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Hello Again

28 Aug

 

Sorry we’ve been pretty quiet over the past few weeks, we’ve all been very busy but hopefully back on track now. There will be a proper blog post later on this week but for now we just wanted to mention our happiness in hearing that the Grey Horse now has free Wi-fi.
You might remember our post about the lack of wi-fi in the Reddish area and so we hope that this will help people get online, and also encourage a few more drinkers down to the pub. We’ve been down a few times and were impressed by the prices and comfortable surroundings. There is even a nice garden at the back, one to remember next time we have a sunny day.
We’d be interested to hear about your favourite pubs in Reddish. Where should we go to get the best pint and the best atmosphere?
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The Big Stockport Walk – Get Involved!

15 Aug

 

Inspired by London 2012? Want to become more physically active? Want to raise money for a charity that is close to you? Want to challenge yourself? Check out the information below and get involved with the Big Stockport Walk!

The Big Stockport Walk – 9th September 2012

Distance: 5 Mile & 10 Mile Walks

Start Time: From 10.00am until 12.00 noon

Starting Location: Reddish Vale Technology College, SK5 7HD

Finishing Location: Reddish Vale Technology College, SK5 7HD

Entry Cost: £5.00

Additional information: Register and pay before 31st July to be in with a chance of gaining £500 for your chosen charity. Sponsorship Form is available by clicking here or register at www.justgiving.com

Route Maps: 10 Mile Walk – 5 Mile Walk

 

Reddish: The Five Year Plan. Part Two: Community

9 Aug

 

Some of us are fairly new to Reddish, having lived here for less than a year, and to be honest we feel that the community spirit is a little lacking. We’ve met with some fantastic cheerleaders trying to do their best for the area but we’ve also met with some people who have either given up or consigned the area to failure.

We might not have a swimming pool but we do have a library and a community centre and a massive great park. There are some fantastic pockets of community spirit but there seems no real Reddish pride amongst residents. We’re lucky to have a lot of independent retailers so it is a surprise that they don’t seem to be leading the community. There are events going on, like the Jubilee party in Houldsworth Mill but people don’t seem to want to go. Is it because they don’t know about these things or is it because they have no interest in going?

The aesthetics of Reddish do not help; the many run down properties and empty shops doesn’t really instill pride. Stockport has been lucky enough to be included in the Portas Pilot Scheme, so perhaps Reddish can piggy back off of that and take steps to encourage new retailers to the area – not just the Square but throughout Reddish as a whole.

We would love to see a vibrant district centre that can hold it’s own against the likes of the Heatons. A community hub where people can gather and friendly spaces to meet. Somewhere that is a hive of activity that will draw people in from around Cheshire and Manchester.

 

What do you think? Do you feel Reddish pride? What changes would you like to see?

by Liz Edwards

Reddish: The Five Year Plan. Part One: Communication

30 Jul communication

communicate

Today at Reddish News we’ve decided to start what we hope will become a series of five articles about what we hope Reddish will become, or overcome in the coming years.

Today we’re going to be starting with arguably the biggest element of them all: Communication.

Reddish, as a small community, has many things going for it. The fact that there are so many independent, local tradesmen and women, and stores in the area attest to that. But the way in which the ideas and ambitions that these businesses and individuals is expressed is at best crude and disparate to say the least.

Communication can play a very important role in this. Yes, we know that we have a Reddish Business Forum that provides a focal point for local businesses to come together to try and make Reddish a better place to trade for them. But are we as residents welcome to contribute to this process?

We think it’s in everybody’s interest to have a thriving hub of independent businesses where people can live, work, play and enjoy their time in. We’re not there yet.

So, as well as serving businesses in the local area and supporting them all that we can as individuals, what else can be done to attract new businesses to the area? What can be done to open Reddish up to the world, and encourage people to come to Reddish for shopping and living – that place where they can get the best coffee in the Stockport Area, where they can come and get their clothes altered, keys cut and shoes re-heeled with enough time to do a bit of shopping and grab a bite to eat?

The only time businesses and the community have come together in recent months to communicate with the world at large has been to oppose a mosque being built on the site of the old Bull’s Head pub. And, if we’re all honest with ourselves, was it really a positive campaign? As a community, do we want to be known as one that welcomes new groups and individuals (potentially new shoppers, generating income for local businesses), or do we want to be known as an insular, self-serving community, that doesn’t welcome fresh perspectives and new ideas. Which one would you rather be seen as?

Like it or not, some of our communication with the neighboring boroughs, towns and cities will be coloured by some of the language that we’ve seen firsthand via social media channels regarding the mosque’s planning application. And it’s not a case of ‘like it or lump it’ when it comes to setting up business in an area such as ours.

