30 Mar 2017

Emmeline Pankhurst a leading British women’s rights activist

Pankhurst was a leading British women’s rights activist, who led the movement to win the right for women to vote.

Emmeline Goulden was born on 14 July 1858 in Manchester into a family with a tradition of radical politics. In 1879, she married Richard Pankhurst, a lawyer and supporter of the women’s suffrage movement. He was the author of the Married Women’s Property Acts of 1870 and 1882, which allowed women to keep earnings or property acquired before and after marriage. His death in 1898 was a great shock to Emmeline.

In 1889, Emmeline founded the Women’s Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections. In October 1903, she helped found the more militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) – an organisation that gained much notoriety for its activities and whose members were the first to be christened ‘suffragettes’. Emmeline’s daughters Christabel and Sylvia were both active in the cause. British politicians, press and public were astonished by the demonstrations, window smashing, arson and hunger strikes of the suffragettes. In 1913, WSPU member Emily Davison was killed when she threw herself under the king’s horse at the Derby as a protest at the government’s continued failure to grant women the right to vote.

Like many suffragettes, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions over the next few years and went on hunger strike herself, resulting in violent force-feeding. In 1913, in response to the wave of hunger strikes, the government passed what became known as the ‘Cat and Mouse’ Act. Hunger striking prisoners were released until they grew strong again, and then re-arrested.

This period of militancy was ended abruptly on the outbreak of war in 1914, when Emmeline turned her energies to supporting the war effort. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to women over 30. Emmeline died on 14 June 1928, shortly after women were granted equal voting rights with men (at 21).

10 Mar 2017

Manchester Arena

The arena was constructed as part of the city’s unsuccessful bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics . Construction cost £52 million of which £35.5m was provided by government grants and £2.5m from the European Regional Development Fund. Although built as an American style sports arena it has been more successful hosting large music events.

The arena opened in July 1995, sponsored by NYNEX CableComms as the NYNEX Arena, and was renamed the Manchester Evening News Arena in July 1998. In December 2011, the Manchester Evening News ended its thirteen-year sponsorship, and the arena was renamed the Manchester Arena in January 2012. In July 2013, in a multi-million-pound sponsorship deal by mobile phone company Phones 4u, the arena was renamed to the Phones 4u Arena,but this deal ended when Phones 4u closed, renaming the arena back to Manchester Arena, effective 14 January 2015.

On the opening night, 15,000 spectators watched Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean perform; the crowd was a record for an ice event. Attendance records were set in 1997 when 17,425 people watched Manchester Storm play Sheffield Steelers, a record for an ice hockey match in Europe. When 14,151 people watched Manchester Giants play London Leopards, it set a British record for attendance at a basketball match.

The venue attracts over a million customers each year for concerts and family shows, making it one of the world’s busiest indoor arenas, and was named “International Venue Of The Year” in 2002 in the ‘Pollstar’ awards, and was nominated in the same category in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The arena was named “Busiest Arena Venue In The World”, based on ticket sales for concerts in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 ahead of other indoor arenas including the Madison Sq Garden and Wembley Arena.

The arena was the ‘World’s Busiest Arena’ from 2001 until 2007 based on ticket sales for concerts, attracting five and a half million customers. It was voted ‘Europe’s Favourite Arena’ at the TPi Awards in 2008 by the touring companies that bring the shows to the venue.

What was your very first show or event you attended?

7 Mar 2017

Salford Lads Club

Salford Lads Club is a recreational club in the Ordsall area of Salford . The club, on the corner of St. Ignatius Walk and Coronation Street, was established in 1903 as a boys’ club but today welcomes both boys and girls and organises activities including football, snooker, table tennis , boxing training, dance, community meetings, exhibitions, kickboxing.

The club was opened on 30 January 1904 by Robert Baden Powell, who later founded the scout movement. Former members include actor Albert Finney, footballers Steve Fleet , Eddie Colman and Brian Doyle, Allan Clarke , lead singer of 1960s pop group The Hollies, and Gaham Nash, guitarist, songwriter and singer with The Hollies who went on to form Crosby Stills and Nash.

The building gained listed status in 2003 as its tiled interior is virtually unchanged with original fittings and includes a boxing ring, snooker rooms and a gym with a viewing balcony. English heritage said: “The building is thought to be the most complete example of this rare form of social provision to survive in England.” In 2007, the Manchester Evening News reported that the building, which was used for the sleeve of The Smiths? album The Queen Is dead, came third in a nationwide hunt to find the most iconic buildings in the country.

Hands up who’s had a pic outside the famous Salford Lads Club