So… my radio presenter training continues at North Manchester FM. This week, I was back on Community Train, this time with the help of the lovely Charlie Walduck. I didn’t have a guest this week, as I was getting some training on a bit of the technical know-how, so this week’s show was some music and a bit of chat from me and Charlie.
I mentioned a few Manchester projects and places on the show, and I promised that I’d post some links on here in case anyone wants to check out the things I was talking about.
I started the show talking about the stall I ran at Castlefield Market last weekend. This was a bookstall for the small press publishers I run with my partner, Hic Dragones. We had a stall at the first weekend of the Off the High Street Christmas Market, which will be running each weekend until Christmas at the Castlefield Market. Check out the website for more info!
We had a great time at the market, and met some fantastic traders and customers (including Primer Spa Shop, Marie Jewellery and The Manchester Bee Company – to name a few). Sadly, we won’t be able to return to Castlefield this weekend… because we’re off to Sound Control for the Alternative and Burlesque Fair.
On the show, I mentioned that one of the Hic Dragones writers, Toby Stone came along to the market on Saturday to sign copies of his debut novel, Aimee and the Bear. We’re very pleased to say that we’ll be publishing the follow-up to Aimee and the Bear, Psychic Spiders!, in January. There’ll be a launch party at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on 29th January, so watch this space for more information about that.
I also talked on the show about the Ancoats Dispensary Trust. I am really fascinated by Manchester history, and I’ve been following the progress of the community project to save Ancoats Dispensary for some time. The Victorian Ardwick and Ancoats Dispensary played a significant part of the development of Ancoats towards the end of the Industrial Revolution. After years of neglect by developers, the Grade II listed building (sadly, only the façade of which remains) was saved from the jaws of demolition by local campaigners who formed a charitable trust to preserve this piece of Manchester heritage.
The Ancoats Dispensary Trust have achieved incredible things since their formation in 2012, and have raised awareness about the plight of the building, prompted public consultation, and (most importantly) raised vital money to preserve the iconic façade and fund the construction of a new building that will function as a community resource in the heart of Ancoats. The trust have successfully applied for Heritage Lottery funding to ensure the development of the building – however, they need to match-fund in order to release this money.
There’s not long left in the final push to save this part of Manchester’s heritage, and the trust have turned to crowdfunding to raise the last bit of funding to release the Heritage Lottery funds. Check out their page on Spacehive for more information about the project and what’s needed.
Inspired by the story of the Ancoats Dispensary, Charlie and I spent the second hour of the show talking about our favourite bits of Manchester’s history and heritage. I won’t list all the buildings and places we talked about – partly because we went through quite a long list! – but I want to include a few links to things with a bit more info about some of the things we talked about.
I mentioned that I have written a short story inspired by the history of Piccadilly Gardens and the surrounding area. This story is ‘Lever’s Row’, and it can be found in the Hic Dragones anthology, Hauntings. I was inspired to write this story after reading about Ashton Lever and the history of Lever’s Row (now known as Piccadilly) in Manchester. I’ve written a post for my other blog on this history – as well as the stories behind some other Manchester street names – and you can read that here.
If you’d like to know anything more about any of the things Charlie and I talked about in the show, feel free to leave a comment below. I’m going to be hosting my own show on North Manchester FM from January, so will let you know all about it after Christmas!