Getting all cosy and sitting down to watch some festive films is such an important part of Christmas for so many of us.
But after we’ve made our way through Home Alone, Elf, Love Actually, It’s A Wonderful Life, and all those other classics that we just have to stick on every time the festive season rolls around, we usually end up turning to some of the newer releases that have popped up various streaming platforms in recent years.
Films made for TV have historically had a bit of a reputation for not being that good, with people tending to avoid them unless they fancy wasting a couple of hours they won’t get back, but the rise of streaming and, of course, the global pandemic has changed that – with many filmmakers now even favouring the powerhouses of Netflix and Amazon Prime over a cinema release.
It seems festive films are no different either.
For better or for worse, Holidate, The Princess Switch, Single All The Way, The Knight Before Christmas, and A Castle For Christmas are just a few of the seasonal flicks to have made it onto streaming platforms and garnered millions of views over the past few years.
But there’s a new Christmas film that’s just come out on Amazon Prime this year, and a big part of it might look familiar to people from Greater Manchester and the north west.
That’s because Macclesfield has got itself a starring role in Your Christmas or Mine?
It might sound a little odd at first, but you could argue that the north west town near Stockport that’s just over the border into Cheshire is as much of a star of the new film as its leads Asa Butterfield and Cora Kirk are.
Your Christmas or Mine? follows the story of young student couple James and Hayley, played by Butterfield and Kirk, who both decide to surprise the other at Christmas time, only to have to accidentally spend the festive season with each other’s families instead.
Hayley ends up with James‘s military father, Lord Humphrey The Earl of Gloucester, at his country house, while James, on the other hand, is stuck with Hayley‘s dysfunctional working class family.
And that family just so happens to be in Macclesfield.
While the mid-sized Cheshire town isn’t often on a lot of people’s radars, or can’t claim to be famous for much more other than being the hometown of late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, the magical Macclesfield Forest, and the home of Jodrell Bank, it now has an unexpected heavy feature in a 2022 Christmas film to add to that list.
For those familiar with Macclesfield, the film features regular mention of the town’s name, given that one of the main character’s is from there and the it provides the backdrop for a good chunk of the film, as well as featuring plenty of the cast speaking with a classic north-western accent throughout.
Unfortunately though, if you were looking to actually see the town on the big screen, you might be left a bit disappointed, as filming didn’t actually take place in Macclesfield.
Instead, the famous Pinewood Studios provided the backdrop for most scenes filmed inside, while Buckinghamshire and the capital London were used for the majority of the external shots.
Sticking a Macclesfield train station sign up was probably as close as they got.
Released earlier this month, reviews for Your Christmas or Mine? seem to be somewhat mixed, but if you’re looking for a feel-good festive rom-com to stick on this Christmas, and you fancy seeing Macclesfield shine, then there’s no harm in giving it a watch.
Featured Image – Amazon Prime
Drivers could be fined for using common ‘thank you gestures’ on UK roads
Motorists are being warned that some common unspoken rules of the road could actually see them hit with a hefty fine.
Given that us Brits are known for our manners and being polite, it has become common practice for drivers across the country to use a number of popular gestures to say thank you to our fellow road users when they give way to us, let us into a junction or lane, or just generally do something to help us out on the road.
A quick wave, thumbs up, or a flash of the headlights takes just a second to do, but the kindness goes a long way and helps to keep the peace.
In fact, when another driver doesn’t say thank you, we tend to think it’s pretty rude.
To prove this point, a new study of UK drivers was conducted by National Tyres and Autocare, and it found that one in five drivers choose to flash their headlights to say thanks, while one in three like to give a classic wave, and then one in six opt for a simple thumbs up.
But did you know that some of these gestures are actually in breach of the Highway Code and could end up landing us in a bit of trouble and see us have to fork out money if we’re caught in the act?
In some cases, fines can rack up as high as £1,000.
When it comes to flashing our headlights to say thank you, rule 110 of the Highway Code actually states that we should “only flash headlights to let other road users know that you are there”, and we should not do not flash them to “convey any other message or intimidate other road users”.
Using hazard lights is another common way to say thank you, but again, according to rule 116 of the Highway code: “You must not use hazard warning lights while driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead.”
It’s stated that we should only use hazard lights “for long enough to ensure that your warning has been observed”, and nothing more.
By far the most common way to say thank you on the road during the daytime is to give a classic wave or thumbs up, but according to rule 160 of the Highway Code, once moving a vehicle you should “drive or ride with both hands on the wheel or handlebars where possible as this will help you to remain in full control of the vehicle at all times”.
It adds: “You may use driver assistance systems while you are driving but make sure you use any system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”
The latter of these common thank you gestures is the one that could land drivers in the most trouble if caught, as not only can fines rack up to £1,000, but being in breach of having proper control of your vehicle could also mean discretionary disqualification, and three penalty points on your licence as well.
A Manc photographer is taking beautiful on-the-spot portraits around the city
There are about a hundred and one brilliant photographers taking pictures around the city centre every day, but most of them tend to focus on the macro scale of things — snapping our lovely architecture, long shots of our rain-soaked streets, parades of morning commuters and so on.
So, when we stumbled across this lovely little TikTok account showcasing some of the most simple but beautiful portraits you’ll see anywhere online, all taken around the streets of our beloved city, it understandably caught our attention.
Manc photographer Scott James, or ‘certigrammer‘ as he goes by online, makes his living doing everything from weddings and commercials shoots to music videos, taking photos for Sheffield United and more, but we happened to come across a more recent pastime of his: taking pictures of strangers.
People are clearly chiming with his casual, understated and fundamentally wholesome style. So are we, and it’s not hard to see why.
Perhaps most impressively, it seems like he’s only been at this particular kind of photography for a little over a week and is already pulling in thousands of well-earned views across his social media.
As you can see, there is a very candid nature to his approach; he snaps people just going about their business and even when he stops people on the spot and asks if they’d be willing to pose, he still manages to capture that impromptu and organic vibe.
From happy couples and randomers on the street, to complimenting an old boy on his style, he photographs people from all walks of life.