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
Northern Quarter’s iconic ‘Big Horn’ could be coming back to Tib Street
Manchester is famous for many iconic landmarks, with many of them situated in the legendary district of the Northern Quarter, and while it might not be there anymore, there is one that still stands firm and fondly in our memories: ‘The Big Horn’.
So much so, in fact, that it might even be coming back.
If you ever walked down Tib Street during some time between 1999 and 2017, you will have come across the rather odd-looking sculpture simply known as The Big Horn, created by artist David Kemp as part of his ‘Unsound Instruments’ series.
Erected just before the millennium, the unique piece of artwork was built as a symbol of growth in the Northern Quarter, an area of Manchester that has continued to be a melting pot for local history, culture and progress. Unfortunately, however, with that progress often comes the old making way for the new.
The trombone-shaped was sadly removed from its home on the corner of Tib and Church Street six years ago after it was announced that the land it sat on was to become a new apartment block developed by Salford-born billionaire and Betfred founder, Fred Done.
It’s over half a decade since we last saw The Big Horn in this iconic part of town, but thanks to a new planning application by those passionate about maintaining and restoring local culture, it is now on the verge of making a comeback just around the corner.
Being driven by property developers Bruntwood and already in the consultation stage, a proposal, heritage statement and even details surrounding where the sculpture could be reinstated have all been drawn up and submitted — it’s now just a case of waiting for the green light.
With the plan to reaffix the horn to the side of another nearby cultural hotspot, Afflecks, which bears just as much significance on the area’s music and art scene, The Big Horn’s return could be imminent and attract a whole new set of eyes, as well loom large in those that previously admired it once again.
Set to measure up at 5.3 metres off the ground and 12.8m above street level at its highest point, not to mention be attached to one of Manchester‘s most beloved buildings, the sculpture could be set to boast more pride of place than ever.
The council application was submitted on 15 September and those interested in having their say can get involved with the consultation right up until 13 October.
You can play your part in saving a piece of Manc history and bringing The Big Horn back to the Northern Quarter HERE.
These three Greater Manchester Wilko stores are reopening as Poundlands this weekend
The first 10 Wilko stores to start new lives as Poundlands are reopening this weekend, and three of them are in Greater Manchester.
We all know by now that it’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for Wilko after it entered administration earlier last month, but after it was sadly announced back on 11 September that all of the retailer’s outlets across the UK would be forced to close, leaving around 12,500 jobs at risk, a glimmer of hope was offered.
And that glimmer of hope was that several dozen stores had been saved.
Only, they wouldn’t be remaining under the Wilko name, as they’d be reopening as another popular bargain retailer instead, and that’s because Pepco Group – the company which owns Poundland in the UK – managed to strike a deal with Wilko administrators PwC to take control of up to 71 store leases.
With lease assignments expected to be completed in the coming weeks, according to Pepco, this meant that the some 71 stores would join Poundland’s existing 800-plus UK outlets before 2023 is out.
Pepco Group published the full list of stores set for conversion earlier this month, and also confirmed it would be offering employment some of Wilko’s former employees – with it being good news for six Greater Manchester sites.
Altrincham, Bolton, Eccles, Sale, Leigh, and Stockport were confirmed to be the region’s towns set to get themselves a new Poundland, and Poundland added that it intends to convert the stores over to its brand “as soon as is practical”.
It turns out that window of practicality has arrived this weekend for three of those confirmed sites.
Among the 10 former Wilko branches across the UK that are set to start a new chapter and begin lives as Poundlands this weekend are sites at The Peel Centre in Stockport, The Mall in Eccles, and on Lord Street in Leigh.
It’s expected that dates for the new round of Poundland conversions will be announced in due course, as will news from PwC about the other deals it has struck for the Wilko name to live on.
You may remember that administrators had previously struck a deal for fellow discount chain B&M to buy 51 other Wilko stores, while another high street chain, The Range, had also confirmed a last-minute deal to buy Wilko’s brand last month.