Manchester’s a brilliant city, but it can sometimes be a little on the, er, *eccentric* side.
From the infamous characters we all recognise a mile off when you see them walking (or indeed cycling) around town to the moments you catch out of the corner of your eye that no one believes really happened, there’s never a dull moment here.
Most recently, when we shared a video of a new Magnum billboard in Piccadilly Gardens, loads of you started telling us some of the strange sights you’ve seen in this notorious part of town.
So we asked The Manc readers what the weirdest things they’ve seen elsewhere in Greater Manchester are – and thousands responded.
Here are some of our favourites.
James told us he saw: “Pissed up people climbing that cycle statue at the end of Deansgate Locks. One of em made it and sat on it. Hadn’t a clue how.to get back down without falling, which he inevitably did …..poor sod”
Not sure how this one works – Keith said: “Was working in Gorton many years ago, went to a corner shop for a sandwich and was told there’s no bread so you will have to have toast. A true story.”
Jennifer gave us another animal tale, saying: “A man walking down brooklands road in brooklands carrying a falcon on his hand whilst whistling sweet nothings to it”
Diane said: “Saw a rat the size of a small cat running down canal street with half a burger in its mouth. We cheered on the little fellow lol.”
Le Anne had an even weirder animal sighting, writing: “A couple of lads walking down by the canal side in Castlefield, with a lobster on a skateboard – like it was completely normal. Proof attached”
There are a lot of stories involving the weather, naturally.
Melissa wrote: “I was having a smoke outside where I worked one morning, absolutely pissing down rain and a woman rode past on a bike in a bikini top, ear muffs and no knickers on. I saw a lot working there but that was one of the most bizarre!”
Amy posted: “This guy riding a scooter in the pissing down rain the other week… with two tesco bags over his feet to keep them dry.”
Far and away the most common weird sightings in Manchester relate to drunk people. There’s a surprise.
Helen recalled: “Me and my then boyfriend were coming home in the wee hours when we saw a chap, very drunk I’m presuming, sat in one of those pebble dashed bins they used to have back in the day. His backside was right inside it with him bent double and his arms and legs dangling down the side. I think he was drunk anyway…”
Nathan wrote: “Saw a guy at the cricket wearing one of those rubber horse masks. He had a pint but he was finding it really difficult to drink, with the horse mask and all. Eventually he managed to put the entire glass in the snout of the mask, and angle it enough that he could have a sip of it. But then he was stuck and he couldn’t get the glass back out because it was one of those useless flimsy plastic glasses, so his only option was to down his drink, which he did with the support of a roaring crowd around him.(A lot of it went down his shirt but let’s not let that take away from the magic of the moment)”
Laura found someone who probably had some deep regrets the next morning, telling us: “A man ‘swimming’ in a humongous pile of garbage at 3 in the morning in Deansgate. Actual front stroke and everything!”
Paul witnessed a real Mr Bean-style crime in a pub once, writing: “I was once drinking in a pub, the landlord was away and the barmaid was in charge..two guys walked in wearing white coats and said they had come to collect the tv which the landlord had booked in for repair. They took the tv.. The landlord knew nothing about it..”
And then here are a couple more just completely mad moments from our brilliant city.
Gaynor said: “I once saw a man trying to park a car on deansgate in a very small space, It was a Nissan micra. In the end the doors opened 4 stocky men got out, picked the car up and plonked it into the space job done”
And finally, this, from Jen: “A group of foreign students were sat in St Peters Square with a guitar, when an angry man with one leg, hobbled over and without saying a word, hit the one playing the guitar with his crutch. All whilst an unconnected gentleman was sat playing ‘two become one’ on a recorder.”
Army ‘on standby’ as UK prepares for more postal, rail, lecturer and nurses strikes in December
The armed forces are said to be “on standby” to help fill various roles ahead of a new raft of strikes across health, education and postal sectors this month.
Royal Mail workers, university lecturers and sixth-form college staff are committed to walking out over pay disputes on Wednesday, 30 November as various organised strikes persist across the country.
Countless employees from various industries who feel they are underappreciated and underpaid are set to join the ongoing rail strikes, as well as the thousands of nurses expected to follow suit on the picket line throughout December.
Now, as per the interim chief executive of NHS Providers Saffron Cordery, given the strikes’ proximity to Christmas, roping in the British military now seems likely. Dr Emma Runswick of the British Medical Association said there is there a simple way to put an end to mass industrial action: pay people fairly.
Speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning, Cordery confirmed that while the army is waiting in the wings to help fill relevant NHS roles, “the reality is if the army or other armed forces step in it will very much be at the margins rather than going out and driving ambulances”.
It remains unclear whether army personnel will be needed to combat the impending labour shortage across other industries. Regardless, the Communication Workers Union are going ahead will a series of strikes in December.
Having formally called on Royal Mail employees to join the national demonstrations for strike action on the following days:
Friday, 9 December
Sunday, 11 December
Wednesday, 14 December
Thursday, 15 December
Friday, 23 December
Saturday, 24 December
As for rail workers, RMT Assistant General Secretary Eddie Dempsey shared a similar sentiment, assuring that while the train drivers and the transport sector, in general, are standing firm, negotiations with Network Rail and other operators continue this week.
In addition to RMT members across 14 rail companies striking on 13-14 and 16-17 December, as well as 3-4 and 6-7 January, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said that staff working onboard and station roles will take action against Avanti West Coast on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December.
Meanwhile, the National Education Union (NEU) which represents 77 sixth-form colleges in England are also striking over pay, stating that in real terms, teachers have suffered a pay cut of around 20% since 2010.
Furthermore, the University and College Union (UCU) already held a 48-hour strike last week and is now set to hold another 24-hour walkout among university staff. As well as organising a large rally in London, union members across at least 150 different institutions will be joining the December strikes.
An MP took the mick out of Harry Maguire in Ghanaian parliament and we can’t get over it
Hello and welcome to another edition of ‘Headlines We Never Thought We’d Write’. In this week’s episode, a Ghanaian MP mocked Harry Maguire in the middle of parliament and we want answers.
Now, if you’re coming here looking for answers as to exactly why a random politician all the way over on the other side of the world, of all people, chose to mock Harry Maguire in Ghanaian parliament, we’ll stop you right there: we’re just as confused as you are.
That being said, let’s go on this journey together.
Here is Ghana’s Isaac Adongo, MP for the Bolgatanag Central, going in on the Sheffield-born United defender as a way of digging out the opposition:
As you can see in the rather surreal two-and-a-half-minute clip, Adongo is taking aim at the government’s Vice President and Head of the Economic Management Team, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, when he decides to use the 29-year-old centre-back as a simile.
The MP explains that despite being perceived as one of the best defenders in the league when the club signed him, he went on to become “the biggest threat at the centre of Man United‘s defence”. Ouch.
Adongo goes on to add that Maguire was “tackling Manchester United players and giving assists to [his] opponents”, joking that even if they missed “he would score for them” and dubbing Bawumia the “economic Maguire” for scoring own goals against his own nation. Deary me.