Wednesday, 2 February 2011

february delights: blackburn and dumplington ahoy

Dear friends, flaneurs, fantasies and fairies

Welcome to February, I hope you are fine and dandy. I am delighted to spot early signs of Spring…no daffodils yet of course but my heart leaps at the first snowdrops…and the wider changes heralded by people realising their power and reclaiming streets around the world.
Remarkably I think this weekend is the fourth birthday of First Sundays, although dates don't really matter this gives me a warm glow and an excuse for a beer. Heartfelt thanks, as ever, to all who contribute to our derives and those who join us in imagination if not in person. We will be celebrating by setting off in new, and contradictory directions; facing fear (and possibly ridicule, but as we know that’s nothing to be scared of) as we explore territories as yet unmapped by The LRM. Here be dragons? Maybe; we like to encounter mythological phenomena….

This Saturday, February 5th, please join us in Blackburn. It’s your last chance to see Jane Samuels wondrous abandoned shop of curiosities, an instillation exploring urban exploration, mundane hauntings and the places lurking at the edge of reason. The shop has hosted several LRM workshops focusing on people’s memories, feelings and personal maps of Blackburn.

We have collected a plethora of fascinating stories and The LRM are curating a tour based on what we have learnt. From loombreaking, to acid house via contraband bikinis and public art it offers a beguilling mix of personal histories, social context and entertainment. Plus, fans of twentieth century architecture should note Blackburn’s 1960s market is due for demolition soon so this is a final opportunity to revel in its faded glories.

The shop is at LET Shop, 65 King William St, opposite the town hall, about 15minutes from the station (there are hourly trains from Victoria and regular buses from North Manchester. The tour will start at 2pm. Many thanks to Jane, the LETS project and everyone who has generously shared their thoughts with us. More information here:

On Sunday 6th we are setting off on an expedition to The Trafford Centre. We have always avoided shopping areas, preferring back alleys and canal sides where we are free of the relentless consumer bombardment – and yet, this is a little remiss if we want to see all sides of our city.

The Dumplington Mecca is one of the north west’s top attractions and is sure to yield some secrets up to those who look. Will we encounter a palace of delights or a den of inequity? Is there anything authentic or liminal to be discovered beneath its bright lights? Is the sense of horror it instils in me justified or am I missing beauty and a retail epiphany? Please note this is NOT a shopping trip and for the duration of our visit handling the merchandise will be strictly forbidden.

We will catch the X50 bus from Manchester Piccadilly at 13:19 (it goes from the main bus station area) which is due to arrive at 13.55. The route map is here If you are making your own way there please be at the Trafford Centre bus stop area for 2pm.

If you need more information or fancy a natter about the use and abuse of public space, the nature of contemporary psychogoegraphy or owt else really please contact us at or on 07974929589. Email access is a bit wobbly at the moment so please be patient if it takes me a while to respond; I prefer playing out to admin

With glittery love and golden apples
Morag x