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24 September 2014

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The Mancunian Way
the fountain in Piccadilly Gardens
A brighter future - the new look Piccadilly Gardens
Calling all Mancunians: whether you're loud and proud or just hacked off, this one's for you.

We want your views on the Mancunian Way of life
. So, if there's something you want to sound off about...
have your say
see also
From BBC News: Manchester could drive UK agenda

From BBC Manchester: Have your say on:
Third runway
Myra Hindley
Fire strike
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From Mark in The nicer city of Leeds
I can assure you that people in Leeds are not jealous of Manchester. Yes you have a great city, but so do we. Ours is cleaner, nicer to live in, less social problems and better weather. We have our problems like any other city, but we have a hell of a lot going for us right now. You have more in the way of sporting venues and dare I say it, one better football club. You're probably more important globally than we are, but not for long. Inward investment in Leeds is at an all time high, we're the fastest growing city in the UK, and England's top financial and legal centre outside London. In addition, we are the best city for shopping in England outside London's West End (Manchester is 4th). We have far less deprivation, with our worst ward being ranked at 378th out of a possible 8414. Benchill in Manchester is ranked at number 1, making it the most deprived ward in England and Wales. We don't have large areas of boarded up houses, or the litter problems th! at! you have. I'm not suggesting that Leeds is spotless, but it's a damn sight cleaner than Manchester, although your city centre is far cleaner than it once was. Don't get me wrong, Manchester is a great place, but to suggest that people in Leeds and Birmingham (two better cities in my opinion) are jealous of Manchester is quite ridiculous.

From nello in milan
i can see a lot of jealously from people of other uk cities like birmingham and leeds with regards to manchester. manchester is well known and respected as a city in italy whether it be the mighty manchester united, it's university, nightlife ,commonwealth games facilities or business prowess. In Italy or cities work together as well as in competition. the jealous one's have much to learn from manchesters fame and glory

From Mark in Leeds
Craig, you're displaying that typical insular arrogance all too common with people with Manchester. You know the one - we've got the best music, the best football teams, the best city, the best clubs. Well, I'll tell you what you do have a lot of. Unemployment, deprivation, poor health, and rain! Yes, Manchester is almost top in the UK on all three. Manchester may have had more redevelopment than Birmingham, which may have something to do with a certain bomb destroying half your city centre! Birmingham, in my opinion is nicer. As I said earlier, I do like Manchester, although many of it's people are too far up themselves.

From craig, brooklands
Mark we are well aware of what is happening in Birmingham, good thought it is it hardly compares to what has happened in Manchester and is continuing to happen in particular Spinningfields.We sleep well in our beds at night self assured in the knowledge that Manchester is the one.Go back to posting on the Leeds site mate!

From Mark, Leeds
Hang on a minute, let's put the lid on this shall we? Manchester is a great city, well... better than it was. Birmingham however beats Manchester hands down. Look around Birmingham city centre and all the construction going on, particularly around the new Bull Ring. Look at Brindley Place, and the area around there. The NICC, Indoor Arena, Broad Street. It makes Deansgate look pretty poor in comparison. I'm not saying that Manchester isn't a decent city because it is, and I know that a lot of construction work is taking place in Manchester, but I'm sorry guys, Birmingham is nicer, as are it's people! I may not live there now, but I lived there for 2 years and on the whole, Mancs are pretty up themselves about how great your city is. Pity most of them can't look after their city isn't it?

From Steve, Worcester
Yep, you're correct, Northern. I only stumbled across this web site during the second city debate. Getting too carried away. But, you're wrong Craig about Brum, and I only stumbled across the Newcastle web site because of the City of Culture bids. Sorry for the intrusion. Bye.

From Craig, Brooklands
Steve of Worcester, you have really swallowed the Birmingham tourist boards stories hook, line and sinker.As a Geordie i feel i can speak objectively, go back to posting your comments on the Newcastle site because you will not impress the public of Manchester, they already know that they are the only uk city outside London which stands shoulder to shoulder with Europe's great cities.Birmingham is forever shunned and ridiculed by the uk and world media. I regularly visit Birmingham on business, it comes a poor second to Manchester whether it be shopping, business, culture or sport. Birmingham £12 billion overhaul, i think not. Try reading the Estates Gazette (It is the property industries bible), investment in Birmingham's infrastructure is smaller than that of Manchester and London. I believe Manchester already has two Selfridge's.

