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A huge mural of comedy legend Victoria Wood has appeared in Manchester

in Manchester News

Street artist Akse P19 has returned to Prestwich to create another mural masterpiece

Multi BAFTA-winning writer, actor and comedian Victoria Wood sadly passed away in 2016 following a battle with cancer, but her legacy lives on.

A giant mural of the comedy legend has appeared on the side of the Sword and Sparrow Tattoo Company on Bury Old Road in Prestwich, not far from where she was born.

The mural is the work of acclaimed street artist AkseP19, who is known for his photorealistic portraits of pop culture icons, and has been created as part of Prestwich Arts Festival.

It follows the reveal of a lifesized statue of the comedian in Bury earlier this year.

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The first time I had to use the food bank I was devastated’: Helen Elizabeth The Greater Manchester Police officer who ended up destitute

in Manchester News
Helen Elizabeth at Police Training College
Helen Elizabeth at Police Training College

‘I was in a professional occupation, a so called family who look after you, but here I was, desperately needing to put food on the table’

Broke, living in a house with damp and forced to feed her daughter through food banks is not how Helen Elizabeth imagined her life would turn out.

It’s a situation too many Mancunians have found themselves in recent years, but not one Helen, as a serving police officer for Greater Manchester Police with ten years under her belt, expected to be in.

“The first time I had to use the food bank I was devastated”, Helen, who grew up in Salford, told the M.E.N.

“I was in a professional occupation, a so called family who look after you, but here I was, so broke and desperately needing to put food on the table for my daughter.

“I used to make sure my daughter would eat and I would eat anything she left over, or eat a pack of cheap biscuits for a meal.”

At the time, Helen was on zero pay because her sick pay entitlement had run out – but as far as she is concerned she was left destitute with a young child while suffering severe mental health problems.

The 37-year-old says that in the run-up to taking sick leave she was plagued by panic attacks, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts as she struggled to balance working hours and looking after her daughter.

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Sad news that over 27,000 children in Manchester don’t own a single book

in Manchester News

‘Books have the power to transform children’s reading skills, enjoyment and mental wellbeing’

Over 27,000 children in Manchester don’t own a single book, according to new statistics revealed today.

The research, conducted by the National Literacy Trust, suggests that more than 380,000 children across the UK do not have a book of their own which they warn could impact reading skills and wellbeing.

The National Literacy Trust surveyed 56,906 UK children and young people aged 9-18 to make a variable effect size estimation.

Read Manchester, which is supported by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Manchester City Council, suggests that there could be 27,878 children in Manchester who don’t have a single book of their own.

According to the survey, children who own books are also six times more likely to read above the level expected for their age and are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading.

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Dogs Trust Manchester raise a Record-breaking amount for rescue dogs at ‘paw-fect’ festive fair

in Manchester News
Dogs Trust Paw Fect More-than-1100-people-went-along-to-the-fair-many-accompanied-by-their-four-legged-friends.
Dogs Trust Paw Fect More-than-1100-people-went-along-to-the-fair-many-accompanied-by-their-four-legged-friends.

Dogs Trust Manchester staff and their canine companions are celebrating after their Christmas Fair raised more than £8,000.

Highlights of the event, which took place at the weekend  included canine companions being able to have their picture taken with Santa Paws, gift and craft stalls, a raffle and tombola, a cake stall and festive refreshments. In total £8,733.73p was raised – more than ever before.

Supporter Relations Officer at Dogs Trust Manchester, Louise Danson, said:

“We have never raised this much so we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along to support us. Every day we are looking after around 80 dogs and every penny will be spent on making sure they have everything they need over Christmas, and for however long they are with us.

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Winter walks to try with a cosy pub in and around Greater Manchester

in Manchester News
The sun setting on Shutlingsloe, from Macclesfield Forest
The sun setting on Shutlingsloe, from Macclesfield Forest

These routes and trails encompass some of the regions finest beauty spots – each with a traditional pub to warm you up at the end

Forget hiding indoors this winter – some of the most picturesque places in the region are even better now the temperature has dropped.

Different light, frost covering the trees and a fresh chill in the air give a whole new perspective to some of Greater Manchester’s beauty spots.

From breathtaking treks to secluded trails and routes, there are plenty of places to stretch your legs this season.

And many of them include a country pub to help warm you up after a winter adventure.

So grab your big coat and your hat and scarf and get out and about in some of the most beautiful corners of Greater Manchester with our guide. 

Chadkirk Chapel and Estate, Stockport

This picturesque country park is set in a valley below Romiley, located on the River Goyt near Marple.

The leisurely walk around the estate includes a 60 acre farm, an old orchard, woodland and a 16th century chapel with an audio visual presentation on the history of the site.

The chapel is a hidden gem in Stockport, dating back to the 16th century, and the walkways around the estate are well maintained and well -signposted, with information boards explaining the history of the site.

Start at the Marple Hall ruins and the marked pathway follows the stream, leading around a field and a small wooded area with plenty of wildlife and wild flowers.

The Etherow Goyt Valley Way runs through the park, and if you fancy a pint after exploring the chapel and estate, there’s a good number of watering holes along the adjacent B6104.

The closest is the Spread Eagle, an 18th century pub with with nooks and crannies at every turn, cosy corners, comfy seating and roaring fires.

Their cask conditioned ales on tap are famous for being among the best in the area.

Macclesfield Forest

Situated in the picturesque Peak District National Park, Macclesfield Forest has a number of walking trails winding through its towering pines.

