St George’s Day Parade, Manchester 2017

Today was St George’s Day parade in the city centre of Manchester. The parade begins in the North of the city centre, works it way through the Northern Quarter across Piccadilly and back round. I need to do a little bit more research into this parade in terms of how it is developed and who is involved but it had a strong North Manchester vibe in the sense that there was a celebration of 10 years of Miles Platting heading the parade. The parade is also raising money for the Ancoats Dispensary Trust  so there is a link geographically to where the parade begins. I have wanted to look at the parades from this area for a while as the Manchester Italian Catholic Association walks come through this area as well. This area of the city is under redevelopment and there has been criticism that the gentrification is alienating the older communities. Ancoats tops the so-called ‘hippest hangout’ index. 


Continue reading


The story of a street


When I started working at Manchester Met I met up with some friends of mine who are theatre makers. We had a great conversation about our shared interests in communities and how people use spaces. We all got busy and whilst the ideas were still bubbling under, we never took anything forward. Fast forward to December 2016…we decided to play with some of those ideas further.

Continue reading


Manchester Whit Walks 2016

As part of our research project (see previous post) we went to observe the Manchester Whit Walks on 30th May 2016. Interviews and focus groups are now underway but here are some images of the event to give you an idea of what it is all about!!

Processions of Witness

It is a huge oversight on my part but I have not blogged for a while! There are probably 2 reasons:

1) I got a new job so have been settling in to that – new teaching means I spend a lifetime writing powerpoints

2) I am a sufferer of impostor syndrome so occasionally turn to mush and am unable to communicate my ideas with any confidence!

Anyway, time to get this old thing back on the road!

Myself and a colleague here at MMU, Dr. Tim Edensor, put together a proposal for a small study which has been awarded a pot of funding (maybe enough to get half the interviews transcribed…but that is better than nothing). Here are the details to whet your appetite!

Continue reading

Not been to a house party for a while but….

….The wonderful Urbanistas have invited me to lead a session as part of House Party 2015 which is taking place in Manchester on 23-24 June. The event is an ‘unconference’ developed by HACT and runs as a sort of fringe event to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference.

This event is allowing me to develop some ideas which I have blogged about previously in relation to the @ElusiveEdge project (I intend to write more about this soon as I ran a ‘crafternoon tea’ recently as part of this but not had chance to fully process the ideas!). Yet it is also allowing me to play with some ideas I have been brewing quietly with my lovely mentor and excellent sociologist friend from another university. We have not had chance to really develop this further yet so I am taking this as an opportunity to start that process in a creative way.

Continue reading

The Reluctant Protagonist #culturalcache

Last week was the first ‘divergent dialogue’ of a series of events which form part of the ‘Elusive Edge’ project.

The project is funded by the Institute of Cultural Capital based in Liverpool John Moores University in partnership with University of Liverpool. This is a truly multidisciplinary team of researchers from across both universities and the focus is exploring the cultural leadership ‘at the edges’.

Continue reading

Banal Creativity

I have submitted my abstract for a conference this summer and I always like to use it as an opportunity to play with new and emerging thoughts! I am going to be curating an event this year as part of a project I am involved in with a diverse bunch of lovely and inspiring academics so thought I would use that event as the focal point of the paper.

Continue reading