Manchester attack: 'Wonderwall' of messages brightens city

Image source, Emily Coxhead
Image caption,
Organiser Emily Coxhead wanted to create a "colourful happy place"

A "Wonderwall" of messages of support has been created in response to the Manchester bomb attack.

A concrete wall in Piccadilly Gardens has been transformed with hundreds of sticky notes paying tribute to the 22 people killed by Salman Abedi.

It was organised on Facebook by illustrator and designer Emily Coxhead as "a colourful happy place for people to go to and read and smile".

She said people from across the world have sent "messages of solidarity".

Image source, Emily Coxhead
Image caption,
The concrete wall has been transformed by the messages in Piccadilly Gardens
Image source, Emily Coxhead
Image caption,
The messages have been sent in from across the world
Image source, Emily Coxhead
Image caption,
Pictures of bees have been included in the messages

Ms Coxhead was inspired by people leaving messages on subway walls in New York after the US election.

She said the response - which has included "lots of bees" - has been "incredible and very comforting".

"I thought it was such a wonderful idea, because it helps those writing the message as well as those reading them.

"And I think we can probably all agree that [the wall in Piccadilly Gardens] is not the most attractive feature of Manchester."

'Feeling of love'

Shannon Smillie, who was working at the Manchester Arena on the night of the attack, saw the wall on her way to the memorial at St Ann's Square.

"I didn't know it was there but seeing it made me feel happy but also very emotional," she said.

"It just showed how such a beautiful thing can come out of a tragedy. And that's what I felt from it, an overwhelming feeling of love and comfort from people I didn't know."

Image caption,
Messages of support were posted on the Jamia Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre in Oldham

Positive messages have also been posted on the outside of a mosque in Oldham whose door was set on fire just hours after the Manchester attack.

People from across the community responded by covering the Jamia Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre with dozens of colourful messages of support.

Morgan Harper-Jones, from the group LoveBomb which organised the response, said they wanted to "spread a basic message of love and solidarity" for Muslims in Greater Manchester.

A suspect was seen on CCTV setting a bottle of fuel alight outside the mosque but no arrests have been made in connection with the fire, police said.