Manchester’s got a lot to be proud of, and Vimto is one of those things.
Vimto is a much-loved Manchester-born soft drink that contains the juice of grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants – each in a 3% concentration – which is then flavoured with a selection of delicately-balanced herbs and spices.
If you’re unfamiliar with the backstory, Vimto was created in 1908 at 19 Granby Row in Manchester city centre – now part of The University of Manchester’s grounds – by John Noel Nichols, who was a wholesaler of herbs, spices and medicines that saw the market opening for soft drinks, due to the temperance movement and the passage of the 1908 Licensing Act.
It was originally sold under the name Vim Tonic, which Nichols shortened to Vimto in 1912.
It’s hard to believe it now, but Vimto was originally registered as a health tonic or medicine when it was first created, but was then re-registered as a cordial in 1913.
As well as its continued popularity throughout the 20th and 21st century, Vimto has even taken on a life of its own as a flavour too in more recent years, and has spawned a number of other popular fruity variations, so it’s really come a long way from its origins.
But the history of Vimto is something that will always be rooted in Manchester.
And so, to celebrate this impressive history, two furloughed friends have launched a “historical Manchester” Vimto-themed virtual escape room that takes you back to 1908 and challenges you to solve the theft of the city’s most iconic and top-secret recipe.
Mystery Escapades provide online escape room adventures “packed with puzzles” for groups of any size, so whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, or simply looking for a bit of lockdown fun, this is a unique way for friends, families and colleagues to virtually “work together and flex that grey matter”.
All escape rooms can be played by teams across households using video conferencing software, such as Zoom and Skype, but there’s one in particular that Mancunians might be most interested in.
The description for 19 Granby Row reads: “It’s 1908 and you’re in Manchester to investigate the theft of a secret recipe. John Nichols has spent his life perfecting the recipe to his new health tonic, and it has been stolen on the eve of its launch. Your job is to track down the thief by following his path around historical Manchester. Each puzzle you solve will give you a clue to unlock the next room, complete them all and get the recipe back to its rightful owner. You can get clues to help you along the way if you get stuck but everything you need is within the game”.
19 Granby Row is suitable for as many participants as you wish, but anywhere from two to six is advised for optimum game play.
There’s no time limit for this particular challenge either, making it perfect to play along with friends.
Speaking on the launch of 19 Granby Row, Mike Lee – co-founder of Mystery Escapades – told The Manc: “We started Mystery Escapades as a bit of fun, but actually we think they’re quite good and we’ve had great feedback from players [so] we’ve set one in historical Manchester, taking in the sights of streets and buildings that remain in the city today.
“We’ve created this because we love the city,
“It’s where I was born and grew up and like any Manc, I’m staunchly protective of its place in the world”.
19 Granby Row will set you back just £15 for a pass valid for one month.
You can book your tickets, find more information about the escape rooms and access the all-important FAQs via the Mystery Escapades website here.
Kirstie Allsopp threw a banana skin at a driver in Stockport in littering row
TV personality Kirstie Allsopp has admitted that she threw a banana skin at a driver in Stockport after she caught them littering.
In a furious rant on Twitter, the Location, Location, Location star said that she ‘leapt out of the car’ in order to pick up the fruity peel that was thrown out of another car window.
She then lobbed it straight back into the car, at the littering offender.
Saying that she’s been ‘horrified’ by the state of litter across the UK, Kirstie detailed the incident from her visit to Stockport.
Kirstie said: “In the last few weeks, travelling around the UK, I’ve been horrified by how bad roadside litter has become. Why is litter so much worse, who thinks chucking an empty red bull, for example, out of a moving car is acceptable?
“Last week in Stockport a banana skin flew out of the window of the car in front, we were at [traffic lights] and I was a passenger so I leapt out of the car, picked it up and threw it back into the car, the driver just threw it back out again.
“But that’s not how to solve the problem. What is the solution…… £££ fines? In some places police take litter very seriously, I don’t feel that in the UK though. Closing roads to clear the litter? This would inconvenience us all, but would be a reminder of the cost of litter. Asking roadside landowners to clear their patch? What do you think?”
She later added: “I have a pet theory on this, I think a lot of litter is guilty eating, people consuming things they know they shouldn’t, and not wanting to dispose of the evidence at home.”
One fan replied to her: “Ohh you have been to my neck of the woods i have wrote to Stockport Council several times about cleaning all this litter up and there answer was ‘yes we are rotared to do a clear up in May’, i said ‘how about every month’, they replied ‘we do a clear up once a year only’. I just laughed.”
Yes, it’s true – in what is news that admittedly sounds fake, but somehow actually isn’t, one of the best rappers of all time has revealed himself to be an avid watcher of Britain’s longest-running soap, and is such a fan of it, in fact, that he said he’s “determined” to make an appearance on it sometime in the future.
The iconic ITV soap – which is set in the fictional Manchester suburb of Weatherfield, and celebrated an impressive 60 years of entertaining the masses back in 2020 – currently averages around six million viewers per episode, and has developed a well-deserved legion of loyal fans over the last six decades.
And it turns out, one of those loyal fans is chart-topping rap superstar Snoop Dogg.
“Coronation Street, I love it,” the 17-time Grammy Award nominee admitted.
“If they call me I’ll do it. I’ll play whenever they need. I love the cinematography, acting, the storylines and just the reality.
“I’d like to be a part of it because they’ve been a part of my culture.”
As bizarre as it all sounds, this surprisingly isn’t the first time the rapper – whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr – has publicly revealed he’s a fan of the soap, and even famously admitted all the way back in 2010 that he had his agent get in touch with ITV to see if there was any chance he could make an appearance.
“I had my agent reach out to them to see if they could try to get me on and they said they were interested so hopefully it might happen,” Snoop told the BBC.
“It would be perfect for me to be on the show.”
The Drop It Like It’s Hot and The Next Episode rapper isn’t the only famous name who’s revealed himself to be a fan of Coronation Street in recent months.
One of the greatest and most well-respected singer songwriters of all time, Bob Dylan, also admitted in an interview with WSJ back in December 2022 that he loves binge-watching the soap.