Things to do August Bank Holiday

Bank Holiday fun!


Can it really be the end of August? How did that happen? Just yesterday it seemed as though the summer was set to last forever!

As summer begins to cast a shadow, it’s time for one last throw of the dice. Here’s a round up of some of our favourite bank holiday events.

For more events keep checking our What’s On Calendar – we’re updating it all the time!


The Urban Market


Urban Market


Discover this urban foodie, creative, quirky hub in the heart of Salford. On 24th and 25th August, Greengate Square will become an unmissable destination, where you’ll experience inspiring food and craft artisans, musicians and performance.

Make it, Bake it, Grow it, Wear it, Eat it, Drink it, Love it!

For more information visit


Imperial War Museum


Mr Stretch and Mr Armstrong


Saturday 24th August - Comic Character shows give visitors the chance to meet star athletes Mr Stretch and Mr Armstrong, who are on a mission to get the nation fit using only their enthusiasm and some PE kits rescued from lost and found and prima ballerinas Fifi Pavlova and Dame Margot Fondue.

Sunday 25th August - Commando Joe’s bring military inspired fun including an inflatable assault course, giant jenga and survival skills – for bigs kids and small kids alike.

Monday 26th August Billy’s War is interactive storytelling session about how sports and fitness kept him entertained during his Second World War evacuation adventure

Admission is free to the museum and all events are free.



Bolton Food and Drink Festival


James Martin


This year’s food and drink festival takes place between Friday 23th August and Monday 26th August 2013. The main event on Victoria Square, in the heart of the town, is the live Rangemaster Cookery Theatre and a speciality market offering great food and drink produce.

There are five celebrity TV chefs performing live demos this year, Michael Caines, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, Aldo Zilli and James Martin.

Free live cooking demonstrations take place in the Market Place Shopping Centre and Bolton Market with great street entertainment popping up across the town centre. KRO Bar are returning, along with the Beer Keller to provide more opportunities to sit back and enjoy the great atmosphere and real ale.

Take the kids along to the new Children’s Food Emporium in Crompton Place Shopping Centre and they will be entertained with everything from food related stories to fun activities. In addition, there are some special treats with food and drink events at venues and restaurants across Bolton.

For more information, see



LGBT – Pride Festival 2013


MCR Pride 2013


The multi award-winning Manchester Pride returns this week in the annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life. There are four elements to Manchester Pride, beginning with Pride Fringe which runs throughout August and comprises of over 40 events across the city ranging from theatre and performance to art and culture.

The Pride Parade is held on Saturday 24th August and this year’s parade theme is ‘Acceptable in the 80s?’; touching on the decade’s relevance to HIV activism, Section 28 and iconic music and fashion. The parade route runs across the city centre and is watched by tens of thousands each year. Parade starts at 1pm.

The Big Weekend is held over four days where Manchester’s Gay Village becomes the focus for thousands of visitors to enjoy one of the best parties in the UK. Over the Big Weekend, visitors can:

  • See live music acts and DJs in the outdoor area (including The Feeling, Misha B, Rowetta, The original Sugababes line up, Ren Harvieu, Kate Nash, Lucy Spraggan, Rylan and lot’s more)
  • Be entertained by local bands and performances in Sackville Gardens.
  • Visit the Village Markets to pick up a souvenir and check out the Lifestyle Expo where a number of community groups and traders will be on hand with expert advice.

The HIV candlelit vigil is the spiritual heart of Manchester Pride and is the culmination of the festival which takes place in Sackville Gardens. The vigil is a chance for people to remember and pay respects to those who have lost their lives to HIV.

Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend is a ticketed event and visitors need a wristband to gain access to the festival site. Wristband sales contribute to the fundraising effort that Manchester Pride makes to many LGBT charities.

For more information and to book your tickets go to



Manchester Craft and Design Centre


Manchester Craft and Design Centre



There’s plenty of creative crafty fun to keep both little and big hands busy at Manchester Craft & Design Centre.

There’s a whole host of FREE family friendly activities that will keep the kids happy over the long weekend.

All activities are linked to their current exhibition ‘Forming Words’ which showcases a selection of contemporary craft objects which have been inspired and informed by text.


Alongside the activities MCDC will also be open for business as usual this Bank Holiday. So if it is shopping you are after MCDC is the perfect place, with a tempting array of craft, design, jewellery and ceramics from their talented makers.

For more information visit





Igor - Count Duckula


If you’ve not already been, visit  the ‘Creating the Illusion: Animation in the North West’ Exhibition. Cosgrove Hall’s much-loved characters such as Toad and Chorlton puppets are on show as part of  the first exhibition in MOSI’s new Highlights Gallery.

This small exhibition explores the history of animation in the North West, from the development of Magic Lantern projectors in the Edwardian era to modern computer generated images. Featuring objects from MOSI’s own collections, as well as loans from Brian Cosgrove, Barry Purves, ITV, and Altrincham-based Mackinnon and Saunders, it is sure to fascinate visitors of all ages.

For more information click here.



HOLI ONE Colour Festival – Heaton Park


HOLI ONE Colour Festival


The world´s most colorful event is coming to Manchester!

Inspired by the original Holi in India, the HOLI ONE Colour Festival travels around the world.

Thousands of people dressed in white, will come together to share music, dance and performance art. Colours are the central part of the Holi celebrations, adding life and vitality to the festival.

A special moment of the festival is the first count down, when festival goers throw their colour at the same moment. The sight of the festival is beautiful to watch, as people at this open-air festival are quickly covered in brilliant colours, and the air is filled with the clouds of bright powder.

