Love Letters to Manchester

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Life on Oxford Road

Joseph Fenwick

Amongst the weeds, the movement begins,
a seed,
life visible beneath.

It always flows,
each footstep forging fragile connection to the street,
temporary yet significant for those
people (be)coming.

What is it they seek to know?
What does it mean to grow in this place?
My pace is my pace, not yours. Breathing,
the 143 doors hiss – or was it a kiss

to yesterday’s rider?
Crossing won’t wait for the lights to count down,
revolving chains, linked, roll their people home,
to an office no longer bound.

“Just a single, please”,
its people join in a special communion,
is this the goal or just the beginning?
Space shared in a moment – the movement

Its steel limbs stretch upward,
(not with a nervous mumble but with the quiet confidence of financial dominance –
they say it’s for knowledge).
a space for understanding
or undermining?

Silence studies while conversation sits and sips,
relationships restored.

This is the hope that fuels the whispers – scheming,
of ordinary people – going,

The foundations shake,
extraordinary taking shape.

Oxford Road.

A letter to the class of 2020

Nana Ansah

“Lastly, to our Manchester, a place I’m missing far more than I thought I would and I know others are too. The love letter I wrote to you in February said a lot, but it didn’t nearly explain how deeply you have become embedded in who I am. In who we are.

I miss that sunny friendly accent. I miss the liveliness of Oxford road. I miss saying ‘To Piccadilly please’. I miss my lovely lecturer Dawn. I miss the business school and the campus I can now navigate like the back of my hand. I miss perusing the Whitworth Gallery on a Sunday afternoon. I miss the cafes and shops in the NQ. I miss the food…so much. Rudy’s, Common, Salt n Pepper and Wholesome Junkies. I even miss the familiar grey overcast clouds.

I don’t want to say goodbye, I want to say see you later.

I don’t know when but I know it will happen because a little part of me will always belong with you.

See you soon Manchester and the Class of 2020,

A fellow ‘Class of 2020’ student.

A Love Letter to Manchester

Nabila Ahsan

When I think of Manchester, even while currently abroad as an international student, a kaleidoscope of thoughts, feelings and recollections come to mind; as visceral as if I were there in the flesh.

Sitting in cafés for hours poring over an assignment, talking, or people-watching. Lectures and tutorials spent broadening my mind and engaging with my peers, listening with rapt attention to erudite and ever-relevant theories and thoughts about the world. Walking home after class with my friends to our shared flats/halls, doing our grocery shopping at Tesco together on the way. Sitting in a campus building watching the steel-grey clouds take over the sky, feeling at peace as the sound of rain fills the air with a soothing rhythm. Trying seasonal bubble tea flavours at Chatime, though everyone knows Gong Cha is better. Wandering through the Northern Quarter, popping into Afflecks or a vinyl store every now and then. Late night talks and study sessions that run much longer than expected. Relaxing with Netflix all day in my cosy student room on weekends, steaming Earl Grey always in hand. Finally managing to watch a film at Vue after immense amounts of planning. Eating out or ordering in from our favourite Japanese and Korean and Thai and Mexican places. Feeling the pulse of life in the city centre on a sunny day, warmed by the smiles on people’s faces and the gentle fading out of my troubles.

Manchester has given me more than I could possibly fathom or articulate; more memories , experiences, and dreams fulfilled than I would have imagined a few years ago at the cusp of starting my undergraduate degree, overridden with uncertainty. There is an inexplicable magic in this city, in the seemingly ordinary and mundane, in all the little moments and occurrences you are in danger of taking for granted if you are not paying attention. There is beauty everywhere, from a Magic Bus crowded with students and working professionals from all walks of life to the art galleries and museums that you always say you should visit more. There is love, hope, excitement, anxiety, success, failure, disappointment, reassurance, and everything in between. Above all, for me, Manchester is a place of happiness, of freedom, of lessons learnt and potential manifested, and of serendipity and some of the best years of my life with some of my favourite people. In my final year, as I look back on my time, I am comforted by the fact that wherever I go and whatever I do hereafter, I will always have Manchester.

Manchester Memoir

Harveen Kaur Gulati

“Call me self obsessed but who doesn’t like to share their life experiences? Today, when I look back, I cherish the very opportunity to have studied abroad🇬🇧. It has been the most amazing learning experience of my life. I’m going to use this medium to document my experience and share it with the world🌎. This memoir is just the beginning. Stay tuned for the Lockdown Tales with Harveen Kaur Gulati” Instagram – @harveen1998

What are your favourite things about Manchester?


John McLorinan (BEd 1971)

I started my adventure young and naive with excitement and trepidation.
We’d no cars, computers, mobile phones or lap tops…
Manchester was already old and wise,
A mature and welcoming multi culture –
Strangers with smiles and friendly voices.
Foreign accents among the
Warm Manchester vowels…
Strangers chatting at bus stops and on railway platforms.
The city, with its murk and grime soon became familiar.
Its many faces emerging through snow, mists, rain and hot shining summers.
Manchester became home .
Through far too infrequent return visits ,
I saw the her change .
Ravaged by time and bombs and progress
I struggled to find my way around the geography –
But not the identity nor the memories.
Five decades on, like her, I remain largely the same.
Not easily recognisable , but in essence unchanged.
I learned as much in the city and her streets
As I did in the lecture halls and tutorials.
I remain grateful .
Part of me remains in Manchester;
Part of Manchester in me.

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