Saturday, 11 June 2016

"He paints the pictures......... And I tell the stories" ...... a history in pictures and words today at Manchester Town Hall

Now here is an invitation you won’t want to miss.

The Town Hall
"He paints the pictures......... And I tell the stories" is a celebration of the collaboration between Peter Topping the artist and me Andrew Simpson who does the words.*

It’s less Darby and Jone and more a partnership perfected over the last six years where we combine paintings of buildings and look for the stories behind the doors.

Like the delightful postcard sent to Miss Johnson at the City Hotel on Cooper Street in 1911 from an admirer who was with the Territorials on a summer camp.  He wrote “You will be surprised to receive this.  Hearing you say your Yeomanry friend had disappointed you, I thought I would endeavour to rectify it.”

And that started the story which took me to that training camp, led me on to investigate the life of Miss Johnson and ended with me wondering if the message was the start of something wonderful between the two of them.

Not to be out done Peter went off and painted the picture of what was once the City Hotel.

The Crescent, Salford
And that pretty much is how we work.

The projects span the centuries and have taken in the story of Chorlton and Didsbury, slid into the long history of Hough End Hall and wandered across bits of Manchester, Salford and beyond.

In the next few months we will be engaged in writing about Alexandra Park and a major new guide to Manchester pubs which combines a tale of each drinking establishment the odd strange story and a description of the area they serve.

So having checked out the weather which will not be to clever, why not come and join us at Manchester Town Hall today.

We are there as part of the Manchester History Festival which celebrates the history of the city and the surrounding area and brings together all those who share that fascination and have their own story to tell.**

On the tram
The groups are as diverse as our history, and cover everything from historical societies proud of their local heritage to railway and canal historians to those wanting to save a unique building.

One of my favourites is the Together Trust which was once the Manchester & Salford Boy’s and Girls’ Refuges which since 1870 has been campaigning on behalf of children in the twin cities.

The Plaza, Stockport
They had their own special event as part of the Festival which involved young people in researching the work of the charity and culminated in a presentation at Central Ref on Tuesday.***

So there will be lots going on down at the Town Hall today, not least of course that Darby and Jone partnership who will be on hand to show their books, the paintings and just talk about how he came to paint the pictures and I told the stories.

Location; Manchester Town Hall

Paintings; Manchester Town Hall, © 2014 the Crescent, Salford, © 2016, Tram, © 2011 and the Plaza Stockport © 2015, Peter Topping,

Facebook; Paintings from Pictures, Web:

*"He paints the pictures......... And I tell the stories"

** Manchester History Festival June 3-12

*** Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces ............ today at Central Ref .... telling the story of the Together Trust

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