The festival will host a line-up of some of the best established  DJ’s in the country and a host of new DJ’s who are currently exploding onto the music scene.

For more information visit


Rugby League Road Show at MediaCityUK


Rugby League Challenge


Watch the highpoint of the Rugby League season on the Big Screen with BBC Sport coverage of the Challenge Cup Final live from Wembley.

Join in the fun with a rugby league roadshow in the Piazza from midday – with mini-matches, skills challenges, music and more.Try your hand as a sports commentator with BBC Sport’s interactive challenge.

For more information


Don’t forget to keep checking our What’s On Calender for more events.

Have a great August Bank Holiday weekend.


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: IWM North, MOSI, MCDC, Pride 2013, HOLI ONE, Bolton Food & Drink Festival.

This is not a sponsored blog post.








Celebrating World Gin Day 2013

A whole day (15th June) dedicated to gin – there’s an idea!


I’ve had some messy moments when it comes to gin! However, with a whole day dedicated to gin the world over, who am I to complain?

We were on the case immediately (and on the table later!) with some wonderful gin cocktail recipes and a look at what’s happening in Manchester for World Gin Day.

Gin has had a bit of a hard time in the past and so I, for one, am pleased to give it a good 24 hours of celebration on 15th June 2013.

An anonymous poem from the 1940s, which gave it the nickname ‘mother’s ruin’, demonstrates some of the blame that was put on gin for the country’s social problems:



The principal sin

Of Gin


Among others

Ruining mothers


More recently though, gin has become the spirit of choice for the discerning mixers and blenders. Whether it’s with tonic or in a Martini, Sling or Fizz, gin is a crisp, versatile and unique spirit. We have been having a taste (all in the name of research) of some of our favourite classic gin cocktails and have posted the recipes below, so you can raise a glass on 15th June to a delicious, historical and very British spirit.


World gin day montage


Gin Fizz

A reason to celebrate in itself! Contains approx.1.5 units of alcohol.



15ml gin


Lemon rind, peeled, to garnish


Chill a Champagne flute, add gin and top with Champagne. Garnish glasses with the lemon rind.


Old Fashioned Gin

As classic as classic can be! Contains approx. 1.9 units of alcohol.


50 ml gin

10ml elderflower cordial

Cubed ice

Fresh apple juice


Fill a small glass with cubed ice and add the gin and elderflower cordial. Top with apple juice, stir and serve.


The Bramble

Simple, delicious and perfect for summer! Contains approx. 1.6 units of alcohol.


35ml gin

20ml lemon juice

1 tsp sugar syrup

15ml blackberry liqueur

Slice of lemon and blackberry to garnish


Add all the ingredients to a tumbler of crushed ice and garnish.


Hendricks Gin bar display World Gin Day 9th June 2012


Bloody Mary Recipe



What’s happening for World Gin Day in Manchester


Manchester’s very own gin salon The Whim Wham Cafe will be launching Lord Of The Gins at midnight – it will be available till 00hrs at the end of World Gin Day. There will also be vintage cocktails re-invented!


G&Teatime will be holding tutored tastings at The Park Inn by Radisson Manchester.

The Metropolitan and The Violet Hour in Didsbury will be having gin specials along with a #ginoff.

You could also check out @didsburyginclub #didsburyginclub@MancGinClub and Gin Fuelled Bluestocking.


Where will you be celebrating?


Alison x (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: World Gin Day’s Facebook page

This is not a sponsored blog post.













Things to do May half term

Fun family friendly things this half term

Family Friendly


May half term is nearly here so our friends at Family Friendly have been busy scouting out all the best things for you and your children to do in Manchester.

There’s plenty to keep the family entertained during the holidays.

Here are some highlights from some of Greater Manchester’s Museums and Galleries.


May Half Term at MOSI


Saturday 25 May – Sunday 2 June, MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry)


Museum of Science and Industry


Experience a journey of scientific discovery and industrial innovation at MOSI this May half term with fun events and activities for all the family.

Find out more about the Museum (located on the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station) in the Revolution Manchester Show, then grab your map – it’s decision time. What will you do first? Head to the Power Hall to compete in the Rainhill Trials Railway Race Game? Take in a show in the 4D Theatre? Enjoy the stories at Pablo Fanque’s Circus of Dreams, or sit back, relax and let the steam train take the strain? The choice is yours!

Most events are free (excluding steam train rides and 4D Theatre). Visit the website or call 0161 832 2244 for more information.


Have a Horrible Half Term!


Saturday 25 May – Sunday 2 June, IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums – Free

IWMN Rat with speech for press_credit HH and Martin Brown


Ever wondered if you could get by on powdered egg or if you would be fooled by a parsnip disguised as a banana? Visit IWM North this half term and find out just how rotten wartime rationing was.

Watch the brand new Big Picture Show, Horrible Histories®: Rotten Rationing, a 360-degree audio visual show, where you can meet Rattus Rattus and be taken back in time to the Woeful Second World War.


Catch a premiere screenings of the brand new CBBC Horrible Histories® television show, come face to face with a ration-weary housewife, or enjoy free storytelling sessions, performances and workshops. Find out more at


Family Events at Manchester Museum


May, Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum_Returning the  gaze. copyright Jeff Thomas


This month’s Big Saturday is on Saturday 25 May, 11am-4pm.

Explore the newly opened Warriors of the Plains: 200 years of Native North American honour and ritual exhibition, on tour from the British Museum.

Find out more about the culture of Native North American Indians of the Plains between 1800 and the present.

