Issue number 17 Sunday the 11th of May 1997

A Rolls Royce Silver Ghost takes Alex Ferguson and the Mayor across the Hulme Arch at the opening ceremony
A Rolls Royce Silver Ghost takes Alex Ferguson and the Mayor across the newly opened Hulme Arch
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Manchester United rounded off their recent string of successes by winning the Premier League Title this week. The club are now worth �427m, and annual profits are set to exceed �30m. Manager Alex Ferguson spoke of his "deep sense of satisfaction and pride", and the players celebrated by opening champagne bottles in the rain as they practiced on Wednesday morning.

Protesters have failed in their attempt to further delay their eviction from land in the path of the new runway. Their appeal was rejected at a court in Manchester on Friday. The operation to remove the tree-dwellers and tunnellers from the Bollin Valley site will probably start in the next few days.

The protesters reckon they can hang on for about two weeks before they are finally forced to vacate the land. Their extensive tunnel network as well as the tree houses will ensure that the eviction process is made as inconvenient and costly as possible for contractors.

Prince Charles was smothered in kisses and told he was "very sexy" by the Spice Girls last night after a concert at the Royal Opera House to celebrate 21 years of the Prince's Trust, a charity to help young people start up small businesses. The all-star cast included Gary Barlow, former member of Take That, Jennifer Aniston of "Friends" and Kid Creole and the Coconuts. The Prince revealed later that he knew all the names of the Spice Girls.

Five years of inner city regeneration, funded by over 200 million pounds of private and public money came to a culmination yesterday with the opening of the Hulme Arch, a futuristic new bridge spanning Princess Road. The bridge restores the road link between All Saints and Stretford, which was severed a generation ago.

Speaking to crowds, local TV broadcaster and music entrepreneur Anthony H Wilson praised what had been achieved, including 500 jobs either maintained or created, and the contruction of excellent new housing. Alex Ferguson and the Mayor of Manchester were also present. At the end of the ceremony, they were driven across the bridge in a vintage Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

It's impossible to have any official celebration these days without someone protesting about something or other, and yesterday was no exception. Dissenters blowed whistles and displayed banners saying "Stuff the bridge", "We don't need another road", and "No Runway 2". They complained that not enough jobs had been created for them, and one protester told an interviewer: "Car drivers with jobs in the city centre are just going to use this road to drive straight through Hulme. It will be of no benefit to local people".

A street festival with music, exhibits and other attractions went on all day, and there was a firework display at the end of the evening.


Rachel McGrath

The funeral of Rachel McGrath, the 27 year old woman murdered in Bramhall last week, took place at St John's church, Lindow, Wilmslow on Friday. A piece of music composed by Rachel was played at the service. A man from New Mills is being held by police in connection with the murder.

The weather has been exceptionally changeable this week, and on Wednesday morning snow fell as people were making their way to work. The current cold and wet period commenced last weekend, and got into full swing around the Bank Holiday Monday. There was sunshine the next day followed by that fall of snow, but by Thursday the weather was brighter, though still cold. The weekend has been a mixture of rain and clouds interspersed with bright, sunny spells and blue skies .


May snowfall on Upper Brook Street, Wednesday.

Text and photos by Aidan O'Rourke aidan@anamaria.u-net.com


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