Have you noticed that a handful of colourful new benches have popped up across Salford over the past couple of days?
Been wondering where they’ve come from? Keen to know what the story is behind them?
Of course, benches are not something the residents and locals of Salford would usually bat an eyelid at considering there are so many dotted all around the borough, but it’s fair to say that these 20 colourful new additions that have been cleverly-designed to resemble the shape of a book, and are inspired by a range of different themes, are worth stopping to take a closer look at.
The new ‘BookBench’ sculptures are actually part of the first-ever Salford Literacy Trail – which began last week and will be running up until 9 September 2022.
Wild in Art famously brought the popular Bee in the City art trail to Manchester back in 2018, and has a number of other award-winning art trails to its name.
Artists worked with children from 20 different primary schools across Salford to design benches that capture how their favourite books inspire make them feel.
The BookBenches have placed at key locations across Salford, including near the Blue Peter Garden, around MediaCity, and at Salford Cathedral, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, RHS Bridgewater, and Salford Shopping Centre, for families to explore their local area, discover the benefits and joys of reading, and engage with stories together.
As you make your way around the trail, you will been able to find inspiration from the children’s favourite books, inlcuding The Boy Who Grew Dragons, Macbeth, The Memory Tree, and the absolute classic that is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The project is said to have been designed to “inspire a love of reading”, with each BookBench providing “a blank canvas for children’s creativity”, according to trail organisers.
The trail also aims to raise awareness of the positive links between reading and mental wellbeing, as research from the National Literacy Trust shows that children who are the most engaged with literacy are three-times more likely to have higher levels of mental wellbeing than their least engaged peers.
“We want to create an environment where every child in Salford has the opportunity to engage with stories and books that reflect their lives, offer them comfort, or an exciting escape,” said Mike Leyland – the National Literacy Trust’s Programme Manager for Salford Literacy Trail.
“We hope that the Salford Literacy Trail starts conversations in families, at schools and in communities about stories that have affected them, or that have shown them a different view on life, and encourages an even greater love of reading in everyone who takes part.”
Each BookBench has been individually-sponsored by local businesses.
These sponsorships, alongside the BookBench auction in the autumn, will raise vital funds for the National Literacy Trust to help it “champion reading” with local disadvantaged children.
There is a downloadable map available online, along with fun activities for kids to inspire them with the magic of stories, and you can find out more about the Salford Literacy Trail 2022 on the trail’s website here.
Wife makes desperate plea to help find husband who ‘vanished’ on canal walk in Worsley
The wife of a Salford man who left home one December evening last year and never returned has issued a desperate plea to help find him.
Peter Baglin left home to go for a walk on the evening of Wednesday 28 December 2022, and was last seen on CCTV at a garage in Mosley Common near Worsley that same night, before his phone, hat, and headphones were found on a towpath beside the Bridgewater Canal the following day.
Now, a little over a month later, there have yet to be any positive sightings of Peter.
Since the 55-year-old was reported missing from what has been described as his “favourite walk”, extensive police searches have been carried out along the canal towpath, according to Greater Manchester Police (GMP), including by teams specialising in mountain rescue, underwater searches, and drones also used.
Mr Baglin’s wife, Michelle Baglin, also organised her own searches along the Bridgewater Canal – with more than 200 people attending to help to try and find him.
But to date, there still hasn’t been any results from these searches.
“It’s a very surreal feeling. It’s like it’s happening, but it’s not happening to me,” Mrs Baglin said in a desperate plea issued via GMP to try and find her husband.
“I never thought I would ever be in this position and I just want Pete home.
“I am convinced that there is someone out there who knows where he is. He is instantly recognisable by the tattoo of ‘Michelle’ on the left-side of his neck and I’m urging anyone who may have seen with him, or been with him, to get in touch. I just want to know he’s okay.
“Pete is the type of person who always buys homeless people a sandwich and a drink, and I really hope that someone is doing that for him, wherever he may be.
“If you have seen Pete, my family and I would be extremely grateful if you could contact GMP.”
Anyone with any information on Peter Baglin’s whereabouts is urged to contact GMP on 101 or through the LiveChat Function on the website, www.gmp.police.uk.
Whilst some people are probably looking forward to Valentine’s Day this month, we expect that a fair few others are struggling to muster much enthusiasm at all.
It’s fair enough. If you’re single then Cupid’s holiday can feel somewhat isolating, to say the least – which is why Caribbean-inspired restaurant and bar Turtle Bay has decided to give ‘equal billing’ to singles this year with two back-to-back bottomless dinners.
In what it’s calling an ‘inclusive celebration of love’, the restaurant has revealed it will be hosting two boozy dinners this month – one for singles on 13 February, and a second for couples on Valentine’s Day itself.
Featuring non-stop cocktails, prosecco and Red Stripe beers, plus two or three dishes each from Turtle Bay’s Caribbean-inspired menu, the bottomless dinners will celebrate love in all its forms.
Priced at £43.50 for two courses or £48.50 for three, both bottomless dinners will all start at 5pm and take place for two nights across Turtle Bay’s various Greater Manchester sites.
Dish options include the likes of jerk wings and salt fish fritters to start, followed by the likes of baby back ribs, jerk chicken and organic jerk tofu.
Elsewhere, you’ll find West Indian curries like its Trini curry chicken, as well as classic comfort food dishes such as Chef Collin’s mac and cheese with jerk chicken or curry goat hash.
There’s also plenty for veggies and vegans, with curry aubergine, the MotherClucker burger, the halloumi Buddha bowl, and the No Moo burger all on offer.
As for cocktails, indulge in the likes of the Dessert Island (dark rum, Tia Maria, cold brew and salted caramel); Tobago Tea (white rum, vodka, tequila, gin, triple sec, grapefruit, mango and lime); Jamrock Punch (gin, passionfruit, strawberry, apple, grapefruit and lime) and the Tingwray (Wray & Nephew, white rum, grapefruit and lime) over the course of your booking.
Those who fancy heading down can book into its sites on Oxford Street, in the Northern Quarter, or in Salford Quays.