See related objects from Manchester Museum’s collection and discover more about dress, customs and ceremonial life.


Over half term (Monday 27 – Friday 31 May, 11am – 4pm) make marvellous mobiles inspired by the new Nature’s Library gallery.

There’s also a Magic Carpet storytelling and activity session for under 5s and their families/carers on Friday 31 May, 10.30 – 11.30am and 11.30am – 12.30pm

Find out more at

Image: Returning the Gaze. Assiniboine dancer Kevin Haywahe with face paint. © Jeff Thomas.


Happy holidays at Waterside Arts Centre!


From 28 May, Waterside Arts Centre, Sale


The Girl With The Iron Claws


Over at Waterside Arts Centre, there’s plenty to keep the youngsters busy this half term, from magical puppet-filled fairy-tale The Girl With The Iron Claws on Tuesday 28 May, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm (£8/£6 concessions) to How High?, a captivating new show with live music that see Hetty explore the world through measurement (Thursday 30 May, 11.30am and 2.30pm, £7/£5 concessions).

Also specially programmed for the holidays are two fantastic films, both on Wednesday 29 May, costing just £5 per ticket. Family classic The Muppets (U) is on at 11am while thrilling sci-fi adventure The Hunger Games (12A) is at 2pm.

To book call 0161 912 5616 or visit


Light catchers at Manchester Art Gallery


Tuesday 28 – Friday 31 May, Manchester Art Gallery. Free. 1 – 3pm (sign in from 12.30pm)


Manchester Art Gallery_rainbow_ring


Search for lights and colours around the gallery then drip and dab paint onto huge light flooded panels.

Plus make your own see-through painting to take home.

Suitable for families with children age 0 – 11

Find out more at


More events coming soon:

Whitworth Art Gallery – Free Activities – June


Free events for children of all ages, their families and carers.

Children playing


3D Family Trees – Colourful Sunday Special
Sunday 2 June, 1.30 – 3.30pm
Create your own 3D family tree: work together to create an imaginative personal version of your family history.

Construction Father’s Day – Colourful Sunday Special
Sunday 16 June, 1.30 – 3.30pm
Bring your dad and your granddad (mums can come too) for an exciting afternoon of constructing your own artwork using fun maths and art techniques.

Home Educators
Mondays 3 & 10 June, Mondays 8 & 15 July, 1.30 – 3pm
Free, drop-in suitable for all ages

Bring your family meet an artist and enjoy experimenting with different art forms. Sessions are developed with families following the creative and exciting interests of the children.

Find out more at

Image: Whitworth Families. Photo: Joel Chester Fildes.


Dinosaur Roar!


Saturday 8 June, The Minster, Church Street, Preston, PR1 3BU. 10am and 11.15am. Prices: £4.50 / £15 group of 4


Dinosaur Roar


A jurassic musical rumpus for tuneful todders, Dinosaur Roar! is the perfect introduction to live music, featuring our musical Dinosaurs.

Designed for children aged 0-5 years and their families, you’re guaranteed a unique, up close experience with Lancashire Sinfonietta musicians – playing instruments, singing, and making a whole lot of musical noise!

To book call 01524 594151 c/o Live at LICA, Lancaster University, or click here to buy tickets online.


BBC Philharmonic Family Concert


Sunday 23 June, The Bridgewater Hall, Prices: £12.00 (adults); £8.00 (children); £35 for a group of four (children and / or adults.)


Blue Peter Barney

On Sunday 23 June, join the BBC Philharmonic, Blue Peter’s Barney Harwood and CBeebies star Mr Bloom at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to celebrate the sounds of Summer!

Before and after the concert there will be plenty of family friendly activities, including an arts and crafts workshop and story-telling with Mr Bloom.

The concert lasts approximately one hour and is aimed at children aged 6-14 (but all are very welcome).

To book 0844 907 9000 or visit


Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story


Friday 16 – Sunday 18 August, Manchester Arena. Tickets: £20.00 – £45.00. Family tickets and under 12′s discounted tickets also available.


Manchester Arena Peter Pan


Stacey Solomon will make her theatrical debut as Tinker Bell in this summer’s production of Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story

In her role Stacey will be narrating the show and singing the much loved classic You Raise Me Up which has been adapted by musical director Matt Dunkley (a driving force behind music for Moulin Rouge, Black Swan and Inception). This will combine with classic hits by Robbie Williams, Seal and Rod Stewart, to name a few, to create a truly impressive soundtrack to compliment one of the most spectacular arena shows ever seen.

To book call 0844 847 8000 or book online at



Book Now: Rugby League World Cup 2013


Thursday 7 November, Salford City Stadium

Rugby World Cup grubber_running


Rugby League World Cup 2013 is on its way to Salford!

The mighty Scottish Bravehearts will take on the fiery USA Tomahawks at Salford City Stadium on Thursday 7 November.

Tickets are selling fast for what promises to be a fantastic family event of world class sport right here on your doorstep.

As well as the thrilling, nail-biting and fast-paced action on the pitch, there’ll be entertainment and activities for all ages.

You can even meet the fantastic mascots Grubber and Steed!

So choose your side, bring your loudest cheers and join in the amazing atmosphere. Family tickets (2 adults, 2 children) are available from just £25.00 for an unforgettable evening of international sport.

Find out more and book now at



Have a fantastic Family Friendly Time x


For regular updates about what’s on for families in Greater Manchester and around the North West, and the chance to win fantastic prizes in our exclusive competitions, sign up for monthly e-newsletters at or like the facebook page:

Photographs supplied by Family Friendly

This is not a sponsored blog post.















