Finally, women play to an Old Trafford crowd
Plus, a house that was once a wedding gift is up for sale and the rest of your weekly briefing
Dear Millers — welcome to this week’s briefing. We’re in for wintry showers and sleet this week, so wrap up. Also in today’s newsletter, over 20,000 fans returned to Old Trafford Stadium to see Manchester United’s women's team beat Everton, and Sacha Lord weighs in on GM’s hospitality staffing crisis, asking, “did we treat staff the way we should have done in the first place?”
On Saturday, Jack Dulhanty caught up with a Ukrainian family as they settled in Manchester. Kateryna Tyskul, who you may remember from a recent piece about Manchester’s Ukrainian community in Cheetham Hill, has been orchestrating her family’s escape from heavily-bombed Kharkiv for the past month. Jack spoke to her mother Liubov, sister Olena and niece Darina, about their escape:
As she ran, Darina saw the craters in the surface of the road and will have seen the burnt-out husks of cars that were parked outside the complex. As she told me, she sometimes asked Kateryna to translate single words she hadn’t learnt in English yet.
“I saw…” then Darina would say something in Ukrainian to Kateryna.
“Holes,” Kateryna said, glancing into her rear-view mirror, “in the ground.”
“Also, I saw two, er,” again, something in Ukrainian to Kateryna.
“Puddles?” I ask.
You can read that piece here.
This week’s weather 🌦
Our weather forecast comes from local weatherman Martin Miles, who says: “Winter will bite back this week as Arctic air floods south. Bitter days and frosty nights will return with a risk of snow in some areas.”
Tuesday ☁️ Chilly and cloudy with the odd rain shower. Max 12°c.
Wednesday 🌧 Cold with outbreaks of rain which will fall as sleet and snow to the hills later. Max 7°c.
Thursday 🌦 Cold and windy with a mixture of sunshine and wintry showers. Max 7°c.
Friday 🌦 Cold once more with sunshine and a few wintry showers, mainly in the east. Less windy. Max 7°c.
Weekend 🌤 Mostly dry and bright but temperatures won’t reach double figures for most.
You can find the latest forecast at Manchester Weather on Facebook. Daily forecasts are published at 6.15am.
The big story: A big moment for women’s football
Top line: 20,241 fans enjoyed a “carnival atmosphere” yesterday at Old Trafford, where Manchester United's women's team beat Everton 3-1 in a comeback victory.
Why it matters: It was United W.F.C's first time playing at Old Trafford in front of fans. One year ago to the day was United W.F.C's first game at Old Trafford, but Covid-19 restrictions meant fans couldn’t attend.
A one-off: Usually, United W.F.C — currently third in the league behind Arsenal and Chelsea — play at Leigh Sports Village, where the typical attendance is around 3,000.
A long time coming: Manchester United Supporters Club Ladies was founded in the late 1970s and officially partnered with Manchester United in 2001. They were disbanded shortly after Malcolm Glazer's takeover in 2005.
At the time, Ray Kiddell, FA Vice Chairman, said:
The progress of women's football can be really helped by professional clubs taking women's teams under their umbrella and it's a blow to the game that a great club like Manchester United will no longer be doing this.
In March 2018, Manchester United announced they'd be reforming the women's team. They won the FA Women's Championship — the second tier competition — in their inaugural season, and were promoted to the FA Women's Super League.
Their first game in the Super League was against their rivals. Manchester City W.F.C. That game famously attracted 31,000 fans.
Manchester City W.F.C, founded in 1988, has been established a full 30 years longer than United W.F.C. They have been playing in the Super League since 2013, and recently beat Chelsea in the Continental Cup final.
Yesterday's match was a milestone for United W.F.C and its players alike, with goal-scorers Katie Zelem and Alessia Russo both lifelong United fans. The team have four more games left this season, but yesterday's is likely to remain the highlight.
Marc Skinner, United’s coach, said:
I tried to speak to Zel afterwards but, for her to score a penalty in the Stretford End, and then for Alessia to score as well when she’s probably got a million dreams of that happening, what a wonderful way to seal a dream.
Home of the Week
This 19th century 4-bed house in Rochdale was once a wedding present to a prestigious family. It backs onto Healey Dell Nature Reserve and has lovely historical features. It’s on the market for £385,000.
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Local news in brief
"Maybe we need to look at ourselves and ask ‘did we treat staff the way we should have done in the first place?'" That's Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester's night time economy lead, speaking to the MEN about the hospitality industry's staffing crisis. Operators across the region are struggling to balance low staff levels just as customers come back. “A lot of people who were working in hospitality and were furloughed started to seriously rethink why they were in the industry,” said Justin Crawford, a director of Escape to Freight Island.
