A Trashy Guide to…Manchester
Location: Sorta left of the Pennines, not far enough away from Liverpool for its liking.
Someone from Manchester is a ‘Mancunian’ or a Manc for short. Hard ‘c’. Well ‘ard.
Everyone’s a bit Irish. Something to do with the Potato Famine or escaping Bono or something. This isn’t The History Channel.
Mancs refer to their siblings as ‘our kid’, whether it’s a boy or a girl. And mothers are ‘me mam’. Dads ‘me dad’, etc. Sometimes a relative is called by their real name, eg ‘our Marni’; which sounds like a high class suit-maker but isn’t. It’s a lass called Marni
The Royle Family, Coronation Street and The Real Housetrouts of Cheshire are spookily accurate portrayals of Mancunian life.
Officially the most musical city on earth (Liverpool thinks it is, but it isn’t), Manchester has officially sold more records per capita than any other, erm, city on earth. Think about it… The Bee Gees, Oasis, The Smiths, The Hollies (ask your mum), Davy Jones (ask your mum again), Simply Red, Lisa Stansfield, New Order, and a whole bunch of etceteras like Elbow and Elkie Brooks. You can even get your hair cut at Mick Hucknall’s dad’s barbers in a place called Denton. Or you could in the ‘90s. Mancs are famously self-deprecating about their success (unless they were ever in Oasis). For instance, the day after Elbow got their first Brit award, lead singer Guy Garvey was heckled from the street in Manchester: “Oi, Elbow… Get a real job.” Don’t say: “I thought Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys were from Sheffield.” Do say: “I like that new one by Elbow, what’s its name again?”
People in Manchester are the Friendliest People On EarthTM. They actually forcibly stop you on the street to tell you what they put in their jacket potato last night, before nicking your trainers.
Manchester’s citizens get around using something called the Metrolink, which is a tram only faster.
Oh, and it isn’t a bacon buttie, it’s a bacon ‘bap’. Or ‘barm’, if you’re from north Manchester. And a muffin is a ‘bun’ and any general sweet is a ‘toffee’. Even if it’s not a toffee. Mancs still think London gallery Hauser & Wirth is affiliated with Werther’s Originals.
Kendall’s is Manchester’s old-school department store, that ruled the roost until Selfridge’s set up shop down the road. Anyone who is anyone and lots of people who are no-one at all shops there, ably assisted by heavyset teenagers in leggings and someone else’s hair.
Most famouses move down to London when they become famous, so it’s down to Coronation Street actors to be the town’s A-list, which is at least ironic. You can’t move in Kendall’s for Audrey Roberts stocking up on her cooked meats.
Footballers are bloody everywhere, with concentrations in Deansgate Locks and Castlefield.
If you’re posh, you live in the Cheshire Triangle, preferably in Prestbury where houses costs billions and billions. Your neighbours will include such charismatic luminaries as Wayne Rooney.
The gay bit is Canal Street, or ‘Anal Treet’ if ‘Crazy’ is your middle name. But gay people don’t go there anymore, not since Queer As Folk in the early 2000s opened up its charms to hen parties from Blackburn. So The GaysTM now go to the Northern Quarter, which is officially Manchester’s coolest district and is rammed with bars, warehouse conversions and places with an ‘&’ in the name.
People from Salford never stop harpin’ on (that’s Mancunian for ‘boring someone to death’) about Salford being its own city and not actually being in Manchester. They should save that one for dinner parties.
Its most famous artist, living-and-or-dead, is L.S. Lowry, who drew like a child. They even built a theatre in Salford (different city!) and named it after him. It’s called The Lowry or something.
You can go on an official tour of Old Trafford, which is where Manchester United lives. If you’re into football, this is quite an exciting thing. If you’re not, it’s just a shithole with a field.
Anyone between the ages of 35 and 55 is obsessed with The Hacienda, once the most famous club in the world.When they closed it to turn it into *checks notes* fancy flats, they sold off the building, literally, piece by piece. People queued up for days or at least hours to buy a bit of wooden floor for half a crown.
People still wear shell suits. These people are referred to as ‘scallies’, and they are at the bottom of the social scale.
It rains quite a lot, but not as much as it does in Scotland.
Travel essential: cheese to make use of the goosebumps you’ll see on bare legs while queuing for a posh bar in the Northern Quarter, as in: “It’s so frickin’ cold out you could grate cheese on them legs. Ask our Marni.”