Family friendly events April / May

On the look out for family fun


Family Friendly


There’s a great service that I’m signed up to called Family Friendly which emails me every week with fun events – which I add to our What’s On Calendar.

From now on however, I’m going to do a specific family friendly blog based on their newsletters, so you can see at a glance some of the things that are coming up in Manchester.


There are loads of family events to enjoy this April and May. Have a Day Out With Thomas at East Lancashire Railway, keep an eye out for Horrible Histories brought to life at IWM North and get arty with Whitworth Art Gallery.

Plus, there are activities and plenty of special events going on at some of your favourite museums and galleries.


Family Friendly Sundays

From Sunday 21 April, Royal Exchange Theatre

Children's Entertainer


From 21 April the Royal Exchange Theatre launches Family Friendly Sundays. Come down every week, and there’ll be free workshops and entertainment for under 11s.

Events include children’s drama, craft and storytelling workshops.

Alongside live entertainment and the very popular Hard Hat Sundays, where you can experience behind the scenes secrets and witness a new show being brought to life.

For full details of all our upcoming events visit


Family activities throughout April at IWM North

Every weekend in April, IWM North

Visit IWM North this month for a packed programme of special events for all ages.


Child doing artwork


The Learning Studio is open every Saturday and this month IWM North marks ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) with the chance to create your own ANZAC character inspired by the Australian bush.

There are also regular storytelling sessions every Saturday and Sunday where you can meet a variety of puppet characters to hear their tales.

Plus for younger visitors there is a soft play area in the Learning Studio complete with camouflage den, dressing up and even the tiniest of tots can play with a selection of pre-school toys.

Find out more at



Family events at Manchester Museum

April, Manchester Museum

Natures Library


To celebrate the opening of the new Nature’s Library gallery, come along to the Nature’s Library Big Saturday on Saturday 27th April, 11am – 4pm.


Be one of the first to see the new gallery and be amazed at the magnificent variety of plants, animals, insects and fossils, many on display for the first time. You can meet the curators, find out more about the specimens and get involved with hands-on activities with the RSPB and British Science Association. Students from The University of Manchester will be on hand to tell you about Howard Axons iron meteorites.

Under 5s and their families or carers can also take part in the Magic Carpet Session, inspired by nature, on Friday 26th April, 10.30 – 11.30am & 11.30am – 12.30pm. Book on 0161 275 2648 (from a week before).

Find out more at



Day out with Thomas™

Saturday 4th – Monday 6th May
East Lancashire Railway, Bolton Street Station, BL9 0EY

Day Out with Thomas



Join Thomas the Tank Engine and Sir Topham Hatt for family fun!

The East Lancashire Railway invites you to join them in celebrating Thomas’ first visit in 2013.



Your one-time entry fee allows unlimited access to all of the day’s events and attractions including rides with Thomas, free gifts, entrance to the Imagination Station with Thomas games and activities, magic, puppet and circus shows in the Show Tent, live Thomas scenarios, free entry into Bury Transport Museum and your chance to get hands-on at our pottery workshop.

For more information and to book visit



Colourful Sundays

Whitworth Art Gallery – Free activities in May
On Sundays at 1.30 – 3.30pm

Children playing


Drop-in suitable for all ages. Join up with friends, family and artists in our popular Sunday drop-in creative workshops.

Arty Picnics
Tuesday 28 May, 11.30am – 1pm
Bring your lunch and get creative whilst having a very special picnic at the Gallery. Don’t worry if it’s wet outside we will have the picnic inside the Gallery.


Printing in the Park
Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 & Friday 31 May, 1 – 3pm
Join an artist and create your own screen prints. Dress ready for the spring weather.

The Gallery is open as usual on Bank Holiday Mondays.

Find out more at



Horrible Histories®: Rotten Rationing – Big Picture Show

From Saturday 18 May, IWM North
11am weekdays. 11am and 2pm at weekends and during the school holidays

Horrible Histories WWII


Meet Rattus Rattus as he takes you on a journey back to the Woeful Second World War where you can discover foul food, dig for victory, and make do and mend.

This new 360-degree Big Picture Show brings Horrible Histories Rotten Rationing to life for all ages and has been specially created in partnership with Scholastic Children’s Books.



The show features brand new material from Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown.

Rotten Rationing will be IWM North’s first animated show based on the Horrible Histories books, coupled with IWM’s unique collections, from wartime posters to archive sound and film.

More details will be up on the website soon. Visit



Peter Pan – The Never Ending Story

Friday 16 – Sunday 18 August, Manchester Arena
Tickets: £20.00 – £45.00. Family tickets and under 12′s discounted tickets also available.
Peter Pan the never ending story

Stacey Solomon will make her theatrical debut as Tinker Bell in this summer’s production of Peter Pan – The Never Ending Story

In her role Stacey will be narrating the show and singing the much loved classic You Raise Me Up which has been adapted by musical director Matt Dunkley (a driving force behind music for Moulin Rouge, Black Swan and Inception).

This will combine with classic hits by Robbie Williams, Seal and Rod Stewart, to name a few, to create a truly impressive soundtrack to compliment one of the most spectacular arena shows ever seen.

To book call 0844 847 8000 or book online at


Have fun!


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: East Lancashire Railway, Manchester Museum, Manchester Arena, IWM in the North, Family Friendly

This is not a sponsored blog post.







Royal Northern College of Music

What’s on this Spring at the RNCM


I know where the Royal Northern College of Music is – but I’ve never been in! So when regular guest blogger Chrissy (of Mancunian Wave fame), and font of all things Manchester, revealed that she actually worked there, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn more!