From Northern and proud
Steve in Worcester. Are you familiar with the fact that this site is about MANCHESTER and not Birmingham? I am really pleased that you love your nearest city so much... no, really I am, but if you're going to come on this site, please talk about Manchester. The Midlands.... it's all down south to us Northerners!

From Steve in Worcester
Sorry, sorry, sorry! I haven't visited the BBC Manchester site for a while, and hadn't realised the can of worms I'd opened regarding the boundary issue. Does it really matter, especially if you like where you live and feel good there? Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire ... who cares? It's all 'oop' north to us Midlanders any way. The same way that you probably couldn't care less that Birmingham is really in Warwickshire. In response to Dan of London, who seems to think that Birmingham has no soul, I bet your bottom dollar that the closest he's been to Birmingham is on the M6 that passes through the industrialised northern areas of the conurbation. Dan, your life in London has turned your brain to mush. Birmingham is a brilliant city. A new era is dawning for this often derided city. What is happening in Birmingham, especially central Birmingham, is incredible. Who would've thought 25 years ago that this city would be home to one of the World's greatest orc! hestras, the CBSO, and Europe's and one of the World's greatest concert halls and Royal Ballet companies? Broad Street and Bridleyplace in the city centre is the busiest city centre entertainment and night life district in Europe (come on down Manchester if you don't believe me) and is in a city centre setting that has to be seen to be appreciated. New theatres, shops (and if you think your new Lowry building in Salford was something out-of-the-ordinary, wait until you see Britain's second largest Selfridges store in central Birmingham!) new restaurants, and Thinktank Science Museum in central Birmingham in an area undergoing a £12 billion overhaul. Soul, Dan? Coming from such a disjointed city like London you don't know the meaning of the word.

From Mark in A shellsuit free zone, Yorkshire
Dave in "Cheshire", everywhere in the North West is full of shellsuited, brainless idiots who can't talk properly. Being in or out of Cheshire doesn't make a blind bit of difference. Look at Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Warrington and Widnes. Four complete dumps in the 'posh' county that Cheadle Hulme is no longer part of, full of wannabe Mancs and Scousers. Who'd want to be either is beyond me, but that's the wrong side of the Pennines for you! Not saying Yorkshire's perfect, but it's the nearest thing in the North to it!

From Dave in Cheadle Hulme, CHESHIRE
Manchester is a horrible place, but people should try living in Stockport - or hell with a precinct as its known. I despise Manchester, its stops people from talking properly, it means having to wear your trousers inside your socks, they took land which rightfully belonged to Cheshire, and built mass graves (or council estates as they're more commonly known) in said land. Time to give the land south of the Mersey back to Cheshire!

From Mark in Leeds
I would find it difficult to believe that many of you in the High Peak area would regard yourselves as Midlanders. After all, you get BBC North West and Granada on your TV screens, First North Western trains to transport you to Manchester, and geographically you're far closer to the North West regional capital of Manchester than your own East Midlands capital of Nottingham. The fact is though, officially, you are in the East Midlands. Derbyshire is one of the five counties that make up that region. When investment is pumped into Glossop, the East Midlands Regional Development Agency will no doubt be behind it. That's why I asked if you lose out in investment etc, being so far from the rest of your 'real' region? I would be interested to know.

From Andrew Cullinan in Manchester
Manchester is the hell hole of the uk. i personally cant wait to leave, the people are horrible the weather too is horrible. I went to Birmingham a while back, true the city is a building site at the moment but the plans for it are amazing, im actually looking for a property in the city centre there. and boy they aint cheap!!

From James in Glossop
I don't feel isoloated from the rest of the county. Yes maybe from places like Derby and south of the county. However we are close to other north Derbyshire towns like Buxton, Chapel el le frith and New Mills. I echo Pat hardly anybody in North derbys regards themselves as midlanders. No i don't want to be integrated into Manchester.

From Mark in 'WEST' Yorkshire
Pat, the government are more than welcome to take Sheffield out of my native Yorkshire! PLEASE take it, go on, it's yours! No seriously though, the geography of Derbyshire is such that surely you good people of Glossop must feel a little bit isolated. Do you lose out to areas of the county nearer to Derby on things? I don't know, but I'd like to know a local viewpoint on what it's like to be so far north in a Midland county. I lived in Nottingham for a couple of years, and people in Retford and Worksop were almost regarded as being in a foreign country, not just in the north of the county. Does the same happen in Derbyshire? I'm interested to know. I know you people of Glossop are proud to be in Derbyshire, and rightly so, but my point was that being so close to Greater Manchester, and regarding yourselves as being in the north, surely it would have it's benefits.

