Antoine Christmas movie

Our French Community Reporters visit to Manchester and their time at the Christmas markets

Christmas guests in Manchester

Our French Community Reporters at the Christmas markets in Manchester

The Open University Event, Longsight

The Open University’s presentation in Longsight, Manchester in October 2010.

Zippo’s Circus

Michelle and Ian’s trip to the Circus!

Video Post Cards Through Time

Clips from the video booth we had here at the roby on our open day on the 17th of July 2010.

Making an exhibition of yourself at the Royal Exchange

There’s an argument that says being part of a social networking site, writing a blog, or having a Twitter account is all about self-promotion, developing the ‘Brand of Me’, or at worst, self-indulgent naval-gazing. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people say ‘but what’s the point of it all? Why do you spend time telling the world what you had for breakfast?’

Personally, I rarely mention what I had for breakfast online (I tend to focus on dinner), but I do enjoy the glimpse sites like Twitter give into people’s everyday experiences. If my train’s delayed in Manchester, I find it strangely comforting to discover that Dave, the guy I talk to about blogging on Twitter, is suffering the same fate in Devon.

But then, I’m interested  in the everyday. I once visited the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, and ignored the tanks and films and interactive stuff, preferring to gaze for hours at the contents of a typical WW2 soldier’s backpack.

A new exhibition at the Royal Exchange Theatre is focusing on exactly that kind of minutiae – creating an exhibition about the private displays we make in our own homes. And, if you’re feeling brave, you could be part of it.

The Royal Exchange team have put together a list of activities they’d like people to complete and submit to them by 10th December to help them assemble the exhibition.

Here’s the list:

MAKE A MAP – make a map of your room, flat, house – any kind of map – a map that shows on it the things that matter to you.
YOUR LISTS – collect up some of your old lists – shopping lists, reminders, to-do lists etc.

YOUR DOOR – take a photo of your door (could be a back door, front door, your room door).

CORNERS OF HOME – examine three corners of your home. Draw them, photograph them or write about them.

DREAMS – write or draw a dream.

NIGHTMARES – write or draw a nightmare.


The resulting exhibition will be on display at the theatre on Thursday 14th & Friday 15th January 2010 – 10:30am-7:30pm, and Saturday 16th January 11am – 8pm.


Competing for the People’s Millions

My inbox has been deluged with information about the PEOPLE’S MILLIONS project this week. It’s the TV show that distributes Big Lottery funding to community projects. Each night during this year’s voting period, two shortlisted projects will be featured on the local ITV regional news (in our case Granada Reports) between 6-6:30pm, then they’ll face a telephone vote to determine which of them receives that day’s funding.

Tomorrow, Manchester’s own Longford Park will be up against Windmill Hill Primary School in Runcorn, two garden-creation projects battling for support.

The project’s website allows you to view the @peoplesmillions Twitter feed, and you can register your details to support and endorse your chosen project, but that’s NOT the same as voting for it, which has to be done by phone during the voting period.

Is this as good a way as any to distribute funding – does it give people more say? And does it depend more on the ability of the individual projects to market themselves and mobilise support for their bid? After all, nobody wants to suffer the same fate as Jedward did on Sunday, now do they?