Over to you Chrissy ……

Chrissy Brand


I wonder if you have visited the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) on Oxford Road.

Did you know that as well as being a world leading music conservatoire with over 750 students, it is a thriving arts centre and has its own museum, bar and restaurant?

All that before I even mention the many concerts and talks which fill the venue with culture and energy most days.


Whatever your taste in music the chances are that there will be a performance for you at the RNCM (voted seventh  in the 2012 PRS for Music -Performing Rights Society- list of the UK’s top 100 best live music venues, and the only Manchester  venue to make the top 10).


Royal Northern College of Music Manchester


Along with a wide range of evening gigs, why not check out some classical music? Start with a free lunchtime concert.  Have a look at what’s coming up over the next few months on all musical fronts. Or pop in and pick up the new summer brochure in person.


Royal Northern College of Music


Whether you are an aficionado of several genres of music already or have never been to a classical concert before, you can’t go wrong.

Mainstream performers who have played here include an up and coming teenager called Amy Winehouse in 2003, Alt-J in 2012 and also Adele (and that’s just the “A”s!). World renowned veterans playing at RNCM have included Cleo Laine, Bill Bruford and Steve Reich.


Royal Northern College of Music Manchester


There have been over 100 operas here since opening in 1972, with the most recent RNCM Opera (Shostakovich’s  Paradise Moscow) receiving rave reviews.

It was fascinating to see the concourse decked out with mock Soviet hammer and sickle banners, although surprisingly it was not the first time this has happened – as it was a location for the late 1980s Granada TV production of Len Deighton’s Game Set and Match.  More recently Waterloo Road has also been filmed here.

One of the slightly more unusual RNCM employees was a cat called Malcolm, whose official job title was ‘Rodent Control Operative’. Unfortunately Malcolm had to be dismissed as he scratched Sir John Manduell’s Steinway piano in his office…

I’m fortunate to work at the RNCM. But I was a devotee of the lunchtime concerts series (Mondays  and Thursdays in term time, 1.15-2.00 p.m. free admission) long before I landed a job here.

The corridors are always full of wonderful music emanating from the many rehearsal rooms; of opera or bands practising on stage; and the bustle of public, staff and students (with musical instruments of many shapes and sizes) mingling at the coffee bar.




abstract grand piano


The RNCM (Twitter @rncmvoice) is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary (though its history goes back to 1893 and the Royal Manchester College of Music, along with the 1920 Northern School of Music-in 1972 these merged to become RNCM).

There are 40 free concerts around the city to celebrate. So far these have been in unlikely locations such as the Arndale Centre and the National Football museum. If you can’t get down to Oxford Road then look out for RNCM In the City - at the Oast House and Salford Lads Club and many more innovative and unusual settings over the next couple of months.


RNCM in the CityRNCM in the City 2RNCM in the City 3


Give a RNCM concert a go and be part of celebrating Manchester’s great musical tradition.

For more information visit

Chrissy x


Photographs: Chrissy Brand, RNCM

This is not a sponsored blog post.


Other articles by Chrissy:

Day Tripper – Lymm Dam

Christmas Manchester

Homebaked, homemade Christmas

Trent and Mersey Canal Walks

Exploring Lanzarote












International Women’s Day 2013

What’s happening in Manchester


International Women's Day

As the home of the suffragette movement, Manchester is big, bad and bossy when it comes to International Women’s Day. In fact we’ve been celebrating the sisterhood since 1911!


Women pointing


So what’s happening for International Women’s Day in Manchester this year?

Well – while the day itself is on March 8th 2013 – here we like to do things bigger and better, so we’ll be making a week of it!

Because I know you probably haven’t got time – I’ve done an internet trawl to find out what’s on with links to where you can find out more information.


And if you can’t get to any of them, then there’s nothing to stop you from organising your own event or even just celebrating your own womanly fabulousness all by yourself.

But whatever you do and where ever you do it, don’t forget to remember the brave and strong women that have gone before us. Those who paved our way and opened the door. Without them we wouldn’t have the opportunities we have today.

Remember those women in other countries who are oppressed, stifled, terrorised and don’t have the opportunity to reach their full potential. And remember the women in our own country and our own city who are struggling.

Have a look at the events below, get involved, see how you can help and continue the tradition of awesome Manchester Women!


Manchester City Council


Manchester City Council host the International Women’s Day Steering Group, with partners such as Manchester University, Manchester Co-operative group, Manchester Galleries and Museums, local third sector groups and local businesses.



Manchester International Womens Day


The steering group have decided to focus 2013′s celebrations on Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In the UK women make up only 9.1% of those working in STEM industries in the private sector.

As part of IWD 2013 Manchester City Council will be hosting the International Women’s Day Awards on the 8th March at Manchester Town Hall. They are an opportunity to celebrate the achievement of women in the city often working in industries where women are under represented.

In addition to the awards there are over 50 events taking place across the city, some funded through the Manchester City Council IWD small grant fund and others from the fantastic Wonder Women Festival and other partners. Click here to down load the programme.



Celebrate with an Oxfam Get Together


Oxfam in the North is encouraging us to raise money by having a Get Together.

A massive 70% of people currently living in poverty are women. They tend to have fewer rights, fewer resources and fewer opportunities to make life shaping decisions than men. And when emergencies strike, they’re the worst affected. It’s an outrage that women perform 66% of the world’s working hours, produce 50% of the food, but earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property. There are many, often complex, reasons why – domestic violence, discrimination, and lack of education are among the biggest barriers.

To get involved in a Get Together click here.




