Mary's Blog

   

 

   
Wed 28th May 2008
   

This was our 60s night and very successful it was too, with a good number of people making the effort to dress the part, plus some excellent 60s music playing in the background all evening and some really interesting nostalgic pictures spread around the walls to add to the atmosphere. Pictures and music provided by Robert and Sue on the right so thank you very much for your efforts.

A large number of pictures were taken so a few of them are shown below taken by Hazel or myself.

 
Bella
Christine

Gigi

Elaine

Jean

Guess who?

Michela

Miranda and Hazel

Robert looking really Hip

Sarah Louise

Frances and Bev

 
Wed 21st May 2008
   

This week there was another big football match, this time involving Manchester United but being played in Moscow. We hoped that it wouldn't interfere with our numbers like the previous week. This proved to be the case, as although there were still many more people on the streets than usual, it was nowhere near as busy and we had a larger turnout than the week before.

Pauline who joined us for the first two weeks ago arrived in the changing room at about 5:30 pm got changed with us and then came out for a meal in Eden before we opened at 7 pm. It turns out that this was her first venture out but she didn't seem at all nervous and carried it off with great aplomb.
She then came back and spent the whole evening at the club talking to many different people and was the last to leave late in the evening so I think she enjoyed herself.

Estelle came in later in the evening and gave us some CDs of 60's music to borrow for next week so we are slowly getting prepared. Last week she gave me a collection of pictures from that era as well so we will have them up as decoration. If anyone has any relevant DVDs then we may be able to show them as well.

We now have the tickets for our Sparkle meal on the 28th so we are starting to sell them plus, as Sparkle approaches more people are asking for the wrist bands to show their support. We have them for sale at £5 a pair so come along to get yours before the event.

If you are coming to Sparkle then do join us for our buffet here in the Rem, but you will need to buy your tickets beforehand. Also, the entertainment in the park will stop at 10 pm but there is an after park party arranged in the old Hollywood bar where we used to meet. It is a ticket only affair at £5 per ticket and if you wish to go you will need to buy your tickets beforehand from the Sparkle website. It is limited to 300 people and I am told that 100 tickets have gone already. All the entertainment in the park is free all day.

   
   
Wed 14th May 2008
   

This was a special night for us, TINTZ and TONGZ were coming for the first time and I wanted all of us to have a good evening and to ensure that they enjoyed themselves as well. But then I found that there is a UEFA football cup final going on in Manchester today and just getting in to Manchester was a problem. It took me about an hour and a quarter to get in, instead of the usual half hour. When I got to the village there were lots of people crowding the streets but still plenty of parking spaces available so at least that was ok.
I walked up to the Rem and collected the key to room 1 but as I was leaving the bar I was accosted by a football supporter who hailed me, while I was dressed as a man, and said hello, you're Mary aren't you. I looked surprised and said yes but who are you?
He said I may not look the part at present but I'm Melanie and I'm down here today with my pals to see the football. He said that he first came out as a trannie here in the Concord back in the early 90s and he remembered me from then. I gave him a leaflet explaining about Manchester Concord and we parted saying that we may meet later in Napoleons.
I then went up to room one and got changed to be ready for the evening start at 7 pm. When I got down to the bar, bang on time, I found that all the people from TINTZ and TONGZ had already arrived and were making themselves at home in the bar. There were seven of them and they had set up a stall with their wares on it, various tables to use to provide their services and a table of free food for everyone to help themselves from.

Dave, the proprietor, had even set up his sound equipment and was going to give us a song or two later in the evening. He really does know how to make a party go with a swing.

   
Stall all ready to go
Tina having her wig curled Stephie being made up
Mary having nails painted
Sarah having a manicure Johnathon trimming Stephie's wig
Dave giving us a song
Kathy having nails done Miranda looking cool

The evening went really well with everyone enjoying themselves. The only disappointment was the small number of people that managed to brave the football crowd and get here. We will ask TINTZ and TONGZ to come again soon and next time we will avoid a big football match, but I have never seen such crowds in Manchester since I started coming to the club over 20 years ago so it was difficult to predict that it would be so disturbing.

