Blackpool Postcard

The Wonder of Wakes Weeks

Ever wondered about the Wakes Weeks and when they are?

Many moons ago, before East of the M60 was as well-known as it is nowadays, we posted a review of Channel Five’s documentary on the Oldham Wakes. It was part of a series called Disappearing Britain, the Oldham Wakes episode was hosted by Sarah Lancashire (or Raquel off Corrie if you watched the soap in the 1990s). The programme had vox-pop interviews with Ms. Lancashire decrying the state of Blackpool.

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Foodbank Bus Delivery

Stagecoach Canteen Changes Sees Surplus Food Sent to Food Banks

Why Stagecoach Greater Manchester donated supplies to five food banks in the city region

Stagecoach driver Joanne Morgan unloads food donations from the bus to the food bank at United Estates of Wythenshawe.

There is a famous episode of On The Buses* when Luxton and District decide to change the canteen facilities. After a few complaints about the food portions and Messrs Butler and Co. wanting a bit more than two pork sausages, the canteen staff are replaced by a wall of vending machines. Thankfully, this didn’t happen with Stagecoach Greater Manchester, after a change of canteen supplier. Their changes left the canteens of our city region’s leading bus operator with an abundance of baked beans, a bounty of bread, and a cornucopia of coffee granules. Not to mention a multitude of meat pies.

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Rishi’s Meal Deal: Let Them Eat Luncheon Vouchers

Midweek meal ticket plan offers no real deal for families hit by Coronavirus

In the last two days since Chancellor Rishi Sunak made his Summer Statement, I was reminded of two things. The first was a children’s television programme which inspired two stunning C64 games. The second one was a more contemporary reference: a radio advert for with references to cheap carbonara. In the advert, there is some confusion over cheap car insurance deals or cheap pasta meals.

I shall focus on the latter reference as few people under the age of 30 would have heard of Junior Kickstart. (Unless they have Half Man Half Biscuit’s This Leaden Pall LP where it is mentioned on the final track, Footprints). Kickstart (as in Sunak’s future employment programme) may be dealt with in a separate East of the M60 post.

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Ashton Open Market, during the Tameside Young Traders' Market, 25 May 2019.

Foodie Markets: Gentrification or a Valid Regeneration Scheme?

Why the general retail market is an important fixture in our High Streets

Over the last decade, retail sales figures have been gravely affected by the dual onslaught of online shopping and stagnant wages. With the former, it is cheaper for some households to stay at home and pay the online retailer’s delivery charges instead of bus or taxi fares. In the last month, we found that last Christmas’ sales figures were the worst for 25 years.

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SHMD Daimler CVG6 front loading

Important Changes to Senior Citizens’ Passes on 01 February

£10.00 per annum charge for unlimited off-peak tram and train travel in Greater Manchester

If you are a passenger of pensionable age in Greater Manchester, there’s every chance you will be using your concessionary pass to access the City Region’s buses, trains and trams. In the weekends, you may be able to take a train, tram or bus before 9.30 am and travel by bus anywhere in England. This month, train and tram concessions are covered by your existing pass.

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Mossley View, September 2008

Why This Year’s General Election Is Our Most Critical One To Date

Why you MUST vote in the 2019 General Election

In the last century, there has been two General Elections that have changed the course of British society forever. One of them led to the creation of our Welfare State – most notably our National Health Service. The other one led to the privatisation of our public services and the taming of the labour movement.

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Pride Brass full line up

Pride Brass: A Special Sunday Brass Night at the Boarshurst Band Club

Début concert opens new season of Sunday Brass Nights in style

September can only mean one thing for many people across the UK: back to school or back to work. Also the realisation that darker nights and cooler autumn weather are around the corner. In Glossop and Greenfield, the 01 September meant the return of brass band concerts. Whereas Glossop Old Band Room had the excellent Fairey Band, Boarshurst Band Club played a major part in brass banding history.

Pride Brass’ first ever public performance. The first ever concert to be held by a LGBTQI brass band in Saddleworth.

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Tameside Pride stage

In Pictures: Tameside Pride 2019

First ever Tameside Pride celebrations at Cheethams Park, Stalybridge a real success

Across the UK there has been a fair number Pride events this week. Abergavenny has had one as well as London, Darlington, and Macclesfield. On the 06 July, Cheethams Park, Stalybridge hosted Tameside’s first Pride event.

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Elderly people playing indoor curling

Bringing People Together: Stagecoach Manchester’s Campaign Against Loneliness

Four week campaign aims to tackle loneliness in Greater Manchester

For aged persons, being away from friends or loved ones is a major problem. One barrier is the lack of awareness of social activities, which may keep their minds active. This could be alleviated by using ‘dead tree’ analogue media as well as the internet. Another barrier lies in their ability to use public transport: whether boarding the vehicle or trying to find a bus which stops nearby.

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Building Bridges With Sentences: A Take on The ‘Persistent Scandal’

Why are 25% of primary school children starting school without stringing a sentence? Here’s another take on this subject.

In terms of economic prowess, the United Kingdom may be at Champions League or Europa League level. In terms of early years communication, English Football League Championship level with 25% of primary school children. This was seen as “a persistent scandal” by Education Secretary Damien Hinds at a Resolution Foundation lecture in Westminster. Continue reading “Building Bridges With Sentences: A Take on The ‘Persistent Scandal’”