Forever Manchester connecting communities


Forever Manchester is a charity which does things The Mancunian Way




In a new initiative, 15 women have been selected by the charity from neighbourhoods in Oldham, Bolton and Trafford to take part in a ground-breaking new initiative, Women In Neighbourhoods (WiN).

Their training activity will culminate with events on International Women’s Day when the women will celebrate with neighbours in their own neighbourhoods. For more information Click here or visit the Forever Manchester web site.


Other Voices with The Three Minute Theatre


From Sunday the 3rd of March this cosy and intimate boutique theatre in Afflecks Palace will be hosting a whole week of events dedicated to showcasing female talent and raising awareness of the issues women still face today.

Every ticket sold donates to domestic abuse charity Independent Choices.


Dear John Poster


To find out more about Other Voices at 3MT click here.


Buzzing at The B.Hive


Beehive International Womens Day Event Bhive

For more information about B.Hive click here.


Red Flag Walks


Red Flag History Walks

Women’s history walks during International Women’s Week in Manchester

Michael Herbert, the  author of the  book “Up Then Brave Women” Manchester’s radical  women, 1819-1918,  will be leading  three history walks during International Women’s Week.


Sunday 3rd March, 11.45 am  – Women at Peterloo

This walk will explore the role of women in the radical movement and highlight their part in the events of Peterloo on 16th August 1819. Meet at the Friends Meeting House, Mount Street. Please note that it will include a walk up to Ancoats and back.

Fee £6/£5. Advance booking strongly advised.


Friday 8th March, 10.45am – Up Then Brave Women; Manchester’s Radical Women

On International Women’s Day, this walk explore the rich radical  history of  Manchester and the role played by women. It will include the Owenite feminists, the Clarion movement, women journalists on the Manchester Guardian and women artists. Meet at the Robert Owen statue, outside the Co-op Bank,  Corporation Street. The walk will end at Three Minute Theatre on Oldham Street for tea and biscuits.

Fee £6/£5. Advance  booking strongly advised.


Sunday 10th March 11.45am – Votes For Women

This walk explore the history of the campaign for votes for women from 1868 to 1928 and the role played by Manchester women such as Lydia Becker,  Eva Gore-Booth, Esther Roper, Margaret Ashton and the Pankhurst family. Meet at the Friends Meeting House, Mount Street.

Fee £6/£5. Advance  booking strongly advised.

More information and booking:

You can also join in the celebrations at The Working Class Movement Library at an event on 9th March. Click here for more information.


Head to Head with Castlefield Gallery


Castlefield Gallery will be holding an exhibition by Hayley Newman and Emily Speed. The exhibition forms part of Wonder Women: Radical Manchester. To read more about it click here. There’s a volcano woman, embroidered dusters and people balancing!


Castlefield Gallary Exhibition



What have we missed?


There will, without a shadow of a doubt be more events and celebrations going on in Manchester for International Women’s Day. If you’ve got an event you’d like to share, please leave a comment in the box below and tell us all about it.


I feel really lucky to be a woman in Manchester – March 8th 2013 is our time to celebrate!


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: Rob Wood, Alison Staples, Forever Manchester, Three Minute Theatre, B.Hive, Red Flag Walks, Castlefield Gallery

This is not a sponsored blog post.















Weekly Round Up 30 September

Just in case you missed us!


Here’s our weekly round up of everything that’s been on the blog this week!




Shoesday by Christian Louboutin

50 Shades of Bray – Event

Going Gaga – Lady G’s new perfume, Fame

Bags and More – introducing a new advertiser with a fab competition




Autumn craft events in Manchester with guest blogger Charlie






The stories of Syria’s children – please sign the Save the Children petition






The Campaign  – Film Review

Cycletta Women’s bike ride Tatton Park

The Buy Art Fair – Hardman Square, Spinningfields



Talking Rhubarb

Grow Your Tenner with Localgiving

Weekly What’s On





We’ve got  ONE COMPETITION OUTSTANDINGwin a Bags and More hand bag and kikois (closing date 9pm Friday 5th October 2012).

And one pair of competition winners to announce for our ‘best bargain’ competition with Moda Fashion Boutique.

First prize winner Sandra Foreman won £30.00 to spend with Moda Fashion Boutique and second prize winner Tracy Hanson won £20.00 to spend.

Sandra said “This has really cheered me up, I really need new clothes as I am losing weight so this has come at a fantastic time. I have recently found your site (4Manchester Women) and as I am only just moving to start my new life in Manchester it is absolutely brilliant and full of informative articles.”

While Tracy said ” Amazing prize.  Wow, thank you so much.  What a lovely surprise and far too much choice, lovely items for fantastic prices.”

That’s what I like to see. Lot’s of happy 4Manchester Women readers!


I hope you enjoyed this week with 4Manchster Women. Remember to keep checking in with us next week to see what else we’ve got ‘on the blog’!


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: 4Manchester Women on Polyvore, Charlie Hooson-Sykes, Cycletta, Save the Children, Localgiving

This is not a sponsored blog post.




What’s On this Weekend

Published 27th September 2012


We’re well and truly into Festival Season now. The Manchester Food and Drink Festival is in full swing, while the Greater Manchester Film Festival, Science Festival and Literature Festival are just around the corner.

So it’s with renewed vigor that we’re on the case and hunting out the best things to do in MancLand (and around) this weekend.


Montage with words


As always this isn’t a definitive list. Check out the links at the bottom of this blog for a fuller picture. Have a great weekend!


