Saturday, September 05, 2009

Making a drama out of a memory

It's Heritage Weekend in England this Saturday, and all over the country churches and historic buildings will be open to the public. Only in Salford, however, will you find young people acting out the past, having turned people's memories into short dramatic pieces.

The action takes place at Chapel Street and Hope United Reformed Church on Chapel Street in Salford. Not many people know the name, but most will recognise the ancient brick building on the opposite side of the street from Salford Central Station. It has a distinctive pair of staircases looping up to the front door, and has the date sign 1819 over the front door, the same date as the Peterloo Massacre in nearby Manchester.

The church will be open from noon to 4pm on Saturday, 12 September 2009, and the first thing to greet visitors will be old family snaps and photographs collected and arranged by artist Lawrence Cassidy. This display was opened on 14 February this year but has been substantially re-arranged and added to, with photos that people have brought in during the open days of the exhibition.

The photographs will be in the lobby area. In the main body of the church will be tables piled high with old maps of the area, so that people can identify the houses they used to live in, which have subsequently been demolished. However, all is not lost: artist Lawrence Cassidy has started to archive photos and family snaps he's been given, and has begun to arrange them into a new collection – The A to Z of lost Salford streets. This archive will be available on the internet eventually, if funding can be found to support all the work needed to make it complete. Meanwhile, Lawrence has the 'pilot' version available on his laptop computer, and it will be showing on 12 September.

Between this main area of the church, and the Coffee Bar at the rear, there will be a number of strolling players, young actors who have been trained by Blueberry Youth, the young people's drama coaches at Salford Arts Theatre on Liverpool Street in Salford. With the help of a grant from the Arts Council, the adults have been working with the children to transform verbal memories that have been collected since the exhibition opened in February into short dramatic works. These will be presented informally throughout the afternoon, and visitors will be invited to follow this up with a visit to Salford Arts Theatre in late October, when a longer version of the work will be available on stage.

It's a first, the first time that Salford residents have had their reminiscences portrayed as drama, and the first time that all their old photos have been collected together, to start the major piece of work – The A to Z of lost Salford streets.

Further details: Lawrence Cassidy 07946 176291


Friday, September 04, 2009

Getting linked in with the audio world

Yep, we've finally fallen for it,
bought the t-shirt and tried to join up with MyBlogLog.
They want us to install this next bit -

Hmm, that looks good.
Now see what it can do for us.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Photo Exhibition takes a summer break

Regular readers will know that LIDS has been busy in the field of history and heritage over the last year, mainly, supporting local group 'Retracing Salford' with their excellent photo exhibition.

LIDS member Jane Wood helped Lawrence Cassidy prepare the exhibition space last December, in the front lobby of the United Reformed Church on Chapel Street in Salford, opposite Salford Central Station and on the same side of the road as The Salford Arms pub.
The show, 'Salford Snaps', opened on 14 February and has been continuing on Saturday afternoons since then, but Jane and Lawrence are now taking a break over the summer. They will be back on the Saturday of Heritage Weekend, 12 September 2009.

Mike Scantlebury, founder member of LIDS, has been helping Jane with interviews and audio presentations at the show, as well as featuring the recordings on the radio show he presents on a Sunday evening on Salford City Radio, 94.4fm
"Our listeners have been fascinated with the stories that come out of this exhibition," he says, and is anxious that the association with Retracing Salford will continue.
Jane has been busy updating the exhbition website, which is linked to her blog on
Lawrence Cassidy has his own plans. He has been collecting family snaps, maps and street signs for many years and his ambition is to have a complete 'A to Z' of lost Salford streets, with families and views for each of them, available on a searchable database, possibly live on the web.
He is currently seeking funding for that plan, and says that latest news will be on the existing website, as things develop. In the meantime, he urges everyone to check out the current website and see some of the photos he has collected there. Especially as his collection is growing every day, with the photos, films and memorabilia that people are donating.
Also, he says, keep 12 September free. It should be a great event, open 12-4pm, free entry.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Salford Lads Club Christmas single

It's an exciting life, living in Salford.
Why, what's happening now, down our street?


Inspired by Morrisey's recent gift of £20,000 to the Salford Lads and Girls Club, the Club's Treasurer, Mike Scantlebury, has called for musicians associated with the Club to “put aside their musical differences” and create a Number One record in 2008 to pay for the essential repairs still needed on the building's roof.

