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Manchester

Urban Legends

  • Richard Fair
  • 11 Jan 07, 10:21 AM

Can you hear those hamster wheels start to turn? All over Greater Manchester, bloggers are slowly logging back on after their holiday break. And I’m sputtering into productivity too. For the last couple of years I’ve been blogging over at The Manchizzle, and from now on I’ll also be posting here regularly, providing a random and eclectic recap of the week in Manchester blogs.

I heard something a while back about mysterious tunnels under the city, so I was glad to read Mark R’s post about Mancunian urban legends on urbisblogs. Some of the best include “legends that abandoned 60’s nightclubs remain in the cellars of the Arndale Centre. That there is a massive cold war bunker beneath the city centre. That rivers flows underneath the Town hall and Victoria Station. Or that there is a tunnel underneath the Irwell connecting the Hanging Bridge to Ordsall Hall, complete with Tudor treasure and skeletons.”

But it’s not all overactive imaginations, says Mark R. “Some of these legends are true. I have seen the river Irk flow beneath Victoria Station and the massive Cold War bunker, which has its entrance in China Town, is now publicly documented.”

Literary site The Tart of Fiction/Fictionbitch (two merged blogs) provides a thoughtful counterpoint to wrangles between bloggers and newspaper critics in the press. This week the bitch sympathised with Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw’s shock at entering the gloves-off, bumptious debate on the blogosphere:

“I will never forget the feeling of exposure the first time I put up a post all without the protection of the time-honoured authority of the printed publication (which I have also experienced), and it is through writing their own blog posts that these journalists are coming to experience this for themselves.”

Music blogger Yer Mam! was counting down the best compilations of 2006. In the top spot is Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution In Sound (Soul Jazz).“The music on this compilation was recorded at a time of turmoil for Brazil and it comes from a handful of artists who were convinced that music could change the world. It was a noble, but doomed endeavour, but the politics is just another facet of this joyous, celebratory music. Gal Costa's 'Sebastiana' is one of the sexiest things I've heard all year, while both versions of 'Bat Macumba' that bookend this comp (from Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes) are the sound of the best party you've never been to.”

And Mark Muldoon, who writes Postcards from the Manchester Student Scene found himself flummoxed by a request from a girl to “give me three interesting facts about yourself”

Here’s what he came up with, some time later:
“1) I’ve been on Radio 1 a few times
2) Pete Doherty once said hi to me
3) I’ve sky-dived myself, like.”

“Sadly I didn’t get to impart these, as by then she was presumably off talking to some boy with indie hair or something.”

Better luck next time, mate.

Kate Feld

CLICK HERE to listen to Kate talking to Richard Fair on BBC Radio Manchester

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Hey, a namecheck! Cheers Kate.

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Some more info on the underground bunker:
http://www.cybertrn.demon.co.uk/guardian/

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