A Fracking Bad Move: The False Economics of Hydraulic Fracturing in Northern England

How fracking could have a ruinous affect on Northern England’s economy

“If we ruin the Earth, there is no place else to go. This is not a disposable world, and we are not yet able to engineer other planets. The coolest desert on Earth is far more hospitable than any place on Mars. The bright sandy surface and dusty atmosphere of Mars reflect enough sunlight back to space to cool the planet, freezing out all its water, locking it in a perpetual Ice Age. Human activity is blighting our landscape and our atmosphere, like this ultimately like an Ice Age here.

“At the same time, we are releasing vast quantities of carbon dioxide, increasing the Greenhouse Effect. The Earth need not resemble Venus very closely, for it to become barren and lifeless. It may not take much to destabilise the Earth’s climate, to convert this Heaven – our only home in the cosmos – into a kind of Hell”.

- Professor Carl Sagan, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980)

The North of England is an already deprived part of the world apart from some pockets of affluence in Greater Manchester, rural parts of Lancashire and Cheshire and North Yorkshire. It has seen its fair share of job losses, been at the sharpest end of the government’s public sector cuts, and in many cases, not seeing the fruits of Britain’s recovery. Continue reading

Run to the Hills: A Go Cheapway… Special

Hillside views east of the M60 motorway, a bus, train or tram ride, or quick walk away

Buckton Castle, Carrbrook
I know I’ve used this picture of Buckton Castle (seen from Harridge Pike) before, but it’s a lovely view which I have photographed with my Holga toy camera. Oh, and it also best illustrates the content of this piece.

Oh, the weather we have enjoyed in the last month has been nothing short of incredible. A fantastic month for picnicking, hosting a barbecue, or admiring rural views. In other words, a great time to explore our rural surroundings, and take some time out from the office, school, house or shopping centre. Continue reading

East of the M60’s Summer Mix – Rebellious Mixtape #9

A special summertime jam for East of the M60

The schools have broken up for the summer holidays, and the sunshine has inspired this playlist. For once, I shall break with the usual Rebellious Mixtape rules and consider a possible continuous playlist.

Let’s have it!

Oh, and I know there’s also Spotify, but I am also enabling you to make a few suggestions and additions by displaying the playlist. Continue reading

Mossley Open Market: A Case Against Privatised Public Space

Why Mossley market ground must remain in public hands

Last Whit Friday, the people of Mossley and a few others from surrounding areas (myself included) saw the town’s procession of witness in glorious sunshine. Almost 35 years ago, the same venue played host to Mossley AFC’s F.A. Trophy side. The then Mayor of Tameside, Stalybridge North Labour councillor Charles Meredith, gave the F.A. Trophy finalists a civic reception. Continue reading

Treasures of Stock, Aitken and Waterman – The Not So Perfect Ten

The definitive ten tracks ever to have been produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman

February 1987: a month on from starting the Ewing School. Not least the (oft-mentioned on this blog) fringe benefits of listening to Piccadilly Radio on my 30 mile round trip. At around that time, I started to gain a greater interest in chart music, looking at a long dog-eared copy of Chez Vall’s Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (second edition, 1978). I used to enjoy listening to the songs of the day since my formative years, though never too interested in the record labels and chart positions. Continue reading

1980s Television Nightmares: #3 That’s My Dog

Yet they say, never work with children or animals…

Television South West, one of Britain’s shortest lived ITV franchisees, didn’t quite have the same commercial clout nor profile as the Big Five ITV contractors [Granada, Yorkshire, Thames, Central and London Weekend]. Locally, TSW was best known for Gus Honeybun, a glove puppet rabbit who accompanied continuity announcers whilst announcing younger viewers’ birthdays.

Nationwide, Television South West was synonymous with this production…
Continue reading

Tameside Bus Service Changes, 27 July 2014: Summertime Special

Some slight tweaks and the usual Summer timetable changes

  • Extra journey added to 217 service;
  • Operator revision to peak hour 345 service;
  • Alt Estate no longer served by 408.
S&S Travel Services, Optare Solo, KX04 HPV Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
Newcomers S&S Travel Services have ran the truncated 217 service since late April. Seen here is an all white Optare Solo, usual fare for the meandering service via East Manchester.

A few changes to Tameside’s tendered services and the usual summer timetable form part of this season’s raft of service changes. In the former category, only minor changes in the Tameside and Oldham areas. Continue reading

Golden Girl Wins Free Bus Travel

Shelter worker wins a year’s free journeys on Stagecoach in Manchester services

Golden Ticket Winner Saira Hillyard, at a Meet the Bus event in Wigan, Lancashire.
‘The best thing I’ve ever won!’ – Golden Ticket winner Saira Hillyard, at this year’s Meet the Bus event in Wigan, Lancashire.

A charity worker from Manchester has won free bus travel for a year thanks to Stagecoach Manchester and their Catch the Bus Week promotion.  Saira Hillyard, 19, who works for Shelter, won the Golden Ticket last month, after she attended a Meet the Bus event in Wigan, held to celebrate Catch the Bus Week.  Continue reading

Some Kind of Wonderfuel: Publicly Owned Gas and Electricity in Tameside

When NORWEB and North West Gas was king

If you were born some time before 1985, a common feature of our High Streets was the gas and electric showrooms. They were the public face of our gas and electricity boards, nationalised and consolidated upon in 1948 and 1949. At one time they belonged to us, rather than a clutch of investment banks and overseas subsidiaries. Continue reading

From Moor Lane to Wembley: The Magic of the 2014-15 F.A. Trophy

East of the M60‘s preview of one of the F.A.’s non-league cup competitions from a Greater Mancunian perspective

It may be a while off yet, but the preliminary round draw for the F.A. Trophy has already been made. Ties will take place on the 18 October 2014. Continue reading