Category: Manchester


It’s been the second day of the big meeting at the Mecure Hotel today. It seems to have gone well. And it was nice to be in a building with great air con on such a hot day. It’s a couple of degrees hotter than it was yesterday and even more sticky as thunderstorms are about.

It was about 70 when I arrived in the city centre at 7am this morning, quite pleasant except that was as cool as it was going to get. I had a very Manchester experience just after I got off the tram. I went for a coffee in the branch of Starbucks I went to yesterday. I ordered my coffee and moved to the other end of the counter where the barista prepares it for you. The guy behind me in the queue ordered his and followed me to the end of the counter. He looked at the barista guy, decided he liked what he saw and in less than the two minutes it took to prepare my coffee, he’d flirted with the barista and managed to secure his number and a date for a drink at Barca this evening. I’d just ordered a flat white, where would he have got to if I’d ordered something more complicated?

My life is going to be busy for the next few weeks, certainly got no time to flirt myself into dates with any staff at Starbucks. But I am going to have to make time to go see something I’ve been specifically invited to. It’s Manchester International Festival time. It’s a big deal for the city with all kinds of world premieres taking place. Like with all these big festivals, a festival fringe is growing up around it.

I’ve been invited to one of the Manchester fringe events. The old Bauer Millet car showroom in the arches near the Hilton Tower has been converted into a theatre space, 53two. A production called ‘The Marriage of Kim K’ is being put on in it. From what I gather it’s a mash up of Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ and ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians.’ Intrigued and looking forward to it….

Today was the first day of my really busy period of the year at work. I won’t be getting out and about much for the next few weeks so there won’t be many opportunities to be out and about taking pictures and writing on here. If you are a regular reader please forgive me. Normal service will be resumed at the end of July unless I can organise myself and my team so I can get out earlier.

We have two days at the Hotel Mecure on Piccadilly Gardens to kick off with. It’s a good venue, all retro 1960s decor after the refurbishment. I really wanted to go back to the Principal Hotel (Palace Hotel as was). We stopped going when some of the ornate ceiling fell onto our stuff while we were having lunch. They have had a major refurbishment (including the ornate ceilings) and the food is A-MA-ZING since West Didsbury restaurant, Volta, took over. May be next year.

I came into the city early this morning. We are having a heatwave at the moment. It was 32C yesterday and climbed a degree or two more today. I had a coffee in the branch of Starbucks on Peter Street, off St. Peter’s Square, while I checked through my notes and plans for the day.

I like this branch of Starbucks. It’s in a little 1960s office block on the corner of Peter Street and Mount Street. What I like is that it has these huge plate glass windows that look out onto some of the best architecture in the city. No1 St. Peter’s Square, the beautiful Midland Hotel and St. George’s House (used to be the YMCA). The flags are still at half mast on the Midland, and on buildings across the city. It’s been a month since the attack at the Ariana Grande concert but, sadly, that wasn’t the last of the attacks. We are living in ‘interesting’ times as the Jewish curse says.

We had a huge meeting in the ballroom of the Mercure which was the only space we could find available and big enough to take all the people. I spent the day organising flapjacks and watermelon lollipops and making sure people who’d arrived that morning could get to their hotels across the city. Then giving advice on which restaurants they might enjoy for dinner, ringing to make reservations and the like. I am exhausted! I like the bling chandeliers. It a a favourite spot for weddings, especially those over the top, Bollywood inspired Asian weddings.

The restaurant of the Mecure looks down into Piccadilly Gardens. On a hot, sunny lunchtime it was busy with people chilling (not really possible when the temperature is 33C) and relaxing. The fountains are working again! But for how long? I stayed inside with the air con…

I’m making the most of the last of my few remaining days of relative freedom before I get really busy next week. The sun is out and Manchester has summer big time. The little display in my car registered 30c (86F) this afternoon, and the hot weather is going on into next week. I went into the city centre this morning to find pollen bakery again. It was easy this time with no trips down dank underpasses. And, with it being sunny, the queue was longer than last week. But I stuck it out. Last week’s baguette was a huge success but people were miffed I’d eaten the only custard tart I’d bought so I had to buy more. This is this week’s haul. The bread, I’m assured, is great with cheese, TWO custard tarts and the other confection is croissant dough baked in a muffin tin, filled with some kind of curd and topped with chocolate and edible gold. Not tried them yet. Will let you know!

