DIPPY’S RETURN…Nature is healing. Rivers are clearer, the air is cleaner and dinosaurs are returning to Rochdale. Well, one dinosaur in particular. Having had the Rochdale leg of his nationwide tour cruelly cut short due to Covid-19, Dippy, the world’s most famous diplodocus, has done what his ancestors could not and survived a lethal virus. Originally scheduled to stay in Greater Manchester until June before moving south to Norwich, Dippy is now staying put until December so visitors who haven’t yet been able to catch a glimpse of the North West’s most popular prehistoric celebrity can do so safely.
STREET ART...Fire dancing, flash mobs and human-sized birdcages are just some of the creative offerings set to arrive on the streets of Liverpool thanks to a raft of funding to support the arts. Nearly 50 cultural organisations and freelance artists have been awarded up to £5,000 each to help bring art and performance to Liverpool’s city centre. Among the performers are the Bring The Fire Project, which will plan a series of different events and workshops for all ages involving fire dancers and circus skills, and The Birdcage Stage curated by Katie Anne, which will provide family entertainment including music, aerial and comedy acts performing from the confines of the cage.
NETWORK CLIMB…A group of 12 employees from commercial real estate developer Network Space plans to raise money for the British Heart Foundation by putting their bodies through the ringer in the Lake District. The group will attempt to scale eight of the Lake District’s toughest peaks, including England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike, which stands at an eye-watering 978 metres tall. The team will cover more than 22km in a 12-hour period. Anyone else sweating just thinking about it?
GRAND DESIGN… Developer Capital & Centric tasked Manchester-based interior design studio A-nd with the challenge of furnishing a one-bedroom apartment at Phoenix, the developer’s apartment block in Piccadilly East, for £1,000.
Abi Carpe and Dan Gregson, A-nd’s founders, decked out the apartment with a mix of new and upcycled pieces, using online platforms such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace to buy unusual, but affordable, items.
They also trawled second-hand furniture warehouses and went hunting for bargains at auctions as they worked to create a home on a budget. Now-celebrity developer Tim Heatley, after the Capital & Centric co-founder’s appearance on BBC Two’s ‘Manctopia’, said: “We thought we’d show our new residents that they don’t have to break the bank to get their ideal home, especially as many are first-time buyers who have already spent their hard-earned savings on their first home.
“We loved A-nd’s upcycling approach, using basic materials and making them beautiful, rescuing unloved pieces from across Manchester and giving them a new home.”
GRAFFITI…Concrete blocks used to keep cars out of Eccleston Ferry car park, close to the Eaton Estate in Chester, have been daubed with some bizarrely pointed graffiti by someone who isn’t best pleased about not being able to use the car park, according to local media reports. In order to comply with Government restrictions and deter people from congregating at the park owned by the Duke of Westminster, the car park was closed during lockdown. One piece of graffiti slams the decision to install the blocks as “poppycock” while another says “Grosvenor is mean and greedy” – a direct criticism of Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster. At least Chester’s answer to Banksy refrained from expletives.
MUSIC AND LIQUOR…In 2000, a man named Pete McCarthy wrote a book about his travels around Ireland. The trip was supposed to help him get in touch with his Irish heritage, as he was born and raised in Warrington to Irish parents. During his trip up the West coast of the country, nothing pleased McCarthy more than when he walks into a bar. We can all relate to that, right? But what the author really likes is when the pub doubles up as a shop. This effortless combination of two important but different parts of life – which allows punters to enjoy a Guinness among tins of baked beans and bags of potatoes – brings a smile to his face on many occasions throughout the book. McCarthy would have raised a glass to Wirral Council’s decision to grant an alcohol licence to a record store in New Brighton this week. You will be able to flick through the vinyl with a pint in had from 9am until 11pm every day of the week, basking in the warm, simple pleasure of being able to kill two birds with one stone and becoming tipsy before midday.