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MEMBER NEWS Spiral balloon columns created for national franchise Swimtime’s Annual Conference 19 NEW MANCHESTER WALKS JOINS CHAMBER Ed Glinert, tour guide, author, journalist, public speaker, explains why he has joined Greater Manchester Chamber. AS A very new member of the Chamber of Commerce, I’d like to introduce myself to the Manchester business community. I run an outfit called New Manchester Walks. Our team are qualified professional tour guides and we run walks, talks, tours, canal cruises nearly every day of the year. (Details at www.newmanchesterwalks. com). It was always my ambition to be invited to join the Chamber. Being asked is infinitely more satisfying than asking. It now means I have status in the city – after 36 years of writing about the place in the pages of City Life magazine, the Manchester Evening News and Private Eye; 36 years of articles on local history, architecture, music, football and the difficult stuff: local government incompetence and police corruption. I knew it was a great idea to join the Chamber as soon as I walked into the Deansgate HQ in the summer and saw on the timeline of Manchester history: “1976 – the Sex Pistols play the Lesser Free Trade Hall”. The very idea that an event like that would become part of everyday Manchester parlance back in 1976 would have had Chamber of Commerce members of that era spluttering into their after-dinner brandies. But now it’s an official part of local history. It’s almost establishment-friendly. Actually, it is. Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer supreme, was there that night in June 1976 promoting the Pistols. She has since of course been Damed by the Queen, despite co-writing the lines “God save the Queen/A fascist regime has made you a moron” on the group’s incorrigible “God Save the Queen” single. So what can I bring to the Chamber? Severely entertaining and enlightening tours in and around Manchester, and PowerPoint talks on topics as diverse as Alan Turing, the Peterloo Massacre, the Pankhursts, the Manchester Ship Canal and Underground Manchester. Which reminds me; if there’s anybody out there from Tobermory, owners of the Great Northern leisure centre, please get in touch pronto to arrange a meeting to re-open the tunnels underneath. Our Underground Manchester tour was the second most popular walking tour in the country, beaten only by London Walks and Jack the Ripper. I’d particularly like to promote our daily “Welcome to Manchester” tour (10.45am from the Visitor Centre in Piccadilly Gardens). It’s the ideal introduction to the city, not just for tourists and visitors but also for your staff new to Manchester and locals who would like to learn a bit more…such as how Chinatown arose by accident around George Street when the council dropped their plans to replace an enormous part of the city centre with an estate of 50-storey tower blocks and how a disused atomic bunker runs underneath the site of the house where John Dalton devised atomic theory in 1803. While we’re on the subject of local history if any members out there would like to get involved (I mean sponsor) my life-long project, The Manchester Encyclopaedia, drop me a line at edglinert@yahoo.co.uk. www.newmanchesterwalks.com PARTY PIECE CELEBRATES 15TH ANNIVERSARY CHAMBER MEMBERS Party Piece Balloon Decorators have had their own big celebration this year – marking 15 years in business. Starting from humble beginnings when decorating a family engagement party in 2001, they now include amongst their clients, Vodafone, B&Q, national franchises Swimtime and cardealership showrooms right through to public sector organisations like Bury MBC, as well as lots of smaller independent businesses. More ‘glamorous’ commissions have included decorating celebratory events for boxer Amir Khan when he became WBA Champion, and his brother Haroon Khan. And for the past seven years they have placed a 7ft Christmas sculpture in the Hale branch window of Kellands Chartered Financial Planners, which has certainly caught the attention of passers-by. “If you think balloons are just for birthday parties, think again,” said business founder Sonya Curtis. “They are a key element of the marketing ‘tool box’ for businesses.” Sonya continued: “If you are opening a new branch or launching a new product or service, balloons can be used to draw attention with an eye-catching archway at the business entrance or a themed centrepiece in a shop window to let potential customers know that something is going on instore. Party Piece can create these using your corporate colours, or provide balloons printed with your company logo and incorporate these into the décor. “Bespoke design for our clients is definitely the favourite part of my job! And it’s what makes the difference between engaging us and buying balloons off-the-shelf from a high-street retailer.” For a Housing Association’s 10th Anniversary celebratory lunch, Party Piece created balloon displays with a house-shaped centrepiece, and when a client’s slogan at a trade show was ‘Soar Above the Competition’ its stand was decorated with a 3ft wide, hot-air balloon – eye-catching décor to draw in visitors. For more information about how Party Piece can help you promote your business, email info@partypiece.net or call Sonya on 0161 796 8345. www.partypiece.net


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