I walked, in the increasing heat, to St. Ann’s Square where a market had been set up on the newly scrubbed paving. The city seems to have invested in some black and yellow, bee coloured awnings for the stalls. The idea of the market was to bring a bit of normality to the city centre which has, of course, experienced some very abnormal times. St. Ann’s Square in particular was involved as the central point for mourning. The market was mostly food and Manchester and bee based pharaphalia.

Robinson’s had a stall there. They are a much more established Manchester bakery than pollen. They have been around the city since 1864 and sell their baked goods in the north of the city. Can’t think why they don’t come to the south, they would go down well in Chorlton and the like. They do like to come to the city centre markets though. 

They make local delicacies. They are famous for their breads which would give pollen or Barbaken in Chorlton a run for their money. 

These are potato cakes, a flat bread made with potato flour. Originally something the poor of the city would eat, they are popular and delicious. You grill them slightly and then melt butter and cheese into them. Wonderful stuff.

And these little beauties are Manchester Tarts. They are a sweet pastry bottom covered with a layer of raspberry jam (jelly for Americans reading), then you get a rich vanilla custard topped off with desiccated coconut. I remember having them made by grandmas at home and eating them made at school for lunch. Now you will find them, admittedly changed a bit, on the menus of the finest restaurants in the city. And I’ve even had a Manchester Tart flavoured vodka.

Some I ❤️ MCR shortbread and gingerbread.

On King Street, which also looks as if it’s had a bit of a clean, the All England Tennis Club had set up shop. With all the goings on in the UK going on we have rather lost sight of the the ordinary pleasures of life. One of which is the annual Wimbledon Tennis Tournament which starts soon (3rd July). Sir Andy Murray had lent them his trophy he won last year at Wimbledon. You can just see it under heavy guard. The original trophy, which they get on the finals day should they win, stays in Wimbledon but each winner is given a rather nice replica to keep for ever. Just today it was announced that his motivational mother, Judy Murray, has been awarded an OBE by the Queen in her Birthday Honours List. She got it for services to tennis. Well she has produced our two best tennis players at the moment. And she does do an awful lot to promote tennis around the country. 

This little vehicle is one of the street cleaners that keep the city centre spick and span. They have been decorated as bees for years. It hasn’t just been done in the last few weeks. I wonder how the guys who operate them feel about riding around in a bee on wheels all day?

There was a Maker’s Market at Spinningfields this weekend so I went to see what was on offer. It was getting quite hot by now. I took this picture along Deansgate. The Hilton Tower is on the left but look beyond and you can just see the closet of four cores that are rising above Owen Street.  Over the next year this view will radically change as two of the towers are about the same height as the Hilton and the fourth will be a 64 floor giant, looming over that end of Deansgate. Here they are just beginning to make their presences felt.

I caught the tram back to Chorlton. There was ANOTHER Maker’s Market to explore but it was getting a bit too hot. It was luchtime so I called in to my favourite Chortlton watering hole, ODDEST, for something to eat. They had the BBQ fired up on the terrace so I had a burger with some salad and a glass of wine. 

In a couple of weeks they are going to have a Doggy Social for the well heeled and bandanaed doggies of Chorlton. They are allowed to bring their well behaved humans as well. I’ll have to create some time to go see this.

Tuesday marks the start of the busiest time of my working year. I’ll barely have time to draw breath until early August. It will only be the thought of the inflated August pay check, and possibly September’s, that will keep me going.

So I’ve awarded myself a a quiet day off today. I went to BarberBarber in Barton Arcade to get my hair cut. I’ll have precious little time to get it done over the next few weeks. I passed through St. Ann’s Square to get there. They were setting up a market for the weekend, a little step to the city getting back to normal life. And they’ve jet washed the square to remove all the candle wax from the paving and around the Cotton Bud fountain so it all looks spick and span. 

At BarberBarber, Johnny (the head guy) was no where to be seen. He was down in that there London overseeing the refurbishment of two new barber shops he’s opening. Called Tommy Guns, they were something of a fixture in their respective parts of the city so he’s keeping the name, mostly. They will be brought up to Johnny’s high standards and called Tommy Guns Reloaded. Can you see what he did there? And Andy, who I like to cut my hair, was having a day off as well. So I had it done by another guy, who’s cut my hair before (name gone sorry) and I was happy to let him do it. He’s in his early 20s but has been born out of his decade. His music tastes are 1990s and there’s more than a hint of the OASIS Gallagher boys about how he dresses.