From Paul in Hyde
I HAVE A SUGGESTION. WHY NOT RE-NAME GRATE BRITAIN TO GREATER MANCHESTER! for gods sake look at Toms statement about the brink of war - that is a real issue

From Pat Davies in Glossop
Glossop and Hadfield do rely on Manchester for alot of things but rely on our county and High Peak borough councils for alot which has always provided good service. Anyway Glossop has typical Derbyshire scenery, history, culture and language. I certainly wouldn't want to governed by a metrolpoliton council. Plus yes we are in east midlands but the north of our county esp high peak regards itself as north. Anyway Mark what would you say if we decided to take Sheffield away from your native Yorkshire??? Leave us alone we love Manchester but don't want to be part of it!

From James in Glossop
County Boundaries have got to end somewhere! Anyway, the only people in Glossop that speak with Manc accents are those under 30 that think its ard to talk like that! True Glossop accent is very different to Manc accent. Plus Glossop is not governed from Derby but from much further north in the county. Your comment is like saying Buxton is nearer Manchester than Derby so lets transfer that to Greater Manchester.

From Mark, Leeds
Good points Pauline. Lancashire has played an important part of the shaping of Manchester, but the administrative changes that have taken place since 1974 have being done to benefit the people of these local areas, and their needs. After all, Stockport is very different to Burnley. Glossop is a wierd one, being in Derbyshire, far closer to Manchester than Derby. The locals speak with almost Manc accents, and would probably look at you like you'd gone insane if you suggested to them that they live in the East Midlands rather than the North West, which by the way, officially they do! It's only it's geographical location that makes it hard to believe. Wouldn't Glossop be better off in Greater Manchester (Tameside) anyway, due to it's local needs?

From Pauline, Ashton
I dont really think it matters what the boundaries are. Anyway wern't all metrolpoliton counties abolished a few years back? and what counts now is the metropoliton borough that you live in?. As for culture yes Manchester does have its own culture but alot of it does relate to Lancashire - i suppose you can't ignore centuries of Lancashire heritage. I live in Ashton under Lyne and personally I couldn't give a toss whether it is in Lancs or Greater Manchester. However I have a friend who lives down the road in Glossop and she goes mental if peolple put it under Manchester. Glossop has always come under Derbyshire never under Manchester.

From Colin Sharples, Manchester
Actually I think Mr/Mrs annonymous is correct. The ancient boundaries of Cheshire and Lancashire are still there but are defunct as far as administartive puposes go. The web site friends of real Lancashire has got alot of information about the 1974 changes and the governments reponse of county boundaries.

From craig, Greater Manchester
I agree with Mark, stop living in the past, Greater Manchester is here to stay ,the older generations may not like it but they have had their days in the old Lancashire, move over here comes Greater Manchester.So much more than what some people call an administrative boundary, it is a cultural identity.

From Mark in Leeds
Strange how the person who thinks that all the old boundaries are still there has signed their names as ANONYMOUS! Altrincham, Stockport, Bolton, Bury, etc, etc, have all been in GREATER MANCHESTER for nearly 29 years. Accept it, it's called changed!

From Tom in Altrincham
I can't see why the likes of Dave, Leon and Phil are getting so hot under the collar about county boundaries. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things, particularly as the international world stands on the brink of disaster. Rather than carrying out such petty squabbles about which postcode we live under or what council we are served by, we should be uniting against the evil that is hapening in other parts of the world, by doing so we will all be better off. Grow up, all of you!

From Anonymous
duh. MCR is still in Lancashire. The boundaries are still there. GTR MCR is a metropoliton area. It was the media in the 1970's that claimed that GTR MCR was new county.

From Deborah Oppenheimer in Tel Aviv, Israel
I left Manchester 23 years ago in 1979 to live in Israel. Although the weather in Manchester really sucks (not really nice to be known as the 'Rain Capital" of Europe) and you can't beat the weather in Israel, summer or winter, I still miss something about Manchester, just can't put my finger on it. I think I am sorry to have missed out on the music and club scene of the '80's and '90's, as Manchester got itself on the global map just after I left for an entirely different environment. I last visited M/C in July 2000, but didn't really have time to see and appreciate all the new developments and attractions (it was also raining at the time !!!! Ah well, what can you expect. Tara fa now, bye luv

From Phil in Bolton
Oh for God's sake people. I'm sick of people from so-called nice areas like Altrincham, Sale and Cheadle Hulme whinging about the fact that they are not in Cheshire! Who do you think you are?! Take away all the benefits that come with being in Greater Manchester and let's see what you think then. So, let's get it straight, Sale....yep, Gtr Manchester, Altrincham....oh most definitely in Gtr Manchester (this includes Brooklands Road who spat out their dummies when they had to change their postcodes from WA.... to M....! How pathetic! Oh and yes, I'm from Bolton, Gtr Manchester. Still see Lancashire on my letters sometimes but when I see Gtr Manchester Police etc etc, I know which county I'm in!