A new cancer drug currently being trialled at The Christie reduced a patient’s tumour by 50% in three months. The drug — which is so new it hasn't been named yet — targets the gene that controls how cancer grows. More here.
A 1976 Sex Pistols poster promoting one of their concerts at Manchester's Lesser Trade Hall is going to auction. The show was attended by Morrissey, Peter Hook and Mick Hucknall, and is thought to have inspired a generation of post-punk musicians. It's expected to sell for between £5,000 and £7,000.
Didsbury dweller Nikko Aasen is running a marathon every day this week to raise money to support The British Red Cross Society's work in Ukraine. He'll be topping it off with a final marathon through Snowdon on Saturday 6th April — a total of 250km in a week. Donate here.
Rates of Covid-19 are rising in Greater Manchester. The region’s case rate is 554.5, up 9.6% in a week, compared to England’s 805.6, down 0.4%. Trafford has the highest infection rates, Bolton has the lowest.
Our favourite reads
Eating your greens: from Michelin star to eco stars — The Sunday Times
After Cumbria’s L’Enclume snapped up its third Michelin star earlier this year, this Sunday Times piece highlights the lesser-known green Michelin star — an award that celebrates a restaurant’s eco-friendliness. It’s an award that many of the UK’s top chefs are now striving to win. Stockport’s Where The Light Gets In is the recipient of a green Michelin star and gets a mention here. Chef Sam Buckley says: “I think people are getting more and more concerned about the planet at the moment.”
Cambridge college master and pioneering historical demographer — The Telegraph
This obituary celebrates the life and achievements of Edward Anthony Wrigley, who was born in Chorlton in 1931. He was best known as the co-author, with Roger Schofield, of The Population History of England, 1541-1871. “Students who may have felt overawed by Wrigley’s scholarship discovered an unassuming man who had enormous reserves of sympathy and patience,” the obituary says.
The intimacy of crowds — Aeon Magazine
Crowds aren’t chaotic, disorganised groups of people, argues Michael Bond. They’re actually made of highly cooperative individuals. Here Bond explores the psychology and social behaviour of crowds. “Likewise, say researchers, passengers have died in accidents because they just didn’t try to get out. Take the aircraft fire at Manchester airport in the UK on 22 August 1985, when 55 people died because they stayed in their seats amid the flames. John Leach, who studies disaster psychology at the University of Oslo, says a shared state of bewilderment might be to blame.”
What Google Could Learn from a Fruit Fly — Nautilus
Scientists are tapping into life’s algorithms to find the solutions to some of the hardest problems in computer science, this 2020 article explains. “In 2018, researchers at the University of Manchester in England switched on SpiNNaker, a $20 million supercomputer designed entirely around such neuromorphic chip.” SpiNNaker models biological neurons, and works “more like a brain” than a traditional computer.
“The mild weather may make a girl's fancy turn to thoughts of Easter bonnets but a goat, unfortunately, is merely inclined to act the goat.” A photo was taken at Belle Vue Zoo in 1975. Credit: Mirrorpix via Getty Images
Our to do list
🎶 Music | On Thursday, it will be Tim Williams’ final concert as Psappha’s artistic director, who is stepping down from his role after 31 years. The music ensemble will be performing The Last Island at Hallé St Peter's, a homage to their late patron Peter Maxwell Davies. Book here.
🖼 Art | It’s the last week to see Derek Jarman's PROTEST! exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. Warrington-born poet Seán Hewitt has created new poems in response to the exhibition. On Sunday he’ll be performing them and discussing Jarman’s impact. Info here.
📚 Poetry | On Tuesday, Carcanet Press is having a night of discussions about translation and poetry at the Portico Library. One of the speakers, Professor Francesca Billiani, is an expert on the Italian Fascist period. The event starts at 6.30pm. Book here.
🦇 Bat walk | Enjoy the lighter evenings by listening out for the flutterings of bats as they rouse from their sleep. There are some walks available on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in Heaton Mersey. Book here.
🐯 Talk | On Thursday The Monastery in Gorton is holding an afternoon of nostalgia with their Heritage Club, which will be looking back at Belle Vue Zoological Gardens. Starts at 2pm. Book here.
🍻 Drink | Iconic Manchester pub The Briton’s Protection is in danger after its lease wasn’t renewed. You can show your support by signing a petition or heading down for a drink. “If lost, it will fall into the abyss of generic gastro pub white washing,” its owners say. More here.