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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Beth Abbit

The Mancunian Way: Gibbs vs Gallaghers

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Here is today's Mancunian Way:

by BETH ABBIT - Thurs Aug 4, 2022


Concrete stilts, a closed Met link and sprints down the platforms - it all sounds a bit intense doesn’t it? But local leaders claim that will be the result at Manchester Piccadilly if current plans for HS2 go ahead. As anyone who has used the self-service checkout tills at that station knows, the last thing it needs is more chaos.

Today’s newsletter looks at the calls for an urgent rethink of the plans. We’re also revealing the most popular Manc musician brothers - and it’s probably not who you think.

Off the rails

“We cannot continue to repeat the mistakes of the past – failing to invest in central Manchester’s rail links has led to rail chaos across the North time and again,” says Andy Burnham.

The mayor and other Greater Manchester Greater Manchester leaders are calling for an urgent rethink of plans to bring HS2 to Manchester. They have submitted formal petitions calling on the government to build an high speed rail link that will truly work for the region and its passengers for the next 120 years.

As Charlotte Cox writes, the High Speed Crewe-Manchester bill currently includes plans to build an above ground station with concrete viaducts, shut down a key Metrolink route for two years, blight job potential and kibosh many of the city’s aims for clean air and public transport. Issues leaders cannot reach agreement on with HS2 Ltd will be decided by a House of Commons Select Committee.

Leaders here are petitioning for:

  • Piccadilly station to be built underground rather than as a surface station
  • A rethink on plans for 2,000 car parking spaces in the city centre
  • Powers to build a new Piccadilly Metrolink stop and a new depot at Ashton Moss during the two-year construction
  • A smaller and better integrated junction at Pin Mill Brow
  • The connection of the Manchester Airport HS2 station to the hub
  • A rethink of the proposed HS2 Airport/Junction 6 of the M56 access
  • Another look at the tunnel between Davenport Green to Ardwick
  • HGV movements in Manchester to be limited to save air quality
  • Use of local labour

Manchester Council leader Bev Craig says HS2 is a ‘once-in-a-century opportunity’ that needs to be delivered ‘in the best way’. “Fundamentally, a future-proofed underground station into Piccadilly that can expand to meet increased capacity in the coming years - and not be log jammed on day one - is a key element of our petition.”

Hopes are high for a ‘rethink moment’ on HS2 plans after Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss told the Northern Agenda newsletter she would commit to delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) in full.

Mr Burnham says the decisions that are made now will affect the prospects for people here in the North for hundreds of years to come. “A second-class choice for HS2 at Manchester Piccadilly station will be a hammer blow to any prospects of really Levelling Up our country.”

Further remains found

The remains of a third victim have been discovered at a burnt-out mill in Oldham.

Specialist teams have been searching Bismark House Mill, on Bower Street, after the remains of two bodies were uncovered last month.

Two days before the discovery, police received a tip that four Vietnamese nationals had been missing since May 7 - the date of a huge blaze at the mill. At the time, fire crews believed nobody was inside.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes said officers are working with ‘potential family members’ in Vietnam. “Extensive search and recovery work continues to ensure any further remains are respectfully recovered.”

Moss Side charity

The former trustees of a troubled south Manchester charity have been banned from senior management roles in charitable organisations for seven years. The Charity Commission said Hartley Hanley and Mike Bisson 'are responsible for persistent and prolonged failures in the management' of Moss Side and Hulme Community Development Trust.

As John Scheerhout reports, the Trust - formed to support regeneration in areas of deprivation - failed to submit annual accounts prompting an inquiry which found an overhaul of its systems was needed. Over the course of three inquiries, the Commission found Hanley and Bisson failed to file a progress report and provided 'little engagement' when quizzed. Meanwhile, charity 'beneficiaries' complained that no annual general meeting had been called and the charity had not had enough trustees since 2009.

Weather, etc.

  • Friday: Cloudy changing to sunny intervals by late morning. 18C.
  • Roads closed: Eccles New Road eastbound from Weaste Road to Langworthy Road, until October 24.
  • Trams: No service on Metrolink between Eccles and MediaCityUK due to engineering works until October 21.
  • On the buses: Arriva services suspended due to strike action
  • Today's Manc trivia question: Where in Chorlton did the Bee Gees live?

Answer at the bottom of the newsletter

How deep is your love?

In the battle of the Gibbs vs Gallaghers, Chorlton’s finest have come out on top.

That’s according to the cultural programming team at Wembley Park anyway.

They’ve analysed Wikipedia page view data for musicians born in UK cities and found that here in Manchester, the infamous Gallagher brothers were beaten to the top spot by Chorlton’s Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibb.

The eldest Gibb brother was the most searched for artist in Manchester, with 4.4 million views on his Wiki page in the last two years. Maurice and Robin Gibb both had 3.3 million views, ranking third and fourth respectively after their younger brother Andy Gibb, with over 3.4 million views.

The Burnage brothers weren’t quite as popular with Liam Gallagher ranking fifth with over 2.7 million views, and Noel Gallagher in seventh place with just under 2.1 million views. Don’t be too disheartened though lads, after all, who can resist that falsetto?

Manchester headlines

Inflation: Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey says controlling rampant inflation is the ‘absolute priority’ as policymakers raised interest rates to 1.75% from 1.25% - the biggest hike for 27 years. The Bank has committed to bringing inflation back to its 2% target as it warned that the Consumer Prices Index will hit 13% later this year due to soaring gas prices.

Gross misconduct: A police officer who stole items from Sainsbury's inside Manchester Piccadilly station has been found guilty of gross misconduct. PC Sam Rigby was spotted on CCTV grabbing items from the shelves and putting them in his pockets before leaving without paying. The former Lancashire Police officer was arrested on suspicion of theft and was interviewed by the force's Professional Standards Department. The Chief Constable said he was satisfied the officer’s actions amounted to gross misconduct and the officer would have been dismissed, had he not already handed in his notice.

Hate crime: There’s been a sharp fall in the number of anti-Semitic incidents across Greater Manchester, reports the Community Security Trust, with 104 recorded between January and June 2022. Nationally, the charity recorded 786 anti-Jewish hate incidents - a 43 per cent decrease from the 1,371 last year - which itself was the highest half-year total the charity had ever recorded.

Going underground

Forty years ago, Manchester came remarkably close to having its own underground rail network linking Victoria and Piccadilly stations. But the Picc-Vic tunnel never materialised.

Initial plans for its construction began below the Arndale Centre in the form of a 'void' that still exists to this day. In 2012, the empty space was uncovered by two lecturers which had been forgotten for decades and closed off from the public.

Worth a read

Maryna and Vlad arrived in Manchester just eight weeks ago - but their move was not by choice. The Ukrainian mother and her teenage son were forced to leave their home in Boryspil following the Russia invasion, fleeing initially to neighbouring Poland.

They spent two months sleeping on church floors, hoping that the fighting would ease and they would be able to return home. You can read about their journey and their new life in Chorlton here.

That's all for today

Thanks for joining me, the next edition of the Mancunian Way will be with you around the same time tomorrow. If you have any stories you would like us to feature or look into, please contact me at

And if you have enjoyed this newsletter today, why not tell a friend how they can sign up?

The answer to today’s trivia question, where in Chorlton did the Bee Gees live, is Keppel Road.

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