The life of a pub landlord can be a colourful one. But Jed Ford’s time in the booze businessis the stuff of TV drama.
The iconic Millstone owner has spent decades pulling pints, shifting barrels and balancing tills across Mancunian watering holes – and in a brand new interview the local landlord has shared some astonishing stories that sound like they’ve been lifted from the pages of an airport paperback.
Speaking to the Joe Marler Show – a podcast hosted by the eponymous England rugby international and sports journalist Tom Fordyce (co-host of That Peter Crouch Podcast) – Ford looks back on his time as a landlord, revealing how his pubs have been robbed, bombed and even haunted over the years.
Ford talks about how he was hauled out of bed at knifepoint during an armed robbery on his country pub in Stalybridge, and also discusses the time his city centre boozer was battered by the Manchester bomb.
The landlord also claims to have owned two pubs where patrons would openly chat to ghosts – The Church Inn in Prestwich and The Black Lion in Salford.
During the episode, Ford tells the hosts: “I had a pub – a very nice pub in the country – and I got armed robbed.
“They knew exactly what they were doing. They stormed into the bedroom. Dragged me out of the bed. They had knives, they had a machete. And they wanted all the cash.
“They picked bricks up, got ladders up to the first floor, smashed the window, and come straight in. They got the cash, of course. But fortunately they never touched me.”
He calls the 1996 bomb his other “biggest scare”, before talking about how he shared pints with police officers after being caught defying evacuation and sneaking into his pub to retrieve a worker’s handbag she’d left behind.
Ford also says patrons would visit his Salford pub “on a regular basis to talk to dead people.”
“I promise you, there’d be a dozen people talking to [ghosts],” the landlord says.
“I never saw one. But I was mesmerised just listening to all the stories!”
You can listen to the fascinating full interview online here. It’s also available on Spotify and Apple.
Art & Culture
This Manchester club has been shortlisted as one of the best in the UK
In a coup for the city’s clubbing scene, a huge venue in Manchester has been shortlisted as one of the best of its kind in the UK by this year’s DJ Mag awards.
Depot Mayfield, the home of Manchester’s infamous party series The Warehouse Project, is the only club in the north of England to make the shortlist – sitting alongside London venues Fabric, KOKO and Printworks, and Glasgow nightclub SWG3.
First opened in 2019, the 10,000 capacity venue has been home to some huge events – including MIF and Skepta’s mind-blowing futurist rave DYSTOPIA987 and Manchester Pride’s inaugural music event Pride Live, as well as innumerable shows for WHP over the past few years.
With three separate stages – Depot, Concourse and Archive – it has been home to an eclectic run of Warehouse Project shows, attracting ravers and gig-goers of all musical persuasions.
Now it has been recognised as one of the best large venues in the UK as part of the annual DJ Mag awards, widely considered to be one of (if not the) biggest authorities on the UK dance music scene.
The award ceremony takes place this December 15 in London’s The Steel Yard, in what is the first IRL award show since the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.
This year marks the 16th edition of the awards, an annual celebration of UK talent. Positioned as a counter-balance to the global Top 100 DJs poll, DJ Mag’s Best Of British awards are a chance to shine a spotlight on the homegrown talent that continues to place the UK scene at the forefront of electronic music.
The 2022 nominations are split across 22 categories, and the awards show in December will also see the return of three editorial choice categories, Outstanding Contribution, Innovation & Excellence and Game Changer.
Also shortlisted in this year’s awards is Manchester’s ‘Baddest of them all’ producer and DJ Interplanetary Criminal, whose BOTA remix with Eliza Rose went viral this year and hit number one in the UK singles charts this September.
