Mr Mayor's diary: August 2009
Monday 31 August
Two more shows today – first of all the Irlam & Cadishead Summer Show and then a brief visit to the Winton Fun Day.
Irlam & Cadishead Show is always excellent. Arranged by a very small bunch of dedicated volunteers it always manages to bring together a huge array of stalls, including a big car boot sale, as well as a variety of performance artists. This year there were two stages offering live acts as well as artists walking through the crowds interacting with them. We enjoyed meeting all the stallholders and also caught sight of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party again. As we were double booked we raced off to draw the raffle prizes in Winton only to run into a torrential downpour on the way back. The rain dampened the spirits of the car booters but everyone else just seemed to carry on regardless, although the crowds had thinned out. Given our British summers just recently any outdoor event is a lottery but congratulations and thanks go to the co-ordinating committee particularly Richard Abernethy who achieved another stunning success.
Sunday 30 August
A local visit to start the day as the Mayoress and I went to wish a Happy 100th Birthday to Clara Cotton who lives in Moorfield House which is in Irlam. A lovely buffet had been arranged and all Clara’s family were present but she was feeling very tired and was asleep for most of our visit. We talked to members of her family and left a bouquet of flowers as our birthday gift.
Afterwards we attended our 3rd fair of the weekend at Buile Hill Park where the Salford Show was being held. We were there for the Horticultural Show which consists of huge marquee filled with all manner of lovely vegetables which have been grown in gardens and allotments across the City. The Mayoress and I were very pleased to award prizes to all the green-fingered geniuses who had managed to produce an amazing array of produce for the show. We then unveiled a bench in a corner of the Park which had been erected in memory of Tommy Holmes. There will be several other benches in time, all in memory of gardeners and allotmenteers as well as flower beds so there will be a quiet place in the park for reflection and family picnics.
Saturday 29 August
A busy day started at the Ordsall Festival under glowering skies. The Mayoress and I toured the stalls after performing the official opening. We met two very interesting projects Re-Trace Salford and a BBC Drama team both of whom were interested in contacting people who lived in the old Salford and had knowledge of it or stories they could tell about life in the ‘good old days’.
After having spoken to all the stallholders we went over to Albert Park to the Broughton Festival. Another very interesting gathering of stalls and entertainment where we also came across the Mad Hatters Tea Party for the first time this weekend. There was also a fascinating display of falconry which had everyone interested and ducking as the birds flew over the heads of the crowd. Further interesting discussions followed with stallholders before we took our leave.
Later on in the afternoon as the guest of Manchester United I went to watch the game against Arsenal. The game was very exciting and the atmosphere electrifying. I will certainly look forward to further trips to Old Trafford as the season progresses.
Friday 28 August
A rather quiet week for us continued with a visit to the Cornerstone Church on Old Wellington Road where they wanted me to open their new Community Café. Prior to this their was an event to honour community helpers. A way of the Church saying thank-you to local police, nurses, teachers and others who make up the community. We were entertained both by members of a local stage school as well as members of Pastor Stan Smith’s family before I cut the ribbon to officially open the café. This is a really interesting venture which has involved completely remodelling a large room to make a very comfortable and brightly decorated café which will be used on different nights for young people, homeless people and other member of the community.
Wednesday 26 August
After two weeks holiday our fist engagement was at the Willows for the final of the Valentine’s Cup between Irlam Hornets and Folly Lane. It was a very close game which Folly Lane edged 22-20 and it was a real pleasure to meet up with John Wilkinson again and to talk about future plans for the Reds.
Saturday 8 August
The Mayoress and I visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester to attend the Thame Valley Car Show. A wonderful array of vintage and veteran cars all gleaming in the sunshine. We were able to talk to a number of the proud owners who had worked so hard to restore and renovate their prized possessions. We also managed to fit in a trip on the intercity railway which runs from Manchester to Salford across the Irwell and heard about some exciting plans to expand the Museum in the future.
Thursday 6 August
An early start saw the Mayoress and I welcoming Judah Cole and Kevin Hardwidge to the Parlour to tell us about the work the New Life Church is doing in Salford. They are a group of mainly young people who want to put something back into the community. We were both very pleased to hear of their work and wished them every success in the future.
In the afternoon we attended a service of remembrance at the RoadPeace Garden in Beswick. The garden which is in the grounds of the Grange Resource Centre was created in memory of Jodie Webb and Joanne Greenwood who were killed in a road crash nine years ago. Jodie’s mother June spoke very movingly of the effects the death of a daughter can have on a family and explained the work she does with young offenders to get them to think before they drive around recklessly endangering other people’s lives. The garden now serves as a memorial for all road crash victims.
Alongside the Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester and the Mayor of Tameside I laid some flowers in the garden on behalf of the city at the conclusion of a very moving service. The organisation is clearly doing some very important work and deserves more recognition and support.
Both the Deputy Lord Mayor and I had to leave this service rather promptly as we were both due at Manchester Town Hall for the launch of an exhibition commemorating ‘The Decade of Solidarity 1979 –1989.
This was at the invitation of the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Manchester. The exhibition is fascinating as it goes into some detail about the heroic struggle of the Solidarity supporters in Poland as they tried to escape from their communist oppressors. It was good to see the Consul again and I hope to be able to go back to the exhibition to spend more time reading what happened in Poland during those turbulent years.
Wednesday 5 August
At lunchtime the Mayoress and I entertained a very special group of people to lunch. Salford Swimming Club has just had eight of its swimmers chosen for the Great Britain squad which is a really major achievement both for the club, the individuals concerned and the city.
It gave us great pleasure to meet up with 6 of this very dedicated group and to get to see some of the medals which they had won recently at the National Championships. Heather Fredreikson was one of the swimmers and she had brought with her Paralympic medals from Beijing which included a Gold Medal.
I knew most of the swimmers from the days when my daughter swam with the Salford Squad so the meeting brought back many happy memories and meant so much more because I had some idea what both the swimmers and their parents had to go through to attain such a high standard in their swimming. We really do wish them the best in the future and have got our fingers crossed that some of them may get into the 2012 London Olympics.
Monday 3 August
Our first engagement today was a short meeting with Steve Davies who is the Director of the Museum of Science and Technology which whilst situated in Manchester has trains which run across the Irwell into Salford – I bet not many people had realised that. Steve told us about the way the Museum was planning to develop in the future and also gave us some background to an event which we are going to on Saturday – the Thame Valley Car Show.
In the evening we attended the presentation of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to The North West Region of the League of Jewish Women. The League of Jewish Women do an amazing amount of voluntary work in the community and richly deserved this award which was presented by the Queen’s representative Lord Lieutenant Warren J Smith JP.
Sunday 2 August
Another visit to see Swinton Lions play which regrettably brought my 100% record to an end as York City Knights won a hard fought game 30 – 26 with Swinton scoring a couple of tries in the last few minutes. A very good game and as usual the hospitality offered by the club was first rate.
Saturday 1 August
The Mayoress and I only had one engagement today and it was a real pleasure to visit the Eccles Community Art Gallery which is situated on Boothway, Eccles (near Silcocks). The gallery which is the brainchild of Karen Illingworth is only open on Saturdays but has some really good paintings by local artists as well as representatives from community groups giving out information on their particular projects – when we there a representative from Friends of Eccles Station was in the gallery talking to people about the projects that the Friends were undertaking. There certainly seemed to be a lot of people visiting while we there and we wish Karen every success in the future.
This page was last updated on 3 October 2009