Protests in Manchester 3rd October 2021

On October 3rd I was proud to take part in a protest in Manchester. The People Assembly March against Austerity was a march against Tory cuts to public services, welfare provisions, job cuts and wages.

What a day, the volume of people there was amazing. I dont even want to hazard a guess but it was tens of thousands.

The march was attended by many of the trade unions as well as many pressure groups.

It’s now 1am the say after and I have to say I am disappointed in the BBC but not surprised that their coverage is less than an article about using dry ice on train tracks.

The protest went without incident and I saw no incidents or skirmishes all day but I have to say I was very shocked at the number of police present. In some places the entire street was lined with police.

Photos below:

Centre Stage on Bloom Street

Centre Stage

One of my absolute favourite places in the village as I’ve always been made to feel at home here.

Centre Stage is one of the most trans friendly places in the village and most evenings you will find trans people in this venue. They have drag acts most weekends and the staff here are very friendly and attentive. Its never long before orders are taken or drinks delivered.

Inside the venue, Centre Stage is one large room in a U shape which has the bar area at its center opposite which is the stage and behind is the toilets.

The DJ area is quite a modest area with a small DJ booth but it’s big enough to hold a couple of Queens or one Lee Starr (because her ego fills the stage. Hahaha!)

There’s plenty of seating around a most have a view of the stage.

Most nights Centre Stage is rocking and I cant wait for Covid restrictions to do one and things to get back to normal in Centre Stage.

Toilets in Centre Stage are shared but all there is is a distinct male/female area within the venue with urinals for men and cubicles for women.

Disabled access is difficult at Centre Stage as there are 4 steps to get inside.

Social Media:

Address: 51 Bloom St, Manchester M1 3LY

Toilets: Shared

App in Use: Butlr

Trans friendly? Yes

The Doodle on Ducie Street, Manchester

The Doodle on Ducie Street, Manchester near Piccadilly Train Station

A brilliant piece of artwork, called the Doodle on Ducie street. Located between Piccadilly and Dale street, just behind 111 Piccadilly. This is a fab piece of artwork and must be 35 feet in length and 7 ft high.

The artwork was creted by 30 artists, names below who are or have been homeless in Manchester.

Inspired by a brighter future and is a project by “With One Voice” and “Artolution”.

Worth a look if your passing from Piccadilly train station towards the City centre as its litterly 30 seconds off Piccadilly.

Location Map

Photo date: 29th April 2021

Video copyright: Mikki Tiamo

Night out in Manchester on 1st weekend after lockdown 

I went for a night out in Manchester on the first weekend after lockdown, on the 16th and 17th April. This is my recollection of the night out and what Manchester was like.

I wasn’t actually planning to go out on 16th of April but the events of the week transpired that I ended up working in Manchester on Friday morning I thought, what the hell let’s go and have a night out in Manchester.

It’s a little bit difficult to book hotel rooms at the moment as hotels are only supposed to be taking in key workers, but I booked into one of my regular hotels and when I turned up I went with a letter from my employer. Which is me! Hehehe.

So off I pop down to Manchester to do my work and by 11:30 I’m sat outside the New Union Hotel, with Gavin and Harry, on the outskirts of the gay village with a beer in my hand.

First thing I notice is, it’s really busy here. I walked down Canal Street to reach the New Union Hotel and most of the bars are preparing for opening time at 12 or they are already open and there are people sat outside.

The New Union is very busy and within about 5 minutes of sitting down there are no tables and chairs available. It’s not noon yet!

The atmosphere in the village in the morning is one of relief and happiness and everybody is enjoying the sunshine and the alcohol.

After a few hours we move further up Canal Street and try to get something to eat at Via, alas it’s bookings only despite only a few of the tables having people sat at them. Thankfully this policy didn’t last long.

At this time, about 2 p.m, lots of the bars on Canal Street already have the maximum capacity of people sat outside so, discretion being the better part of valour we decide to walk over to the city’s Northern quarter and see what’s going on over there.