Routes range in difficulty from a gentle 1km (0.6 miles) green route through the nature reserve next to Trentabank Reservoir, to a more challenging 9km (5.6 miles) red route, taking you deeper into the forest on steeper path, rewarding you with beautiful views over the Cat and Fiddle Moors and the Cheshire Plains.

Once you’ve explored the woodland and looked out for its resident herd of red deer, make your way past Ridgegate Reservoir to the Leather’s Smithy, a cosy 18th century pub serving real ales, locally-distilled Forest Gin made from botanicals foraged nearby, and comforting pub grub.

You can download a walking map  from the Peak District website.

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Some of Greater Manchester’s other Christmas markets

in Manchester News
Lowry Christmas Market
Lowry Christmas Market

Can’t get enough of Christmas markets? Don’t forget these

The Whoville Christmas Markets

This year’s Christmas market at the Lowry Outlet is inspired by Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, which is showing at The Lowry. Every weekend, up until December 22nd, there’s an array of stalls to explore on the Plaza where you’ll find festive munchies and vintage crafts from local artisans. There’s also a Christmas Post Office where you can send your letter to Father Christmas, a Christmas Present Trail with a helpful treasure map and the Mount Crumpit reading area for festive tales. Oh, and keep an eye out for that grumpy Grinch. Word is he’s on the loose and you don’t want him putting a dampner on proceedings.

Etsy Made Local Market

Head over to the People’s History Museum in Spinningfields from Friday, November 29th to Sunday, December 1st for Manchester’s Etsy Made Local Market. Over 40 regional traders are selling an array of vintage and hand-crafted gifts such as Emily Lisbeth Jewellery, Threaded Needle, Blue Fox Ceramics and Wilton Street Craft Co. There will be mulled wine and mince pies to keep you energised while you shop during Friday’s Winter Warmer, as well as live music, including the NQ Ladies Singing Group on Saturday and the Halle Youth Training Choir on Sunday for a special festive atmosphere. It’s free entry all weekend, and you can pop into the museum as well for a spot of culture once you’ve ticked off your Christmas shopping list. continue reading at

Forever Manchester Christmas pop-up gift shop has Raised £10K for local good causes

in Manchester News
forever mcr shop
forever mcr shop

Forever Manchester’s King Street pop-up raises £10k for local good causes and charities

A pop-up gift shop which opened just in time for Christmas shopping has raised an amazing £10,000 for local community projects and good causes.

Community charity Forever Manchester opened gift emporium This Is The Place to sell Manchester-themed merchandise designed and donated by some of the city’s best creative talent, with proceeds going towards community activity across Greater Manchester.

“Given that we were only given the shop 10 days before we opened this is a fantastic achievement,” said Forever Manchester chief executive Nick Massey. continue reading at

“I was crying so hard on the phone my husband thought he had been killed,” Missing dog Benji has finally been found after army of volunteers came forward to help

in Manchester News
benji the missing Cockapoo has been found
benji the missing Cockapoo has been found

A huge search was launched after rescue dog Benji went missing two weeks ago

A missing rescue dog that sparked a huge rescue operation by fellow animal lovers has finally been found.

Cockapoo Benji disappeared after bolting from a house in Monton almost two weeks ago.

An army of volunteers searched for the missing pet on foot, as well as from the air with the help of a drone.

Searchers even used a boat to try to track him down, after he was spotted at the side of the Bridgewater Canal.

The young rescue from Cyprus was finally captured by The Moorings pub in Boothstown on Friday afternoon.

Earlier that day Benji had been spotted running down the central reservation of the M60.

A woman who had been helping with the search saw him on the canal path, and contacted charity Canine Capture UK.

She managed to catch the nervous dog after following expert instructions over the phone from Canine Capture.


Benji’s relieved owner Laura Hamblin said she still can’t believe her family pooch has been found.

“I was crying so hard on the phone my husband thought he had been killed,” said Laura.

“When people had seen him running around on the motorway I’d assumed the worst.

“When they said he was alive and caught I was hysterical.

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Manchester welcomes Strip! The UK’s biggest ever curated exhibition of football shirts

in Manchester News
Strip ! Football Shirt Exhibition
Strip ! Football Shirt Exhibition

Strip a new exhibition at the National Football Museum tells the story of how the humble football shirt has evolved from the heavy woollen jerseys of the Victorian era to the heavily branded polyester of today

Believe it or not, but until the late 70s/early 80s, the only people who wore football shirts at football matches were the players.

Fans wore scarves or rosettes or bobble hats in their team’s colours.

Replica kits were for kids so they could pretend to be their favourite player when they played in the street or garden.

That was OK if you were a City fan because they were the only team that played in sky blue apart from Coventry, and no one in Manchester supported Coventry.

But if you were a United fan, you’d have to buy a cloth badge from the club souvenir shop and ask your mum to sew it on your football shirt. Because before the arrival of sponsorship, there was nothing to distinguish a United shirt from any other team that played in red, including Liverpool.

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HELP NEEDED huge search to find missing dog Benji using drones and even boats

in Manchester News
benji the missing cockapoo
benji the missing cockapoo

Anyone who spots Benji is being asked not to approach him because he is very nervous

A huge search has been launched, using drones and even boats, to find a missing dog.

The disappearance of Cockapoo Benji has sparked a major search, which is centered around Boothstown in Salford.

The dog escaped from a house in Monton last Monday and since then has been spotted at various places in Salford, and as far away as Warrington.

An army of volunteers have been searching for the missing pet on foot, as well as from the air with the help of a drone.

Searchers have even used a boat to try to track him down, after he was spotted at the side of the Bridgewater Canal.

They have also been cooking sausages on barbecues in the hope of tempting him to come back, and have set up a humane trap to try to catch him.

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