Stalybridge is set to take centre stage this year after being named Greater Manchester’s ‘Town of Culture’ for 2022.
Nestled in between the scenic hills of the Peak District, but within easy reach of the rest of the city-region, Tameside Council says that this prestigious accolade “shines a light on the many attributes of the post-industrial town”.
Tameside is known for having a canalside setting, plenty of heritage buildings to its name, and a rich mix of independent businesses.
The new ‘Town of Culture’ title – which is awarded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), and comes with a £50k grant – will enable Stalybridge to build on its “existing vibrant programme of cultural activity”, according to the Council, and bring “further exciting opportunities” for residents and visitors.
The title aims to build a “lasting legacy” for the town.
Tameside Council – which led the submission for the award, working in partnership with The Bridge Cultural Consortium – said the ‘Stalybridge Town of Culture Programme 2022’ will “complement” existing work that’s currently taking place as part of the Stalybridge Heritage Action Zone and the Town Centre Challenge.
One of the key features in the bid that won Stalybridge the prestigious title was the idea of developing a cultural programme for 2022 that will promote projects enabling people to slow down, connect with the local environment, and celebrate its cultural value, with activities and events like artist-led walks and trails, community growing projects, and outdoor theatre and storytelling.
These will tie in with existing cultural highlights in the town, such as the popular monthly Street Feast event, the Council says.
Speaking on the awarding of the accolade, Cllr Leanne Feeley – Executive Member responsible for Culture at Tameside Council – said: “I’m so proud for Stalybridge and our local community to receive this recognition.
“We already know what a fantastic, vibrant and creative place Stalybridge is, but this is an opportunity to showcase our town’s amazing cultural identity even more widely.
“Stalybridge’s cultural legacy spans the decades – it is the birthplace of the world’s oldest brass band, the Stalybridge Old Band, it’s the place where the iconic First World War song ‘A Long, Long Way to Tipperary’ was written, it’s a key location in the film ‘Yanks’ featuring Richard Gere and it is where Beatrix Potter would often write and draw while visiting her family at Gorse Hall.
“In the present day, it’s still a hive of cultural activity, hosting events such as the recent Royal Exchange’s The Den project and the ongoing and resoundingly successful Street Feast, and the Town of Culture title will allow us to build on this heritage and the wonderful work already taking place, while also creating new opportunities and a new tale in the town’s story.
“It’s a really exciting way to start 2022 and I look forward to what will follow.”
Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons
Mancunian has been named one of the ‘most attractive’ accents in the UK
Manchester is, once again, celebrating what we already know – our accent is one of the “most attractive” in the UK.
In case you missed it, earlier this year, Manchester welcomed in 2023 with the news that our city’s accent had been named the “sexiest” the country has to offer – with a survey of 2,500 people by casino comparison site Best Casinos discovering that over half of respondents ranked it the most pleasing regional accent to the ear.
And now it turns out that that survey wasn’t a fluke, because a new study has called the Manchester accent one of the “most attractive” in the UK.
But while there’s no doubt we can hold our heads high and be proud of claiming a spot in the top 10, this title does become a bit less impressive when you realise which other regional varieties have placed higher than us.
Fellow Northern accents Scouse and Geordie have taken second and third place on the list respectably, and the Welsh capital’s Cardiff accent rounding out the top five.
For us northerners, the grim reading continues when you learn that the London accent has clinched the top spot.
The Most Attractive Accents in the UK
According to Preply, 21% of women survey respondents voted for the London accent as the most attractive in the UK, compared with just 15% of men, while 10.4% of the population picked the unique sound of the Liverpool accent as second best.
Only 8.7% of survey respondents considered the Mancunian accent to be the most attractive.
The results from this survey do, at least, go some way to shattering the findings from two surveys published last year that found the Manchester accent is considered to be one of the ‘least respected’ nationwide, especially in the corporate world of work, and that Northerners with strong accents are considered ‘less intelligent’.
Featured Image – Unknown
The first bright yellow Bee Network bus has hit the streets of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester residents will soon start to see bright yellow double decker buses travelling the region’s streets in the coming weeks.
With exactly six months to go before Greater Manchester “brings buses back under local control”, Mayor Andy Burnham has joined a number of other local leaders in unveiling the brand-new ‘Bee Network’ co-branded buses.
In what marks the biggest change to transport in Greater Manchester for almost 40 years, according to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), bus operator Diamond – which currently runs services in Bolton – has teamed up with Go North West to run the first franchised services in Wigan, Bolton, and parts of Salford and Bury from September this year.
Diamond has agreed to start transforming their buses into Bee Network ones from this week, with more set to appear on the roads every month.
The first bright yellow double decker bus has now hit the streets of Bolton, and is serving the number 8 route – which connects Bolton and Manchester city centre via Farnworth and Salford.
As already announced by TfGM and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), when franchising is officially introduced on 24 September 2023, 50 brand-new electric Bee Network buses will hit the streets on day one, alongside new ‘Euro VI’ vehicles, and dozens more co-branded buses from the existing fleet.
A further 50 electric buses will then be introduced onto the network in March 2024, which is when the second part of franchising starts.
All of the 270 new electric Bee Network buses will be fully accessible, with wheelchair bays, hearing induction loops, audio and visual announcement systems, and anti-slip flooring.
Mayor Andy Burnham said the first Bee Network bus entering service is “very much the start of our journey”, and added that the scheme will “ultimately deliver a greener, integrated and more inclusive transport system that will transform how people travel around our city-region.”
Transport Commissioner Vernon Everitt also called the first bus’s introduction onto the streets as “a further significant step” towards the integration of the Bee Network and the “transformation” of public transport and active travel in the region.
He continued: “From September we’ll also have dozens of new state-of-the-art buses serving passengers in Wigan, Bolton, and parts of Salford and Bury.
“These will be the first of many across Greater Manchester that will, alongside the new lower fares – which are already increasing ridership – and improvements to travel information, improve bus travel for everyone who lives and works here.”