Congo Natty Dance System Interplanetary Criminal Loraine James M1onthebeat
Breaka CeeBeaats Meg Ward Nia Archives Soul Mass Transit System
Bandokay MC Chickaboo Ivorian Doll Knucks Novelist
Bemz Chinx (OS) Iceboy Violet Jim Legxacy ShaSimone
AD 93 ec2a Phantasy Sound Trick XL Recordings
All Centre Over/Shadow Pretty Weird Sondela Recordings Time Is Now [Shall Not Fade]
DJ Q ‘Est. 2003’ [Local Action] Hagan ‘Textures’ [Python Syndicate] Hudson Mohawke ‘Cry Sugar’ [Warp] Kelly Lee Owens ‘LP.8’ [Smalltown Supersound] TSHA ‘Capricorn Sun’ [Ninja Tune]
PinkPantheress ‘to hell with it (Remixes)’ [Parlophone] V/A ”Club Entry’ Vol. 1′ [Borne Fruits] V/A ‘Hospital Mixtape: Lens’ [Hospital Records] V/A ‘Luke Una Presents É Soul Cultura’ [Mr Bongo] V/A ‘Touching Bass presents: Soon Come’ [Touching Bass]
Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal ‘B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All)’ [Warner Records x One House] Hamdi ‘Skanka’ [DUPLOC] Joy O ‘pinky ring’ [XL Recordings] LF System ‘Afraid To Feel’ [Warner Music] Nia Archives ‘Baianá’ [HIJINXX / Island]
KH ‘Looking At Your Pager’ [Ministry of Sound/Three Six Zero] Michael Bibi ‘La Murga (Michael’s Midnight Mix)’ Nick León ‘Xtasis feat. DJ Babatr (Pearson Sound Remix)’ [TraTraTrax] Tessela ‘Hackney Parrot (Bailey’s Techno Tool)’ Tirzah ‘Tectonic (FAUZIA Remix)’ [Domino]
Best Rap Album/Mixtape
CB ‘A Drillers Perspective 2’ [mayowahd] FLOHIO ‘Out Of Heart’ [AWAL] Horrid1 x Sav’O ‘Violent Siblings’ [CGM Records] Jeshi ‘Universal Credit’ [Because Music] Loyle Carner ‘hugo’ [EMI]
Best Rap Track
Darkoo ‘Always feat. Black Sherif’ (Prod. by Albert kweku Koranteng) [Atlantic Records UK] Giggs x Tiny Boost ‘The Family’ (Prod. by RichMadeRecords) [Self-released] Kojey Radical feat. Lex Amor ‘War Outside’ (Prod. by Swindle & Kztheproducer) [Asylum Records UK] LD x C1 ‘Hillside Demons’ (Prod. by JS OTP & Hilzz) [24 Hour Ent] Nemzzz ‘2MS’ (Prod. by Wydsonni) [Motown Records UK / EMI]
Best Radio Show
Emma Jean Thackray, Worldwide FM Ellie Prohan, KISS FM Felix Joy Breakfast Show, SWU Pure Spice with DJ Manara, BBC Asian Network Soup To Nuts, NTS
Best Large Club
Depot Mayfield, Manchester fabric, London KOKO, London Printworks, London SWG3, Glasgow
Best Small Club
Colour Factory, London Night Tales, London Strange Brew, Bristol Sub Club, Glasgow Ulster Sports Club, Belfast
Best Club Event
Club Blanco Distant Planet PXSSY PALACE Teletech Small Talk
Houghton Festival Naked City Festival Otherlands Music & Arts Festival Outlook Festival UK Queen’s Yard Summer Party
Best Boutique Festival
Field Maneuvers Freerotation KALLIDA Festival No Bounds Festival Watching Trees Festival
Underground Hero Recognising the champions of grassroots music communities
Double O & Mantra Jeremy Sylvester Lo Shea Man Power Sarah McBriar
Feature image – WHP MCR
Art & Culture
Giant glowing slinky and fire sculptures to light up Salford in winter Lightwaves Festival
The details of the huge outdoor light show in Greater Manchester have been revealed as Lightwaves Festival prepares for its ninth year.
Installations this winter will include a huge, glowing slinky tumbling off the landmarks in Salford Quays, as well as fire sculptures, a giant heart-shaped glitterball, and a kaleidoscope of butterflies.
Lightwaves will take place across MediaCity and Salford Quays, transforming the waterways and spaces with dramatic light artworks.
The completely free event will take place this week and showcase both local and national artists.
The headline installation is audio-visual Navvies by Matthew Rosier, presented on the actual water and accompanied by an orchestral composition.
Visitors will also be able to ‘walk’ through the waters of a digital river that will flow over the bridge, created by Manchester studio idontloveyouanymore, with the virtual water reacting to the movement of people.
The giant neon slinky (called End Over End) comes from Studio Vertigo, who will also create Our Beating Heart, a heart-shaped mirror ball made with more than 11,000 tiles that will slowly rotate.
Garden of the Deep, by Diane Watson, will turn single-use plastic bottles into 1000 flowers, made with the help of local schools and community groups.
Local legends Walk the Plank will be back again with Roost, creating nature-based fire sculptures in the MediaCity garden.
Lightstream by Flora Litchfield is going to use sound and colour to draw focus to water’s energy, and MicroCosmic by Paul Miller (a collaboration with the University of Salford) is an installation of video, sound and projection-mapped sculpture.
Anne Bennett’s Butter Cluster will create a flock (or technically, a kaleidoscope) of butterflies in the night sky above your heads.
There’ll be retro-futuristic design with Normal, an ‘interactive light and sound installation with attitude’ by Monomatic.