RASHFORD…By fighting to feed poor children, Marcus Rashford showed that he is much more than a footballer. But good deeds are quickly forgotten when you miss a penalty. The Manchester United striker shouldn’t have to go to war with Whitehall to earn the respect of the nation, nor should he be vilified for his footballing ability because of a single wayward shot. Some people disagree, though. One, in particular, chose to deface a mural of Rashford in Withington. While it would be easy to allow this vile act to tarnish our view of humanity, the response – thousands of messages of love and support for the player – showed us that humanity might not be doomed after all.
FREEDOM…Clapping on our doorsteps for our NHS heroes seems like a lifetime ago – a faint and hazy memory of a dark dystopian era. It was nice to show our appreciation but on reflection, the whole thing was rather pointless – a mere gesture. Sefton Council is pushing through another, more targeted homage. Rather than clapping into the ether, Sefton has given Aintree and Liverpool University NHS Trust and Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust the Freedom of the Borough award. Representatives of the trusts will be invited to a special ceremony at Bootle Town Hall to receive the honour…if they can get the time off work to attend.
JUNGLE ROYALTY… Kings and Queens of the Jungle, now is your time to earn your crown. MC Construction has teamed up with ITV to build a £7m I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! attraction in Quayside MediaCityUK in Salford. Ticketholders will test their mettle in a series of challenges including scaling a more than 26-feet-tall rock, going on a zipline and tackling the Dingo Dollar Challenge. The attraction opens 30 July, with tickets going on sale on 21 July.
INTERCHANGE CHANGE…Stockport bus station is an institution. A smelly, rundown one but an institution nonetheless. For decades it has been a hub for travellers, a meeting point and a shelter from the rain. Once a buzzing, modern interchange, the bus station has become something of an eyesore in recent years. The good news is that plans to revamp it and create a park above are well advanced. Change is coming, and not a moment too soon according to Cllr David Meller, the council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration. “I can’t wait for it to be razed to the ground. It can’t happen soon enough,” he told THING.
BACK STRONGER…Lytham Festival has been cancelled for the last two years, much to the annoyance of Lionel Richie and Duran Duran fans. But rather than sulk, the organisers of the event are busy plotting a rampant return in 2022. Usually, the festival comprises five days of live music on Lytham Green overlooking the Irish Sea, but next year this could be doubled to 10 days under an application lodged by organisers Cuffe and Taylor to extend the merriment. Bring it on!
BLUNT END…The phrase ‘say it like you mean it’ sprang to mind when THING read about a Conwy councillor having shocked colleagues with his no-nonsense view on burials at a planning committee meeting this week. “Everyone should be cremated and thrown in the sea for all I care,” declared Bryn ward’s Cllr Andrew Hinchliff, during a debate about proposals to extend the Llanrhos cemetery in Llandudno by 1,600 plots. “I’m not a big fan of cemeteries,” he added. “If we are going to have it as part of a parkland and we happen to own it, we want to do the very least to disturb it.” The plan to expand the cemetery is controversial as it would involve the use of protected Green Wedge land used to constrain urban areas, according to the Welsh Daily Post. The committee approved the application but not before giving Cllr Hinchliff a ticking off for his bluntness. “I think we have to respect people’s wishes about how they deal with their loved ones when they depart this world,” said committee chair Cllr Alan Hunter. Quite. THING has contacted Cllr Hinchliff for comment.