Amazingly, the Northern quarter is much the same as the village with lots of the bars already close to capacity and we end up sat outside the Cane and Grain on Thomas Street for a little bit of food and a few more drinks.

Food is good, company is great and the atmosphere is fantastic. I’m speaking to lots of people i have never met before on neighbouring tables and also people walking down Thomas Street.

I return to my hotel about 4 p.m. to freshen up and get changed into something more suitable for a “night out” then head back to the village as I’m meeting some other friends at 5:30.

I meet my friends a Bar Pop and the place is jumping, well not literally because we’re all sat down, but there’s music playing and the staff are keeping the drinks flowing and the punters entertained. Theres also a somewhat carefree and happy vibe here which means everyone had a smile on their faces.

All the staff are doing their best to make sure that everybody is kept happy while maintaining social distancing while at the same time “being happy and gay”

We slowly make our way round to Centrestage which is our favourite bar in the village and we all agreed, that the atmosphere in the village is akin, dare I say it, to a pride weekend!

Yes, the atmosphere is that good and I think it’s just because it’s the first weekend that the village has been open since October and everybody’s there to meet friends, see people they haven’t seen for 5 months and have a good time.

Even though we’ve still got social distancing measures in place and everybody sat at tables.

Although we’re not supposed to we are socially interacting with the people sat around us and the staff.

I have a great evening with Sarah, and we only leave Centrestage when nearly all the tables around us have been tidied away. This is after we’ve spent half an hour sat with some of the serving staff who I have to applaud for the wonderful service throughout the evening and indeed the weekend, as I went out again on Saturday night.

Saturday was a little bit different in that there was many people in the village who where only interested in drinking as much as possible and causing trouble.

We had an incident at our table but by an large Saturday was a repeat of Friday.

Looking forward to the next big weekend and just hope the weather is a little bit warmer as although it was a great evening, I froze my ass off!

Captain Sir Tom Moore mural by Akse-p19

Captain Sir Tom Moore mural by Akse-p19

I must say I personally think the Captain Sir Tom MooreCaptain Sir Tom Moore mural is one of the best things I’ve seen sprayed on a wall in Manchester and there are some pretty amazing images around the city and the Northern Quarter.

Painted by Akse-p19 on the corner of Tib Street and Thomas/Hilton Street the quality and detail in this painting is quite frankly amazing.

I must admit to standing and looking at the Captain Sir Tom Moore mural for sometime and watching the reaction of those who walked and drove by. It was drawing quite a crowd on the Thursday I was there.

Akse, sir. I doth my cap to you as this is a work of art.

Location Map

Photo date: 1st April 2021

Photography copyright: Mikki Tiamo

On the sixth day god created Manchester Mosaic

On the sixth day god created Manchester Mosaic

The “On the sixth day god created Manchester” mosaic is located on the back of Afflecks on Short Street next door to Crazy Pedro’s Pizza.

This is inspired by the legendary T-shirt designed by Leo B Stanley

On the back of Afflecks Palace, I know its now mainly only known as Afflecks but i’ve been frequenting there for may years and its always been called Afflecks Palace in my circles, there is a copy of the T-shirt designed by Leo B Stanley in Mosaic form.

This is not to be confused with the On the sixth day god created Manchester, graffiti art found on the waste land on Picadilly and Gore Street.

Location Map

Photo date: 21st February 2021

Photography copyright: Mikki Tiamo

Manchester’s street art

Here’s a gallery of some of the pictures I’ve taken over the past 12 months on walks around the city center of Manchesters street art.

Hilton House, Port Street, Northern Quarter

Hilton House, Port Street in Manchesters Northern Quarter

Like many of the mural locations in Manchester, Hilton House is one of the many location which has a changing mural. This is the third I think.

Port Street is located behind Newton street and if you walk away from Piccadilly gardens down Newton street, Port street is an off shoot side street.

The current mural depicts scenes from the areas Cloth making and preperation which made this area of the city famous.