From Dan in London
I spent five years in Manchester and spent the whole time sulking because I wasn't in London. How I wish I hadn't. Now I've returned to London, happy to be back though I am, I can see just how wonderful Manchester is. It might be dirty, it might be mesy, it might be a little bit tatty and badly dolled-up and it might be a bit poor and a bit crime-ridden but there is definitely something very beautiful about it. Whitworth Street at dusk in November, Hulme on a Spring morning and even Ancoats on a Summer's evening. And for those who seem to think Birmingham might have anything to hold against Manchester, forget it. Birmingham simply has no soul.

From Leon Thomas in Altrincham, Greater Manchester
That's right Dave!! I come from Altrincham and would love to be reunited with my brethren in Cheshire. Then we could all wear fake tan, overpriced gaudy jewellery, have our necks strengthened for Big Hair and clog up the roads with needless 4x4 jeeps as we commute to Manchester to work. They'd have to dig up the Metrolink of course, and the rail fares would go up ten fold, but that's only a small price to pay to live in the most polluted county in britain rather than a thriving metropolis.

From Erin Freeman, East Didsbury, Manchester
Just moved to Manchester 2 months back for work, moved up from Portsmouth where i had been living for two years.. lived in London my entire life prior to that... what can i say? Manchester rocks :) the cost of living is so much more cheaper than down south and everyone is that little bit more friendlier :) Nice place! though i've seen some of the rough areas and they dont seem to hot, but then you get that everywhere you go really... cant single manchester out for having rough spots when ive seen londons worst too :)

From Dave in Cheadle Hulme
Can we have Cheadle Hulme back in Cheshire officially please? We're sick and tired of the place being flooded by kids slung out of the inner cities. The place was a nice Cheshire village, but now it's nothing more than another Manchester suburb. We don't deserve this - let us back into Cheshire and keep the scally scumbags out!

From Mark Collinson, Liverpool
Oh, and they don't spit chewing gum out in Birmingham then, or London for that matter? It happens everywhere, because the people that are ignorant and need to grow up, start taking care of their environment and taking responsibility for their own actions aren't Mancunians, they're the British generally! Nuff' said!

From Ian Sloan, Blackburn
A group of building do not decide whether a place is worthy of being called a City .... Manchester will never be a second city until its population grow up and decide that it is ignorant and disgusting to spit chewing gum onto every square foot of pavement in the entire town centre. As a "southerner" recently moved up here, Manchester is a joke town... it might be quite clean in terms of litter, but its population has turned every square foot of the place into a disgusting sea of spat out gum. A visit to Birmingham is a far more pleasant experience.

From Emma
Of course Mnachester would be better offf being part of Lancashire. It would be a catalyst for regeneration of places like Blackburn and Chorley. Besides you get Lancashire Eccles Cakes(manchester) Lancashire County Cricket Club (Trafford) Lancashire muffins baked in Manchester. Anyway ask anyone from Wigan, Rochdale, Bolton, Bury and Ashton Under Lyne -most local folk class themselves as living in Lancashire. And as for dissing Mill Towns erm excuse me but isn't Manchester a mill town???? don't diss your industrial past! I class my self as a mancunian but also a lancastrian. You dont here of 'sarah a lassie from Greater Manchester' do you?!!!

From Gavin
The area of greater Manchester was created purely for administrative reasons which are now defunct. When the Greater Manchester area was created the ancient Lancashire and Cheshire boundaries still existed. However it was the media that hyped up the situation and claimed that a new county was born. I did research on this issue a few months back. According to the government the ancient county boundaries are still there meaning that Manchester is still in south Lancashire and stockport is still in North Cheshire. The only thing is that it is not governed by their home county, but by metropoliton borough. Even the royal mail lets us use Salford, Lancs and Stockport, Cheshire. In my experience the only ones that refuse to have identity with Lancs are thoses who are newcomers to the area.

