Tag Archives: Salford

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.



TEDx Salford

TED is a global set of conferences where a variety of speakers talk about a variety of subjects – usually for fifteen to twenty minutes each.

I’d come across these by accident a few years ago, as many of the presentations are on YouTube, which is nice as a ticket to a ‘proper’ TED conference is hundreds of pounds. From what I can tell, TEDx is a franchised version where organisations like Salford University can run their own conference under the TED banner.

I recommend catching some of the videos on YouTube as they are fascinating and often very inspiring. I’ve seen experts talk about wooden skyscrapers, paper towels, how the brain works, drones and much, much more. Probably my favourite speaker though, is Sir Ken Robinson, who is apparently the most viewed TED talk on the web, here’s the video in case you’ve missed it:

Interesting eh?

Now imagine my excitement when a few weeks ago, Lady Hughes called me up to say there was going to be TEDx Conference in Salford, at the Lowry Theatre, and I could get a ticket for the whole day for £30!

Ticket booked and paid for, I turned up on Sunday hoping the Salford version would match what I’d seen on the web.

My worry was that instead of internationally renown speakers and globally respected experts in their field, we would have a collection of local activists and council departmental heads outlining new initiatives to address anti-social behaviour in Broughton. You see, I hadn’t been able to find out who the speakers were, except for one who was talking about ‘Cliteracy’ whatever that was? The positive thing is that they only talk for a relatively short amount of time, which meant that even if you don’t like one, you know another will be round in a couple of minutes – like waiting for a bus.

I needn’t have worried, the parade of speakers was varied, international and inspiring – too many to list here so here’s the link to their site:


My personal favourites were Massimo Marchiori, Tawakkol Karman (Nobel Peace Prize Winner), Jack Sim (Mr Toilet) and Jack Andraka (teenage cancer scientist).

The only down-side to the event was that I entered with a sniffle which developed into a full-force man-flu through the course of the event. So bad in fact that I had to leave before the end and missed out on the last few speakers – but that’s hardly their fault I suppose.

Great event and I can’t wait for next year’s so I can stock up on vitamin C and see the whole thing.


Cruising through Media City and the Manchester Docks

The Manchester Ship Canal is a wonder of the industrial age. Dug, largely by hand, it created a port more than thirty miles inland just to bypass Liverpool and annoy the scousers  (apologies to my Liverpudlian friends). This marvel of Victorian engineering travels through the Cheshire countryside and ends in Salford (a different City but just next to Manchester – I know, it’s confusing but just go with it), at Manchester Docks.

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Once the third busiest port in England, it eventually declined and is currently being transformed into Media City. A hub of television studios and production facilities as well as apartments, restaurants, hotels, the Lowry Theatre and Galleries, the Imperial War Museum (North) and much more.

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Nowadays, instead of offloading bales of cotton on-route to the mills, tourist barges are more likely to off-load Chilean tourists on-route to the Lowry shopping centre.

Looking for something new to do last Sunday, Lady Hughes and myself bought a ticket and boarded the HMS69 party boat (classy!) for a short tour of the docks. This is boat is run by Manchester Cruises.

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We were sat at the back, next to a party from Chile who seemed more interested in where Coronation Street’s filmed (just next to the war museum) and the view of Old Trafford, than the industrial heritage.

We passed the old docks and up the canal under the swing bridge (which doesn’t swing anymore) and towards Manchester, and except for the odd blast of diesel exhaust fumes, the weather was great and the cruise was interesting and fun – in a rather sedate way.

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The docksides have been transformed into treelined boulevards now with swans and a water-sports centre. There were people sitting outside their houses reading the sunday supplements and soaking up the sun, and for all the improvements and chic developments I did yearn to see what it used to be like. What was it like at it’s peak, with ocean going liners moored up and the country’s biggest privately-owned railway feeding goods from the ships to the mills and factories?

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I’ll bet that was a sight, but perhaps not what they want on the Chilean travel brochure.


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