Location Map

Photo date: 8th November 2020

Photography copyright: Mikki Tiamo

Street art in the Northern Quarter and an anti lockdown protest

Sunday was a funny old day as I went into Manchester to have a walk round and photograph some street art/grraffiti in the Northern Quarter of Manchester and Beyond.

Stay at Home, Essential Travel OnlyIt turned out to be a funny old day however.

As most of you will know I live in a small village which has a beauty spot right in the middle and after the traffic and number of people here last weekend and on saturday, despite the rain, and also the number of folk down on the canal I thought, Sod it lets goto Manchester, it will be quieter and at least there is something interesting to look at.

Off I drive to Manchester and first thing I notice on the way up the M6 is the number of signs declairing “Essential travel only”, nah! Fuck off! Essential Travel, what’s thats then? Is it essential to drive to work? Is it essential to drive to a place of exercise? Define essential?

Anyway, I was half expecting to get pulled by the Police as during last lockdown this happened several times and the motorways are very quiet indeed today.

I arrive safely in Manchester and deposit my car in one of the car parks which are quite full despite, “LOCKDOWN” and don my rucksack with my photography gear and head over to the Northern Quarter. First stop is Eastern Bloc cafe for a cup of coffee, as Mikki not function properly without coffee in the morning.

Off we go, Chante and I, on a walk round the city centre in search of interesting things to photograph.

First is the Serenity mural which is located just off Stevenson Square on the back of the Police Museum. Sometimes called the Red Lady mural it marks the Suffragettes movement who used to gather in Stevenson Square over 100 years ago.

Quick walk around the corner onto Faraday Street and we have the Birds by Mateus Bailon, a brazilian born artist. I love the colours of this mural. Its very vibrant greens, purples and blues on a black background.

Just up the road is the Ian Curtis Mural which is on what is commonly known as the Zig Zag house because its got yellow and black Zig Zags painted on it but on the other side of the house is Curtis portrait.

I took a slight detour up to Ancoats to see the Faith47 mural which is fooking massive and is over 6 stories high. Well worth a look as driving past doesnt do it justice. The bridge infront of this mural goes over the Rochdale canal and theres a very cheeky painting underneath the bridge 😉

lady in red dress

Red Lady Mural

Birds Mural, Faraday Street, Manchester

Birds Mural

Ian Curtis Street Portrait

Ian Curtis Mural

Faith47 on Ancoats

Faith47 Mural

The next few hours were spent aimlessly walking round the Northern Quarter and photgraphing the street art, graffiti and numerous stickers around the area,

Protests in Manchester Piccadilly Gardens

It was fairly quiet in Manchester City Centre until mid afternoon when a protest started in Piccadilly gardens.

At first there was a few hundred people but as the protest walked round the city this turned into a few thousand and thats despite what the news and media channels say.

I was there and I firmly doubt the BBC sent a reporter out and were more than likely relying on what the protesters posted on Social Media. I also note the BBC says that Police officers were injured! I also doubt this, from what I saw this was a peaceful protest and what I saw in Piccadilly Gardens, on the march and at the end down on Deansgate was all very pleasant. Whether something happened thereafter is unknown to me.

I understand why these people where protesting< I do and those who say “Its not right” need to give their heads a wobble as if we ban the right to protest then surely were on a rocky road to a police state, or worse.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Serenity mural, the red lady mural

Serenity mural, the red Lady Mural, a tribute to women who stand against injustice,

I love the red lady mural, which is located behind the Police Museum in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Its real name is Serenity and its a tribute to women who stand against injustice, which is very apt as its on the back of the Police Museum.

From Stevenson Square if you head down Little Lever street you cannot fail to see the red lady mural as its on the back of the Police Museum and is some 3 stories high.

There is lots of other street art and graffiti in this area so its well worth a mooch around the backstreets of the Northern Quarter.

the red lady mural, Serenity
the red lady mural, Serenity
the red lady mural, Serenity

Location Map

Photo date: 08th November 2020

Photography copyright: Mikki Tiamo

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