Why Should You Support the RMT Rail Strike

East of the M60 says “Forward with the Railway Workers”

If our nation was a song by The Smiths, it would be Nowhere Fast from the Meat Is Murder album. It is fair to say this week’s rail strike is part of the problem, but nobody – ever takes lightly – the right to down tools.

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I Went to Preston ‘Spoons at 9am and It Was Quiet As Hell

The eeriness of enjoying an egg muffin early doors at The Twelve Tellers

Over the last month, many of Reach Media’s local newspapers has given readers many Variations on an Early Morning Spoons Session articles. If you go to their Manchester Evening News website, we learned about The Water House at 9am. If you logged on to The Sheffield Star website, there’s every chance we’ll be told of how quiet that one in Hillsborough is on a school day.

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Weird Albums That Have Shaped My Music Taste: Ronco’s Space Invasion Compilation

How a car boot sale purchase had a lasting effect on my taste in music

Space: the final frontier. Very much at a premium in 1980, if you had a Sinclair ZX80 and tried to run your own basic programs. Or a year later if you couldn’t afford the 16k RAM pack for your ZX81.

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Four Weeks in the Life of Fun Time Friday

How and why Stuart and Kevin were no April Fools in Future Directions’ most celebrated streamed sessions

“We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.”

An Inspector Calls, J.B. Priestley (1894 – 1984)

John Boynton Priestley could have preempted the arrival of Kevin Phoenix’s song Stronger Together. His quote from An Inspector Calls is in simple form, our need to be one happy family. He may well be looking to our time on Earth, the planet that Professor Carl Sagan called “the pale blue dot”.

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Record Player Stand

S.V.’s Formative Years Festive 50 (1984 – 1985)

The Fifty Tracks of My Years from September 1984 to August 1985

Popular music can take us to a particular point in our lives. It is the soundtrack of our youth, birth, marriage, random bus journey, schooldays or not-so-happier times. Throughout my life, music has played a massive part. You can either see this on East of the M60 in written form, or in my professional capacity with Future Directions CIC on Fun Time Friday.

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Singing Our Way to Success with the Stronger Together Community Choir

How a blogger and a singer-songwriter took Future Directions’ inclusive choir to winning Care Sector’s Got Talent

Thursday 30th September 2021, 4.50 pm, five miles somewhere south east of Preston: after taking part in a nationwide talent competition, there were scenes of elation at a local community hall with a party of 15 people. Among the fifteen or so people were Stuart Vallantine, Kevin Phoenix, and Lorraine Chapman-Linnett – values-driven employees for Future Directions. With the Stronger Together Community Choir, they entered Championing Social Care‘s Care Sector’s Got Talent, a national talent competition.

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Record Player Stand

S.V.’s Formative Years Festive 50 (1983 – 1984)

The Fifty Tracks of My Years from September 1983 to August 1984

Popular music can take us to a particular point in our lives. It is the soundtrack of our youth, birth, marriage, Bar Mitzvah, schooldays or not-so-happier times. Throughout my life, music has played a massive part. You can either see this on East of the M60 in written form, or in my professional capacity with Future Directions CIC on Fun Time Friday.

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Fun Time Friday

A Mission to Entertain: Future Directions’ Fun Time Friday

What do you get if you cross an extremely talented musician with a pretty good blogger and dancer (!) on a Friday afternoon?

Make no mistake: this sub-headline isn’t a dad joke, though a fast-paced mixture of dad jokes, dad dancing and mad music is behind one of Future Directions CIC’s most notable projects. Known as Fun Time Friday, it is a 45-minute programme of music, dad dancing and jokes which goes out on Friday afternoons.

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Twenty-Four Hours in Didsbury

My last day at Ewing School with the Middle Group

If you read the previous article entitled Seven Go Camping in Crowden, you might enjoy the latest Ewing School themed article. As the previous one took us back to the Dark Peak, this piece takes us back to a less forbidding part of the world. It is set in Didsbury and Cheadle, and covers my last twenty-four hours as a Ewing School pupil.

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Longdendale from Woodhead, Dave Dunford (2004)

Seven Go Camping in Crowden

S.V’s night under the stars along with six others from Ewing School

As I write this entry, it is exactly thirty years since my last breakaway with a few fellows from Ewing School. In addition to the Middle Group’s annual holiday, yours truly with four other pupils (who left Ewing School the following month) had a weekend away in Crowden.

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