From Neil in London
Can anyone comment regarding the negative reputation of Crusmpsall? Is it an undesirable/dangerous place to live ...... you comments would be highly appreciated

From Angus Doyle in Manchester
I think both Manchester and Birmingham should stop trying to out do each other and begin to show London who has far too many national this, that and the other centres and stadiums that the other english citys are no longer industrial no go zones and are real destinations to live work and play. As for the skyscrapers issue I think when built in an elegant contempary style can really advertise the respective citys redevelopment and contribute greatly to the economic output of both City, Region and Country.

From Steve in Worcester
Mark, I would say that both Birmingham and Manchester are more of a drain on their respective funding pots for their metropolitan areas than say Solihull or Bury, which are more affluent areas. Solihull is an extremely wealthy borough by UK standards with a population of 250,000 and I know it infuriates local people there that they receive disproportionately less money per head of population than Birmingham does, and would rather look after their own finances. By the way, we also have a rapid tram system here in the West Midlands, about to be extended underneath Birmingham because of the congestion, but ours is imaginatively called the 'Midland Metro' ...... groovy name, eh?

From Mark Collinson, Liverpool
Steve, I agree. Many people who live in places like Bury and Stockport consider their towns to still be part of their former counties. They will argue if you mention to them that they now live in Greater Manchester, and have done since 1974, but they would argue even more if their towns didn't receive the funding they do, as with all metropolitan boroughs, and the transport network, ie the MANCHESTER Metrolink which serves Bury, and eventually Stockport.

Mark Collinson in Liverpools says
Steve, I agree. Many people who live in places like Bury and Stockport consider their towns to still be part of their former counties. They will argue if you mention to them that they now live in Greater Manchester, and have done since 1974, but they would argue even more if their towns didn't receive the funding they do, as with all metropolitan boroughs, and the transport network, ie the MANCHESTER Metrolink which serves Bury, and eventually Stockport.

Steve in Worcester says
Mark, I agree to some extent with what you say, but why is it in the year 2002 I still see lorries here on the M5 passing my house with; 'BOLTON, LANCASHIRE' and 'OLDHAM, LANCASHIRE and 'SALFORD, LANCASHIRE' and 'STOCKPORT, CHESHIRE' still written on them. In 1974 these towns and cities were incorporated into a metroploitan area called Greater Manchester, when at the same time Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Solihull,etc became the West Midlands, Leeds,Bradford,etc became West Yorkshire, Newcastle,Gateshead,etc became Tyne & Wear. The other towns in Greater Manchester would have kept their sense of local identity if it had been re-named South Lancashire instead. I know for a fact some people in Stockport recoil in horror at being labelled from Manchester, when they see themselves as living in Cheshire.

From Mark
Well Paul, what a statement eh? Transfer Manchester back into Lancashire where it belongs! Why? Or don't you know why? Yes, that would make Manchester great wouldn't it? Being in the same county as run down mill towns like Blackburn and Burnley. That will move Manchester forward! Manchester has it's own identity and own needs and now a world class reputation after hosting a very successful Commonwealth Games. Manchester doesn't need Lancashire, although Lancashire needs Manchester, it's the regional capital and now at last, a truly dynamic world class city.

From Kerry and Kelly
Having lived in Manchester all my life, i think that its great!!!!!!!!! For all those people who think that its crime ridden, surley every city has those parts!?!?

From Paul
The only thing that would make Manchester better would be to transfer it back to Lancashire where it belongs!

From Steve Dexter,
So, Manchester, along with many other debateable claims, is the cradle of the Industrial Revolution then?! I think a lot of people will beg to differ there, especially the people of Ironbridge near Telford. Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch (do I need to explain how important these men were to Britain?) all made Birmingham their home during the industrial Revolution because of the ingenuity of its people, and "Forward" attitude, the city's motto. Birmingham became known as "The City of a thousand trades", for good reason. Most of the swords, guns, and later bombers and the Spitfire and Hurricane were all produced in Birmingham to protect this country, and if it wasn't for them, German would probably be your first language today.You can also thank Birmingham for the typewriter, as the type face was invented here. The first x-rays were also discovered in Birmingham.The Greater Birmingham area accounts for 25% of all exports from the United Kingdom, (see The Times, August 2002). And as far as the Halle Orchestra is concerned, which of course even we in the Midlands have heared of, if it wasn't for the fact that it was bailed out a couple of years ago, one of the reasons being falling attendences in your city, it would not now be in existence, and the Bridgewater Hall, which failed, accoustically at least, to emulate the wonderful Symphony Hall in Birmingham, would probably now be another night club! (You get an idea now what 'Brum Bashing' is like, let our great English cities complement each other, and not constantly rubbish each other!)

