Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A year of tweeting about Moss Side

Its now a year since I started tweeting about Moss Side. Here are some of the highlights.

Alexandra Park

Early in the year there were consultations about Alexandra Park, later to result in an award for its restoration. In January, I retweeted that Manchester City council announced its consultation about the bid:

News: 2011 poised to be landmark year for historic park - People who use Alexandra Park in Whalley Range are being i...

Moss Side Ward Profile 2010

By the end of January 2011, the new Police UK site was about to publish crime statistics for the whole of the UK. In the meantime the Moss Side Ward Profile 2010, published by Manchester City Council, provided information that challenged stereotypes about the area:

Such as in facts about crime and antisocial behaviour:

 Moss Side 

'The incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour in Moss Side is lower than that of the city as a whole' - MCC Moss Side Ward Profile 2010

 Moss Side 

Moss Side has lower burglary rates than the Manchester average - MCC Moss Side Ward Profile 2010

 Moss Side 

The incidence of 'theft from motorvehicles' in Moss Side is 41% below the average rate for Manchester - MCC Moss Side Ward Profile 2010

Police UK

The publishing of Police UK statistics on its national website around the beginning of February produced a number of comments about what might be expected. Some were derogatory about the area. Detractors were to be proved quite wrong when the facts were produced. Moss Side was proved to have lower overall levels of crime than the majority of areas  in Greater Manchester.

Perhaps most interesting was an analysis of the figures by the Manchester Evening News:

 Moss Side 

 statistics prove Moss Side has less overall rates of crime than majority of areas in Greater . See 

 Moss Side 

Moss Side/ Hulme a well below average 34th out of 58 areas in Greater  for violent crime offences  

Infusion Homes

By mid February, an announcement shed light on the flurry of demolition and re-building that had been going on between Claremont Road, and the (now demolished) Stagecoach bus depot:

 Infusion Homes 

We can now reveal that on 26th February we will be officially launching three brand new show homes on the Infusion development, Moss Side!

Infusion Homes - seeking to turn ordinary terraces into stylish eco-homes - sought to add to Moss Side's already rising stock of good quality affordable accommodation:

 Moss Side 

'Green credentials include a solar panel on the roof... sunpipes...thermal skin... & energy efficient windows' 

Corrie Star Kat Kelly attended the opening ceremony:

 Moss Side 

Corrie star opens 'Infusion' in Manchester|Easier Property | easier.com | 28 Feb 2011 | 

Local interior designers @nochintz provided the interiors for the show homes:


Another shot from today's site visit for  showhome in Moss Side, Manchester  via

 Moss Side 

By May, Infusion Homes was reported as having achieved a great deal of sales success, with 60% of properties already sold:

 Inside the M60 

Buyers flock to £17m Moss Side Regeneration scheme‘infusion’-moss-side’s-17m-regeneration-scheme/

And as having won an award of 'Best Affordable Housing Scheme' in the country at the annual Housing Excellence Awards.


Infusion's Moss Side housing project we were working on has won a national award!  Photos here... 

In October, the development was shortlisted for another award:

 Moss Side 

Moss Side  housing development - shortlisted for an award at the Builder & Engineer Awards 2011 - 5 Oct

In November, it was chosen for a 'celebrity photo shoot':

 Easier Property 

'Infusion' development in Moss Side chosen for celebrity photoshoot

Cranswick Sqaure Residents Group

In mid March. I retweeted a link to a little film about Cranswick Square Residents group. Well worth watching, this gives an account of how a residents group, formed in 2009, have got together to transform not just their's and surrounding streets but a patch of unclaimed waste ground, turning it into a garden and community space for all the neighbourhood.

 Moss Side 

Great little film about Cranswick Square Residents Group in Moss Side by  (CSV Media)

The Triangle Community Garden

A photographic story of Cranswick Square residents groups community garden 'The Triangle' was later highlighted on their blog:

 Sarah Irving 

The Triangle from wasteground to community space: A Moss Side Story:   

With a grand opening of the garden on 26th May:

 Moss Side 

RT  Moss Side Residents build a garden and a community

 MEN Media News Desk 

Flower to the people: Moss Side residents join forces to turn empty land into garden 

 Moss Side 

Photos of community garden at 'The Triangle' in Moss Side - from 

Gardening seemed to provide a bit of a theme in the area, with the start of the Bowes Street Allotment Group in June:

 Moss Side 

Interested in growing your own veg? Bowes Street Allotment group needs you! Find out more - Mon 6 June 5-7pm

And later the @openyardens event (see below).

