Our September meeting theme was 'Music in Manchester' - whilst I am well aware of the pride Manchester has for it's music scene, I had no idea what to expect from this meeting. When you think of Manchester based musicians the first ones to spring to mind may well be the likes of the Smiths, Oasis, the Happy Mondays, Elbow etc etc etc. Men seem to feature heavily in this list, so it was great to hear about some work going on to promote the contribution of women in music.
First we heard from Natalie McCool, a singer-songwriter and musician who has written with Paul McCartney, collaborated with Beth Orton and won 2013 Female Artist of the Year at the Liverpool Music Awards. She responded to audience questions and treated us to a wonderful set.
We were also joined by Kate Lowes, Head of Programmes at Brighter Sound, who are a charity promoting diversity and supporting women within the music industry. Kate spoke about their recent projects involving collaboration between female musicians and...
This month's meeting was all about preparations for Pride! Manchester WI are proud to be marching in the Manchester Pride parade on August 26th, alongside other WIs from Greater Manchester.
During the meeting, each table was tasked with creating a section of a banner which has been designed to commemorate the victims of the Manchester Arena attack earlier this year. We used a simple appliqué technique (with instructions!) to craft banner sections, and as always there was plenty of cake to help us along.
Also present at the meeting were Kostas Arvanitis from the Centre for Museology (University of Manchester) and BelleVue Productions. They interviewed and filmed members who were involved in the clean-up of teddies left in St Ann's Square after the attack. The aim was to capture volunteers thoughts and reflections, and contributes to a wider project documenting the process and considerations made during the clean-up of tributes left in St Ann's Square, and will form an archive of mat...
At our June meeting, we were lucky enough to receive a visit from Radio 5 Live’s award-winning Anna Foster. With a stellar track record in news journalism, which started at Newsbeat, and with roles that have since taken her from Cumbria to Iraq – Anna is definitely well placed to share some media insight, which she kindly did for our Journalism themed meeting last month.
Following the recent atrocities in Manchester and London, Anna guided us through the emotional coverage carried out for Radio 5 Live. Involving the public in voxpops and longer-form interviews, Anna said: “Journalism can be the hardest when it’s on your own doorstep, and sometimes the words we feel don't easily come to hand.”
However, highlighting the importance of the press in situations such as these, Anna believes it’s the media’s duty to give a voice to the victims and to get answers to the public’s questions.
In this way, she acknowledged that although there will always be uncomfortable moments as a journalist, as l...
Manchester was always a place of my schoolgirl dreams, even though I lived hundreds of miles away.
The dreary northern streets might as well have been paved with gold for me, a fan of The Smiths, who swore one day to make a pilgrimage here. To walk in the footsteps of Morrissey and Johnny Marr, to see the old mills and canals and know what Ancoats and Hulme and Salford were really like - all the places that were referenced in Smiths’ lyrics and artwork, and which seemed so far away and exotic.
My first trip to the city was in 2001, and it wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind - the tired buildings of Didsbury serving as a weekend bolthole as I visited a university friend and did little other than sit in an Irish pub and dodge the typical torrents. But by the time I ventured back here in 2014, it felt so different - and on that occasion, it was to make it my permanent home.
Nowadays, I walk those self-same roads that my musical heroes did, and none of it gets t...