Wednesday, 10 August 2011


The past 24 hours have undoubtedly been the most bizarre of my life. I was up half the night listening to police helicopters and sirens. This morning, I went into town, feeling sick with anticipation at what I was about to encounter.

Thankfully, Manchester is more resilient than I thought. There were many broken windows, but I'd say only around five shops were completely gutted; Links of London, Miss Selfridge, Swarovski, Jessops, and Office. The Swarovski shop was only two weeks old, and was a gorgeous retail space.

The #manchestercleanup team met in Piccadilly Gardens, armed with brooms, gloves, and binbags. Most of the city had already been cleaned by the council, but we were determined to make our city safe and free of broken glass. I'd say it took around three hours for the streets to be completely clear. There was a huge sense of comraderie, with volunteers helping each other out, and small teams going inside devastated shops to help clear up broken windows.

I did want to feature window displays in this blog, it's just unfortunate that the first are in this state:

Massive congratulations to the team at Office St Ann's Square, who managed to get the shop organised and fully operational within the morning. I wish all retailers the very best at this hard time, and look forward to seeing what they will do with their brand spanking new stores.

I'm off for a well-deserved cup of tea, and maybe a nap while it's all quiet. Let's hope it remains quiet overnight.

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