John Nield Conservatory, square image

John Nield Conservatory Saved? Could Demolition Threat Be Averted?

Future of Stamford Park’s Conservatory lies in balance

After an initial stay of execution, the future of John Nield Conservatory in Stamford Park still lies in the balance. If demolition went ahead this summer, the iconic conservatory would have been replaced by a manicured garden, which would have opened in September this year.

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Astley Cheetham Library and Art Gallery

The Astley Cheetham Art Gallery: Tameside’s Hidden Treasure?

Why has Tameside MBC’s only art gallery attracted fewer visitors than this blog?

Here’s a question for you. In 2018, how many people visited the Astley Cheetham Art Gallery in Stalybridge? Is it: (a) 59,000?; (b) 5,900?; or is it (c) 590?

Believe it or not, the answer is (c). That’s right, 590 visitors in the 26 days it was open in 2018. Or 22.69 visitors per Saturday from 10am to 2pm. In the 2017 – 2018 season, Stalybridge Celtic’s average attendance was 315 per home game in all competitions over 23 home matches.

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Tintwistle War Memorial image by Clem Rutter, 2010 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-ShareAlike).

Tintwistle Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (27 October 2019)

Another fine Boarshurst début, and another superb concert

In the last few days, the weather gods haven’t exactly been on our side. There was reports of flooding in Derbyshire, Cheshire and the Midlands. Last night on Greenbridge Lane, there was no need to sail to Boarshurst Band Club in a Mirror dinghy. Nor a way of sailing from Chew Brook to Bottoms Reservoir without going via Stockport.

Making sure everything was shipshape for Tintwistle Band last night was Andrew Mallon, their Musical Director. As with Hebden Bridge’s concert last week, another pacy yet tight programme with something for everyone. Like Gareth last night, he was knowledgeable, precise, and humorous.

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Trombone CG Bach 42AG

Private Brass Band Music Tuition in Stalybridge: A Chat with Tim and Dan at Stalybridge Music Academy

Ever wanted to learn a brass band instrument or an orchestral brass instrument in the Tameside area? Now’s your chance.

For many brass band enthusiasts, Stalybridge is the birthplace of modern brass band music. It is home to the oldest brass band in the world, formed in 1809. If you fancy learning to play the euphonium, flugelhorn or cornet in a friendly, non-invasive environment, you can do just that at Stalybridge Music Academy on Melbourne Street. Recently, the genius behind East of the M60 popped in for a chat with Chris Caton-Greasley, Tim Dzida and (via Skype) Daniel Mitchell.

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Stagecoach Manchester Enviro200 MX11 HHC, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station

Search for a Stagecoach Star: Passengers’ Vote Introduced for Employee Awards

Is the driver on your local Stagecoach Manchester route helpful to a fault? Now’s your chance to give him or her some recognition.

If you get the bus often enough, there’s every chance you might know the driver. You might know his or her fellow colleague who maintains the buses at Hyde Road depot. Or the person who trained the driver at Ashton depot. This week, Stagecoach has launched its annual employee awards. Now in its tenth year, the company is inviting passengers in Manchester to nominate their top customer service star.

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Generic Euphonium picture

Hebden Bridge Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (20 October 2019)

Brindle’s Boarshurst début marked by a superb concert

With the nights getting longer and the days getting colder, the warmest of receptions were reserved for Hebden Bridge Band at the Boarshurst Band Club. With their first choice Musical Director David Hamilton in Norwich last night, the baton was passed on to Gareth Brindle. For the former Rainford Musical Director, his first ever visit to Boarshurst Band Club was a most memorable one.

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SHMD 70 Atkinson Double Decker, UMA 370

Put This On a Badge! The Better Buses Badge Making Experience

Show some love for your local bus route in a crafty way

Within a week of the launch of Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Bus Franchising consultation, there has been several activities to advance the case for London-style bus franchising. Since this summer, Better Buses For Greater Manchester have stated their case with accountability and improved services a main advantage.

Earlier this afternoon was the Better Buses Badge Making activity at Manchester Art Gallery, which fell on the same day as the Transpo 50 bus cavalcade. From 1pm to 4pm, anyone with a passion for franchised bus networks – or a given route – made felt badges.

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Northern Class 195, Manchester Airport

Should Northern Rail Be Nationalised? Be Careful What You Wish For

Or: is the Grayling Curse to blame for Northern’s woes?

The rail franchising system is dead. Long live the rail franchising system. In the last year, we have seen a recasting of the rail franchising system in favour of management contracts. Since 1994, rail franchises in Great Britain have mirrored former British Rail profit centres, which in turn have roots in BR’s sectorisation programme by Sir Robert (Basil) Reid.

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Generic Euphonium picture

Dobcross Youth Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (13 October 2019)

Dobcross Youth Band dazzle in a truly spectacular concert

In the brass banding world, this weekend was dominated by Philip Harper’s successful defence of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain Championship Section title. According to reports from the Royal Albert Hall national final, The Cory Band were unstoppable.

Similarly unstoppable, 199 miles north of Kensington Gore, was a Saddleworth youth band. Last night, Dobcross Youth Band proved to a full house at Boarshurst Band Club why they trumped their senior peers from the same village, at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

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First Greater Manchester Out Of Service Mercedes Citaro, 2018

Publicly Controlled Buses: A 2020 Vision of Greater Manchester’s Franchised Bus Network

East of the M60 looks at how Greater Manchester’s buses will be franchised

On the 14 October (this coming Monday), the people of Greater Manchester will be able to take back control of their local bus network. From this day forward, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Office of the Mayor of Greater Manchester (using powers vested under the Greater Manchester Devolution Agreement) will open a public consultation. This will last until the 08 January 2020.

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