The jacket that Andy Burnham wore during a viral speech where he railed against more COVID-19 restrictions for the region back in 2020 is going on display at a museum in Manchester.
In a moment that is etched in the memory of so many Mancunians, the Mayor of Greater Manchester stood outside The Bridgewater Hall back on 15 October 2020 to address the people of the city-region and stand up against a government intent on introducing more COVID-19 restrictions on an area already hit hard enough as it was.
Streamed live across the nation and with the rest of the UK watching on, Andy Burnham, along with other North West leaders, backed away from government talks to place Greater Manchester in the toughest Tier 3 restrictions.
He criticised the financial support being offered by the Conservative government, saying that the 60% furlough scheme for employees was insufficient, and sharing his urgent concerns that it would push people into poverty.
He famously accused the government of “playing poker with people’s lives”.
And it’s fair to say it earned Burnham respect from locals, and a few new fans from outside the area in the process.
Shortly after he delivered the now-famous speech, the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester began to go viral on social media, with admiration from people in their thousands pouring in, and even inspiring a Vogue article headlined: ‘Suddenly, inexplicably, we all fancy Andy Burnham.”
His role in securing more money for local Northern communities during the pandemic led to him being crowned ‘King of the North’ by the media.
But an unlikely star of the whole ordeal ended up being the jacket he was wearing at the time.
So much so, that the navy blue worker’s jacket in question – which Burnham confessed he bought in the 2012 Boxing Day sales from House of Fraser in Manchester city centre – is going on display at the People’s History Museum this week until early September, and it will likely see it cementing its place as a local artefact worth remembering.
Mr Burnham admitted that he had actually wanted to wear his favourite North Face cagoule that had made a couple of appearances around the same time for the Bridgewater Hall press conference, but his wife told him to put on something else, “otherwise they’ll think you’re sponsored by North Face”.
So he put on what he calls his “second division” jacket that he normally wears to watch Everton at the weekends – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Speaking on the jacket arrival at the museum, Sam Jenkins – Collections Manager at the People’s History Museum – said: “As a museum, we knew that it was important to collect the political story of COVID for future generations.
“We got a copy of the speech from that day, but we also felt that the jacket was a great visual representation of the changing situation that autumn and of the split between Westminster and the regions.
The terrifying TV villain, played by James Norton, was seen fleeing disguised as a cyclist to the beautiful Calder Valley countryside, before being picked up and going into hiding.
Meanwhile, Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) was rounding up her family as fears grew that Tommy would come for his son Ryan (Rhys Connah).
Throughout last night’s Happy Valley, Tommy repeatedly referred to his unfinished business with ‘that policewoman b*tch’, and asked gang leader Darius Knezevic for a gun.
Given his fraught history with Catherine (he abused her late daughter, beat Catherine up, and doused little Ryan in petrol in a failed homocide-suicide stunt) we’ve all assumed that we’ll see a Tommy-Catherine face-off on Sunday.
But a few fans have floated a new theory, pointing out that Tommy hasn’t actually said which police officer he’s after…
Jenny Ryan from The Chase said: “Hey, any other #HappyValley fans lying awake worrying that the phrase “that policewoman” could refer to someone other than Catherine?”
Another person said: “Is anyone else thinking he hasn’t actually said which policewoman he wants to kill? It was Anne who gave evidence and got him sent away…”
Someone else posted: “Happy Valley perfect script and acting as always. Ann’s monologue was just incredible. It occurred to me though that Tommy and Darius kept talking about sorting out ‘that policewoman bitch’. We are all expecting it to be Catherine but what if he means Ann?!!”
And one user pointed out: “As for Tommy going after Catherine, she isn’t the only “policewoman” he may have a grudge against..”
My nerves can’t handle the wait for Sunday’s episode after that…
One particular scene has had fans celebrating the phenomenal script-writing and acting again, and for once it’s not Sarah Lancashire being showered with all the praise.
Charlie Murphy, who plays Ann Gallagher in Happy Valley, has been labelled ‘outrageously good’ after delivering an impassioned monologue to Ryan.
The powerful scene, which some viewers said was ‘cruel’ and ‘brutal’, saw her deliver some harsh home truths to Ryan about his father’s past.
One person wrote: “Wow! What a piece of acting that was by @CharlieBMurphy explaining to Ryan about Tommy. Gripped!”
Another said: “@CharlieBMurphy was outrageously good in Happy Valley tonight. Sarah Lancashire deserves many plaudits but this show has strength in numbers. The trauma is real and next weeks finale I’m sure will ruin me.”
Someone else posted on Twitter: “The Ann Gallagher monologue/rant in #HappyValley tonight was up there with the best scenes in any of the episodes. Brilliant.”
One user tweeted: “Ann threw at Ryan everything that was building up in her for years. YEARS of seeing his affections towards her abuser.All her rage & pain.And to all of this she stood up for Cath & the memory of Becky. Surely one of the best & most important scenes of S3 if not whole #HappyValley.”
And someone else added: “‘HE DOESN’T GIVE ONE TINY, SHINY F*CK ABOUT YOU!!’ #HappyValley belonged to Ann tonight. Jaw dropping couple of minutes of dialogue yet again by @spiceyw.”
The final Happy Valley will air on Sunday 5 February.