Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Post Parade Pride

Respect plays an enormous part in the enjoyment of life in general and we’ve found it non more so than at Manchester Pride. For one weekend in the year thousands of people have the chance to experience humanity at it’s best and most diverse.

Copy - DSC_504808-30-2015_16_40_27__8987

Very happy to share a moment of his private time, actor Daniel Brocklebank with James.

DSC_504908-30-2015_16_47_52__8985

We met up with many friends during the weekend (and made some new ones) – here’s two wonderful reprobates who we’re proud to call friends, Olly and Justin.

P1030356

As already said – Diversity is the order of the day at Manchester Pride.

DSC_506608-31-2015_19_18_55__9000

Bank Holiday Monday was a big day for us. It was James’ birthday and our 3rd wedding anniversary. We’d like to say  a big “Thank you” to everyone for all their good wishes for both. Before our little group ‘hit the village’ for the last time we gathered on board “Chance” for a Champagne celebration.

DSC_506708-31-2015_19_19_29__9001

It was ‘Bottoms Up’ for Rich, Andy, James, Doug, Les, Cherryl and Ian. Our own press photographer, Chris, was behind his very large camera for many of this weekend’s shots

DSC_507208-31-2015_20_01_27__9006

James was surprised with a birthday cake before we all left for the last evening of pride for this year.

P1030365

At 9 o’ clock we joined the thousands of other people for the Candlelight Vigil in Rembrandt Gardens. For an hour we remembered those who have been affected by HIV and all those who have fought for justice. Sir Ian McKellan was prominent in leading the vigil with his address and poetry readings ……..

DSC_511208-31-2015_22_13_28__9021

…….. and by leading the candlelit remembrance with a minute’s silence.

P1030367

Two thirds of this huge crowd were behind us – it’s a very popular event.

P1030376

After the vigil the weekend’s celebrations ended with a grand firework display.

DSC_513108-31-2015_22_33_32__9033

The gods certainly looked down kindly on us – the afternoon had been very wet but the rain stopped for the evening …….

DSC_513408-31-2015_22_33_36__9035

…… and allowed us to enjoy the vigil and fireworks in the dry.

DSC_511708-31-2015_22_31_52__9023

As we left the park many of us placed our lit candles around the bronze statue of the wartime code breaking hero Alan Turing in remembrance of his invaluable contribution to all our freedom.

DSC_519808-31-2015_22_52_33__9086

With candles replaced by drinks we retired to Via in Canal Street for a final group ‘moment’ - Rich, Les, Andy, Doug, James, Cherryl and Ian (the ever suffering Chris behind the camera again!)

P1030380

Oh here’s Chris in the picture at last!

DSC_520108-31-2015_23_49_53__9087

Huge numbers of shops and businesses in the city made efforts to support Pride by various Rainbow displays – not least the city council who flood lit the town hall.

DSC_520509-01-2015_00_08_10__9090

And finally, an oasis of night time calm in Castlefield Basin amid the frenzy of the city. We’ve spent the last 10 days here - where has the time gone?

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Manchester Pride - 2015

P1030234

Nothing to do with Pride but something to get James’s adrenalin going – parked next to the boat one morning!

P1030241

On Friday afternoon at 5 o’ clock we gathered on Andy and Rich’s boat “Carpe Diem” to enjoy Champagne and canap├ęs. Such great hosts both of you – thank you.

P1030240

Doug and Les with a little Champagne inside – they make a lovely couple.

P1030242

On Saturday morning, with the Pride parade just a few hours away it was our turn to host morning coffee and cakes. We were pleased that Les and Chris’s friends Ian and Cheryl from nb “Wine Down” joined us for the day.

P1030250

The Pride parade started spot on 1 o’ clock with Sir Ian McKellan leading it this year. A marvellous sport and great ambassador.

P1030254

The gods looked kindly upon us and the sun shone all afternoon.

P1030256

Soon on the scene was the Coronation Street float with actors Daniel Brocklebank and Jenny McAlpine on our side of the street.

P1030263

There are bodies that require to be clothed and those that do not.

P1030265

The police turn out was tremendous and got, as usual, a deafening appreciation from the crowd.

P1030266

The Fire Brigade was not far behind with their prized pink tender. Like all the services which were represented, they too got a brilliant reception.

P1030269

The Sharks swimming club like to be kitted out well.

P1030270

Many churches took part – but their was little silence for the Quakers to do it that afternoon.

P1030271

The Spartan rugby club ……

P1030272

….. ‘tried’ hard. A great turn out.

P1030274

Our personal photographer Chris was in prime position to get the ‘official’ shots.

P1030280

The piped band of the Gay Gordons Scottish country dance group virtually drowned out the noise of the crowds – and good on ‘em.

P1030281

The individual entries were stupendous as always …….

P1030289

….. and someone who was very happy to take his shirt off for a photo shot!

P1030291

James found a new friend that afternoon  …………

P1030295

….. and the Fire Brigade brought their tender that gets to the places that other tenders can’t reach.

P1030298

This is Deansgate and the rest of the city centre was no different.

P1030306

Clothing was optional of course – as always …..

P1030309

….. and the Outdoor Lads were out.

P1030317

A Transformer perhaps?

P1030319.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence need to be around to keep control

P1030322

P1030325

Some entries were a spectacular work of art.

P1030327

A Golden Boy from Oscars Piano bar …..

P1030332

…. followed by the not-so-golden boys!

P1030336

There was a lot of flesh on display but maybe it was just built for display purposes!

P1030337

Fujitsu honoured the Pride Hero Alan Turing. A man without who’s brilliance we may not have won the Second World War was, because of his sexuality, treated despicably by the government afterwards. There is a bronze statue in remembrance of Alan and his contribution to the war effort in Rembrandt Gardens next to Canal Street in Manchester. Alan Turing took his own life in 1954.

P1030342

P1030343

A couple more individual contributions.

P1030350

After the parade it was to Canal Street that thousands of us went to continue Manchester’s celebration of diversity – and it was there that we could get close up to some of the marvellous “creations” by many celebrants. This guy had a dashing pink tutu which James unfortunately didn’t get in the shot.

P1030351

The party continued on the roof terrace of G-A-Y in Canal Street – Cheryl, Doug, Andy, James, Chris, Rich and Les. Ian behind the camera.

P1030353

As the afternoon became evening there was nowhere free of happy people. It was another spectacular parade for Manchester Pride and the weekend will continue with thousands of people enjoying and celebrating diversity, individuality and culture. Bring it on!