IMMORTALISED…Housing association Salix Homes is paying its respects to Salford hero Canon Peter Green by naming its latest apartment block in the city’s Trinity district after the writer and social justice campaigner who died in 1961. During the First World War and until the 1950s, Green wrote a weekly column in the Manchester Guardian under the pen name ‘Artifex’, which is exactly what Salix has called its 108-unit affordable housing development under construction at present. The 11-storey building is part of the £22.5m Canon Green Campus redevelopment in Trinity – already named after Green, who was a rector at the nearby St Philips Church and wrote about pacifism and compassion, social injustice and women’s suffrage.
Salix’s chief executive Sue Sutton said: “The legacy of Peter Green is already recognised in Salford, with Canon Green Court being named in his honour back when it was built during the 1960s. We wanted to pay our own tribute to this much-respected Salford son whose fight against social injustice represents our own beliefs and values at Salix Homes and our ethos to deliver high-quality, affordable housing for everyone. This is even more pertinent in an area of Salford that has seen little to no new affordable housing for decades.” Artifex is due to complete this spring.
FREE STAY…In a pandemic, this initiative could go either way. Hotel operator Qbic is celebrating the soft launch of its latest property, on Manchester’s Deansgate, with a competition inviting members of the public to apply to “sample” the hotel. They will surely either be inundated with calls from holiday-starved Mancunians or receive no applications at all. Qbic Manchester is due to open next month. Its 261 “pet-friendly” rooms boast king-sized beds, high-speed wifi, power showers, sustainable toiletries and complimentary tea and coffee. The hotel is looking for 100 people to test out its offering and the stays will be free with the chosen testers sharing their feedback with the Qbic team ahead of the official opening. To enter, visit: https://qbichotels.com/manchester/100testers/. “It is a difficult time for the hospitality industry globally and locally, but we are confident better times lie ahead and that Qbic Manchester will be at the heart and soul of those better times in this fantastic city,” said Jon Walters, operations director at Qbic. Better get those applications in – it could be the closest you’ll get to a holiday for some time yet…
PIPE DREAM…Darwen’s youth and youth-ful can look forward to an upgrade in their local leisure offering once pandemic restrictions ease, as the council is expected to approve the creation of a new outdoor skate park in the coming weeks. Junction 4 Skatepark, a community interest company that runs the indoor Skatepark off the A666 south of Darwen Vale High School, has submitted plans to expand the facility and create an ‘Urban Sports Village’. Skatepark is currently an indoor centre frequented by users of BMX bikes, scooters, skate and skateboards, with a café attached. Under the expansion plans, Junction 4 Skatepark proposes a new development to be built on the existing car park and adjoining land to the south, comprising an open-sided building with Olympic-standard wooden contest ramps, an outdoor concrete skate park, dirt jumping area and viewing deck, bounded by shipping containers used for storage. It’s enough to make THING want to put our knee pads on.
ART-ERLUDE… New Ferry is awaiting a makeover after the 2017 gas explosion that destroyed many homes and businesses, and what better way to brighten up the town in the meantime than with a series of murals by respected local artist Paul Curtis? The artist behind the Liver Birds mural in Liverpool’s Jamaica Street is embarking on the second phase of his Dancing with Colours project in New Ferry, having already painted several shopfronts on New Chester Road. The first phase included a large beach scene across Sun Junk-e and Simple Credit, a hairdressing scene at Charisma Hair Design, piglets across Boysenberry deli, a heart-shaped cloud at mental health charity Gallier House, and “A Pair of Moody Cows” above the entrance to Edge & Sons butchers. We’re itching to see what’s next….
The Steve Burne Charitable Trust, the foundation set up in memory of the late former managing director of AEW Architects who died in 2018, is inviting friends and families to run or walk at least 50 miles during the month of March to help it raise valuable funds for the charities it supports. Participants are being encouraged to walk or run either on an individual or household basis, to keep active and raise a minimum of £100. The trust said that, despite the pandemic, it maintained its annual donations to cancer charities the Manchester Ronald McDonald House and The Christies and donated more than £165,000 to these and smaller, local charities. More details can be found on the Just Giving page for the so-called 50 Mile March.
COASTING…Continuing the exercise theme, Cheshire-based author and psychologist Trevor K Bell has written a book about his experiences retracing the footsteps of British fell walker Alfred Wainwright, who devised the classic Coast-to-Coast Walk across Northern England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea in a guidebook in 1973. Bell, similarly, walked from Robin Hood’s Bay in the North Riding of Yorkshire to St Bees in Cumbria – around 200 miles – and his book explores the region’s industrial, mining and ecclesiastical history while also reporting on the people, villages, flora and fauna he encountered along the way. It’s likely a more down-to-earth read than Bell’s other books – he also has an interest in ghost stories and last year published gothic thriller Ten for the Devil, while writing his next book Gothic Ghost Story, which is out in May.