Finally I would like to give a big thank you to all the staff of TINTZ and TONGZ who gave up a free evening to come and entertain us , Thank you all very much indeed.

   

At about 9:30pm Abby came in having just flown over from America and arrived in Manchester around midday. She had been unable to book into any Hotel in Manchester so in desperation she had booked a flat in a road off Tib Street which is the far side of Piccadilly from the Village where we are. Imagine her surprise when she came out of the flat planning to have a gentle walk across Piccadilly and found that her way was barred by policemen, because the square was packed with football fans from Glasgow and Russia, all waiting to see the match on a large screen. They would not let her go into piccadilly and directed her down various back streets on a detour walk round the square to reach the village. Not unnaturally she was feeling a bit tired and fed up by the time she arrived but she soon recovered and went on to tell us about the fantastic response she had had, while directing and appearing in, the play Leading Ladies in Houston Texas.

The play had had excellent reviews and played to packed houses for a six week run and only finished at the end of last week because the theatre was booked for another event. She was still on a high from all the excitement as the play had involved her changing to and from Abby several times and was extremely funny. She gave me some copies of the reviews and programs etc that will be available for people to see at the club.

   

At the end of the evening I offered to drive her back to her flat to save her having to struggle through all the crowds that were still milling around at that time of night, 11 pm. We got back to my car and I decided to go round past piccadilly station and then continue round the inner ring road to Great Ancoats street. There were people everywhere and when we got to the junction of Great Ancoats street and Tib street the police were lined up there and prevented us from going that way. We continued round to try to get through from the far side of the centre but the traffic and crowds just got worse and we finished up half an hour later back at the top of Tib street where I suggested that Abby got out of the car and ask the policemen how she was supposed to get home to her flat, having just spent about an hour and a quarter driving round in vain.

I rang her mobile when I got home and found that the policemen had not been very helpful as they had all been drafted in from outside Manchester and didn't know the street layout. They directed her to some local Bobbies who did then help her to find the way. It is just as well she is a very confident TV otherwise I dont know what would have happened. I think she will avoid Manchester on football nights in future. She rang me again next morning to say thank you but had not had a very good nights sleep after all that hassle. She has to go back to America early next week so we may not see her again before she goes. I am glad she at least made it to the club but she had been hoping to meet more of her friends on this visit.

   
Wed 7th May 2008
   

We welcomed Tina back with us after several weeks away having had surgery on her knee. She was looking well and was glad to be back with us.

We already have a few people showing interest in the ladyboys night and a limited number of tickets are still available from Mary.

It was nice to welcome Paula on the left who came with her very supportive wife. Paula and her wife were both very impressed with our group and our venue and will be visiting us again work permitting.

 

Pauline on the right is another first timer who had been to see Julie at Frillys for a makeover and needless to say, Julie had done an excellent job, we look forward to seeing Pauline again soon.

It was nice to see Crystal with us once again. Crystal kindly took Pauline into the Village for a snack.

Finally we were also pleased to see Charlotte from the Laser and Cosmetic centre in Bolton. A number of girls have now used her centre for hair removal and are very pleased with the results. See link on Links page.

Finally dont forget NEXT WEEK we have a visit from TINTZ and TONGZ who will be doing makeovers, nails, hair treatments of various sorts for both wigs and real hair, etc. Some snacks will be available with their compliments, do come along and make an evening of it.

Wed 30th April 2008
   
Very early in the evening we had a visit from Traci, shown on the right, who first came to concord a few years ago now, while we were at the Hollywood. She quickly made friends within the club and around the village and became a regular in Napoleon's. Life became very hectic for her for quite some time but now she has settled down in a flat by herself and is leading a much calmer life. I was very pleased to see her looking so well. She seems to have worked out a life style where she goes out at least once a day to meet friends and this stops her getting depressed.
 

