POPPY FIELDS… A powerful memorial for those who died in the First World War is now at the Imperial War Museum North. Cadishead-based Red Tree Building Contractors was the principal designer and contractor charged with creating the infrastructure needed to display 12,950 hand-crafted ceramic poppies. The poppies were originally part of the 2014 “Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red” art installation at the Tower of London by Paul Cummins. The Imperial War Museum North will be the permanent home for the poppies, which will serve as a reminder of the lives lost in the war.

Withington Baths, P,MCC

Credit: via Manchester City Council

WITHY BATHS… Manchester City Council has stepped in to save Withington Baths. The trust that owns the swimming pool needed £1m for essential repair works, including removing a build-up of discarded plasters from pool filters, probably. The baths is managed by the Love Withington Baths Charitable Trust, which took over the leisure centre following a successful campaign to save the building in 2015. The centre had been earmarked for closure – to be replaced by the new Hough End Leisure Centre – but the local group fought for its survival as a community asset. Now, after the seven-figure investment, Withy Baths can look forward to a bright future. 

Beach Huts, Unsplash

HUT GROUP… A petition boasting more than 500 signatures from Crosby residents could see beach huts installed along the promenade of the seaside town. The petition extolls the many virtues the proposed huts could bring to Crosby, including adding interest and amenity to the coastal pathway, attracting tourism and good PR, and providing spaces that could be used by schools and charities. What’s not to like? 

MARKET ANALYSIS… Manchester Christmas Markets are back. That will be good news or bad news depending on your view of the annual mulled wine extravaganza. The markets were cancelled last year much to the delight/misery of residents and visitors, but will return today to groans/cheers. Earlier this month, a study by My Favourite Cottages – which ranked Christmas markets in the UK based on a host of criteria – found Manchester’s to be the best in the UK. This news was greeted with shock/glee by those who have had the fortune/misfortune to attend in years gone by. The Times ranked the six-week event as 13th best in the country, whereas European Best Destinations said Manchester had the 10th best on the continent, behind the likes of Vienna and Basel. The jury is out. 

Chalon Way Car Park 0

The car park was demolished last year. Credit: Google Earth

DRIVE THRU... You may have heard of meanwhile uses, but what about meanwhile, meanwhile uses? St Helens Council plans to create a box park on Chalon Way car park before the site is eventually redeveloped under English Cities Funds Earlstown masterplan. But before the shipping containers are brought in, the site will be used as a drive-thru cinema in a bid to encourage the Danny Zukos and Sandy Ollsons of St Helens to enjoy a film (and the rest) from the comfort of their own cars. 

BITCOIN BOUTIQUE… Guests at a luxury hotel in the Lake District can now pay for their stay with cryptocurrency. Cranleigh Boutique is now accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether and Utrust Token. According to reports, the switch to allow cryptocurrency was made after the hotel received numerous requests to pay for bookings with Bitcoin. So add hotel stays to the list of things you buy with Bitcoin, along with soaps from Lush.

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