Mary's Blog

Sat 26th July2008
   
I was invited to Paulines 50th birthday party this evening to be held in the upstairs bar of New York New York. So I decided to get changed in the changing room at AXM. when I got there I found that it was already in use by Marie and Donna and we were later joined by Sabrina. As they were all getting ready for a night out I asked if I could take their photos and they all agreed, so here they are.
   

Donna

Marie

Sabrina

Donna and Marie are both members of Manchester Concord but Sabrina is very new to this and had been lent her mother's wedding dress for a night out with her friends, so I hope she had a good time. She was collected by her boyfriend and left us looking stunning.

I had a very enjoyable evening with Pauline and her friends in the upstairs bar of New York New York where we were very well looked after and well fed, so thank you Pauline and the staff at the bar. As it was a private party I did not take any photos so will say no more.

I left the party at about 11 pm and decided to explore a little. I went into AXM late but found it very quiet in the upstairs bar, so I left and went for a walk down the full length of Canal Street and back again. The street and the bars were all very busy but I was disappointed to not see any TVs out at that time at all. Where are you all?
After that I went into Napoleons and it was even quiet in there. I only met one TV that I knew, Leslie, so we had a long chat and then I left as no one else appeared that I knew. I was quite disappointed.

   
Wed 23rd July2008
This week Elaine and I were sitting in Eden waiting for our meal before the start of the evening when in walked Jan and Sue followed by Lisa. Jan looked after the door for us for about six years before she retired and went to live in a new flat which needed lots of decorating. We haven't seen her for several months so were delighted to see her again . She had driven over to visit Sue and then brought her down for the evening. Jan now spends a lot of her time doing gardening around the flats where she lives. She stayed in the club all evening talking to many old friends who were pleased to see her. I would put her photo here but she was never happy with photos so I won't.
This evening we had Debbie here from Virgin Vie selling make up and giving make up advice. We have been advertising this for a few weeks and several people had come along specially to see her. This meant that she was busy all evening giving a number of people a lot of time and advice. Debbie has come a long way since I first met her when she came into the club with Jane some years ago. She was just starting out with Virgin Vie and now she is a manager looking for new people to work with her, so if any of you out there would like to become a Virgin Vie agent just let me know and I will put you in touch.
During the week before this evening four different people had written to me saying they were going to come along to the meeting and could I give them quite a variety of advice. As a result of this I think we will start a new page of Frequently-Asked-Questions that should be more helpful to newcomers. Meanwhile I would like to welcome Paul (femme name yet to be decided), Chantelle, Jennifer and Amelia to the club, all of whom, stayed for most of the evening and appeared to be enjoying themselves hugely. I have since had several letters of appreciation which says a lot for all the club members who are so welcoming.

Farn and Michelle

During the evening I was delighted to see Farn and her friend Michelle come in. Farn used to be at the club every single week without fail and I believe was out several nights a week as well, so in the end I think life caught up with her and she had a heart attack from which she now appears to have fully recovered. She now takes life at a slightly more leisurely pace but still manages to really enjoy herself. So thank you Farn and Michelle for coming in and giving us an update on your life, keep it up.

The girl on the right is Lisa who visits Manchester occasionally from, I think, Middlesborough, with her partner Lorraine. It was very nice to see you both back again and I hope you can keep on visiting.

Lisa

The Girl on the right here is Lucy who came a few weeks ago with Julia from Dress up with Jules and came back with her again this week. They are hoping to be able to get here next week for our White Dress evening along with Jules's partner who is also a TV. We are looking forward to that.

We started our new Forum late last week and already over a quarter of the club members have registered to use it and there have been over 200 posts, so keep it up girls. I think this will become a very important part of the club, helping to bring people together. BUT for those of you out there who would like to make use of this forum, we have set it up as a Members forum and this means that, apart from the small guest section, if you want to post to it you must be a member of Manchester Concord. At present the only way to join Manchester Concord is to come along on a wednesday evening. We will probably relax this requirement for people we know but for everyone else we would like to meet, face to face before we enrol you.