Historical connections

An exhibition and press coverage in April highlighted Moss Side's historical connections, being 50 years since cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin visited the city:

 Moss Side 

Yuri Gagarin's visit to Manchester and reception at the Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers in Moss Side 

Other historical connections provided for some interesting tweets.

Not least:

 Anne Beswick 

What 'Time' magazine said of Moss Side's Emmeline Pankhurst - "She shook society into a new pattern from which there was no going back."

Influencing the names of streets in a new housing development:

 Selling books 

Streets on new Moss Side estate named after Elizabeth Gaskell: The great great great grandaughter of Elizabeth G... 


 Moss Side 

Blue plaque tribute to communism founding father Friedrich Engels at former Moss Side home 

In addition:

Some interesting historical images were provided by former resident and street photographer Daniel Meadow's exhibition at the National Media Museum in Bradford:

 Moss Side 

'The Shop on Graeme Street' - Daniel Meadows photos of Moss Side from 1972.  Exhibition until 19/02/12

 Moss Side 

Daniel Meadows on digital storytelling with photography  via 


 Manchester Archives 

Street photography in the  Archives: A set of candid images capturing the Manc way of life through the ages

Manchester Archives

The tweet of Manchester Archives @mcrarchives provided some great imagery of Moss Side (and Hulme) past throughout the year;

 Manchester Archives 

I love the smell of  in the morning! Check out this Moss Side smog of 1912...    

 Manchester Archives 

Utterly brilliant Hulme set from 1960s and 1970s by Visual Resources @ MMU     

 Manchester Archives 

Looking forward to the semi-final? Manchester City v Manchester United at Maine Road, 1967   

 Manchester Archives 

Memories and images of old Moss Side   

 Manchester Archives 

! Let's hope for some sun this time... www.manchestercarnival.co.uk/  

A nice little BBC film also recalled memories of Moss Side from the 60s and 70s:

 Moss Side 

Memories of Moss Side and Hulme from 60's and 70's - 5min BBC film 

Fusion food in the heart of Moss Side

Early in the year, Manchester budget gourmand @mancfoodian began to explore the culinary offerings of Moss Side's answer to the 'the Curry Mile'.

'Deep in the heart of Moss Side, further up Claremont Rd than most people ever go, past the Sudan Satellite shop and the cheap mattress places, is a Somali restaurant-cum-takeaway called Dubay Caffe.'

@mancfoodian seemed impressed by this fusion of Indian, Italian and Ethiopian cuisine:


Dubay Caffe in Moss Side: . Delicious and unusual 

After the Dubbay Cafe, the Merhaba, Ethiopian resturant, later achieved a glowing review:

 Moss Side 

Cheap and tasty Ethiopian, Eritrean and Somali food as recommended by Manchester foodie  

The Manchester Riots

As just about everyone will be aware, Manchester city centre and Salford experienced some of the worse rioting in the UK for many years. The nature and cause of these riots is still difficult to understand. Moss Side, thankfully, was unaffected. 

Memories live long and many people on Twitter were predicting riots would start in Moss Side, as had occurred almost exactly 30 years earlier but, once again, the negative cliches and stereotypes about Moss Side were proved wrong.

Not that there was n't a sense of tension in the air in Moss Side on Tuesday 9th August. Walking around the area, things did seem eerily quiet. I photographed a Heron on the lake in Alexandra Park:

 Moss Side 

Moss Side peaceful but spotted this heron in Alexandra Park - possibly poised to riot at any moment!  via

The Caribbean Carnival of Manchester

After the riots there was talk of the Caribbean Carnival not going ahead. Instead, it was decided that that it would carry on as usual but the march would be curtailed. In the event, the march went ahead as well and it was a fantastic success. It seemed like Moss Side's positive response to the destructive nihlism of the riots that some people had predicted would happen in the area but never materialised.

 Ashley Paul 

Fun & good times broke out among thousands of people of all denominations, in Moss-Side at the weekend! 

