Hannah Claydon is the guest blogger this week and guess what? She’s Forever Manchester!
“Manchester changed the world’s politics: from vegetarianism to feminism to trade unionism to communism, every upstart notion that ever got ideas above its station, every snotty street-fighter of a radical philosophy, was fostered brawling in Manchester’s streets, mills, pubs, churches and debating halls.” – Stuart Maconie
So, what made me decide to go to University in Manchester as a Mancunian who could have gone anywhere in the U.K.? Well, that’s easy! Whether it’s having a taster of the V.I.P. treatment at Sankeys, mingling with Liam Fray; frontman of Manchester band The Courteeners in 42nd Street, settling down for an acoustic set at Abode in Chorlton or simply having a long lunch and a gossip over tea and biscuits in Mr. Scruff inspired café ‘Cup’ in the Northern Quarter with the girls, there is no better place for me!
Not to mention the fact that Karl Marx and Fredreich Engels resided on the spot where Whitworth Park Halls of Residence now stand, or the fact that The University of Manchester is now third place nationally, behind only Cambridge and Oxford. What a proud position to be in as someone who is Mancunian born and bred.
During the past few weeks, I have been to see The Maccabees at the Student Union, a gig which eventually descended into chaos, at which point lead singer Orlando Weeks had to step in during his rendition of my personal favourite ‘Precious Time’ to calm things down. This was followed days later by a trip to the Apollo to see Newcastle band Maximo Park. As always, lead singer Paul Smith got the crowd going with energetic performances of ‘Books from Boxes’, ‘Our Velocity’ and ‘Acrobat’ to name but a few, accompanied by his now infamous high jumps and hip-wiggles.
Yes, having the beautiful John Rylands Library as a place to study admittedly makes revision and research times more bearable, as does much deserved afternoon trips to vintage stores in the Northern Quarter! Although I have to confess, the removal of the Morrissey montage on the side of Afflecks Palace is a little upsetting.
At the moment, I am studying Victorian Britain and to think that the industrial gem of the North was such a successful town for trade just shows why and how Manchester has reason to celebrate its reputation as a place in which business and creativity can coexist so easily; all these years after Manchester was established as the city which epitomised Victorian values of industry and merchantry.
One of my favourite things about being a student and growing up in Manchester is its diversity; from Oriental cuisine in China Town to authentic curries in Rusholme, Manchester has something for everyone. I have to tell you all that I’ve recently discovered Fruli, a continental beer on offer in many quirkier bars such as Odder and many in the Northern Quarter, as well as Trof in Fallowfield and The Deaf Institute; just off Oxford Road. It’s delicious!
During the summer, as always, I travelled to Leeds Festival. Of course, acts like Kings of Leon, Radiohead, Placebo and The Arctic Monkeys delivered great sets. But, for me, it was Stone Roses frontman and Mancunian legend Ian Brown who delivered the ultimate showstopper. He began his set exclaiming “right, let’s have some fun…Are you all gonna have a bop?” This was followed by his infamous swagger which accompanied classics such as F.E.A.R. and Fools Gold.
So, I think it’s easy to see why I chose to go to University in Manchester, despite the fact I grew up in this fantastic city. I just love everything it stands for. Essentially, I am Forever Manchester!
Blimey Hannah, when do you get chance to study? Anyway, keep living the dream.
Hannah has also contributed a poem that you can read on the Forever Manchester website: http://forevermanchester.com/supporters
More ramblings from me to follow soon, in the meantime here is a pearl of wisdom from the bottom of Soap Street near the excellent This & That Cafe (which is also Forever Manchester) in the Northern Quarter.