Category Archives: Charity

Manchester Parade

Last minute dash to Manchester to watch the annual Manchester Parade.

Weather was good and we thought it would be a good opportunity to catch some colour and a bit of party atmosphere not long after the one-year anniversary of the Manchester bomb.

Running late after a few technical issues with the car, we hurried across town to Deansgate, where we squeezed into a spot to watch the parade which had just reached us.

The atmosphere was great, the crowds not too pressing and the parade was beautiful with lots of local communities, groups and charities represented. Though my view was a bit obscured I still managed to catch a few good shots, here’s a selection.




Salford Dog Festival

After Saturday’s hike around Cartmel, Lady Hughes suggested something a bit easier for Sunday – the Salford Dog Festival at Clifton Park. Dogs 4 Rescue, who we got Ziggy from, would be there, so she thought it would be nice to show our support and we could take Ziggy and Bobby along too – because everyone knows dogs love organised community events!

If you like dogs, this is for you. If you don’t like dogs, then you’d probably best avoid it as there was every type you could possibly think of – I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea, there was a lot of dogs.

I like dogs so I found it really interesting. Not just the dogs, but the owners too – again, all types, us included of course.

I used the experience to do a bit of ‘doggy’ street photography (is it my dirty mind, or does that sound wrong?), if such a thing exists? Looking for interesting shots of dogs and their owners, something to illustrate the relationships, the special bond that they have.

The easiest option was the obedience display as they were doing a great job entertaining the crowd whilst also making us all feel guilty about how badly trained our dogs are.

The weather was changeable but the crowds were out in force and it looked like the event was going really well. We finished off with a walk round the lake before making our way home – via the Wharf pub in Castlefield to make up for missing out on a pint the day before.


Northenden Boat Race

Who needs Henley Regatta or the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race when we’ve got gangs of slightly inebriated Mancunians, in rubber dinghies, paddling in all directions on the River Mersey.

Yes it’s the annual Northenden Boat Race – no I hadn’t heard of it before either.

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My next-door neighbour Stephanie knew we did a bit of kayaking and asked if her sons could borrow a couple of paddles and life preservers for this annual charity event that I’d never heard of. When I heard it was a race, I offered them the use of the kayaks, but the strict rules meant that all competitors had to be in inflatable dinghies, I immediately guessed that we weren’t about to see any Olympic hopefuls showing off their stuff here, it was strictly for fun.

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As the television coverage was severely lacking, I felt it was my responsibility to go down and photograph the event for posterity and my own amusement – also, it was sunny and I didn’t have much else to do.

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Once the horn was blown for the start I took a few pictures of the mayhem before I realised they were actually quite fast. With them heading downstream and me trying to fight my way through the crowds of spectators, the leaders soon disappeared out of sight. Once we reached the finish line all that was left was the final stragglers. I was surprised however, to see the Northenden Pipe Band in full Scottish regalia playing for the crowds. I’ve lived in Northenden for over twenty years and I never knew we had a pipe band, let alone a boat race.

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I really must get out more.


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Ice Bucket Challenge

Yes, it finally got round to me.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where you pour a bucket of water/ice over your head for charity, came into my life yesterday when my uncle Ed Borking nominated me, as well as my cousin Mark and my son Elliott.

Not being one to walk away from a challenge – actually that’s not true. I always walk away from a challenge if it sounds stupid. I’m quite happy to delete chain letters, refuse drinking games and shrug off those Facebook posts that ask you to re-post to prove you care about some horrendous injustice.

As I’m also getting on a bit now and less impressed by crazes and fashion trends, now I come to think about it, it’s quite unusual for me to actually accept a challenge, but for some strange reason this one has caught my imagination. I think it’s really impressive how social media has been utilised to raise funds for a good cause rather than just swap selfies – is it me or does that sound a bit rude?

So when the challenge came my way, I accepted. I think part of the charm of this process is that you have to be nominated. Someone has to pick you. It’s like joining an elite club, including lot’s of sexy celebrities, which always makes things more interesting – apparently.

Like all the best ideas, it’s simple, and at the time of writing it’s raised $50 million, which is very impressive.

I tried to do my challenge with a bit of style and humour – I hope you like it, oh and I also donated £20, which is the most important part lets remember.

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