If we want to bring a more rounded selection of new and exciting businesses and people to Reddish, we have to learn to communicate what’s GREAT about our area. What makes it better to trade in than Levenshulme, Heaton Moor or Gorton? Or, for instance, what makes it a more attractive place to unwind than one of the four Heatons (hint – we’ve got a massive, beautiful country park)?

We’ve spent so much time as a community shouting about what we don’t want – how about we all get together and talk about what we do want for a change? Our hopes for the community, for industry, for business?

We already have a community centre. Maybe we should use it to do just that? Young and old, in an environment that is open to everybody, regardless of their age and their choice of watering hole.

What would you, as a Reddishian, like to communicate to the world around us? What do you think would attract people to the area? How would you like to be seen by the rest of Manchester and Stockport? How would you like to see the area grow?

These are all big questions – ones that can only be answered by communicating with everybody in a clearer, more concise way, without making sweeping generalisations about what our community is, and what it should be.

An Interview: Youth Space

13 Jul

There are so many great people living in Reddish, working to make it a better place for everyone. One of the main objectives of Reddish News  is to bring these brilliant people and their projects to light. This week Jez spoke to Christopher Hill, who is working on the Youth Space project. Don’t know what it is? That’s what we are here for! Read on to find out more in this great interview with Christopher!

Who are you and what is your connection to Reddish?

I’m Christopher Hill, a 20 year old student at the University of Manchester. I am a Reddish lad, lived here all my life and went to School at St. Elisabeth’s and Reddish Vale. I am also now deeply rooted at Reddish Vale as a Governor/Director.

I keep seeing you at events across Reddish and Stockport promoting Youthspace. What is it?

Youth Space is a concept we hope to develop into a social enterprise/co-operative/youth organisation. We aim to provide a platform for young people to achieve their ambitions whilst helping others. We hope to do this through a virtual space (www.youthspace.info) and a physical space (the youth space hub/shop in the centre of Reddish). Youth Space this year has funded work with Human Utopia(our partner organisation) and together we have worked with over 1000 young people. We are currently continuing our Future Leaders Programme that has 3 stages; Thinking, Doing,Changing.  This is done by a combination of workshop and social action.

You pride yourself on having the co-op values. What are these and why do you feel they are such an integral part of what you do?

The values are: solidarity, democracy, equity, equality, self help and self responsibility. There are also a series of ethical values and a set of key principles that are available to see at www.youthspace.info.

The values to me represent universal aims for all human beings and so offer people the chance to grow and develop together, as one, as co-operators. The principles act as guide and temper my actions as co-operator and ensure live harmoniously with others. They are important because they have made a difference to my life through Phil Arnold (Director of College Improvement RVTC). He’s an inspirational man who was instrumental in bringing co-operation to RVTC. Since 2008 I have worked co-operatively to help develop a coffee co-op, creative co-op, and speak at high profile events, all things I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Above all else the values have made me want to be a ‘Phil Arnold’, someone that works tirelessly without courting recognition. That’s why I want to ask for help to develop Youth Space so more young people can be switched on by these values and make Reddish an even better place.

Do you feel that young people get much of a say in the local community? If not, how do you feel this could be addressed?

I think youth councils and organisations like the ROC Cafe have helped in this area to some degree. I still feel that the 16-17 year olds feel disenfranchised with no vote and no mechanism to express their good ideas, opinions and thoughts on the political questions of the day (local, national, global). Civil society can only remain ‘civil’ if young people have a point in which they can invest in hope for the future and harness the idealism that youth holds.

Specifically Youth Space proposes the Youth Space hub that would be funded through membership and wider stakeholders. This would continue our workshop work and provide a space in which young people can organise to set up social action projects to combat injustice. I believe young people have the passion and talent to be independent. Together they can take ownership of local politics without the aid of a politician/official who doesn’t know the price of milk or the plight of young people in the 21st century. Youth Space is happy to share knowledge of the political process in a neutral fashion but prefers young people to use co-operative action to bypass the red tape.

Reddish Business Forum are asking the question “What’s your vision for Reddish over the next five years?”. What’s yours?

– For Reddish to have a Councillor under the age of 24 to represent young peoples issues with real understanding. Cllrs to hold regular youth surgeries in local Schools.

– For Reddish’s youth organisations to join up their services to offer a safety net and variety of experiences for young people. No young person should miss out on the chance to develop skills outside of school hours. As “by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone”.

– To open the Youth Space Hub.

– To continue our work with Human Utopia accessing every school in Reddish/serves Reddish. With all young people in Reddish having the opportunity to be a hero.

– To see young people in Reddish celebrated as the area’s greatest asset.