From Kitty Dubois
It's a well known fact that Leeds is the clubbing and nightlife capital of the North, one only has to check out certain websites to see the enormous about of bars and renouned Clubs. I'm afraid Manchester isn't the place it was in it's peak of the mid 90's and other cities are alas taking it's place.

From E Thomas
like Ron Greaves I left M'ster in the 50's and after a couple of trips back, recently in 2001, the place is still dirty, constant lousy weather and from what I hear lots of crime. I think I made a wise decision to leave.

From Andy
Jess, if youv'e got a bit of money you will be o.k, if not, then its a lottery.... tells us about the areas your'e thinking about and we will give you the lowdown on them.

From barry gilder
manchester is a fantastic place to be,we have great shops, pubs and clubs for everyones taste,we also have too great footie teams. and the people are great too.

From Dom
The Brummie that claims Manchester's only cultural contribution is pop music obviously hasn't heard of the Halle Orchestra, one of the most respected orchestras in the world. Amoung Manchester's contributions to science and industry, apart from the computer and the industrial revolution, is Rutherfords discoveries in the field radioactivity. And to those who think that the population within the city's administrative boundary is important, does that mean London is even less important because the "City of London" has a population of only 5000 and is only 1 square mile?

From Jess
I am about to move to Manchester in the New Year and I have heard very mixed reports on the city. I was hoping to live somewhere in the North as it is most convenient to get back home (York) from there. But I have been told that the Northern Suburbs are crime ridden and pretty rough. Coming from a rural background I am not keen to live in the city centre either and I am not sure about the alternatives.

From Anthony Goodridge
I'm a former Mancunian low living in Ottawa Canada. I was recently in Manchester this Summer, i was impressed to see how the city looks after all these years since i left England. Manchester surely stage a excellent Commonwealth games.The people of Manchester should be very proud of showing the world. A job well done.

From GT
I love Manchester, I've lived here for six years now, but however much gloss you put on it, and however many times you chuck about the word 'regeneration' you just can't ignore the constant crime going on in the city. The Triangle, Printowrks and Urbis are the apex of the 'new and improved' Manchester, yet on Monday night a friend of mine was struck in the head with a bar and robbed outside the side entrance of the Printworks. He ended up in hospital. I escaped a near-mugging myself 2 weeks ago walking down Liverpool Road in Castlefield. These aren't dangerous parts of the city, supposedly, so what's going on?

From Steve Dexter
Darren, and others from your great city, often speak of the party atmosphere in Manchester, which is usually followed by one big headache! I'd like to correct him on a couple of issues, one being the fact that Lenny Henry is not from Birmingham, but from Dudley, there is a difference, like saying someone is from Stockport, but is actually from Bolton. He mentions gardens. Not as strange a comment as you might suppose, as Birmingham has the largest city parks department in Europe, Sutton Park being the largest urban park in the U.K. with more trees across the city to take care of than Paris (6 million in fact). A handful of bands are also mentioned, including bands like Oasis for example. Birmingham also has a history of producing popular talent, including Duran Duran, UB40, Ocean Colour Scene, Fine Young Cannibals,etc, all still around, with the first two selling more albums than all of the mainstream bands from Manchester combined.There's more to a cultu! ra! lly diverse city than popular music though, Birmingham has one of the finest orchestras in the world, the CBSO, playing in what is universally recognised as the finest concert hall in Europe, and in the top five in the world. Along with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the City of Birmingham Opera Company and the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the city is well served on the classical front, playing in a city that also has the largest concentration of live theatre out side of London's West End. Skyscrapers are also mentioned, I'm afraid Birmingham is already there, with at least two monster buildings under construction, and I believe, on a clear day you may even be able to see Manchester from the top!

From Daren
The history of manchester is second to none, the first industrialised city on the planet, the first programmable computer in the world was invented there, so that means we have been respnosible for 2 of the most significant contempory technological revolutions known to man.we have arguably the most famous football team on the planet and the music that's come out of manchester in the last few decades has been amazing,so in the things that really count such as achievements and not the size of populations we slap birmingham stupid.what have they got?a man that wants to be in the garden and lenny henry-pure class,ert. one more thing; to the city council of manchester-we want skyscrapers, these will advertise manchesters rejuvenation and bring in more corporate buisnesses to the city like a magnet-forget trying to look like a european city we are our own distinct city.

