A lad in Manchester is hosting a ‘bartenders Christmas’ this year so that fellow hospitality workers with nowhere to go don’t have to be alone on Christmas Day.
Dominic Gold, who has worked in bars in the UK and across Europe since he was 18, has been throwing an annual ‘bartenders Christmas’ with free food and booze in Manchester for a couple of years now.
With over ten years of experience working in hospitality over Christmas, he knows better than most that, whilst for many the festive period is a joyful one, many hospitality staff actually dread it.
For those who have family far away, it’s often difficult to travel back with their limited amount of time off, especially considering the minimal public transport services that run over the Christmas bank holiday period.
So, rather than spend the day alone, for the past few years he’s been getting in the kitchen and cooking up a feast for other lonely bartenders to bring some cheer to what might otherwise become a sad day – earning himself the nickname of the Northern Quarter’s part time Santa.
“We work hard and endless hours for the two months approaching Christmas then a lot of us only get one day off which makes it hard to travel back to family,” he told The Manc.
“I personally don’t often see family for the day and decided at first to see which friends would want to gather for the day to try and bring some fun and happiness to an otherwise saddening day.”
The first year, he tells us, there were about fifteen people all in all. He paid for all the food, did all the cooking, and asked everyone to bring their own drink – a tradition that continued for the first two years.
“Originally, the day was about me giving back to the community that supports me […] the best thing about it was a lot of the bartenders wanted to help and joined me in the kitchen in the days approaching,” he added.
Last year, of course, things were a little different due to Covid – but now, with the bars back open again and no sign of any forced closures on the horizon, rotas are well and truly in place and so another bartender’s Christmas is on the horizon for 2021.
“This year I wanted to go bigger and better, so I opened it up to donations from brands to equally support the industry that fuels them,” he tells us
“Currently, we have had a fair amount of donations, from whiskey, alcohol-free drinks, craft beer, and even a donation from the Northern Quarter butchers.
“But we still could do with more and more, if there is ever a point that there’s too much, it will be raffled off and the money donated to a charity which supports the industry in terms of supporting the on the ground staff.”
This year, the Christmas Day frivolities start at 1pm at Black Dog Ballroom in the Northern Quarter, which has been donated to use on Christmas Day for free – and any bar staff finding themselves alone in Manchester are very welcome.
Kitchens, meanwhile, are being supplied by Danny Smith of Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria and Chloe Pu of Salt and Pepper, so there’s sure to be quite a spread laid on.
As for practical donations, all sorts of contributions are very welcome: from small presents so that people have something to open on the day, to produce to cook and serve, drink for drinking, table settings, crackers – “literally anything to make the day bigger and brighter,” says Dom.
Dom tells us that numbers for this year are “growing and growing” so there “will eventually be a cap”, however, he says thanks to the generosity of Black Dog he has a lot of room this year and really wants to fill it.
“Everyone may not believe in Christmas or think of it fondly from past experience. But I am determined as a person and as a ten-year bartender to change the minds of at least a few and hopefully many.”
If anyone wants to come along they can contact Dom at [email protected] or simply bring items down to Black Dog Ballroom in the Northern Quarter and tell whoever receives it “it’s for the Christmas do.”
Feature image – Dominic Gold
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.