It was after 12 so I had a cool beer. I got talking to the guy next to me. He was in having his hair cut and beard trimmed in readiness for his wedding tomorrow. He’s having the coolest wedding. For a start the ceremony is taking place in the Dinosaur Gallery of Manchester Museum! Then the reception will overlook the Manchester Ship Canal, being held in the circular Compass Room at the Lowry Art Gallery and Theatre in Salford Quays. He showed me the tables that will be decorated with little dinosaurs. They are then off to the Maldives for their honeymoon. 

I went for lunch. I liked this view of the Midland Hotel and Central Library from inside the colonnade of the Town Hall Extension. It’s a classic Manchester view so here it is BIG….

And I like the view from out of that glass blob thing into St. Peter’s Square towards No.1 St. Peter’s Square….

HOME is turning into my favourite venue for an after work (in today’s case no work) attitude adjuster. I was picking up a brochure for the 2017/18 Hallé season from the nearby Bridgewater Hall so I went in for lunch. In this case a delicious Smoked Salmon and Caperberry Pizza and a chilled glass of my favourite Pinot Grigio…

The universities have all gone down for the long summer break and the area around Oxford And Wilmslow Roads seems eerily quiet. Apart from an influx of international summer students it will seem comparatively deserted until the end of September. One of the last events of the academic year is the School of Art Degree Show. I always used to go to see it when I was at the university to support friends who had work on show. But, with each year that passes I seem to be further and further away from the students who have taken my peers and my place. And the new cohorts of students probably can’t relate to the guy in the business suit who used to be one of them.

I noticed the degree show was on so thought I’d give it a look. The School of Art occupies three buildings at All Saints. A rather nice Victorian building facing the park which is chaotic inside. There’s a 1960s block that has been refurbished and looks cool in its black cladding. And there’s the brand new wing which I like a lot. It looks like a modern version of Hogwarts with random staircases (I’m sure they move when you aren’t watching) that I’ve never quite figured out.

Some of the art was in the little park outside. 

The night before I went to the degree show, the park was the starting point of an event I’ve never seen myself but have always considered it might be fun to photograph. The evening before, fortunately warm and dry, was the annual Manchester chapter of the World Naked Bike Ride. About 400 cyclists rode through the streets of Manchester (and other world cities) to highlight the vulnerability of humans in the face of environmental degradation. The police say that it isn’t illegal to be out in public naked. It’s what you intend to do while naked that can be the problem. Cycling round the city naked is OK it seems. It’s certainly a popular event and, if you care to look, a bride and groom at a very classy wedding at the Town Hall that evening, have some amazing pictures for their wedding album. I found this one on Twitter. In case you’re not sure what the slogan means, we had a general election on Thursday, no one party won an overall victory so we have what is known as a ‘hung’ Parliament, apparently like the person in the picture.

Here are some pictures from the degree show. It was huge and I didn’t get to see most of it. If I have time before life gets busy I’ll go in again and explore further. I did like the glass especially.

I’ve been hearing great things about artisan baker, pollen. It makes, I was told, delicious sour dough breads and even more delicious pastries. It’s only open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and operates out of one of the arches in a viaduct under Piccadilly Station. Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Salford Central Stations all have these arched viaducts running out of them. They surround the city centre and I’ve heard them referred to as Manchester’s city walls. Plug a few openings and they could be viable defensive installation. I suppose the spaces were used for industrial purposes orginally. As we lost the industry, these spaces became dark, dank, decaying places. Now, as the city has revived, they are sought after as flexible spaces for offices, cafés, bars, gin distilleries or, as in this case, a damn fine bakery.

Coffee Cranks (I usually have one if their coffees at the market in Chorlton) were there with their coffee shop on a bike. 

pollen only sell directly from the bakery (though you can find their breads in sandwiches in the cooler N4 cafés) and they are sold on a ‘first come first served’ basis from a simple counter across the opening of the arch. Queues can be huge and the pastries disappear quickly. Saturday was wet so I was lucky and some were left. The bread lasts a little longer but once everything has gone, it shuts for the day.