Lucy

Unfortunately I now do have one final incident to report. This evening was very busy and the bar was still full well after our normal finishing time but as organisers we were much more relaxed. A bit after 11pm a few younger TVs came in who I think were followed in by a young man who was just an opportunist. At about 11:15 pm Melanie came to me and said that her handbag was missing. We could not find it anywhere and when we discussed what could have happened at least two people said that they had seen this young man walk past the table where she was sitting and had dropped his jacket beside her. He then reached down to pick it up and quickly left the room. The obvious conclusion is that he picked up her bag with his coat and stole it. I personally had not seen any of this incident but had spotted the young man a few minutes earlier standing in the fenced off area apparently talking on his mobile phone. I had made a mental note to go and talk to him but had got distracted by someone else who wished to talk and I never had the chance.

We duly reported this to the management of the bar and they did what they could but by then it was too late. There was a credit card in the stolen bag but Melanie managed to put a stop on it within about 15 minutes by using a phone number from Elaine's card.

As far as I can remember, in the 22 years I have been coming to this club, this has never happened before, but it does mean that we will have to be much more careful in future. It is one of the possible penalties of being too successful and thus having a crowded bar, which is harder to supervise.

Wed 16th July2008
   
What I always find so interesting about this club is that every week is different. We never know how many people are going to appear, whether old friends will suddenly come out of the blue or will new people turn up who subsequently become good friends. Two weeks ago we had a new barmaid. I miss Neil who has been an excellent barman and has become a friend, but the new barmaid is a TV called simply J. She has recently moved up to Manchester from London and is finding her feet in this strange city. Last week she asked if she could join Manchester Concord as a member as she wanted to be part of us, so of course we said yes. So welcome J and I hope you stay with us for a long time.
   

I was delighted to welcome two new girls who were visiting from South Wales, staying in Manchester overnight to have a look round the scene here. They came in rather shyly got themselves a drink and sat down by themselves near the door. After a while I went and sat with them and asked where they were from and they told me they were Jessica and Christine from the Cardiff area. They allowed me to take their photo so here it is on the right.
We chatted for a while and then I asked if they would like to meet some of the other people there. They said yes but they hadn't wanted to butt in to any of the groups as they felt that would be intrusive. I said that was what I was there for, to try to make it easier for new people to break the ice so I took them over to Dee who happened to be sitting on a table by herself, introduced them and left the to it. Not very long after a group came in with Jessica from Warrington who Christine knew so they soon had a party round their table. The whole group stayed for the rest of the evening. On thursday I got an Email from Christine saying that they had really enjoyed themselves and thanking me for looking after them. Thank you Christine that sort of feedback is always appreciated.

Jessica & Christine

 
The room got busier and busier as the evening progressed creating quite a buzz. The crowd was still there at 11:30 pm so in the end we had to ask people to leave as the management needed to lay the tables for breakfast. Eight more people joined the club during the evening with Diana Richards becoming member number 100 and the final total at the end was 103 in only three and a half months.
   
We had a committee meeting this week and Astrid reported that the Forum she has been working on for a few weeks now is ready to go live. I will be putting a link on this site to the forum as soon as I can and all the members will also get an email telling them how to join.
   
Sat 12th July2008
   
Eight of us sat down for an evening meal in a crowded and happy sounding Eden Bar this evening to prepare for our evening of entertainment at The Ladyboys show. The party was made up from
   

Hazel and Bev

    

Marolyn and Leanne              Miranda and Mary

               Sandra and Astrid

 

 

We had an excellent meal and then went on to the show in Sackville street at 9:15 but as we went in people coming out said that we could have had a real Thai curry served in the entrance part of the complex. They said that the food had been really nice so we might try that if we go again.

The show was as good as ever full of music and life. You cant fail to get a lift from it. Below are a few photos from later in the evening.

