Friday, 30 July 2010

August First Sunday: Crime in the city and love on the streets

Dear friends, comrades, flaneurs and flibbertygibbets

I trust you are enjoying summer, I’ve spent much of the last month sitting in fields, listening to music, drinking mojitos and grinning – sometimes all at the same time. Bliss! However I’ve also been getting increasingly angry at the nonsense so called newspapers see fit to print; it reminds me how important it is to actually talk to folk, look around, question authority, create alternatives and try to engage with the real world, not a mediated spectacle.

I truly believe walking is one of the most beautiful ways to do this; personally it’s how I learn best and also of course its free and uncommodified. Never really having much money I feel rather distanced from talk of the age of austerity; make do and mend is nothing new here. I’m also getting bloody frustrated at this big society nonsense; I already live in a world where people take responsibility, action and care for each other despite getting screwed by those allegedly in charge. And I’m rather fond of The NHS and the notion people are all equal and equally valued. Grrr

Anyhow, back to the streets. I am delighted that this month’s First Sunday will see the second installment of Alan’s glorious crime spree. He really does make a splendid host so please do join us if you can.

Following on from last months look at the Scuttlers, we will concentrate on the decidedly nastier gangsters of the Gunchester era. For over 20 years Manchester has been famed for its bars and nightclubs, most famously the Hacienda, but the good times had a sinister side that almost brought the city to its knees. Meet us at Knott Bar (under the railway arch at the Castlefield end of Deansgate) at 2pm on Sunday 1st August for a walk along the sometimes bloodstained streets of the Mancunian criminal underworld.

The following Saturday The LRM will be collaborating with Manchester Womens Design Group on a Places Women Love’ Walk which starts at the pebble in front of the Bridgewater Hall on Saturday 7 August at 11.00am and will explore issues around gender and urban space.

As part of their research into how women respond to the design of the built environment, Manchester Women’s Design Group has been asking women, through workshops and an Emotions’ Map of the city centre, which parts of central Manchester make them feel worried and anxious, and which places they love because they make them feel happy and relaxed. This guided walk will present some of their findings so far – and will encourage debate to further their walk

Numbers for this walk (unlike First Sunday) be limited so if you would like to join please email to reserve your place. More details can be found at

Finally a few messages from our friends:

O Please take a few moments to support Rabar Hamad!/group.php?gid=138558076173602

O Watch out for a Free shop springing up somewhere in town tomorrow afternoon thanks to lovely folk working towards a new social centre in Manchester

O Hulme Community Garden Centre has loads of good stuff coming up, including a party tomorrow

O as ever there are lots of items of interest in The Mule and at (not all journalism is bad!)

I hope to see you Sunday or some day soon, as ever please do get in touch should you have psychogeographic thoughts to share email or call the hotline on 079 749 29589

Much love and magick rum

Morag x

Thursday, 1 July 2010

july: crime, flowers, friends, music

Dear friends, flaneurs, mischief, merry and magick makers

I am delighted that Alan is in curating the LRM’s next expeditions.
Join us on Sunday for a trip into the criminal underworld of Victorian Manchester. Explore the haunts of crooks, villains, scuttlers, cracksmen, fences, pimps, prostitutes, conmen, garroters and bareknuckle prizefighters. From the first modern youth cult to a real-life Sherlock Holmes, taking in super-criminals and murderous ruffians along the way. Following a route from Deansgate to Ancoats via Salford, Strangeways, Angel Meadow and New Cross we will be mapping the exciting and frightening world of Victorian Manchester's slums and its inhabitants.

"The greatest stream of human industry flows out to fertilise the whole world. From this filthy sewer pure gold flows. Here humanity attains its most complete development and its most brutish; here civilisation works its miracles, and civilised man is turned back into savage." Alexis de Tocqueville on Manchester

Meet us in the Barton Arcade on Deansgate at 1pm on Sunday. Please keep your truncheons at home.

There are plenty of other treats lined up this month too….

The Scratch and Sniff Cinema hosted by occasional loiterer Bren is back as part of the Hazard festival and will be showing my beautiful launderette for free in a cardboard launderette on 16th / 17th July

As well as providing news with a kick The Mule are looking to produce a treasury of Manchester’s highlights; I’m sure loiterers will have something to add (and can get inspiration from other people’s thoughts) (not sure if the relevant article is live yet but it will be soon)

I’ve got a couple of questions which I would really appreciate your thoughts on for future projects…. How do you deal with abuse / hassle on the street if you have experienced it? And, more cheerfully Which are you favourite wild flowers in unexpected places? The LRM have long been champions of the buddlia, patron plant of Manchester, but this year I have found myself transfixed by so many blooms…. Poppies on castlefield rubble, lillies by an abandoned car on the A6, a mystery purple delight brightening a dark alley…. I am still sad at the destruction (in the name of decency and progress) of our beloved hanging gardens of Pomona but somehow nature will still find a way to show us who is boss.

Finally The LRM are hosting one of our occasional musical extravaganzas / social events, those of you who have come in the past will know we only put on gigs for bands we love and always lay on cakes and random surprises too, so please do come along on Friday 9th July 7.30pm onwards at the Britons Protection.

There will be a rare whole band show for the amazing Case Hardin, with high quality support from The Tao of Steve and Phil Davies. Case Hardin play ace americana with a twist; many of their songs were written whilst Pete was in Iraq. There will be songs to make you cry, laugh and want to dance and it would be lovely to see you there. Tickets are £4 which all goes to the bands.

I hope to see you on Sunday 4th, Friday 9th or someone on the streets very soon. As ever if you need more information please email or call 07974929589.

There’s also a bit of a summary of some of our adventures so far in the rather good Things Happen zine:

With love and foxgloves
Morag x