The story behind another death at the Warehouse Project
'The notion that closing down the Warehouse Project would make tragedies like this any less likely seems as dubious as the suggestion that each death will prevent the next'
Dear Millers — in this edition, we have a sad report from the inquest of James Diss, the latest young person to die after taking drugs at the high profile club night, the Warehouse Project. Jack Dulhanty has been following the story for a few months and has written a piece below.
Also in today’s Mill:
Dani photographs a Chadderton couple in their tangerine-hued living room and scores some tips on how to achieve a mid-century home on a charity-shop budget.
We’ve got everything you need to piece together a perfect long weekend with our list of recommended concerts, exhibitions and events, including tomorrow night’s Ukraine fundraiser at the cathedral.
Editor’s note: The first section of this edition goes out to everyone on our list, but if you want to read Jack’s Warehouse Project piece, our Easter To Do list and Dani’s sumptuous At Home With column, you will need to join up as a paying member.
🎉 Happy publication day to longtime Miller and former FT editor Brian Groom, whose book Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day is out today. In case you missed it, Brian wrote a members’ piece for us on Tuesday: ‘Can Manchester deliver on its Victorian promise?’
‘In the very suburbs of hell’
📻 Our latest podcast just came out, and it features a great interview with Brian Groom, in which he tells us about a couple of his favourite historical northerners he came across while researching the book. Also in the podcast:
A pastor condemns the performance of a woman at a Bolton music hall. “My heart sickened at what I heard. I felt that I was in the very suburbs of hell”.
Jack Walton expands on his very popular weekend read about the future of co-living in Manchester. “I think people's minds run to the 60s and they're thinking psychedelics and orgies”.
And Joshi and Darryl discuss child poverty in the city, and what could improve Piccadilly Gardens…
Three victims of grooming in Rochdale have successfully argued that Greater Manchester Police breached their human rights by failing to protect them, instead branding them as unreliable witnesses and in some cases arresting them. The women, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have received substantial damages from the force and received an in-person apology from Chief Constable Stephen Watson. More here.
Manchester bin collectors have voted in favour of taking industrial action after their employer, Biffa, offered them a 1.75% pay rise. The strike action will affect 220,000 homes, and workers are now meeting with unions to discuss when the action could take place. Biffa and Manchester City Council are working to reach a solution and avoid a strike. More here.
10,400 people have used Greater Manchester’s new cycle hire scheme so far, making 39,000 journeys. The scheme launched in November last year and its yellow bikes have been available from stations along the Oxford Road corridor, at the University of Salford and at MediaCity. The full scheme launches later this year, with more than 200 stations across Manchester, Salford and Trafford. Sign up here.
Keep Ashton Green, a community activist group, celebrated victory yesterday as Wigan Council denied approval for developer Glenbrook to build a 625,000 square foot industrial park. The development would have cut access to some 40 acres of green space used regularly by locals. More here
We’re glad to hear that Salford Lads Club has secured its future thanks to a grant of £47,800 from the Culture Recovery fund. The club has been in financial trouble after losing £90,000 of income during the pandemic.
Rates of Covid-19 in Greater Manchester are falling. The region’s current rate of daily infections is 297.3 per 100,000 people, down 39% in a week. England’s rate of daily infections is 404 per 100,000 people, down 37.1% in a week. In Greater Manchester, infection rates are highest in Trafford and lowest in Manchester.
Our media picks
🎧 Listen: In BBC Radio 3’s “The Essay”, novelist Sarah Moss talks about an early encounter with Lindow Man, a bog body found in Wilmslow in 1984. He is now displayed at the British Museum, a fact that has sparked debate around the ethical treatment of human remains and whether he should be returned to Manchester Museum. Listen here.
📚 Read: This article takes us to Salford’s other iconic lads club. “Adelphi Lads Club is full of hidden secrets, and if a bunch of curly haired Mancs stood outside of it back in the 80s, it might not have been the underdog it is today!” Read more.
📽 Watch: HOME is showing Small Body, a film about a young Italian woman who gives birth to a stillborn baby and learns of a place in the mountains where infants can be brought back to life. Book here.
Another young death at the Warehouse Project
By Jack Dulhanty
James Diss wasn’t from Manchester, but he died here. He came from Bristol on a coach with six friends in September last year, texting his parents — he always kept in touch with his parents, this week’s inquest heard — as he disembarked. They were heading to the Warehouse Project, the annual series of club nights owned by Andy Burnham’s night-time economy advisor Sacha Lord.
The drugs were brought by one of his friends: MDMA — that’s ecstasy, or “molly” — from a batch of pills dyed blue and imprinted with the insignia of the luxury brand Louis Vuitton; and an unspecified amount of ketamine.
Warehouse Project takes place in Mayfield Depot, a cavernous former railway building near Piccadilly train station. The giant DJ nights tend to sell out months in advance, and James and his friends were among 300,000 clubbers to attend last year’s season.
Once his group were inside the venue, James soon began acting erratically, overheating and trying to take off his clothes. A short time later, he was slumped over in the corner of the club.