 

Another visitor was the girl on the left, Georgina who has been a member of Northern Concord for many years, originally joining when she lived in Ashton. Some years ago now she decided to move with her family to John 'O Groats right up in the north east corner of Scotland. This means that we only see her when she is on a journey either to or from scotland to a destination where she has a reason to travel for work. But whenever she has the chance she comes in for an evening to renew old aquaintances and sample the atmosphere of Manchester again. She has been running her own magazine website for some years now. To have a look at it click here but be warned you can get hooked on it as there is a lot to read. She is also involved in running a Trangender group in Inverness.

 
I was also pleased to see Anna again who visits us at least once a year to show her support for the club. She came with a friend, whose name now escapes me, and her partner who came to terms with her transvestism with some difficulty, but now enjoys the extra fun it gives to life. When I told them about the new Manchester Concord they were both very happy to join. As of this evening we now have 57 members after just 4 weeks.
   

Competition

During the evening I was asked how the website was coming on and whether we yet had a Logo for it. A number of suggestions have been made for a Logo but we haven't yet made any decisions about it. We then wondered if it would be an idea to have a competition to see if one of our members could come up with a Logo that really suited the club and what it stands for.

SO, lets just do that. Over the next few weeks, if anyone has a good idea for a logo and can create it as a "jpeg" of "gif" file please email it to me and we will put them all up on a new page on the current website. When we decide we have enough ideas we will stop the competition and ask each member to send in a vote by email to try to pick a winner. The prize is seeing your idea used by the club on the website and all our paperwork, with an acknowledgement to the winner.

I will be on holiday next week at St Audries Bay so will be leaving the club in the capable hands of the other committee members.

I have asked Elaine if she will write something for this Blog which we will put up as soon as I get back.

   
Wed 23rd April 2008
   

Gemma, Elaine and I often have our evening meal in Eden before the start of the evening in the Rembrandt. The girl on the left Lisa has joined us several times lately having been to see Julie who runs Frilly's at Droylesden for a chat and to have her make up done. Julie makes people so welcome they just keep going back for more.

I have been promising to take her photo for some time now so here it is at last.

The girl on the right is Paula from Sheffield. She is an occasional visitor who really enjoys the opportunity manchester gives to go out into other venues in the village.

The new club continues to thrive and I am really pleased to see regulars like Lesley on the right making friends with Billy and enjoying each others company.

Kirsty on the left is now one of our most regular members, coming almost every week. The club has become an important part of her social life as she can relax after spending the day having to keep all her clients happy. She has recently passed her final exams and is now a fully qualified driving instructor. She previously worked in the airline industry but was hounded out when she told them she was a TS. Even with all the new laws now in place there is still a lot of prejudice out there.

I now have available 16 tickets for the Ladyboys on Saturday July the 12th, see the coming events page for details. Please don't leave it too long if you would like to come.
   

 

I have been hearing a lot from Abby, (on the left) who is now the star of "Leading Ladies" in Houston Texas which is getting rave reviews and full houses. She is planning to visit us for one night only on wednesday the 14th of May so come along to meet her.

I have a few copies of an article she has written, Abby's Steps to Enjoyment available for people to borrow.

Wed 16th April 2008
   

Wow! What an evening, I really should thank you all for coming along to make such a successful evening. If we had many more people we would need a bigger venue. All the committee really are very grateful for all the letters of support and words of encouragement we have had. I am particularly pleased to get the full support and encouragement of Shirley/Raymond (member number 1 of Northern Concord) and her partner Christine who are fully behind Manchester Concord and have also financially supported Sparkle.

Elaine and Bella came in a little bit later than usual after Elaine took Bella out shopping in town for the first time. They had a great time and came back loaded with bags. Later on Bella approached me and gave me a card for Stuart Jones, a Styling Optician based at 82 King Street in Manchester. She was so impressed with the way she was treated and the helpful advice she was given that she wanted to pass on a recommendation for the benefit of other members. ( I will copy these kind of recommendations to a new page soon so that they dont get lost.

