This is a slightly different blog subject for me but one that I felt I needed to write. Yesterday I was in London and I wondered how it would feel after recent events. After many years I now feel comfortable in the capital city. I have mastered the tube and the pace of life and the intensity. I know lots of people and have many good friends who live it work there. But it could never feel like my home that is Greater Manchester.
Manchester has always been an amazing and magical city. As a young child it was the place we went to as a treat in the run up to Christmas. When I lived in Sheffield for a year my heart lifted as I saw the Manchester skyline on my way home on the train. So what makes it so great?
If you listened to the poem by Tony Walsh you will understand some of the reasons why this is an amazing area. It has an industrial and industrious history that was a tough place. People had tough jobs and had to try and thrive in challenging times. They found ways to escape the poverty, factories and pressures through art and music. Such great people doing great things.
I asked people on Twitter to tell me why they think this is a great place. Overwhelmingly the answer was the people and specifically the resilience, being friendly, supporting others, and the passion. All of which are woven into our history.
Of course the music of the city had to get a mention. After all when I was a teenager Madchester was happening and people wanted to come from all over the country to sample the city’s hospitality and see the latest bands. We have amazing artists that have come from the streets of Greater Manchester whether it is music, art, comedy or theatre.
Recent events have made me love this city and region even more. People have shown strength, resilience, compassion and love, and have shown what we are made of. We support each other, we look after each other and we will remain down-to-earth but with our heads held high.
I enjoy visiting many cities and towns but Manchester and Greater Manchester will always be special. It is real, lively and above all it is home.
*Thank you to everyone who told me why they love Manchester