From Anon
anyone who has ever been to manchester cannot fail to notice the wicked atmosphere and friendly people. its not as big as london but people are more laid back.we're a chilled city who know how to party too! i'm not saying that anywhere else is not good enough...but manchester rocks!

From Tim
I live in New Zealand so therefore have little knowledge of the homeland (although I would like to visit it one day) but if I think of a second city in England the one that comes straight to mind would be Liverpool only because of their famouse soccer team. (and that obscure band)

From David
First, Manchester "City" (pop. 450,000) is a political entity, shaped like a sausage running north to south. Anything more than about a mile to the East or West, e.g. Old Trafford or the Manchester docks, isn't "officially" in Manchester but then, so what? Considering we've always been told that Brum is the second city, its amazing so many people begged to differ. Second, Manchester has a certain dynamic that makes the place special. Maybe its the concentration of students, the particular ethnic mix, who knows? Whatever, the culture that emerges from this place never ceases to amaze me for one. Could the Games have been that good anywhere else? Of course not. Could the early clubbing scene, bands like Joy Division, The Smiths, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Oasis have come from anywhere else? Of course not. No wonder its the most touristed place after London and Edinburgh. To get this kind of profile takes more than Councils and businesses simply spending money on stuff.

From Andy
To Rohail in Salford, I'm afraid the abuse and attacks you are suffering from happen all over Manchester and its not just because you are an asylum seeker. Many people that have lived in Manchester all their lives have experienced the same treatment in the many lawless areas in the North West. Try and contact your local councillor or M.P ,you may be able to get some action taken then., ...but then again...i doubt it.

From Steve Dexter
As a Birmingham chap now living in rural Worcestershire, I can honestly say that the debate whether or not Birmingham or Manchester is the second city is bordering on the ridiculous. Aesthetically, both cities will never be a 'Paris'. If Aesthetics were the guide to second city status, then somewhere like Bath or York would surely be in there somewhere. In population terms, the City of Birmingham, 'City' being the key word, Birmingham's population hovers just over 1 million. The City of Manchester has a population of about 440,000, which is in fact less than both Sheffield and Leeds. Since the opening of the N.E.C. 25 years ago, and more recently the International Convention Centre, Symphony Hall, Gas Hall, The National Indoor Arena, Millenium Point,Brindleyplace and a handful of award winning public squares, Birminghams image has changed tremendously. With the reconstruction of the Bullring, costing more than £1/2 billion (Europes largest city centre reg! en! eration programme) opening in Autumn 2003, and a further £1/2 billion of retail developments scheduled for completion after then, not to mention the £100 million New Library of Birmingham opening in 2008, Birmingham will then reaffirm its place as 'Second City', whether it be in population terms, retail or commerce .... even if you do have the best football team in the land! Manchester, on the back of it's successfull football team has been very good at increasing peoples positive perceptions of the city. The reality is quite often a disappointment. The perceptions of Birmingham however are often quite negative, the reality is quite a surprise.

From Dave in Salford
Did you know that Greater Manchester Fire Service is undergoing a "Best Value Review" in which it's resources are under threat ? An Aerial Appliance in both Salford and Moss Side are set to go. A Fire Engine in Stockport is set to go. Fire Cover in Leigh is under threat with a Fire Engine being moved to Wigan. Fire Cover in Mossley is being reduced from a wholetime Fire Station, to a Day Manning Station. Only six years after a terrorist attack on Manchester City Centre, and twelve months after the devastating attacks on New York the County Fire Officer is reducing the size of your Fire Service !! DON'T LET IT HAPPEN !! Contact your local Fire Station and get involved in the campaign to keep Manchester safe.

From Rohail in Salford
i live in salford,highly criminal area.i am an assylam seeker the house is given by landmark through National Assylam Seeker Support (NASS). i had a very bad time over here i write them several time but they didnt change my house. racial harsement, attcking on my car several times.throwing large pieces of stone is daily schedule please help me to survive my life. you are my last hope ill try every where iam living with my family. i want u to take action against landmark please save my life

From Simon Borroughs, Denton
Does anyone else believe that the Government deliberately with held extra funding for the Stadium so we would have no other choice than to rip up one of the best athletics tracks in the North, so London could go for a Olympics bid with the new Wembley. An extra few million would have given us a football stadium and a running track acpable of hosting another major event.!

From Paul McNeill
I have always regarded manchester as the second city - in fact i was surprised when many people said "officially, its's not"! Rubbish! I have lived in Australia for the last 17 years now and the amount of people here who always ask about manchester...and not even knowing about Birmingham, would tend to suggest that Manchester, in the eyes of the world, is indeed second only to London (and certainly not in character as most cockneys would reluctantly agree). Manchester is a great place...always has been and always will be and is getting better - be proud, be very proud Mancunians!!!