Finding it was interesting. I knew it was behind Piccadilly Station. I got to London Road and ignored the main station, all ornate, Victorian wrought iron, light and busyness and plunged into a long, dark tunnel under the station. Coming out on the other side, there were plenty of arches but none open, but I did spot a couple with brown paper bags so turned in the direction they had come from. And there is was. Next time I’ll ignore the dank tunnel and jump on the tram to Piccadilly, from there don’t go into the mainline station but head out to London Road, where the taxis drop people off, walk down Fairfield and Travis Streets and turn left into Sheffield Street and there you are.

There was a small queue this morning but business was brisk. As people got served, other were arriving. I was taking a few pictures but thought it best to join the queue or there might be nothing left when I got there. As it was I had to reassess what I’d buy. I hadn’t expected to be buying bread that morning as I intended to visit the College of Art degree show and then go to HOME to see a play. I’ve been living in a bit of a cultural desert recently. I had no shopping bag to put stuff in and the car was parked out by Chorlton tram station. I went for a baguette and a custard tart. The custard tart, still warm from the oven with creamy custard filling a light, buttery, puff pastry case, didn’t survive along Fairfield Street. It was delicious. I resisted the temptation of doing the French thing of breaking off the end of the baguette to eat on the way home and we had it with cheese and pickles for supper. We intended just to have a couple of slices but, somehow, it all disappeared. Again, it was delicious.

The pastries. The top ones are the delicious custard tarts. In the second picture the brownies seemed to be very popular judging by the number of spaces.

The queue…

A cute dog waiting for his turn in the queue…

Some of the pastries don’t get even as far as Fairfield Street. You can eat them there and then outside the bakery…

It felt weird walking through St. Ann’s Square this morning. And a little sad. The sea of flowers and tributes that has grown there since the attack at the Ariana Grande concert has been removed. Everything was very carefully and respectfully packed up and taken away. The lady who works at the florists by the church told me they took the upmost care.

Nothing will be thrown away. Some of the the flowers that are still in a good state have been taken to Manchester Art Gallery, where they will be dried and pressed and combined with handmade paper to make books of remembrance for the families of the victims. All the written tributes were gathered up and taken to Central Library. There they will be conserved, listed and put into the city’s archives. All the soft toys will be cleaned and given to charities in the city that work with children. The rest of the floral tributes, some there for three weeks, will be composted and used to grow new life. The city has to move on and St. Ann’s Square will go back to its usual role of a pleasant place to have some alfresco lunch on a warm day or visit a market. But, this morning, in the rain, it did feel eerily quiet.

But life has to go on. The city was full of young people in shorts and wellington boots. They’re off to Heaton Park for the Parklife weekend music festival. It was raining heavily this morning but by lunch it had dried up. The park will be muddy underfoot though. Lots of security though with lots of young people in the city. Of course if we cancel things they have won. I managed to get an Italian girl on the right tram and a bunch of lads up from Essex to the Parklife bus service set up specially to get people out there.

And in Albert Square they are setting up the festival hub for the Manchester International Festival. This biannual event has to show only world premiere works. It’s a big deal. I like to hang out on the roof of the pop up bar where you can sit in the sun and a have a drink among the treetops.

About a week ago I said I was posting my last post on the Manchester Arena attack but I can’t leave it alone. The city is still profoundly affected by what happened. There are reminders everywhere and it’s going to take a long time to feel normal again. We were just beginning to get some sense of normality back and there was the attack in London on London Bridge and Borough Market. We are not down and defeated but we are still experiencing a deep sense of shock. And last night we had the One Love Concert at the Lancashire Cricket Stadium at Old Trafford.

Two weeks ago I hadn’t even heard of Ariana Grande. Her fanbase seems to be mostly girls from about 8 to 18. She’s obviously popular with them as she sold out the 21,000 Manchester Arena with ease. Of course the rest is history. After the attack the first picture I saw of her was of a stunned, fragile looking, young woman leaving the city after cancelling the rest of her European tour. She looked little better when she arrived home in Florida. But Ms. Grande is obviously made of sterner stuff than she looks. She was determined to do something to help her fans who had been damaged and traumatised by the events. She announced a desire to put on a concert. She started pulling some strings and calling in favours. When Ariana Grande pulls strings the likes of Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Coldplay etc… are at the end of them. Within a few days a star studded concert of epic proportions was put together.

