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Has Manchester Gone Mad?

Published on January 24th 2006.

'Madchester' has returned with a vengeance this week, but unfortunately this latest wave of madness isn't exactly music to our ears. We know January is a bit of a dull old month, but these attempts to liven up proceedings are on a par with Weirdy Wallie’s World of the Weird.

First up, a leisurely stroll down King Street yesterday afternoon thinking about the meaning of life was interrupted as 4 scantily clad ladies walked past. This isn’t the kind of thing you see everyday, especially as the weather had turned a glove and hat inducing -3 degrees, but when I spotted the paper bags on their heads I had to question whether or not I’d been transported into a scene from Twin Peaks.

The girls frog-marched themselves down towards Lower King Street where they stopped and faced a bunch of bemused shoppers and mums covering their kids’ eyes with fearful hands while the girls did, well, nothing.

Protest or some cheap marketing for a new local store? If it’s for a fancy knicker shop then the girls in our office reckon they’d been run through the washing machine a few times. My guess, judging by the painted on clown-like smiles, is that they were students performing a standing still protest at the lack of identity in the modern world, or something else that’s not really that important.

Anyone know more? Tell us all below….

Having just about got over this event, lunchtime today convinced me that Manchester has indeed been taken over by nutters.

Our MD Andy Mullett phoned the Man Con newsroom hotline as he was popping out to tell me there was a huge lollipop lady protest in Albert Square. Having questioned his sanity a number of times, he convinced me to go down to have a look, and sure enough, there was indeed a huge lollipop lady (and man) protest going on.

Armed with more lollipops than Kojak, the team of lollipop ‘people’, (resembling a potential new form of evil race for the next Doctor Who series) had lined up in Albert Square to protest at the fact that although it is actually illegal to drive on when there is a lollypop person in standing in the road, hundreds of Mancunians seem to do it anyway – it’s just as illegal as driving through a red light or driving on when someone steps onto a zebra crossing apparently.

The ‘Stop Means Stop’ campaign was headed up 30 school crossing patrols in full uniform as well as staff from the Manchester road safety team.

With 50 cases reported of drivers failing to stop when a lollipop has been raised in the street, drivers are being warned that they risk a £1,000 fine, as well as knocking over some kids on their way to school.

Tim Gough
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