Queen on 29th April when you can learn how to address Prince Albert’s missus with the help of her Lady In Waiting, although don’t expect the unamused one to smile. And on 29th May there’s Victorian Silhouette making going on throughout the day. But, as always, the street’s the star attraction. Fifty years eh? Is there anyone left in Salford who hasn’t seen the place and been amazed ? Sun 29 April - The Visit of the Queen Free performances at 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm. Tues 29 May - Victorian Silhouettes. 10.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0800 http://www.salford.gov.uk/leisure/museums/ salfordmuseum.htm
Fri 27 April Scrapbooking Workshop bring postcards, photos etc and learn with artist Sharon Johns. £6 book in advance 0161 778 0821 10:00am to 1:00pm Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU Sat 28 April Bird Walk A morning walk in search of the Blackleach birds. 9:00am free Blackleach Country Park, Hilltop Road, off Walkden Road, Walkden, M28 3QQ - 0161 790 7746 Sat 28 April to Sun 27 May And The He Was A She premieres 10 new, large-scale paintings of Warhol-famed drag queen Holly Woodlawn, by artist Sadie Lee... Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0800 Sun 29 April The Visit of the Queen (see feature) Queen Victoria drops into Salford Museum again Free performances at 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm. Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0800 Sun 6 May Geese herding display demonstrations of geese herding with dogs and talks about farm life. 1-4pm free Ordsall Hall, Ordsall Lane, M5 3AN 0161 872 0251
Sat 12 May Two Cities Boat Race Salford v Manc University at the Quays All day - free http://www.twocitiesboatrace.co.uk/ Monday 14 May The Spanish Civil War Talk by Chris Carson Swinton and Pendlebury History Society Pendlebury Methodist Church Bolton Road 10am £1 0161 7366191 Mon 14 May – Fri 1 June And Then the Silence Increased group show exploring the innovative use of sound and audio recording in the field of contemporary art. The Chapman Gallery Chapman Building, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, M5 4WT. 0161 295 5223 www. arts.salford.ac.uk Monday – Friday, 12.00pm – 6.00pm free Friday 18 May The Dancing Bear Live Art WOC presents a live art event by Kevin Linnane Cow Lane Studios, Cow Lane, Salford, M5 4NB 0771 9732157 firstname.lastname@example.org 7pm (prompt) free Sat 19th May European Night of Museums Evening of special performances at the Chapman Gallery 7.30pm - 10.30pm details at www. nuitdesmusees.culture.fr and the Arts Unit website www.arts.salford.ac.uk from mid April. The Chapman Gallery Chapman Building, Peel Park Campus, The University of Salford, M5 4WT 0161 295 5223
Sunday 20 May Salford Museum and Art Gallery Heritage Walks Programme Worsley and the Bridgewater Canal Discover Worsley’s industrial past, including Old Warke Dam, the Bridgewater Canal and Worsley Green. Approx 2 miles, circular Meet at Worsley Court House, Barton Road, Worsley 1.30 pm £2 adult/children free Walk Leader David George 0161 778 0881 Tues 22 May and Wed 23 May Selection from the collection Listen to museum staff talk about their favourite piece in the museum 1pm 22 May/7pm 23 May free Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0800 Thur 24 May Slavery and Salford How the slave trade affected the social, political and economic life in Salford 2pm Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0800 Tues 29 May Victorian Silhouettes More 50th anniversary celebrations at Lark Hill Place, making Victorian silhouettes (see feature) 10.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0800 Wed 30 May Scavenger Hunt Look for the clues in the Hall, crack the code and win a prize. 1-3pm free Ordsall Hall, Ordsall Lane, M5 3AN - 0161 872 0251
Thur 31 May 1950s Day Themed activities to celebrate Lark Hill’s opening. 10.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, M5 4WU 0161 778 0800 Thur 31 May – Sun 3 June Golf Tournament: Challenge Series 150 top golfers compete in pro-am challenge Marriott Worsley Park Hotel & Country Club, Worsley Park, Salford M28 2QT 975 2000 Sat 9 June - Sun 10 June Salford Mini Soccer Festival 200 teams plus free fun day Salford Sports Village, Littleton Road Info: 604 7600 Thur 21 June – Sat 23 June Narbonne Town Twinning Celebration French market, funfair, regatta etc Various venues in Eccles