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Marketing the Manchester Ship Canal, Central Library   

It’s easy to forget but often the remarkable can be right under your nose, overlooked beneath the day-to-day dazzle that clamours to distract your attention. These days, its once-magnificent docks have...

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Gardening: curating a courtyard

There’s something quintessentially English about a courtyard garden. The very thought of one conjures images of rustic stone and sun-bleached brick, ivy and clematis crawling the walls, and a bench...

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Foodie Football Fan: scouse pie disappoints at Anfield

There was a proper party atmosphere on Merseyside for Derby Day in the Women’s Super League. Families and fans of all ages, clad in red and blue, travelled to one of the most revered patches of grass...

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Foodie Football Fan: A dive into Deepdale and parched peas

“Are you from Preston?”  “No.”  “Who do you support?”  “Well, Preston tonight.” “That’s alright then.” This is the conversation between me and one of the lads running The Hot Potato Tram parked next to...

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Gardening: is it autumn?

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,’ opined Keats about autumn. ‘Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun’. Hmmm. Not much about autumn 2023 feels mellow or friendly what with Storm Babet, grizzly...

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Football: the state of play for our Northern Premier League clubs

It is some considerable time since I last foisted a dose of my football-related nonsense your way. But fear not. Real life can only intervene for so long before the compulsion to snark about our...

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Joy, friendship and magic at the Music Café, Gorton Monastery

It opens with a greeting that’s also an invitation, drawing people into the circle around which all – participant and carer, musician and therapist – have been seated. “Hello, everyone!” Some are slow...

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A Very Blackpool Christmas: local traders market their festive wares

Following the success of last year’s event, the High Street Heritage Action Zone is hosting Blackpool Creative Christmas Market on December 2, bringing 50 local independent traders under one roof....

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Northern Power: designer Helena Harrison talks to Northern Soul

If you’re anything like me, you’re a sucker for a bit of Northern merchandise. I returned home in 2010 and, since then, I’ve fully embraced my Northernness. This includes waxing lyrical about the North...

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Two sisters, eight weeks: fighting for Dementia Warriors

Last month, on a grey and drizzly November evening, Ellen and Megan Bond put on their boxing gloves as part of an eight-week fundraising programme. Working with White Collar Fighter in Stockport to...

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The Northern Soul Christmas Poem: 7.03am, The Snow Lays Round About

Oh my, it’s nearly Christmas. We love our festive traditions and here’s a particular favourite: The Northern Soul Christmas Poem by award-winning poet Wendy Pratt, written in response to Not Quite...

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Gardening: overwintering the garden

When the nights draw in and the temperatures plummet, it’s tempting to leave the garden to its own devices. This is especially true of my exposed Northern plot which spends the winter months being...

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The value of community gardens

Before moving to the Bury area, I had never considered the importance of community gardens. Now that I’m surrounded by a wealth of horticultural creations – all created by people with a desire to...

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Age Rage: Drew Tosh is not going gentle into that good night

This ageing lark is a tricky business. A minefield of misunderstanding. I reached the big 6-0 recently. Age had never previously bothered me having sailed through 30, 40 and 50. In fact, I wasn’t...

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Gardening: looking after wildlife during winter

I don’t whether it’s my advancing years or the unrelenting gloomy news about climate change but I’m worried about the sheep. A couple of years ago I moved to a semi-rural spot in Lancashire, buoyed by...

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Foodie Football Fan: Posh Away Day, Peterborough v Leeds

The FA Cup is renowned for being the best cup competition on the planet. The only thing predictable about it is its unpredictability. I suppose that’s why I was so excited for a Posh Away Day in...

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‘Theatre is more than what’s on stage’ Helen Boaden on her new role at York...

As former controller of Radio 4 and the first woman to run BBC News, Helen Boaden has extensive leadership experience in creative organisations. Now there’s a new addition to her breathtaking CV: chair...

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If men had to deal with this, it would be cured by now…miscarriage and...

As I head perilously close to my 50th birthday, I take comfort in the fact that, when menopause finally has me by the fallopian tubes, HRT will be my saviour.  Ha! Not so. I recently found out that I...

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