Have you ever been downstairs in the Tesco on Market Street?
While it might not particularly strike you as somewhere of much importance, considering you probably just nipped down there to grab yourself a last-minute tin of beans or some loo roll in a hurry, but that lower ground floor level is actually a unique part of Manchester’s retail history.
Manchester Arndale and the adjacent Market Street are undoubtedly some of busiest shopping hotspots the city centre has to offer – but back in the 1970s and 80s, the underground market was the place to be.
The Market Centre was the go-to place for pretty much everything you could ever need.
In its heyday, the market – which first opened in 1972 and eventually closed for good in the early 1990s when the Arndale grew in popularity – once boasted around 100 market stalls and shops covering a wide range of needs, and had several separate entrances on Brown Street (near Tesco), Spring Gardens and Norfolk Street, which have all since been concreted over.
Once a real independent gem of the city centre, and sadly the sort of place you don’t see that much of anymore, with perhaps the exception of Afflecks, the Market Centre was home to a collection of dedicated clothing shops selling punk gear, a couple of iconic vinyl record shops and even a Stolen from Ivor – the first place in the north of England to stock Levi’s jeans.
Roxy was the place to hit up if you were in the market for a pair of classic 80s flares, stocked in every colour and pattern under the sun.
Oasis, Justin’s and other smaller boutique stalls were also seen as treasure troves for Manchester’s fashion hipsters of the day, with leather coats and jackets being a particularly popular buy.
“It was exotic [as] it was so different to any other shopping experience in Manchester at the time [and] as teenagers, people met all their friends there
“It was quite similar to the old Corn Exchange and was full of surprises. They were all units rather than shops and that’s what made it pretty magical [as] things would change from what they were a week earlier”.
The underground market was also seen as a music goldmine, with Manchester Underground Records Import used by DJs from across the region, as well as bootlegs, tapes and vinyl in all genres still being readily available from shops and stalls including Collectors Records, Yvonne’s Record Stall, and Spinn In Records.
But after closing down for good in 1989, largely due to the increasing popularity of the Arndale, the Market Centre has since faded into memory.
Do you remember the Market Centre? Share your memories with us.
Featured Image – Manchester Local Image Collection
Manchester band M60 are tagging Gary Neville every day until he listens to their music — let’s help make it happen
Nearly half a year ago, Manchester band M60 began a social media campaign to start tagging Manchester United legend turned pundit Gary Neville every single day until he listens to their music.
And, you know, since we’re all about supporting local artists, we thought we’d do our bit by pecking his head in too.
We’ve seen the Manc indie outfit live a couple of times now — including their headline set at Gorilla back in 2023 (at the time their biggest gig to date) — and they’ve never disappointed, be it the performance or their ever-growing cult following of loyal fans.
That being said, we feel we’re only doing Gary Neville and all of you lot a public service by joining them in their efforts to get their name out there. Plus, we’re enjoying all the different ways they’re managing to keep things interesting:
If you’ve never come across them before either, the four-piece is made up of a bunch of mates from various towns around the region and is fronted by vocalist and lead guitarist Matthew Morton. Alliterative names always make us think of superheroes and their tunes often make us feel like that too.
Playing together since their high school days and named after the massive Greater Manchester motorway from 2015 onwards, they’re best known for tunes like ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Honey’, ‘Darling’; ‘Fade Away’, ‘Kool-Aid’ and plenty more.
They also recently released their latest debut EP, How Did You Get There? and trust us, it’s a belter. Morton once described their sound as ‘Sweet Mancunian indie rock‘ and we couldn’t sum it up any better ourselves. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Which is exactly why we want ‘r Gary to get on them too.
Also, we’ve found the whole journey very funny up until this point, so long may it continue — not too long though; we actually really want him to become M60’s newest and biggest fan through sheer persistence and pestering by the local band and yours truly. And by all means, feel free to join us in the good fight.
The local lads themselves have joked about becoming more well-known simply by embracing themselves as the “Gary Neville meme band” as the days pass, but the strategy is still kind of working nonetheless and with more new music on the way, why stop now?
We want to see Gary’s phone blowing up non-stop, right up to the point that he gets more annoyed than he did in that infamous clip of somebody passing his phone number and simply has to see what all the fuss is about it.
Featured Images — Press Image/Sky Sports (via screenshot)
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World
Are you a fan of travelling? Got yourself a bit of a competitive streak in your nature? This might just be your calling then.
The BBC is currently casting for the next series of Race Across the World.
The broadcaster has announced that the BAFTA-winning hit show is set to return to our TV screens for a third series later this year, and producers are now on the look-out for “intrepid duos” of all ages who reckon they’re ready to take a step into the unknown, and embark on an epic race across land and sea – and that includes Greater Manchester residents.
With applications for the next series of the massively-popular show now open, nomadic Mancs are being encouraged to take part.
On a limited budget and away from the luxuries of modern technology and conveniences, those lucky applicants selected to take part in the next series will get the chance to experience life in some of the world’s most beautiful and remote locations.
Navigating their way across thousands of miles, they’ll travel through spectacular scenery and dynamic cities, visit ancient wonders, learn local customs, and take part in time-honoured traditions.
But, as producers are keen to point out, “the physical journey is only half of the story”.
That’s because, as the contestants take on the challenge of travelling across the world, the greatest thing they’ll discover along the way could actually be about themselves and one another.
Putting out a UK-wide casting call on the BBC website this week, producers Studio Lambert wrote: “We are now accepting applications for the next series of Race Across the World. This experience is open to all, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or total novice.
“We want to hear what undertaking a trip like this would mean to you, and with a cash prize at stake, what lengths you would go to to win.
Applications for the massively-popular show are now open / Credit: BBC
“Maybe you’re looking to change something in your life? Or are keen to share the journey with someone special like a family member, best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with. You may even have a very personal reason for wanting to travel at this time in your life or explore a particular part of the world.”
Fancy it then?
Applications for the third series of Race Across the World are now open for anyone over 18 years of age, with a deadline date of Friday 19 April 2024, and you can find out more information and apply via the BBC website.