The talents he refers to include '60s bands The Hollies, (both Alan Clarke and Graham Nash were club members in their teens); Herman's Hermits (who practised at the Club in their early days); and The Smiths (who had their picture taken outside the club in 1987 for a record album, 'The Queen is Dead'). Mike admits that the musicians demonstrate all differing tastes and styles, but says this is an exciting prospect. “The mix could be explosive,” he suggests.

He even has a suggestion as to which song they might record. The Associated Youth Clubs of Manchester have their own anthem, 'Ending Youth Struggle'. Mike Scantlebury suggests the lyrics could be re-written as The 'Trendy Youth Shuffle'. He says: “It could be the new dance sensation for the noughties”.

There's no time to lose if the musicians are to book space in their diaries for a session to record the song in time for next Christmas.
One thing is certain. As Mike says: “We need to raise the roof if we are to save the roof.”


Salford Lads and Girls Club is famous around the world for its association with The Smiths, and regularly welcomes foreign travellers inside to inspect the souvenirs in its very own idiosyncratic 'Smiths Room'.
Details on its website:

Mike Scantlebury is an Internet Author with many novels to his credit. He is the creator of the Manchester Modern Murder Mystery Series, with Amelia Hartliss. His work can be found on his many websites, such as
He is also a sort of singer, well known in the area for his folk stylings, and his songs can be found on YouTube under his own name, as well as and FaceBook.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Moving on up

Students of a sort, and those who already learned mathematics, will know that '3' comes after '2'.
(No, no, pay attention. It will all become clear soon.)

So, we were talking about Bodcast 2 in the blog below and how to stop smoking, a few weeks have passed, and yippee da doo, because Bodcast 3 is ready.
(You weren't asleep were you? Perhaps after heavy exercise - the topic of Bodcast 1.)

Hmm, or too much to eat. Well, that's convenient, because No 3 is all about diet and nutrition.
It contains the latest hip and hop, news from the top, about what's good for you and what's not.
You can learn what foods go well and what don't.
You can hear what to get more of and what to cut out.
It's all good stuff, plus free as always, (as the Primary Care Trust has already paid).

Alternately, the podcast is available on a CD for people in the local area of Salford.
Email us if you want a copy, and we'll bang one out.

Believe us when we say it's all good.
Also, an immense relief as this particular project has been dragging on for quite a while, and there were times when it never seemed to be getting anywhere near a conclusion.
Huge sigh of satisfaction.
Job done.

One thing. We would, of course, be glad of comments.
Let us know what you think about the show, and, more important, whether you think the info was up-to-date and valid. It will help us sharpen up our act.
After all, there's more podcasts coming, and not all about health.

There's plenty of other topics out there, by gum.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bodcast 2

You thought it was safe to get back in the ocean?
Don't you know there are sharks out there?

Anyway, we've done it (again).
LIDS HQ has been buzzing to the sound of comments and critiques, tapes shredding and sharp repostes, and now the CD has been issued and the bodcast has been launched.
As before, you can access it at the web site. Try this link here. (Yes, yes, tap it with your mouse, fellah.) You might learn something about stopping smoking - oh, didn't we mention that? That's the topic of Bodcast 2.

Meanwhile, LIDS'ers are off down the pub. No, nothing to celebrate. We've simply heard today that Salford CVS have turned down our new grant application. We wanted some small amount of money to do a small something about the run-down Inner City area of Ordsall. Silly us. We saw that it isn't all bad, and some residents have done a bang-up job of improving their gardens, planting their own flowers and fruit and growing their own food. We thought we could learn from them. How foolish! We imagined that other people might be interested to see what they were doing and might even decide to copy them. Foolish, indeed!

Of course, maybe if we had called it 'Ordsall in Bloom' we would have got the loot straightaway. (Everyone else has tried that catchphrase and done very well, up to now.) Trying to be a bit innovative is obviously a complete waste of time.

Back, I tells ya. Back - to the future!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's a Lottery

Good news from Lottery HQ, (which happens to be in Newcastle, don't ask why).

They've said that Salford LIDS can have a small grant to carry on with its work on podcasting, starting now, and continuing until March 2008.

Wow, that's fair enough.
It gives us quite a lot to do, but it's all good. The first few bodcasts are all about health and are coming to an end soon. Meanwhile, plenty of local people have expressed an interest in getting involved in making more recordings and putting them up on our site.

Looking forward to it, and keep an eye on the Blog. We'll keep you up to date with news and developments.
And when the 'casts are ready, you'll be able to follow the links.