Here’s wishing you all a bright and blossomy Spring ahead of May. Thank God we have not reached the ‘Mayday Mayday’ moment of exiting the EU just yet. For now, we have brighter, fruitful and warmer days ahead, literally and metaphorically.
For Manchester, this year’s 22nd May marks the second anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack, which took the lives of 22 at an Ariana Grande concert. This year, it will be marked with a civic memorial service at St Ann’s church at 2pm on Wednesday 22 May 2019. While it was right that the first anniversary last year was marked with a series of high-profile events, in consultation with families it has been agreed that this year’s anniversary will be more intimate.
It was the Queen’s 93rd birthday in April, however she is not officially 93 until later in the year. That’s because the Queen has two birthdays each year. One is her real one on 21 April, as she was born on 21 April 1926. The second one is the public celebration on the second Saturday of June. We wish Her Majesty a very happy birthday.
In business news this month, we report on the Debenhams saga. The department store has gone into administration and has announced its stores will remain open this year but 22 closures are planned for the start of next year; putting about 1,200 jobs at risk. The struggling firm’s lenders took control earlier in April in a process designed to keep its shops open at the expense of shareholders. What’s worrying is that there is still an enormous amount of uncertainty flowing around the company as things stand. Thoughts immediately turn to the staff and suppliers who will be negatively affected.
We have some exciting entertainment news for you this month as Stormzy looks to level up in the hall of fame of musicians to ever headline at Glastonbury. Yes, you read that correctly, Stormzy will be topping the Pyramid Stage line-up on the Friday night this year. However, some fans have questioned whether, after just one album, he’s ready.
“I’m there because I’m a serious musician,” he clapped back. Big up, Stormzy… haters are going to hate, as the saying goes. Head over to Page 10 and 11 for more entertainment buzz.
In recent sports news, particularly football, Manchester City have retained their Premier League title in what has been one of the most dramatic title races ever. Commiserations to Liverpool FC who after 97 points still came second. Chelsea FC hit a new low as their fans were filmed chanting a vile Islamophobic slur at Liverpool’s Mo Salah. The group of men, who were in the Czech Republic for their side’s Europa League clash against Slavia Prague, were filmed singing ‘Salah is a bomber’. Condemning the club’s fans, campaign group Kick It Out said on Twitter: “It’s not on the terraces, but it’s still a disgrace.”
Whilst there are people who walk on the side of bigotry, there is still goodness and virtue within many others; so not all is gloomy. There are plenty of positive and inspiring articles this edition plus exciting events, including the Kingdom Choir’s at the Bridgewater Hall on 7 May.
Until next month, folks, stay grounded but classy!