Northern Quarter Stories


The wonderful Documentally came to visit to help out with the Northern Quarter Stories project. 

The project is about collecting peoples stories of the area through a variety of ways, many of which includes pub interviews, like mine. There are lovely beer mats distributed around the area with details of the project and how to contribute and a group of reporters will be out on the streets over the coming weeks. 

He interviewed me at The Castle yesterday and you can listen to it below. 

By a nicely-timed coincidence Mark Kennedy, the man who made the mural I mention during this, wandered into the pub and agreed to be interviewed too. Do look out for that on the audioboo channel that has been set up for the project here 

Whilst the point of the project is to share stories from the area then I thought this is a nice opportunity for me to write about my most recent Northern Quarter story.

A few days ago whilst gazing at rooftops and sneaking around buildings I perhaps shouldn’t be in, I found some treasure. In fact that particular week had been one of many treasures - recipient to a box of books to hand out as part of World Book Night, a day of locating William Mitchell murals, reading the letters which adorn the walls of The Midland hotel and finding my new favourite view of the city’s skyline. But this was different, this was actual treasure, tangible stuff that I could take home. 

I was sent this photo a few weeks back with no further explanation:

"This is where I’m hiding your present"

I didn’t think there would be anything there, I thought it was maybe a promo for an art project perhaps. I thought about it several times over the coming days but didn’t make it into town for a while, nor remember to check for the graffiti when I was there. Last week, after some exploring around the CIS Tower and NOMA, I decided to run to Shudehill to catch the next tram home. It was perfect timing - one pulled in just as I got there and I pressed the door for it to open and waited a few seconds. I pressed again and it still didn’t open, I looked up and all the other doors had opened just fine but as I ran to the next door realising mine was jammed the trill beeps sounded signalling they were about to close and the tram pulled away before I could jump on.

Those of you who know me will know that I live in something of a dream world so anything like this, rather than irking me, just gets my hopes up for some serendipitous moment that I would have missed had I made the tram. 

I had some books left from World Book Night and thought I’d use my time to leave the last of them around Shudehill and the Northern Quarter. As I handed them out I found myself around the back of Band on the Wall, and I remembered this photo I’d been sent. I found the graffiti and looked for where the x had marked the spot and sure enough, even a week or two later, there was still something up there. A CD case.

I couldn’t reach from where I was stood but propped against the hoarding was a pallet that I managed to fashion into some terrifying kind of ladder. I grabbed the case and inside was a beautiful necklace! 
There was also a note, and it read:

"the world needs more interesting, interested people"

 I wear my treasure everyday; don’t I have some lovely readers?