While people at the original concert were given free tickets, the rest sold out in 6 minutes. People gave their time, talent and resources for free and, possibly, the best concert the city has seen was put together and was broadcast to the world. Even the weather played along with a dry, sunny evening with dramatic clouds drifting across the skies. The concert raised £2,000,000 last night alone taking the total raised for the victims so far to over £10,000,000. Ariana Grande is my new best person.

The people who planned and carried out the attack have a problem with the way we live in the UK and other countries like ours. They hate that we have freedoms, that we are educated, that we question the status quo that has been so for 100s of years. They don’t like the freedoms that women enjoy in the UK. They prefer their women to be subservient, to restrict their roles to maintaining the home and producing babies. They are threatened by anyone who’s lifestyle conflicts with their narrow view of how the world should be. They hate pleasures we have like music, getting together with friends to eat and drink. That was why they attacked Ariana Grande’s concert at the arena. The attack was supposed to make us cower and be afraid, give up and adopt their way of life. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Two weeks after the attack, Ariana Grande was back in the city performing before 50,000 in the stadium and millions worldwide. And this is why they won’t win. We love our way of life and we will defend it. The London attack showed that. People didn’t run, the stood their ground and flung bottles, glasses, furniture, anything that came to hand and defended themselves and others.

Some pictures from the concert. Not mine. I found them on TWITTER and a lot will be from the BBC. I thank them for them. Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus having a quiet moment…

The magical moment when Ariana Grande sang with the choir from Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury…

A fabulous picture of Katy Perry in a coat made of all the feathers in Manchester against a glorious Manchester sky…

The clouds stuck around for the end of Justin Bieber’s set…

Chris Martin, with Coldplay, did a stirring set that included the emotive ‘Fix You’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’…

Rumours about Liam Gallagher, of OASIS, appearing turned out to be true. He sang with Chris Martin while everyone was expecting a reunion with bro, Noel. It didn’t happen. They have a tense relationship that not even this could bring them to be together on the same stage. If you fancy having Liam’s orange coat, you’re too late. It sold out while the was singing on stage it seems. I loved the tweet I found, surprisingly, on TWITTER…. ‘Nothing says ‘fuck you, ISIS’ quite like a snarling Manc with an orange cagoule and maracas.’

This picture went viral. A Manchester policeman circle dancing with a bunch of children…

Here’s a link to the BBC coverage of the concert if you haven’t seen it. If you watch maybe you can make a donation to some worthy cause near you and spread the love…

The performers at tonight’s ‘One Love Manchester’ concert to raise money for the victims of the arena atrocity are all in the city. Probably doing sound checks as I post. Last night was busy in the city. Someone in Moss Side got their door kicked in and there was an ‘event’ at a petrol station on Cheetham Hill Road, near the arena, as the police continue to round up suspected terrorists. Then we had the big news of the evening. Another attack, this time on London Bridge and in the area of Borough Market in the shadow of The Shard in London. It was similar to the attack on Westminster Bridge a few weeks ago. A van driven at speed into people crossing the bridge and then people going berserk with knives in the market and in restaurants and bars in the area. Another attack on people having a night out on a Saturday evening. They hate us doing this it seems. How you stop it I can’t think. Most of us have access to vehicles and all of us have access to sharp knives. Most of us don’t think of damaging other people of course. 

The concert in Manchester will go on regardless. To cancel would be giving the terrorists a victory. There will be more security. People have been asked not to bring bags, don’t drive in and leave extra time for the security measures. The football match this afternoon has had the same level of security and it’s gone off without a hitch. 

This weekend has been the King Street Festival. Given what’s gone on in the city it might have been cancelled but, as I said, that would give the terrorists a victory. King Street is one of the most attractive and famous streets in the city. In the past it was the street where they well to do went to shop. It was lined with exclusive shops. But it fell on hard times when the high end shops migrated to new streets like New Cathedral Street and the recession after the crash of 2008 hit the street hard. The west end of the street, between Kendal’s on Deansgate and Cross Street, is where the shops are. They operate in pretty buildings and the street is narrow and pedestrianised. The east end of King Street is far grander, lined with huge Victorian and Edwardian commercial buildings where the cotton barons banked their fortunes. 

