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I Love Manchester’s top 50 stories of 2018


It’s the time of year when TV is full of repeats of The Morecambe and Wise 1976 Christmas Special, Indiana Jones movies and Carry on Camping. It’s what the BBC likes to call ‘another chance to see’.

With this in mind, we’re offering you another chance to read 50 stories we’ve hand-picked for you from the 1558 stories we’ve published this year.

This isn’t a round-up of the year’s news. It’s our pick of the most popular stories we’ve published with a few of our favourites thrown in for good measure.

It’s like a big box of chocolates, but with the rubbish ones removed. If you don’t like one, move on and try another. And you can read as many as you want because, unlike a big box of chocolates, you won’t put any weight on and you won’t end up feeling sick. Let’s hope not anyway.

So put your feet up, pour yourself a glass of something, preferably fizzy, switch off the The Morecambe and Wise 1976 Christmas Special, relax and enjoy. And a very Happy New Year from everyone at I Love Manchester.

Manchester reunited: the city remembers victims of Arena terror attack

“It is so important for us to be together. We are here to look after each other, care for each other and to be positive and move forward.”

‘The pain is almost as fresh as it always was’: Lee Rigby’s mother on life after loss

May 22nd also marked five years since fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered outside his barracks in Woolwich.

Beautiful new variety of rose will honour youngest victim of Manchester Arena attack

The parents of Saffie-Rose Roussos, the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena bombing, have revealed a new variety of rose cultivated in memory of their daughter.

How a homeless man managed to turn his life round in Manchester – and his message for others

After getting with the wrong crowd at a young age, Chris became addicted to drugs and ended up on the streets. But he found the strength to pull back from the dark place he was in.

Footballer turned boxer Stacey packs a punch for aspiring sportswomen

Stacey Copeland’s driving ambition is be a role model paving the way for the empowerment of a new generation of sportswomen.

Manchester’s nightlife is flourishing despite a spate of closures says Sacha Lord

Despite a spate of closures in a brief period of time, Manchester’s first night time economy adviser says the outlook is far from depressing.

Manchester Christmas Markets 2018 are open: our guide to the best bits and what to find where

The Manchester Christmas Markets are ready to bring festive cheer to shoppers and revellers for the next two months in the city centre.

Bees go under the hammer and raise a cool million for Manchester charities

Manchester was buzzing when 77 of the Bee in the City sculptures which featured on this summer’s art trail were auctioned, raising £1,128,250 for The Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity.

How a heroic Manchester man is bringing water to a war torn community in Syria

Daniel Burke raised £700 to help install a new water well in Nashowa, a small village in war-torn Syria.

Meet the man who cycled from London to Manchester for charity – in a day

57 year-old Mark Leigh cycled 215 miles in 16 hours to raise over £2,000 for Macmillan.

Manchester most liveable city in the UK according to major global survey

Manchester is the most liveable city in the UK according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual global liveability index – 13 places ahead of London.

‘I’m just a lad from Ancoats blagging it’, says John Henshaw

From a bit of am dram with St Dunstan’s in Moston to Early Doors.

It’s official – Britain’s best vegetarian restaurant is in Stockport

The Allotment in Stockport took the top spot in The Times‘ guide to Britain’s 20 best vegetarian restaurants.

‘I’m not weird, I just like my own company’: Karl Pilkington tells us about his new show Sick Of It

The moaning Manc has earnt a legion of fans for his no-nonsense take on life.

Gino D’Acampo on his new Manchester coffee bar and why pineapple on pizza is a crime against Italian food

Fantastico! Celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo is a big fan of Manchester.

Dr John Cooper Clarke on meat and potato pies – and the difference between Manchester and Salford

Photo: Paul Wolfgang Webster

“Manchester and Salford are interchangeable to me. Does that make me a bad person?” asks Dr John Cooper Clarke.

”I cut up my Hacienda membership card to make plectrums”: Mark Kermode’s Manchester memories

Want to get into film journalism? “Get in a time machine and go back to Manchester in the 1980s,” says Mark Kermode.

Meet the man who makes the best ice cream in the north from his tiny kitchen in Salford

Ruben Porto has been perfecting his award-winning ice cream for six years using equipment designed for a science lab.

The original daft punk: whatever happened to Jilted John?

How a 19 year-old Manchester drama student had a massive hit and got on Top of the Pops.

Is this the most exclusive pub in Manchester?

Pic Akash Khadka

Where do Manchester’s thousands of bar staff go to unwind after a challenging day at the office?

These are the places Manchester’s top chefs eat when they’re off duty

From city centre favourites to suburban gems, this is where the city’s top chefs like to dine.

The Yorkshire pudding cafe in Manchester serving fry-ups, roast dinners and even pizza stuffed in puds

Street food trader Porky Pig opens his own city centre cafe serving all things Yorkshire pud.