Manchester Food & Drink Festival


Friday 21st September – Monday 8th October. Events right across Manchester, with the Food Hub in Albert Square

To read the full Festival Programme click here

Events Thursday 27th September – click here

Events Friday 28th September – click here

Events Saturday 29th September – click here

Events Sunday 30th September – click here

To celebrate 15 years of The Manchester Food and Drink Festival, Manchester Confidential is promoting FESTIVAL 15 – £15 meals from top Manchester Restaurants. Click here for more information


This weekend the Manchester Food & Drink Festival programme includes the following fantastic events:


Manchester Cider Festival

Friday 21st September – Sunday 7th October. Albert Square – click here


Robinson’s Pub on the Hub

Thursday 27th – Thursday 4th September at The Hub in Albert Square – click here


The Big Indi Wine and Cheese Festival

Friday 28th – Saturday 29th September at The Freemason’s Hall – click here


Other stuff!


Didsbury Arts Festival

Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th September.



Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th September. Stockport’s first ever German Beer Festival in the Victorian Market Hall. 50 German beers, Bratwurst, Pretzels and Oom Pah Pah!


Netherlands National Circus at Tatton Park

Wednesday 25th – Sunday 30th September.


Chorlton Green Farmer’s Market

Saturday 29th September on the Green by The Horse & Jockey.


Buy Art Fair

Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th September. Spinningfields. 50 galleries, 500 artists, pieces from £50 – £5,000.


Manchester FEAST Market

Wednesday 26th – Sunday 7th October. Farmers and producers market in St Anne’s Square – Click here


The Denzell Gardens Book Festival

Saturday 29th September. Denzell Gardens, Bowdon.


A Lowry Summer
Saturday 7th July to Sunday 28th October. Celebrating 125 years since Lowry’s birth year.


Tatton Park’s 3rd Biennial Art Exhibition
With sculptures and installations dotted in and around the grounds. You can read a bit more about it and see some great photos on this weeks Tatton Biennial Blog. Check out Manchester Confidential’s 2 for 1 offer on adult tickets.


Other sources of ‘What’s On’ inspiration


Creative Tourist Event Radar 
Visit Manchester
Didsbury Life
Northern Quarter Life
Chorlton Life
Manchester Confidential Listings

City Life
Babies in the City
Manchester Theatres

Mums in the Know

Events in Manchester

You can also sign up for a weekly ‘What’s On’ email from ‘Go See This‘ which I would highly recommend.


Alison x (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: Alison Staples

This is not a sponsored blog post.





Family film club at Spinningfields

Free family day out and children’s cinema at Screenfields

Screenfields’ Family Film Club launches in style this weekend with a double bill of films to entertain the little ones, with both screenings unticketed and free to attend.


Cars2 kicks off proceedings at 11am on Saturday 18th August.


cars2 line up


Followed by old classic Annie at 1.30pm, to celebrate local charity Brainwave’s 30th birthday.


The sequel to the incredibly successful Cars, Cars 2 doesn’t disappoint. Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage! One for all the family.



To celebrate Brainwave’s 30th birthday, Annie will follow Cars2 at 1.30pm.

A Broadway musical based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, the film concentrates on Annie’s adventures as she looks for a new family. With classic songs such as ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘It’s a Hard-Knock Life’, it’s guaranteed to have spectators swaying in their deckchairs!



Brainwave is a charity that exists to help children with disabilities and Developmental Delay achieve their full potential. That potential may be anything from helping a child walk or ride a bike to recognising colours or writing their name.

The children it works with have a range of conditions including Autism, brain injuries such as Cerebral Palsy and genetic conditions such as Down’s Syndrome.


In addition to the screenings, face painting and balloon modelling will be taking place during Cars2.


Family Film  Spinningfields


Families can kick-back on some deckchairs and enjoy watching the films in a relaxed atmosphere. There are a number of eateries to enjoy food and drink from, including The Alchemist, Southern 11, The Oast House, Giraffe, Nando’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Carluccio’s, Strada, Wagamama and Australasia.

Screenfields is located in the heart of Manchester city centre in Hardman Square, Spinningfields.


Please note that screenings are subject to cancellation in high winds or heavy rain. Please check for updates.

Deckchairs and blankets are available to hire from £2 each on a first come first served basis, Screenfields welcomes customers to bring their own blankets and or chairs.

Screenfields welcomes customers to bring their own picnics and soft drinks but alcohol must be purchased from the licensed bar within the Screenfields area.


Family Film Club – films commence at 11am.

18th August – Cars 2 (U)      1.30pm Annie
25th August – Lion King (U)
1st September – Enchanted (PG)


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: Cars2 (in line with Wikipedia’s fair use rational. Source Rama’s Screen), Spinningfields

This is not  a sponsored blog post.




Manchester’s Olympics

Everything you need to know!


London Olympic 2012 logo


It’s almost here! Seven years ago in Singapore, when London was awarded the 2012 Olympic Games – it all seemed like an awfully long way away.

Now with a week to go, here is a round-up of everything I think you’ll need to know, to make the most of the Olympics, and find Manchester’s special place within it.



Olympic stadium


London Olympic 2012 logo


To get yourself in the mood, here’s the official BBC2012 advert with music by the brilliant Manchester band Elbow, which was recorded right here, with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in their concert hall at MediaCityUK.

Every time I watch it, it makes me bite my bottom lip with anticipation and excitement!






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Sporting events taking place in Manchester


Basically, it’s FOOTBALL at Old Trafford.