From Robert Archer, Windsor
Guys, Manchester is definitely getting a lot better but it does still have a very provincial attitude which is less common in London I feel. The fact that plenty of people from other parts of the country (and world) are choosing to move to Manchester should be a good thing. Manchester doesn't need to lose its identity but will of course be influenced by an influx of newcomers. Take New York city as an is the most diverse city in the world and is a city built on centuries of immigration- Manchester could learn a thing or two from NYC.

From Ron Greaves, San Diego Ca. USA
I am 76 years old ..left Manchester 50 years ago (1952) was the best thing I ever did in my life..

From Anne, Toronto, Canada
I've lived in Manchester most of my life and like everywhere else it has it's advantages and drawbacks. As for the people who don't like southerners, there are good and bad folks where ever you go. I've met lots of southerners and worked down south breifly and like us Mancunians there was a mixture of people. Seven years ago I came to Canada and went to live in a small town an hour away from Toronto. I wasn't happy. Then I decided to move to Toronto. People thought I was mad. For some reason most Canadians who don't live in Toronto hate it and most of the people who live there. When I came to Toronto I quickly settled in. I would rather go back to Manchester than go back to that small town. Defend where you live by all means but please don't knock others just because they live somewhere else and might be happy there.

From Daren
cor steve you sound like a real anorak on the merits of birmingham,ok i'm sorry for saying lenny henry is a brummie but i couldn't think of anyone else from your fair city. Anyway congrats if you are building skyscrapers down there as at least someone in the u.k. has the guts to do it but just because manchester hasn't got any doesn't mean we have been slacking on the development fact the amount that has taken place over the last decade has been staggering and of a very high and ambitious calibre.i acknoweldge the significance of ub40(in the golden days of pre 85)but i did'nt mention any bands-such as oasis but now that you have mentioned it,here are a handful more-the stone roses,the happy mondays,the charlatons,james,black grape,the bee gees(god forgive us),inspiral carpets,the smiths,new order,joy division and take that(god forgive us again).did you do your homework about the amount of albums sold as i can't see duran duran and ub40 eclipsing his lot.and anyway i was talking about the quality of music on offer and it's rank originality and the effect it had on not only manchester but the rest of the country and not it's sales revenue as every man and his dog knows about madchester and even the mersey beat but what is birminghams equivalent?enough said! anyway the competition between manchester and birmingham as claiming to be the second city is in a healthy state of being and good for the both of us,if there is no one to push us we will remain in the same stagnent position and we will never move forward,after all london is the city we should both be striving to the manc republic!

From Martin
To all your corresspndents who comment seem to believe that Manchester onlyhas a population of 450000. This figure only relates to a very small area of central Manchester. If you include the bouroughs of Trafford, Tameside etc you will see that has a population of 2,583,000 making it one of the largest cities in the EU

From Andy
In what drug hazed world do 'Tall Buildings" equate to a rejuvinated city. All it equtes to is land owners trying to amass as much profit as possible out the smallest area of land. "forget trying to look like a european city we are our own distinct city" Thats why we should be redeveloping the many redundant mill sites, and NOT build a city of high rise blocks of concrete. A rejuvinated city is equated by the wealth and health of its residents along with a controlled crime rate (and the not the second highest in england). Steve Dexter , why have you named a group of bands from the late 70's early 80's (cept O.C.S) to try and make a point , the words FOOT and SHOOT spring to mind, personally i dont give a toss what city is given the dubious title of englands 2nd city.

From Julie
To Rohail, Salford. unfortunately the racial harrassment that you are being submitted to is not just in Manchester, it happens everywhere. I totally understand you as I am a mancunian living in Italy and although I am not racially attacked as you are, I find that some people are very rude to me (and not just me) because I am English (or maybe bacause I am not Italian). English have a terrible reputation with other countries due to the violence, alcholism and hooligans in England. The only advice I could give you is to just do your best to fit in, it's the only way. I wish you lots of luck for the future!

From David Bamforth
Manchester is by far the best city in the country as i have lived or visited lots of other cities and London is far too big and others just don't compare

From Tim, New Zealand
I live in New Zealand so therefore have little knowledge of the homeland(although I would like to visit it one day) but if I think of a second city in England the one that comes straight to mind would be Liverpool only because of their famouse soccer team.(and that obscure band)

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