We hear you’re planning an event on the 14th July. Tell us about it.

Yes, the Youth Space BBQ and Activities Day at Reddish Vale Technology College. Earlier in the year I put in a bid for £800 from the Community First pot (supported by Cllr Verdeille, Sophia and James) and was successful. The event is a reward for the contribution young people have made to the Reddish community over the past year as ‘Heroes’. On the day we will have prizes for the young people, a high ropes assalt course, live music and DJ Sets. This event will also give current learners at Reddish Vale the chance to celebrate the Schools Diamond Jubillee. We also hope to encourage more young people to get involved and adults to support us in our second year of activity.

Find more information on Youth Space:

http://www.youthspace.info/

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by Jez Myers

A Rant: Wi-Fi

9 Jul

A few weeks ago, Cllr. Kate Butler sent us a tweet asking about where she could get free Wi-Fi in Reddish. Having had a think about it, I came back with nothing. Nada. Zilch. There’s a Cloud point in Houldsworth Square which is great if you have Sky Broadband or get your mobile from Phones4U. If you don’t though, then you have to pay for it. Not exactly what people are looking for when they think of ‘free’.

So, as I sit here in Starbucks, utilising their free Wi-Fi, writing this article, I can’t seem to understand why there aren’t any businesses that provide it locally. I’d have thought that in the centre, Sykes or Johnny’s Dinner would be ideal. Even the pubs would be better than the current ‘none’. Also as a way to keep people shopping locally, something that I’ll be writing about shortly, it’s of vital importance.

One of the things that we’ve noticed with this website, is the demand for a printed version, it’s something we’re working on trust me. However, the costs involved are substantial and, in reality, we shouldn’t HAVE to do a printed version. The city over we are working on improving digital connectivity and it’s something that we’re all passionate about but something that Reddish seems to do badly. Why?

Young professionals (and I’m still young at 35) want places to sit, eat, drink and work but require the space and the tools to do so. If that isn’t provided then they go elsewhere and that hurts the local economy.  The same person who goes to Sykes for a coffee and a sandwich whilst doing their work, is the same person that calls in on the way home at Price Less (or is it Priceless, I’ve never been able to work that out) or Tittertons or Hobsons. This is the very same reason why it’s so important to support the local community centre and library. We’ve already lost the swimming pool, don’t let them be next.

In 2012, asking for a high quality local business to provide me with a coffee, pannini and wifi isn’t too much to ask, is it?

What do you think?

by Jez Myers

Reddish Vale Country Park – Weekend Activities

5 Jul

Ok, so I was brought up in a city, and I’ve lived in cities most of my adult life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I have any kind of natural aversion to the countryside. In fact, maybe it’ the dash of Romany that I’ve got in me that means that I’m rarely happier than when I’m mucking about in the country.

This is why I was so happy who discover Reddish Vale Country Park when Ana and I moved here. It really is something special.

Five minutes walk from the litter of Houldsworth Square is a relatively unspoilt stretch of countryside, with three lakes, a river running through it and some spectacular views of the railway bridge into Stockport. A place where you can (very nearly) get lost for an afternoon hunting for frogspawn or feeding ducks, like a refugee from an Enid Blyton novel.

I’ve seen so much at the park, from tiny baby ducks to beautiful sunsets in the early summer. It’s a genuinely inspiring place to spend time, and as someone that spends most of their life glued to a computer screen, it’s great to go somewhere away from the hustle and bustle, to sit and feed the ducks, get lost and just BE.

Want to head down there? Well this weekend could be a great time to experience the park for the first time. Stockport Greenspace Forum have organised a special event this weekend to celebrate the Olympics, the Paralympics, and some of the best green spaces in Stockport.

Want to know more about the event? Here’s the gist of it from the official site:

“Five batons, designed by Stockport school children, will set off from five different green spaces across Stockport. The batons will be carried along five routes, calling at participating green spaces along the way until all five batons meet up at Reddish Vale for the finale.”

The finale in question will feature a brass band, some face painting, and some Zorbing – although whether it builds on Jez’s idea for a water-zorbing race including celebrities still remains to be seen. Don’t hold your breath for that bit – but the rest should be quite fun.

Find out more information about the event on the official Pass the Baton site.

by Ben Stroud

Get Stuffed

29 Jun

A couple of the Reddish News team took a little trip down to Houldsworth Mill this afternoon, on the off chance that Reddish’s very own taxidermy shop ‘Death Warmed Up‘ would be open. Sadly, it was all closed up, but luckily for us there will be an exhibition of Patricia Calder’s work starting with a preview tomorrow (Saturday 30th June)!

