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.
Greater Manchester customers slam Sainsbury’s policy that makes them ‘feel like thieves’
Customers at a number of Sainsbury’s stores in Greater Manchester have been left fuming as the result of a policy requiring receipts to be scanned before they can exit
Upon leaving stores, shoppers at Sainsbury’s supermarkets in Fallowfield and Salford are being confronted with automated barriers that can only be opened by scanning their receipt – or by contacting a store assistant.
Many have taken to Reddit to slam the new policy, with several claiming it is a ‘pointless waste of money and time’ and others saying they have been left ‘feeling like thieves’.
The receipt barriers, some shoppers say, only ‘makes life harder’ – yet it appears that Sainsbury’s is planning to roll them out at other stores across the UK too, following on from the introduction of cameras at its self-service stations in recent years.
The move by the supermarket echoes similar moves by the American supermarket Walmart, which is notorious for staff approaching ‘random’ customers at its exits and asking them to produce their receipts as they leave stores.
A series of recent posts on Reddit exposes several threads in which users commented on the introduction of the receipt barriers, both here in Greater Manchester as well as further afield.
The social media site reveals that stores in Fallowfield and Salford have both become unpopular since they started adopting the policy, which requires customers to scan receipts in order for them to exit.
If receipts are not scanned, barriers prevent customers from leaving until a store assistant is contacted.
One Reddit user has posted a picture of a notice in one of the Sainsbury’s store, reading: “We’ve introduced new barriers as you leave this store.”
“You’ll need to take your receipt and scan this on the barcode reader in front of the barriers.”
The original poster said they were ‘not a fan of how this is spreading’, leading other users on the site to agree.
Another person said the policy was a ‘pointless waste of money and time’ that ‘just makes everyone’s life harder, whilst another customer added: “Looks like Sainsbury’s can get f****d then.”
The installation of the barriers has left some customers “feeling like thieves” since their arrival last year but it appears that the supermarket has no plans to suspend the rollout, despite the backlash from shoppers.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said that the barriers are “one of a range of security measures” installed in a “small number of stores” but would not disclose how many it has installed in the UK.
Featured image –Twitter
Fresh warning issued about swimming in Salford Quays amid bank holiday heatwave
A new warning has been issued reminding people of the dangers of swimming in Salford Quays – even with such warm weather.
Salford City Council issued a warning over the late May bank holiday weekend urging people to stay out of the water.
It comes just two weeks after two people were rescued from the water and rushed to hospital with hypothermia.
And last summer, tragedy struck in Salford Quays when 16-year-old Kalen Waugh – who was last seen struggling in the water while swimming with friends – was found dead in the water.
People are now being reminded that the warm weather doesn’t mean that bodies of water like rivers, lakes and reservoirs are warm enough to swim in.
Salford City Council said: “Even in a heatwave open water in Salford Quays, rivers, lakes and reservoirs is always cold.
“The risk of drowning through cold water shock is real. Please stay out of the water unless taking part in an organised activity and stay safe.”
The first is a gasp for breath followed by rapid breathing (hyperventilation).
They then say: “At the same time as your breathing goes out of control, your blood pressure shoots up as your body tries to keep your blood warm by moving it towards the middle of your body (this is why you go pale when you’re cold).
“Once your breathing is back under control, this is your window to get out of the water before the further effects of cold water shock kick in.
“As your muscles cool, your strength, endurance and muscle control reduces to the point when you can’t swim any longer so can’t rescue yourself. The point at which you can’t swim any more is called ‘swim failure’, and if you haven’t got out of the water or managed to get hold of a buoyancy aid (like a lifejacket) by this time, you will drown.”
The RLSS issues the following advice if you do fall into cold water.
First, keep your mouth away from the water until you have your breathing back under control, you can do this by rolling onto your back and floating or paddling to stay at the surface.
Then, don’t waste any time and swim towards an exit before your muscles start to cool, or swim towards something that will help you to stay afloat whilst you are calling for help.
Finally, once you are out of the water re-warm yourself as soon as you can to avoid hypothermia.
Temperatures across Greater Manchester are set to hit highs of 22 degrees this week as we head into yet more days of sunshine and warm weather.