Local Heroes

local heroes

It has been rather a wet summer so far this year. I am remaining hopeful that the Autumn will bring a spell of warm, dry weather – an Indian Summer. However, I am managing my expectations as living in the North West of England I know full well that the chance of rain is never too far away.

But this article isn’t going to focus on dreary weather, it’s going to celebrate our wonderful region as we’ve so much to be proud of. Manchester and the surrounding areas are famous for so many things; Duerr’s, the oldest family owned jam maker in England, two world class football teams, ‘Madchester’ the music and cultural scene that developed in the late 1980’s and talented comedians, loved by so many, including Victoria Wood, Peter Kay, Caroline Aherne and Steve Coogan.

Whilst they may be some of the more fun and most commonly recognised things about the region there is much more that the city and its residents are credited for. Here are some of my favourites;

Votes for Women, Emmeline Pankhurst was born and bred in Moss Side, she helped women win the right to vote from her role in the suffragette movement. Joules Beer, James Prescott Joule was born in Salford in 1818. He was one of the most influential physicists of all time, a mathematician and brewer! He changed our understanding of science by his continual pursuit of better beer. Alock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They collected a staggering £10,000 prize for their achievemet (equivalent of more than £1 million today). Their prize was presented by Winston Churchill. Alock grew up in Fallowfield and Brown in Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Chetham’s Library, founded in 1653, under the will of Humphrey Chetham, a prosperous Manchester textile merchant, banker and landowner. It is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world still open today, and free of charge to readers. ‘Kitchen-sink’ Drama, Salford born Shelagh Delaney wrote her most famous play ‘A Taste of Honey’ at just 19 years old. She brought working class life and language to the stage and ordinary life to colour, pioneering the term ‘kitchen-sink’ drama. She was a lyrical inspiration to Morrisey as both a solo artist and with The Smiths.

This is quite an eclectic body of work and a fraction of the achievements from across the decades. I’m proud to be live in this talented region, despite the weather - maybe there’s something in the water!