APP Manchester Social Report
1st July, 2013
Mark Briegal, Partner in the Partnership Law Team, chairs the North West group of the Association of Partnership Practitioners (APP). On 27 June the group had an historic walking tour of Manchester.
One of the interesting facts that came out of Manchester’s abortive bid for the 2000 Olympics (which went to Sydney) is that the annual rain fall in Manchester is less than that in Sydney. The difference appears to be the frequency – Sydney may have infrequent tropical storms, but Manchester has more frequent drizzle, and sadly it was on a rather drizzly night at the end of June that a dozen intrepid APP North West members met in the Town Hall Tavern, behind Manchester’s magnificent gothic Town Hall, to embark on a historical tour of Manchester.
Rather than an eminent speaker with in-depth knowledge of partnership matters, we had as our guide Suzanne Hindle, who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of Manchester (and of some of the best pubs and bars in the city). The Manchester group is now in its third year and we felt a social event would be fun – and it was fun.
Having had a drink to fortify us against the weather, we set off up King Street, the heart of Georgian Manchester, before ending up at the old Reform Club, opened by Gladstone, frequented by Churchill and now a rather trendy bar called Room. We admired its Grade II listed interiors in the Venetian Gothic style and it seemed rude not to have a drink whilst we were there; so we did.
We then headed off to Piccadilly Gardens to learn about the statues we had all walked past and ignored many times, before entering the Northern Quarter, which had been the heart of manufacturing in Manchester and, following a period of decline, its refurbished warehouses are fast becoming the über-trendy centre of modern culture. After all that history, and the best part of half a mile’s walk, a drink was required and we headed into the rather funky Common on Edge Street, where a bunch of lawyers, bankers, accountants and consultants did not look out of place at all.
Our historical quest continued past some fabulous facades and an old fish market to Stevenson Square, scene of some mass political rallies over the years involving Engels and the Suffragettes amongst others. Given that Marx (Karl not Groucho) and Engels had written much of the communist manifesto in Manchester, we decided that, in the spirit of equality for the proletariat, it was time for “drinks for all”, and we retired to the Whiskey Jar on Tariff Street, a rather lovely bar in a converted warehouse, that we would not have found on our own.
Suzanne left us there and we continued to discuss history, partnerships and life in general as the evening unfolded. Suzanne had cleverly left us close to Piccadilly Station so we could all get trains and trams home when the time came.
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