A house in Didsbury that birthed one of the most famous faces of modern television has gone up for sale in Manchester.
The unassuming semi-detached 5-bedroom house may look ordinary and suburban from the outside, but it has a fascinating place in 20th-century television and modern British art.
Home to the renowned contemporary sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe from 1951 to 1964, this is the place where she created some of her most famous works – as is shown outside on a blue plaque installed in 2018, following petitions by the Modernist Society and the 20th Century Society.
That includes the iconic gold theatrical mask BAFTA statue, which is still given to winners at the TV awards to this day.
This immediately recognisable sculpture was in fact created in the garage of the home after Mitzi converted it into an artists studio for herself.
However, the New York-born artist also worked with a range of materials include textiles, ceramics, and jewellery.
She also developed her own technique to mass-produce abstract designs in concrete in relief as architectural decoration, applying it to some pieces that can still be seen around Manchester today.
Of her surviving sculptures in the city, only a handful remain – including a stone frieze at the Heaton Park reservoir pumping station and a fiberglass relief at the base of Owens Park Student Tower.
Mitzi initially moved into the house with her husband, history professor Marcus Cunliffe, and lived many happy years there before she died in 1970 aged 88.
The couple also had another house in France.
Writing about Mitzi in 2012, Modernist Society founder Maureen Ward paid tribute to her life and work, saying:
“Mitzi might have been born in New York but her soul belongs firmly in the North West of England and her Didsbury garage.”
“If we were the sort to award blue plaques or lobby for a Hollywood-style Wall of Fame scheme in our own city, Mitzi would top the bill.
“She epitomises the spirit of an exuberant, utopian partnership between planners, architects, artists and sculptors dedicated to rejuvenating the public realm after the chaos of the blitz; functional yet accessible, experimental yet egalitarian, international yet rooted in everyday surroundings.
The 1920s 5-bedroom house is now on the market for £675,000 with estate agents Gascoigne Halman, who write:
“The property comes with an interesting history having been the residence where famous sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe designed the BAFTA award that is used today.
“The property offers a grand entrance hallway, three reception rooms, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and an additional one bedroom annexe to the rear. Whilst in need of some modernisation the property boasts superb potential to enhance further.”
A new little IKEA has just opened inside a Greater Manchester shopping centre
A brand new little IKEA has just opened its doors inside a popular Greater Manchester shopping centre this week.
Of course, the Swedish furniture giant has a home in our region already, with a popular site in Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, as well as another in neighbouring Warrington just over the border into Cheshire – but this new Greater Manchester hub is on a much smaller scale than the IKEA superstores we’re used to.
This is what the retailer is calling a ‘Plan & Order Point’.
Having opened doors in the Merseyway Shopping Centre in Stockport, the new IKEA Plan & Order Point is a smaller store dedicated to kitchen and bedroom planning, where customers can pop in for home furnishing advice and expertise to help design their ideal space at an affordable price.
IKEA says the new Stockport hub is all part of its “ongoing transformation to become more accessible and sustainable” for shoppers in the North West.
Inside the 71 sqm / 764 sqft store, you’ll find a selection of different kitchens to browse, from a complete room with a combination of different units and appliances, including oven and hob, all for under £1,200, to a kitchen with fronts featuring a foil made of recycled bottles.
On top of this, all kitchen fronts, worktops, and a variety of appliances from the wider range will also be showcased inside the store.
When it comes to bedroom planning and design, there’s also a space dedicated to the PAX wardrobe system inside the store – with doors, interior organisers, and knobs and handles to help customers build their dream storage solution.
You can book an appointment, free of charge, inside the new Stockport store to start your design journey with one of IKEA’s planning specialists, or use the in-store self-service tools to design your own solution.
Staff will also be on hand to help customers order products from the full IKEA range – which can be delivered direct to your door, or to the nearest collection point.
“Our investment in the North West is part of our long-term plan to transform our retail business, continuing to make it easier for people to enjoy what IKEA offers using a variety of convenient ways,” explained Michael Parker, Area Manager at IKEA UK.
“The North West is a key region for us, being home to over seven million people, and also being the place that IKEA first opened a UK store, 35 years ago in Warrington.
“This new Plan and Order Point will allow customers to get inspiration and expert advice in convenient locations closer to where they live.
“Together with our existing stores in Ashton-under-Lyne and Warrington, remote planning and different delivery and collection services, we’re enabling an IKEA that’s there for our customers, however they want to meet us.”
King Charles III acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022, and on the day of his Coronation, will be 74 years old – making him the oldest person to be crowned monarch in British history.
The King will be coronated alongside his wife and the Queen Consort, Camilla, in a religious ceremony held at Westminster Abbey in London – which is the same place his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II‘s Coronation was held in 1953, as was her State Funeral in September of last year.
The ceremony will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and is expected to be a more “simmered down” event in comparison to that of the late Queen’s Coronation.
Buckingham Palace said the Coronation will “reflect the monarch’s role today” and will “look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry” – with more details about the ceremony and celebrations on a national scale expected to be announced “in due course”.
But, on a more personal scale locally, Manchester City Council has just announced that residents in the borough can apply to close their road off so they can throw a street party.
The Council says it want residents from all over the city to “dust off the bunting and join their neighbours to celebrate the historic weekend” by hosting a traditional street party, and for those wishing to do so, if you make sure to submit an application by a certain deadline, then the road closure fee will be waived.
On top of this, Oldham Council has also announced that it applications are open for residents to apply for £100 grants to be put towards community street parties.
100 grants are available being awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Other Greater Manchester boroughs are also expected to announce celebration plans in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.