 George Bayode 

Caribbean Carnival 2011, Moss Side , Manchester

 Project '81 

I posted 22 photos on Facebook in the album "Carnival Weekend"

 Hannah Beatrice 

... and the Caribbean comes to Manchester:

Project 81 provided an interesting historical perspective on the riots that had occurred in the area 30 years ago: 

 Jim Ralley 

The  exhibition was installed yesterday at the Windrush Centre in Moss Side / Hulme. Looks great

Open Yardens

What do you get when you cross a garden with a yard? A 'yarden', of course.  Seeking to demonstrate the creative and horticultural potential of such spaces, typical of Moss Side, and many Manchester, terraces, the @openyardens event was organised in August. Like the Caribbean Festival, the event seemed a fitting unique Moss Side risposte to the city centre riots - an expression of confidence and a celebration of the area.

 Hannah Beatrice 

Would you believe Moss Side was such a leafy ghetto?! photos now up on my site:

Some great new housing developments

Much had been made of Infusion Homes earlier in the year but some other new housing developments are worth a mention. They are characterised by good quality and affordable homes, many with eco features and available through shared ownership schemes. The development at Maine Place continued to expand, with new flats about to become available, and a new mixed development, offering houses for sale, rent and shared ownership, developed by Moss Care Housing, on Great Western Street saw completion.

The Maine Road development received high praise from residents, highlighted in the Manchester Evening News:

 Moss Side 

Now pastor Reji is a Maine man | Manchester Evening News - menmedia.co.uk 

 Moss Side 

'Goal-den days at a new home' - New resident talks about what its like living at Maine Place development in Moss Side 

The new development on Great Western Street received less press attention, yet offered high specification, affordable homes with modern eco features, such as solar panels:

 Moss Side 

Brand new high spec. homes with eco features. Shared ownership: 3 bed house £73'000  2 bed flat £64'000

With the streets being named after a, previously mentioned, former Moss Side resident:


MT  RT : 150 years ago, Elizabeth Gaskell captured the lives of Manchester workers... read more

The Moss Cider Project

If its autumn in Moss Side, it would be hard to miss the Moss Cider project. @mosscider had been tweeting all year. Set up in 2010, the project is a community initiative aiming to make cider from the apple trees of Moss Side, and south Manchester beyond.

In May you could have attended a cider tasting:

 Cider Mike 

Check out footage from the launch of 's   made in Moss Side, Manchester here: 

In August, you could have attended a meal where Moss Cider was served with rabbit pie:

 NorthStar SupperClub 

Cider? Made in Moss Side? Called 'Moss Cider'? Whatever next?!

By October, things had really got going. People were invited to donate apples:

 Dan Hasler 

Ciderhouse open for apple drop off 10am-1pm today. St. Wilfred's on Royce Rd in Hulme. After that we're all out apple picking!

And to press apples:

 Dan Hasler 

Nothing to do on a wet Sunday? Join us for cider making here: anytime between 2-5pm, tweet back if you're coming.

The project featured in the press:

 Dan Hasler 

Woop! Dan got featured in today's M.E.N. Still time to get you copy. Hope it leads to more apple donors. 

On the radio:

 Moss Side 

Gourmet Night on  tonight -  explores Mcr food & drink scene, featuring, I believe, 

And on the TV:

 Moss Side 

'"Now onto something completely different"... See  on last night  ( from 18:58 mins)


 Dan Hasler 

We've reached capacity for the donations we can accept for this year, so no more drop-offs please see

With @HydesBrewery one of the few remaining family run regional breweries, the Royal Brewery, run by @heineken and @mosscider, the full range of brewing enterprises seems to be represented in Moss Side today.

 Moss Side 

There's something brewing in Moss Side -  (Royal Brewery),  and 

Manchester Academy School

Manchester Academy was in the news throughout the year. In October I retweeted a link to their news page:

 Manchester Academy 

Manchester Academy in the news… 

My first tweet, in 2010, had been one about the success of the school:

 Manchester Academy 

Once-failing school now named as one of UK's best - Manchester Evening News 

The restoration of Alexandra Park

With Manchester City Council consultation on Alexandra Park starting the year, it seemed fitting that news of the park being awarded £2.2million for the restoration of this beautiful park was announced in the run up to Christmas 2011

 MEN Media News Desk 

£2.2m lottery grant will restore Alexandra Park in Whalley Range to Victorian glory 


This is obviously a brief run through of events but gives an impression of an eventful year in Moss Side. 

Much more is available on the @moss_side twitter feed and elsewhere. The favorites tab will provide a sample of some of the best tweets. Happy New Year to all @moss_side followers, residents of Moss Side and beyond!