The King Street Festival was designed to bring the street back into the city’s consciousness and revive its fortunes. It has done so and the street, with added restaurants, has got back some of its cachet.

These rabbits were put out by one of the commercial art galleries on the street. 

Kendal’s decorated one of its windows as it might have been, 100 years ago, in 1917.

Rapha is a café/cyclist shop on King Street. They had this cool café van on the street.

The weather was hit and miss while waiting for the entertainment at the pop up bandstand.

An old Morris Traveller that has been converted into a cocktail/Prosecco bar on wheels.

The ladies from Wythenshawe, who had a garden at Dig The City back in 2015, had turned one of the parking bays on the commercial part of King Street into a pop up garden. I got talking to Nelson who did a lot of running about and facilitating things at Dig The City and he told me that liked this idea and there is a possibility that the other bays along the street might be gardens next year. I’m quite interested in that idea. 

You could have a seaside selfie.

Flourish, who run the flower concession by the church in St Ann’s Square had set up a stall on King Street. Always good to see some green in the city. 

 

 

I had a very ‘English’ moment travelling on the tram into the city centre today. We got to Deansgate/Castlefield and the guy next to me, who I didn’t know, excused himself and asked if I could stand up while he got off. As I got up I stepped back onto the foot of the man sat behind me. In some countries (mentioning no names, I’m looking at you Italy, France…) this might have resulted in an altercation. I once witnessed a rehearsal for WWIII on a train in Switzerland when an Italian woman dropped a bag onto a French woman’s head when lifting it down from the rack. No such drama on the Manchester tram. HE apologised to ME for having his foot in the way as I stepped backwards. I did apologise for doing it and we had a laugh at the Englishness of it.

The police are still everywhere in Manchester but the ones with the big guns seem to have taken a lower profile. We’re not used to armed police and while they have been with us for valid reasons, we’re not sure just how reassuring they are. I’m happy to have them watching us from the tops of buildings. Coming across one leaving Selfridges is unnerving. With the big concert tomorrow at Lancashire County Cricket’s Old Trafford Stadium and the football match at Old Trafford football stadium, the unarmed police are everywhere. Not all of them are Greater Manchester’s finest. Many have been brought in from forces across the country to help. You can tell the difference as the out of town police spend a lot of time staring up at the buildings and doing a bit of site seeing and chatting to us locals. I met three, including a hipster one, from Hertfordshire this morning staring in awe at Central Library. And why wouldn’t they?

Bees are popping up everywhere. They are, as I’ve written before, a symbol of our city and have been used everywhere as a symbol of Manchester resilience. It makes you feel some pride and then you remember why they are getting such a high profile and you remember the 22 victims and their families and friends and it brings home the sadness of the situation. This one I found on Mason Street off Great Ancoats Street where the N4 stops being the N4 and becomes trendy Ancoats.

These next bees are in the N4 proper. Koffee Pot, on Oldham Street, is a Manchester institution and does the best English breakfasts in the city. If you come you have to go and have at least one. More and you’d be risking the health of your heart. This street art has a honeyed heart and will have 22 bees when it’s finished.

Near the Koffee Pot mural I spotted this little art work that made me smile. The lady is National Living Treasure, Mary Berry aka Queen of Cakes. She is a talented cook with many years of TV programmes to her credit including being the nice judge of Great British Bake Off. Mr Kipling are a well know company that produces cakes by the million of uniform size and taste.

Rather nice N4 burger restaurant, Solita, has had this neon lit bee made.

This has appeared on the roof terrace of one of the café bars on Stevenson Square.

Just a random picture of the CIS Tower, covered in solar panels, producing solar power like crazy on a sunny Manchester morning. Please take note Mr Trump. The building on the right has the Cat Café on the ground floor. It was busy this morning but the cats were all having a post breakfast, pre elevenses nap. One was looking bored while being filmed. Love cats! They just don’t care.

I found this new, to me, piece of street art in the N4.

Someone from Canada has done this beautifully executed tribute on the pavement in front of the Queen Victoria statue in Piccadilly Gardens. In this busy spot, people we taking care to skirt it as they walked through.  

Tony Walsh’s inspirational poem about Manchester, that was read out at the vigil, was on  an ‘A’ board outside Waterstone’s book store on Deansgate.