   
During the evening I was asked by one of the staff if I would talk to a gentlemen downstairs who runs a beauty shop in Stockport. I asked him to come up and I met David Benson who runs the shop called "Tintz + Tongz" He said they would be willing to open up on a special evening if a group of the girls would like to go along and be pampered. Hair, make-over, nails etc. I suggested that it would be better, to start with, if he could bring a few of his staff down to the club on a wednesday evening to allow us to get to know them and to provide some of the services here. He agreed that would be a good idea and is going to come back next week with some publicity material for us. We will probably arrange an evening in mid May to allow time for publicising it. It will be shown on the coming events page asap.
   
I have now talked with Daniel, one of the managers at the old AXM bar, which is going to be just called "10 Canal Street" for a few months, while they sort out their new name. They are now open from 5 pm every evening until midnight and during this time the changing room in the basement is available for anyone that wishes to use it. Manchester Concord has agreed to keep an eye on the room and pay for replacement bulbs etc to keep it in good order. As the management of the bar are providing this facility free of charge it is only good manners to at least buy a drink there each time you use it and to leave it tidy. Please help us look after it and keep it available for all to use as long as possible.
   
Wed 9th April 2008
   

Early on we had a visit from TS Rachael from Blackpool who was on a visit to a clinic in Manchester and had popped in to see what we were like before returning home. She stayed for a couple of hours before she had to go so I think we will see her again on her next visit here.

   

 

Later I was delighted to see Stella and Debs come in dressed in very fetching outfits with their corsets on show. They had been inspired by seeing the show "How to look good naked" on TV the previous evening where the subjects had been two sisters who were shown wearing corsets at one point and they made them look so good Debs thought she would give it a try, so here they are on the left. Debs reminded me that she had first come out in the Rembrandt some time in 1990 and she remembers how she felt that she suddenly had many new friends that she could comfortably relate to. Her life hasn't been the same since.

 
   
Wed 2nd April 2008
   

This evening Sarah Louise reappeared after an absence of over three months. I was wondering what had happened to her and it appears she has moved to Blackpool where life is a bit easier for her. She is living just round the corner from the Renaisance group so she has started going there as well. Billy was glad to see her back as they always spend time together with us here.

I have recently heard from Jill who is enjoying life as a teacher out in Thailand.

During the evening we had two more people chance upon us for the first time, Rachael who lives locally but had not investigated the scene on the internet and Cheryl who lives further away and was staying in the Rembrandt annex overnight. I think they were both relieved to find some company so easily and hopefully we will see them again soon.

   

The photo on the left is of Rihanna who is at present working as a photographers model and really enjoying the experience of going out among the general public and just being herself. How many of us are there who wish we had had the confidence at her age to get out there and be ourselves. Oh well!

The photo on the right shows the hotel where we meet in the upstairs bar in the bay window overlooking the park

Finally, having been talking about it for several months, I took the bull by the horns this evening and told everyone who came that we had decided to form our own members club called Manchester Concord, rather than remain as a sub group of Northern Concord, so that we can control our own finances, membership and publicity. For further details see our new embryo website at www.manchesterconcord.org.uk

   
Wed 26th March 2008
   

This was an interesting evening with a number of people coming in who I haven't seen for several years plus some new faces as well.

The three girls in the picture on the right are Paula, Dawn and Kate all of whom used to attend concord right at the beginning of the club. Dawn is member number 2 and was always there every week when I joined. Paula joined at the same time as me and Kate not long after. These three girls now regularly visit Spain together being feted in many bars and having a great time. It is wonderful to see them all looking so good after all this time. Later in the evening we had a rare visit from Mandy who was also around right at the beginning of the club so it was quite a nostalgic evening for a few people as Bev and Kath who still come along more regularly were also there and were able to catch up with old friends.

 

We had a new couple in ,Francis and Christine , who had come down from the lake district for the day and spent the afternoon shopping in the Trafford centre and had a great time. Christine had fairly recently come out to Francis and she was really enjoying having a partner who now enjoyed clothes shopping as much as herself.

While Bev was outside having a smoke she spoke to another TV who was walking past the Rembrandt and found that she did not know of our existence. Bev invited her upstairs to see what we were like and she, Susan, stayed for the rest of the evening, till after 11pm and then, I believe went across to Naps with some of the girls to finish off the night.

