Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Good Bye Manchester

The last few days have been a complete whirl of fun and laughter.  The next three pics (courtesy of Chris and his amazing camera) are of Saturday:
The long and short of it!
Rich and Andy with their ever growing collection of stickers.
All of us on Saturday evening in Canal Street.
On Sunday the arena was packed and in eager anticipation of Conchita Wurst and All Saints.
As is perfectly normal at Pride everyone talks to everyone else and who should we start talking to in the arena but Ian, the owner of “Gaydio” radio station.  A very friendly, interesting and successful guy.
And then, what we’d all been waiting for - the amazing Conchita.
A sensational performance! ………..
As darkness fell and the bands finished, Doug was about to lose his voice because of all the ‘whooping’ (well, it’s no bad thing!)
On Monday the crowds were less due to people needing to return to work after the Bank Holiday.  Nevertheless, there was plenty for us to enjoy.  Age does not weary some people!
On Monday evening, after the last stage performances were finished, we had the candlelit vigil.  This year’s host was Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley from Coronation Street).
As the candles were lit, and during a minute’s silence, we remembered all those who have died due to HIV and Aids and of course those who still live with the condition.
The vigil also attempts to dispel ignorance, fear and prejudice surrounding HIV and Aids and there were some moving moments as we heard people tell “their story”.
After the vigil was the firework display which ends the weekend …
…… and we then laid our candles around the statue of Alan Turing.
On Tuesday Les, James (behind the camera),Chris, Rich, Andy and Doug enjoyed a ‘last breakfast’ at the Lost Dean in Deansgate …
…. and after breakfast we prepared to leave Manchester.  However, before we left Doug managed to fall into the canal (only up to his knees!) while jumping from the boat.  The wonderful sunshine, which we’ve experienced for most of our stay, continued through Tuesday just to dry his boots!
All three boats (“Eleventh Heaven”, “Carpe Diem” and “Chance”) travelled out of the city and met up again later in the evening – firstly for Champagne and nibbles on “Carpe Diem” ……
…. and then afterwards in the Axe and Cleaver at Dunham Massey for a lovely meal, where we were also joined by Simon.
This morning it was a very sad farewell to Andy, Les (and Chris) and Rich.  A weekend to remember without a doubt and thanks all of you for your wonderful company.

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