 

 
Wed 9th July2008
   

The evening started badly for me when I found that I had left the top I was planning to use in the wardrobe rather than put it in my case, so I was left with nothing to wear. Luckily I was rescued by Miranda who had brought two identical, but differenly coloured tops, with her so she lent me one, Phew, thanks Miranda.
Earlier in the evening we had met Vivian down on a visit from Scotland who had come in with Lisa having visited Frillies earlier in the day. Vivian lives in a fairly remote part of Scotland so does not get a chance to indulge her hobby very often. She is hoping to be able to make use of Gina's services up near John 'O Groats later in the year. When we hear of people in these situations it does make us feel very lucky to live in this area.

   

Vida, who entered the miss Golden Sparkle this year came in with a friend, Sian, she had met during the two days of the competion. Sian had never been out in the village before Sparkle so Vida invited her down to explore the village on a wednesday evening and brought her into the club to introduce her to us. They are shown in the picture on the right with Sian to the left and Vida on the right. Sian joined Manchester Concord before she left and assured us that she would be back very soon. As she only lives near Preston this is not too far to come.

Later in the evening Julia, who runs a dressing service called dress up with Jules, came in with a client of hers who was dying to go out but wanted someone to go with for the first time. As he had not yet decided on a name I will say no more at this stage but I am sure He/She will be back. This was the first time Julia had visited us and she was agreably surprised at the friendly reception she got and the pleasant atmosphere of the club so she is going to return very soon with her TV husband.

 
Wed 2nd July2008
 

This week Jean had arranged that Karen and a friend came along to demonstrate the Nu Skin galvanic spa system for rejuvenating your skin and restoring hair growth. They used Tina and Myself as models and we had a very relaxing 15 minutes while they cleaned off some of our face makeup, gently applied soothing gels and then massaged our skin using a galvanic device that passes a current through the skin. It was a pleasant experience and does appear to ease out wrinkles and make the skin look younger. For the older ones amongst us it could well be a good way of holding off the years. I am tempted. For more information email Jean

OK it is not cheap but once you have been taught how to use on your self, you can do the two or three times a week treatment as and when it is most convenient for you.

We were told it is also an opportunity for someone to set-up a home based business introducing this equipment and the accompanying products to new customers

 

Jenny Shaw on the left comes over to this side of the country from Grantham to visit her friend Iris, on the right, twice a year. So as Iris has now joined Manchester Concord she was able to bring her along for a visit. They stayed a few hours with us and these photos illustrate the fine setting we now have for our meetings.

It can only be a rare visit from Jenny but I was delighted that Iris is willing and able to bring her friends along.

We also had a visit from the girl on the right called Jennifer who I genuinely thought was a born girl but she turned out to be not very far down the TS path. She has not found the medical profession at all helpful in getting her onto the TS program, which, when I listen to her talk and observe how she behaves, I find very hard to understand.

She has now joined Manchester Concord and I hope we can help her to find more friends to encourage her. She is hoping to become a student soon.

 
   
Sat 28th June 2008
   

Our Sparkle buffet laid on by the staff at the Rembrandt was a great success with plenty of food available for everyone. In fact there was so much that several people went away with doggy bags for their breakfast . It was really nice to see so many friends, old and new, enjoying themselves together.

The Staff at the Rem enjoyed setting it up for us and at the end of the session Mac, the manager, came to me and asked if he could borrow the list of names of all the people there so that he could give a randomly drawn prize to one of the girls. He went away and came back with the bingo balls to use as numbers and got me to draw one out of the bowl. Number 17 came up and Giselle, pictured with me in the middle below, was given a voucher for a free hotel room for next years Sparkle weekend.

Pictured below are some of the pictures taken during the weekend.

   

Abby Elaine and Lisa at the Friday
afternoon welcome event

Alison and Lee on friday afternoon

Mary and Elaine hosted the buffet
together

Some of the food provided for
the spread

Vida our Miss Golden Sparkle
candidate

Mary ready for the late night party
in the old Hollywood

Mary ready for the Friday evening
chinese meal.

