Mr Mayor's diary: May 2009
Thursday 21 May
The Mayoress and I attended our first official event in our new roles which was The Salford District “Giving Event” 2009 hosted by Salford Freemasonary. The evening consisted of the presentation of a number of cheques to various local charities, including the Salford Sailing Club, St Anne’s Hospice, the Girl Guides and MacMillan Cancer Nurses to enable them to continue to do their immensely valuable work. After each presentation a representative of the charity gave a short of explanation of the work they do as volunteers to help people in Salford enjoy a better quality of life. A very pleasant surprise came at the end of the evening when I was presented with a cheque for £500.00 to the Mayor’s Charity to start us off on the road to amassing enough money to fulfil our dreams for both our charities. The generosity of Salford Freemasonary was obviously very much appreciated by everyone present but our thanks also go to the amazing army of volunteers out there who do so much for so little reward because they want to put something back.
Friday 22 May
On this evening the Mayoress and I went to see a very energetic and entertaining production of Andy Capp - the Musical by Trevor Peacock and Alan Price at Patricroft United Reform Church in Eccles. The show was originally performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and this was the only other production that has been put on in the area. It featured a number of good solo performances, by Flo - Maria M. Booth and Raquel – Sally Ballantyne as well as a few knees ups with all the cast joining in. The relationship between Andy & Flo so memorably pictured in Reg Smythe’s strip cartoon in the Daily Mirror was captured to good effect. An excellent band drove the production on and provided a good backing to the singers. The excellent make-up and props, which included a fully functioning bar, had all been provided by the cast. Clearly a lot of hard work had gone into the production which resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable evening for everyone there.
I’m looking forward to their next production next May which will be Carousel and will be playing for four nights at the Lowry. More details of the group are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday 25 May
The Mayoress and I were thrilled to take part in the Manchester & Salford Church of England Procession of Witness, better known to most of us as The Whit Walks. We started by being welcomed to St Philip’s church by the vicar Andy Salmon and then we sent off the Salford contingent on their way to the centre of Manchester. We were then whisked to Manchester Town Hall where in the grandeur of the Lord Mayor’s apartments we enjoyed some light refreshments before moving out onto Albert Square for a short service. The square was thronged with people and bathed in warm sunshine. A truly wonderful sight to behold. The singing led by some of the choir from the Cathedral was uplifting and enthusiastic and following a brief sermon and the National Anthem all the different church groups formed up for a further walk to Manchester Cathedral. There were people lining the streets all the way down Cross Street all I could see was a sea of smiling faces with lots of children waving flags and cheering. A truly amazing experience for both the Mayoress and I, we both felt very important and were very pleased to have been able to take part in this incredible event which is now in its 210th year!
Wednesday 27 May
I attended the opening of one of the first new buildings on the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust site. The Mayo Building is named after son of Salford Dr William Worrall Mayo – for more information visit the Mayo Clinic website and is equipped with a full range of simulators to train clinical skills. For example there is a simulated operating theatre with ‘Simulation Man’ a manikin that displays human like features such as sweating and symptoms of poor health such as shortage of breath. He can even simulate a heart attack. When I was being shown the facility ‘Simulation Man’ had just been brought into A&E after a drugs overdose and I was asked to help out turning the patient when he started to vomit and also ‘bagging the patient’ – helping him to breath by squeezing the oxygen bag in and out. This is a magnificent building which brings all the teaching on the site into one facility with all the latest technology to help the students and doctors of the future to keep their clinical practice up to date. If the rest of the new hospital is going to look like this then we are in for a treat which can only mean that our already excellent hospital will go from strength to strength and continue to set the standards in clinical excellence in the North West and beyond.
Later on the same day I attended a production of Robin, Prince of Sherwood presented by St Luke’s Arts & Drama Society (SLADS). Another musical but very different in content and approach. The plot followed the usual story of Robin’s fight against the evil Sheriff of Nottingham but with the added twist of Morgana – the Sheriff’s Witch and the Sisters of Sodom who used all sorts of sorcery to try and stop Robin from triumphing in the battle of good versus evil. Robin Hood played by Daniel Robinson sung the majority of the songs and he was in very good voice indeed – a real find for the group. There was plenty of ensemble singing as well which raised the roof as there were around 30 people on the stage singing their hearts out at various points. The sets were also of very high standard and with the size of the cast and the amount of climbing on the wooden structure obviously solidly built. The only disappointment on an otherwise excellent night was the size of the audience but with other events taking place in Rome this was hardly surprising. Their next production will be in October with Songs from the Shows. Judging by the standard of the singing on display here this will be a show well worth visiting
Thursday 28 May
My 62nd birthday and what better way to celebrate than the Salford Popstars 2009. Over 50 year 10 students from all over the City put themselves forward for this prestigious award which is now in its 4th year. The 40 were whittled down to 10 who were given the benefit of a period of voice and performance coaching so they were ready for their big night. The difference showed as we were shown a video of each contestant singing in the early days and the difference to their on the night performance was staggering. A formidable panel of judges had been assembled and the evening was hosted by ex-Galaxy DJ Wes Butters. After hearing interpretations of songs by Eva Cassidy, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and others Jill Baker, Strategic Director for Children’s Services and I presented the prizes. In first place was Charlotte Kirton from Swinton High School, second was Katie Lowery from Irlam & Cadishead Community High School and third was Lucy Whittle from Buile Hill Visual Arts College. Charlotte singing Leona Lewis’ Run again but this time without the nerves rounded off a night of fantastic performances! Never mind about Britain’s Got Talent we have definitely got talent here in Salford and I hope at least some of the singers go on to fulfil their dreams. For more information on this event contact email@example.com.
Friday 29 May
I visited Salix Homes’ Spring Carnival at Fit City Broughton and had the opportunity to talk to staff from Salix Homes as well representatives from a whole range of providers who are supporting the work that Salix are doing. It was a beautifully sunny day and lots of people had turned out to take advantage of all the advice, information and freebies that were on offer.
Saturday 30 May
It was time for a cultural event and I attended a concert given by Manchester Camerata at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Haydn. Haydn, who I have to confess I did not know much about until this concert, was a very prolific writer and is known as the ‘Father of the Symphony’. The Camerata certainly gave very spirited and enlivening renderings of three of Haydn Symphonies, Nos 6, 60 and 130. I will be keeping an eye out for further concerts as this was a delightful evening which was clearly very much enjoyed by the audience.
Sunday 31 May
To complete the hottest weekend of the year so far I went to watch Swinton Lions play the Hornets. Despite dominating much of the play the Lions only squeezed ahead in the last couple of minutes and took the game 23 – 22 due to a last gasp drop goal. This was the second time I had seen the Lions play and they won the previous time as well so I think I must be their lucky mascot! I certainly look forward to going to see another game before the end of the season.
This page was last updated on 3 October 2009