   
Wed 19th March 2008
   

The room was already buzzing when I came down from the changing room upstairs at about 7:30 and it continued that way all evening. I had a long chat with Tulip on the right who was here for the first time even though she is a local girl living in the Manchester area. She normally has other activities on wednesday evenings so is not free to attend, but this evening she made the effort and came along looking stunning. I hope she can make it again soon as I do like colourful people.

Raymond(Shirley) along with his friend Debbie was with us again which is really pleasing as he is still enjoying "Life" as we know it after many years on the scene. For all you TVs out there it is never too late to start enjoying yourself, whatever age you are. Paula , who is our most regular attender, made sure that I knew she had been in the club last week but had had to go before I came in. She has not missed a week for well over a year now.

 

Later on a group of people came in who had been attending an Angels meal in the village and had come along to introduce the new people they had with them to the concord. Amongst their number was Emma on the left who was out for the first time looking very confident.

The three girls on the right are Kerry, Becky and Jane Maybe.Kerry has recently changed her name from Tina. She was one of the main active workers involved with building the changing room in AXM bar for which we all owe her a vote of thanks as we also do to Jane who I believe contributed a significant amount of money to the project when it was going to stall at the last minute. It is always nice to see old friends coming in to the club when they can.

Finally I learned this week that, this year, the Ladyboys show starting at the end of june for some weeks is taking place in the Bloom street car park next to NewYork NewYork. This will make it very much easier to attend dressed. I propose to organise a group meal and visit to the show around mid July and would like to get some idea how many people would be interested. Please email me mary to let me know if you are interested.
   
Wed 12th March 2008
   

 

I was delighted to welcome back Gwen and Linda for the second time this year having had a long gap due to overwork on Linda's part and Gwen's illhealth. It was good to see Gwen looking so well and cheerful. We had quite a long chat and Linda is happy with the progress she is making with her new project.

I was also pleased to see Teela Jane from www.trans-pose.com again so soon after her last visit. This time she was accompanied by Paula from Chester who had spent a large part of the day with her being beautifully made up and trying on lots of outfits. Paula, whose photo is on the right, had really enjoyed her day and is becoming one of her regular customers. I hope we see more of her when she has more time to spare.

 
   
Wed 5th March 2008
   
michela

The wednesday evening group has recently decided to form a committee to try to involve more people in actively taking part in organising events on wednesday evenings. We had our first meeting yesterday and various ideas were put forward to add some extra interest to these gatherings. We will advertise these activities very soon. Understandably this gave us quite a lot to talk about during this evening.
Michela joined us later wearing a very smart blue suit and Hazel on the left won the free raffle
Just as the evening was drawing to a close a new girl called louise from Barnsley came in and we spent some time chatting before taking her over to Napoleons to finish off the night as she was staying in Manchester till the morning.

hazel
Wed 27th Feb 2008
   

Geraldine on the left returned to us having come along a few weeks ago from somewhere south of Dublin. She is over here on business so the opportunites to visit are available and she plans to make the most of them. Welcome back and I hope you like your picture.

Jessica on the right shown here with Mary has started coming again after a long absence. She is an adventurous dresser and recommended a website called www.asos.com which sells dresses that are similar to those worn by a number of different celebrities who are named on the site.

I was delighted to see Raymond (member no. 1) here again with his friend Debbie and they stayed all evening talking to a number of different people. Raymond has not visited Manchester for many years now, apart from two weeks ago to come here, and so enjoyed his last visit, that he plans to come on a regular basis. It has given him new opportunities to make friends that he had never expected.
   
I had a long chat with Tara, on the left, who was up in this area from Surrey to stay a couple of days. She was impressed with the facilities that are available to TVs in the village, compared with London. Here everything is in such a compact area so we can walk to all the venues, whereas in London you need to use taxis to travel between venues which can get very expensive and is time consuming. She tells me that the Philbeach in Earls Court has now closed as the owner died recently so the regular Monday evening sessions that had been there for a few years now have had to stop. People are now trying to find an alternative venue. But the Pilbeach has been the most TV friendly Hotel in London for many years now so it is sad to hear about the end of an era.  
   

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