So if you are as intrigued as we are (which is VERY) then get yourself down to Unit 33M, Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Greg Street, Reddish, Stockport SK5 7BR!

by Ana Hernandez

Reddish Rubbish

14 Jun

I have a lot of love for Reddish, but one thing that really gets my goat is how littered our streets are. I’ve never lived anywhere where I’ve noticed the crazy amount of litter in the streets quite as much as in our fair town (and I’ve lived in some pretty hardcore areas of London!) It’s such as shame.

I know my particular road is subject to more litter than most because school children use it as a cut-through on their way home. Every day I leave my house and scoop up tens of chocolate bar wrappers/coke cans and the like, put them in my own bin and die a little bit inside. I have become the crazy woman who calls the council on a weekly basis. They literally know me on first name terms now and I get the feeling they have stopped caring because they basically think I’m insane. At first they sent street cleaners and litter pickers (who, by the way, are terrible. I’ve watched them from my window just walking up and down the road not bothering to pick anything up), but I’ve got a feeling my one woman battle is failing.

But it’s not just my road that’s rubbish. Reddish Lane/Gorton Road is, frankly, disgusting. Plastic bags, crisp packets, chip wrappers fly around our streets every single day and it seems to have become accepted that that’s just how it is. Is this really how we want Reddish to look? Am I the only one who feels really crappy when I step out on to dirty streets? It can’t be good for anyone’s state of mind.

It took these pictures between the Post Office and Williamson Street (where the side entrance to Morrisons is). It can’t have been more than a 20 metre walk. 

I’ve been wracking my brains as to why we have such a high volume of litter in our community and I’ve narrowed it down to the following questions:

1) Do we have enough bins in Reddish?

2) Do we have enough support from the council when it comes to regular street cleansing?

3) Do we, as residents, just not care enough? If there is litter on the streets are people more likely just to drop their own litter?

I have my own views on the answers to these questions but I’d like to know yours.

This is the first post in what  I hope to be the beginning of a campaign to clean up Reddish.

by Ana Hernandez

Well Redd

11 Jun

Image

Reddfest Weekend Roundup    

If I was to ever have picked out a career path then I’m glad it wasn’t as a weatherman. Quite clearly my wonderful prediction of ’15 degrees and cloudy, no need for a brolly for the weekend’s festivities’ was greeted with an almighty two finger salute, as the rain not only visited us but it felt like the rivers Tame, Medlock, Irwell and Mersey had taken it upon themselves to visit from up above. No bother though, we’re a hardy lot up North and a bit of water certainly isn’t going to dampen our spirits.

And so, to Reddfest. I walked/swam, to be greeted by organiser Cllr. Kate Butler (complete with new name tag) and Vince Mather, who were both proud to show off this year’s selection of stalls. From the Reddish building’s preservation trust (manned by Cllr. Paul Moss) to the Youthspace stall, it showed that there is clearly a great amount of community spirit in the area. However, there were a few stalls there that I feel I should single out for praise;

The Kindling Trust: Whilst it might not be hugely in the public knowledge, the Kindling Trust along with Phil Arnold of Reddish Vale College, Mark Rogers of Stockport Homes and a few others are planning a £1m bid for five years of funding to promote sustainable and green living in the area. This looks like a really exciting and interesting project and can’t wait for us to report more about it over the coming months.

Fi and Me: Fiona and Lucy, two sisters, have come together to produce a fantastic array of handmade cards/gifts/jewellery. Really impressed. Definitely worth checking them out at the various craft fairs that they attend locally.

ARC: I was only vaguely aware of their work prior to this but it looks like a fantastic community group. ARC, Arts for Recovery in the Community, aim to promote the well being of people who are experiencing emotional or psychological distress by encouraging creativity in the art. They had some great pieces on display and told me about their Summer Art Fair on the 30th June.

Overall, the event seemed very well attended considering the downpour and I’m hoping that next year will see an increase in business based stalls. Clearly a bit of warmth is too much to ask for!
Did you attend Reddfest? Did you enjoy it? click on contact and let us know.


Failing to Produce

Not only was Reddfest on this weekend but we also saw the first producer’s market too. I popped down, along with two other members of the Reddish news team and, well, underwhelmed doesn’t cover it. We had already spoken of our concerns with regards to lack of promotion of the event but to be greeted with only three stalls was shocking. I’ve visited Heaton Moor market before and, whilst not the biggest, it was relatively thriving. I don’t want to come down too hard on it because we should be supportive of these efforts, I just felt that subsequent ones could do with significantly better promotion.

On the positive side, Ben and Ana hadn’t visited Broadstone Mill before and had a great time there, especially in the kitchenware’s section.

By Jez Myers