Why I have never felt more embarrassed to be a United fan

“No manager or player who loves football or even likes it would set out to destroy the game in quite the way The Special One does”, says Terry Christian.

Inside the weird and wonderful world of Manchester’s tribute bands

From The Clone Roses to Oasish and The Iain Duncan Smiths.

The great untold story of how Manchester was cheated out of the new national stadium

In the mid-1990s, the imminent closure of the old, clapped out Wembley Stadium sparked a contest among several cities to build a new national stadium.

Jose Mourinho: it’s not a question of if he will be sacked, but when

His signings have been dreadful and the football woeful. His vile mood has seeped into all areas of the club. Everyone is drowning in apathy and there’s no one to do anything about it – or so we thought.

One of the greatest retail success stories of the last two decades: Happy Birthday intu Trafford Centre

It opened in September 1998 in the wake of bitter controversy but has become one of the greatest retail success stories of the last two decades.

Is Afflecks haunted? Celebrity ghosthunters spend Halloween locked inside – and this is what happened

What happened when seven ghosthunters were locked inside one of Manchester best loved buildings?

Why this new feature in the Manchester Arndale is puzzling shoppers

There’s an important reason for the stairs below the escalator in the Manchester Arndale.

Rex and the city: the Manchester cafe bar where single dogs and their owners can find romance

Dating in the city can be tough – not just for humans, but for pooches too.

“It’s the best city in the country”: Simon Wood on Manchester, MasterChef and massive steaks

MasterChef winner Simon Wood celebrates the first anniversary of his restaurant.

Hylas, the nymphs and the battle over art in Manchester

Taking down paintings in the art gallery because someone might be offended shames the city.

Meet Marjorie Ainsworth: the 96 year-old president of the oldest film society in the UK

The Manchester & Salford Film Society was established in 1930 and is still running today, thanks to the lifelong dedication of its 96-year-old president.

The world class Manchester college that’s producing the stars of tomorrow

The Royal Northern College of Music boasts impressive awards, students from across the globe, and state of the art performance spaces. So why doesn’t it get more attention?

First look inside The Ivy Spinningfields before it opens this month – what’s it like?

With 535 covers over four floors, The Ivy is the UK’s biggest restaurant opening this year.

Sneak peek inside glamorous new Deansgate bar serving espresso martinis on tap to the beat of New York

Manahatta offers all-day dining and drinking – along with bubble waffles, bottomless brunch, local sausages and cocktails on tap.

How a gym in a fire station is helping shape the lives of Moss Side youths

Conner Tudsbury and Nigel Travis

What happened when Moss Side Fire Station was granted permission to turn an unused storage area into a gym.

From Kylie Platt to Kinky Boots: Paula Lane is back in town

Paula Lane (Lauren) and Joel Harper-Jackson (Charlie) Pic Helen Maybanks

Kylie Platt may have died on the cobbles of Coronation Street two years ago, but the actress who played her is busier than ever.

Meet the doctor turned candlemaker whose business partner is a sausage dog

Our favourite headline of the year. When NHS doctor Emma Darbyshire started suffering with depression, she turned to candle making as therapy.

Hot cookie dough, Tango Ice Blast and bubble waffles: Manchester Arndale’s quirky pop-ups tried and tested

A range of quirky food pop-ups have been gaining the attention of hungry shoppers in the Arndale, sparking huge queues.

Is this Manchester’s craziest night out?

It’s Manchester’s hottest ticket – and it all revolves around a game of bingo.

The fried chicken and curly fries restaurant that has punters queuing down Piccadilly

There’s a new fried chicken restaurant in Manchester – and the crowds are flocking in.

Goodbye Manc music maverick Mark E Smith

A tribute to the man behind The Fall who died age 60.

Manchester: a city where music still has the power to turn strangers into family

People gather, the music plays, and thirty seconds later strangers are brothers and sisters.

Meet the Salford couple who turned their kitchen into a gin distillery

Becky Brown and Paul Carruthers’ house is also home to their micro-distillery and Fenney Street Gin.

How a soft drink invented in Salford is driving social change in Saudi Arabia

There’s more to Vimto than a fruity cordial in a bottle.

William, it’s really something: the Northern Quarter butty shop bringing authentic Sicilian street food to Manchester

William Sicilian Street Food serves all your breakfast favourites – full English, butties and barms (some with an Italian twist) – as well as some top Italian espresso and homemade Sicilian street food and sweets.

Meet the new wave of urban artists coming out of Manchester’s grime scene

Manchester isn’t all bucket hats and going mad fer it anymore.

CHAMPIONS! Ten key moments in Man City’s Premier League success

The key moments which saw Manchester City crowned Premier League champions for the third time in seven years.

Manchester’s small venues: the places where careers begin and lives are changed

Dave Haslam celebrates his love for gigs in Manchester’s dives, tiny halls, and basements.

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

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Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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