Archive for the ‘Neverknewthat’ Category

Coronation Street

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

you can  buy a limited edition of this photo here

.. is a street in Salford. Yes I know you thought ‘TV soap opera’ when you read the title; it’s not that Coronation Street I’m on about though. It’s this one. Coronation Street, Salford is in the news today because it’s the subject of a painting by L.S Lowry which is to be sold next week at Christies. Lowry painted the scene in 1957; it’s typical of his classic Salford street scenes with the legendary stalk-like figures, little dogs and looming industrial buildings set amongst terraced houses. According to the blurb on the Christies site, Coronation Street (the soap) was based on a street near Coronation Street (the Salford one, which is about a mile west of the current fictional TV set). Doing a quick Google Streetview of the neighbourhood certainly does evoke a sense of Weatherfield in the style of the Victorian terraces. Unlike its fictional counterpart, though, this neighbourhood has the  bleak inner city vibe unrelieved by cosy corner pubs or domestic dramas played out on the cobbles (which have long been replaced by cheaper tarmac). In 1986 The Smiths stood at the corner of Coronation Street for the photo seen above which has now become famous and is included in the National Portrait Gallery collection. The corner in question, I only discovered today, is the site of Salford Lads Club, itself another legendary spot. Morrisey has a long association with the Lads Club and it was featured again in the video for ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’. The Smiths and their bicycling acolytes cycle past the club here and later pose outside. There is also some interesting footage of Coronation Street and the surrounding neighbourhood in all its boarded-up, socially deprived Thatcher-bashed eighties state; no wonder Mozza loved it so much.

There is nothing like a Dame

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Me n’ Helen, we’ve got this thing going on. We both love Mr K.
She gets to do the full in-MoMA talking head thing.
I get to do the worship from afar thing.
And I love the paintings too.

All the people that come and go

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Penny Lane

Did you know that the street named in the famous Beatles song, Penny Lane, was named after one James Penny? Did you know that James Penny, who died in 1799, was active in the slave trade until the American War of Independence and later took up the trade again when the war ended?  Furthermore, Penny spoke in defence of the slave trade to Parliament in 1788; he argued that abolition of the trade would destroy the economy of Liverpool;

“it would not only greatly affect the commercial interest, but also the landed property of the County of Lancaster and more particularly, the Town of Liverpool; whose fall, in that case, would be as rapid as its rise has been astonishing.”

Thankfully Penny was proved wrong, Liverpool survives still. A policy of changing the name of Liverpool streets associated with the slave trade deliberately excluded Penny Lane from the process. Like Penny, the city knows where its bread is buttered.

Election day

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Google Election Day logo

Just over 13 years ago today we jumped up and down with glee, drank champagne and looked forward to a future different to the grim past we’d endured for 18 years. Hateful politicians, indifferent to their grinding down of public life, their self-serving sleazy behaviour and their nasty mantra of telling you that they were screwing you for your own good – they were ejected in the biggest political landslide in generations. Some of this now sounds familiar to present voters. How things change. And how they stay the same. Having waited so long for my party to gain power, my sense today, as it seems unlikely they will keep it, is one of pride at what has been achieved with all the social advances that have been made. Shame, that all the good has been undermined by some stupid decisions borne of detachment from the political faith they promised to keep when they came to power. Hope, that the predictions of defeat may not come to pass and despair about what lies ahead if they do. That sunny May morning of 13 years ago seems a distant place now but I will never forget the feeling that something really really good had happened. Tomorrow morning doesn’t look like it’s going to be sunny or warm and the forecast is not looking too good for the next few years.


  • Today is Tony Blair’s birthday.
  • Number 10 Downing Street was number 5 until 1779.