Manchester: North­w­est Zine­fest 2015

Published Categorised as Life in General, Zines No Comments on Manchester: North­w­est Zine­fest 2015


Last week­end I went up to Manchester to do a stall and run a Zine 101 work­shop at the first North­w­est Zine­fest. I had the luxury of a day off work, and enough money to take the train rather than coach, and stay at a bed and break­fast. The last time I was in Manchester was well over a decade ago, and it was nice to have a whole week­end rather than rush to and from the event.

gwynns house sm

I was delighted with my b&b, in the home of the lovely Gwyn, who is an artist who also has her studio in the house. Everything was clean and calm, and painted white, with trompe l’œil paint­ings. There was a huge selec­tion of herb­al teas and muesli and organ­ic toiletries, and it was all so relax­ing I was very sorry to leave. When there was torren­tial rain on Sunday morn­ing I wasn’t too sad that I couldn’t go out explor­ing, because it was so nice at the b&b. (I didn’t take any interi­or pictures, because there are good ones online)

I was stay­ing in Chorlton, which I’ve had a lot of people from round Manchester claim is “poncy”. I was look­ing forward to seeing some peak hand-knit­ted yoghurt­ing, but I was disap­poin­ted. There was a very pleas­ant high street, with a mix of shops and a super­mar­ket and some more upmar­ket cafes and bars, and a big health food co-op, but it was all pretty ordin­ary. Maybe I got spoilt living in Brighton, but I was expect­ing a high­er stand­ard of soft jessy­ing. There were some good char­ity shops though, and it was a very pleas­ant area.

I didn’t get to go on the famous trams once while I was there, because there were engin­eer­ing works, and they supplied a dreaded rail replace­ment bus instead. I’m not sure what show it was, but in the late 80s/​early 90s I remem­ber watch­ing some kid’s super­nat­ur­al drama type show, where a group of chil­dren from Manchester have an adven­ture in a magic­al land, but when they return home things follow them, and there was a creepy bit where they were going some­where on the tram, but being menaced by some super­nat­ur­al force that none of the adults could see. I guess the forces of dark­ness were winning against Manchester’s trans­port last week­end.

cactuses sm

(Lovely knit­ted cactuses by Jenna Lee Aldread)

My work­shop went well. I didn’t take many pictures at the event in the end, because the venue was a pub, and the light­ing was a strange mix of daylight and green disco lights that made every­one look ill in pictures, and it seems silly to take b&w photos of colour­ful stalls.

rebs and lee sm

(My friend Rebecca and her husband)

The next day, I had origin­ally planned to dump my stuff at the train station and go for a good old wander before meet­ing Ingrid at the cinema to see the new Moom­ins film before my train back, but there was torren­tial rain all morn­ing, so I spent a relax­ing time having a long bath, read­ing a book and having a leis­urely lunch at the b&b.

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