26th  July  5.00pm – 9.45pm. Men’s preliminaries: Team GB vs Senegal and UAE vs Uruguay

29th  July 12.00pm – 4.45pm. Men’s preliminaries: Brazil vs Belarus

31st  July 5.15pm – 7.15pm. Women’s preliminaries: USA vs Korea DPR

1st August 5.00pm – 7.00pm. Men’s preliminaries: Spain vs Morocco

4th August 12.00pm – 2.00pm. Men’s Quarter Finals

6th August 7.45pm – 9.45pm. Women’s Semi Finals

7th August 2012 7.45pm – 9.45pm. Men’s Semi Finals

Click here to see: TeamGB Men’s Squad / TeamGB Women’s Squad


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Big Screens around Manchester showing the Olympics        


Exchange Square

This is the home of the official BBC Olympic Big Screen in Manchester. The square will also have food and drink stands and sporting activities.

The square will open in ‘Olympics mode’ on Thursday 26th July, when the first Olympic football match takes place at Old Trafford. You can watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday 27th and then lots of sporting action until the closing ceremony on Sunday 12th August.

Visit the BBC2012 web site to find BBC Big Screens around the UK.


Victoria Baths

Victoria Baths will be screening the first day of the Olympic Swimming races on Saturday 28th July (6pm – 9pm ). Free event, families are encouraged. There will be refreshments and a bar. Click here for more information.


National Cycling Centre at The Velodrome

Watch the cycling live and support TeamGB at the home of British Cycling (26th July – 12th August). The big screen will be at The Hub (outdoor event space by the Velopark Café). Click here for more information.


Trafford Centre

There will be sport on the big screen in The Orient right through until 16th September. Click here for further information.



There is a full programme of Olympic viewing on the big screen in Spinningfields – which now becomes Sportingfields! It’s free, you don’t need tickets and there will be tennis, volleyball and badminton for those wanting to get involved. Click here for further information.



There will also be a full programme of Olympic action on the big screen in The Plaza at MediaCityUK.



The following pubs and bars will also be screening the action (this list is a work in progress):

The Horse & Jockey in Chorlton



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Manchester and North West Olympic 2012 Athletes


The people of Greater Manchester make up 3.5% of the UK population. When it comes to Olympic athletes however, we’re laying claim to 11% – as usual, punching way above our weight.

There are 61 athletes (out of 542) who were either born or live in Greater Manchester(ish), competing in 18 different sports.

We’ve obviously got a massive interest in cycling with the velodrome in Manchester being the home of the British cycling team, and swimming with many members of the GB team training in Stockport. But we’ve also got competitors in lots of other events.

Good luck to each and every one of them!

Click here for a full list of Greater Manchester(ish) athletes.


However, here are some of my ones to watch:


If you want to find out more about sport in Manchester and some of its history, click here.


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Don’t miss moments


Opening Ceremony Friday 27th July (Directed by Bury’s Danny Boyle)

Closing Ceremony Sunday 12th August

Survival by Muse has been chosen as the official song of London 2012. It will be broadcast when the athletes enter the stadium and in the period before medal ceremonies.

It is 3:40 mins of pure adrenaline rock which makes you want to walk straight up to Usain Bolt, stare him straight in the eye and snarl “You and me! Outside! Now!” Have a look at this video – it’s powerful stuff! The link below will take you to You Tube because the video contains International Olympic Committee content and is not available for individuals to download.



There will be  lots and lots of don’t miss moments during the games:

The men’s 100m final (August 5th). Will Usain Bolt strike gold?

How will Mo Farah do in the men’s 10,000m (final August 4th)?

On the same day we’ll find out whether Jessica Ennis has become a gold medal winning heptathlete.

Will Mark Cavendish win the road cycling time trial (1st August)?

There are just too many amazing must see moments to mention. So take a moment to plan your viewing by perusing the full Olympic schedule.

The BBC has surpassed itself – it will be providing live video screening from every venue on every day of the Olympics, allowing you to switch between 24 simultaneous live videos. It’s all right here!


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Cultural events


There is a full programme of Cultural Olympiad events to complement the sporting action. For example, at precisely 8.12am on Friday 27th July, bells will be rung right across the country, as quickly and as loudly as possible to celebrate the first day of the Olympics. Ring in the Games has been orchestrated by Turner Prize winning artist and musician Martin Creed.

For other cultural activities, visit the North West for 2012 web site.

To download a brochure or watch a short film about the North West’s Cultural Olympiad, click here.


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Where to hide?


I don’t think you’re going to be able to hide from the Olympics! Time to throw in the towel and embrace your inner sports fan!

Olympics banner

Feeling inspired?


If you’re feeling inspired by the Olympics to take up a sport, you can find sports clubs in your area below (please note this is not a comprehensive list):

Manchester City Council

Sport Trafford

Go3 Trafford

Salford Sports Network

Sport Stockport

Tameside Sports Directory


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Other sources of useful Olympic information


Official London 2012 web site

For  all Olympic stories from the BBC2012 website (non sporting)

For all sporting action from the BBC Sport

GB Olympic Athletes – the full list of athletes

Get ahead of the Games (Travel Information)

Northwest for 2012



Twitter: @BBC2012



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Hopefully I’ve captured and signposted most of the things you’ll want to know – please let me know if there is anything else you think I should add.


Olympics London 2012 Union Jack


Enjoy this amazing Jubilympic spectacle and I’ll see you on the other side!


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: Alison Staples (the London 2012 Logo was photographed on the side of the Samsung support vehicle in Victoria Square Bolton), Free Digital Photos, cyberslayer on Flickr

Videos: TV Ad Music, IOC Media on YouTube

This is not a sponsored blog post.




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