I couldn't resist showing Julia enjoying her meal of balloons

Or Gillian myself and Bev ready for our walkabout earlier in the day

or this very pretty girl from the midland area whose name I am sorry but I have forgotten

Finally can I say a very big thank you to Linda who arranged a clothing sale in Taurus on the Sparkle saturday and, with the aid of a number of friends, raised £122 which she has donated to Manchester Concord. Thank you very much Linda. At the end of our first year we will produce an account to show where our money has gone and what it costs to run a club such as ours.
   
Wed 25th June 2008
   

 

Tina had arranged for Barbara and a friend from the "Look Good, Feel Good" Studio to come along for the evening so show a selection of jewellery and to extol the virtues of keeping healthy . I think they enjoyed their evening with us and a number of people bought some very good pieces of jewellery. I hope they will come again later in the year.

 
I was expecting that this evening may be quiet because it was just before the Sparkle weekend but was very pleasantly surprised to have so many people come along. Several people told me that they were making a very long weekend of it, so here they were raring to go. Seven more people joined the club this evening.
   
Wed 18th June 2008
   

Some weeks ago we became concerned that the changing room in AXM was being neglected so at that time we spoke to the management there and offered to help with keeping it up to scratch by doing things like replacing the light bulbs. It seemed reasonable that we, as the local TG club, should use some of the money we have surplus to our requirements, to help service this facility which is now available again free of charge for seven days a week from around midday to midnight. AXM are providing the space and paying for the heating and lighting and it came to our notice that all the mirror lights were often being left on unnecessarily for many hours. In order to help stop this practice I decided that we should try to get the light switch moved from the far wall to a place beside the door where everyone could easily access it. Hopefully this will encourage people to switch the lights off when they leave the room.

Two weeks ago I asked Kerry, who did the original instalation, if she would be willing to carry out this mod provided we paid for the necessary kit and this she agreed to do as soon as she could. She rang me last week and arranged to come and do the job on monday evening. I went in to see the management to ensure that they were happy with this arrangement and stayed to help while Kerry did the job. She came along at around 6 pm with two friends Nikki and Carla and the work was all done by 7:30 pm.

I would just like to thank Kerry very much for doing this job so willingly and Nikki and Carla for their assistance. It is a great pleasure to work with people like this who just get on with the job and get things done. Thanks Kerry.

Kerry

 

The last two weeks have been fairly quiet so it very good to see so many people come along this evening. I was glad to see Raymond again along with Debbie and a new friend they brought along who was staying with Raymond in Northwich for a few days. She comes from the Nottingham area and sometimes visits the Chameleon group there. I was also very pleased to see Gwen and Fiona who I last saw down at St Audries in early May. They have not visited Concord for several years now so it was a very pleasant surprise to see them here. Gwen is a local girl but up to now she has been working very unsociable hours which has made it hard for her to join us. She is hoping that this will soon change when she retires.

We also had a visitor up from London and Jessica brought a new girl from Warrington who has not been out before so she was showing her the ropes. I hope this is a the start of a lot more outings for her.

The bookings for the Buffet at Sparkle on Saturday evening have now picked up and at present we have 47 people booked in. There is space for 70 so there is still time to get a ticket. You can pay me on the door if necessary but you must let me know beforehand so that we ensure there is enough food for everyone.

Next week we have Barbara coming along, with a friend, and they will be giving make up advice and also selling some sparkly costume jewelry so do come if you can.

   
Wed 11th June 2008

We had a visitor very early in the evening who came in, in male mode, and said he was a TV but had never been out before and wanted to check up on what sort of reception he would get if he came back later dressed en femme. As he had never done his own make up before he was naturally unsure about how it would look and consequently how he/she would be treated as a first timer. Elaine and I spent some time telling him about the club and assured him that she would be made to feel comfortable and welcome so she need not worry too much about her make up. We pointed out that we have all been at the stage she is at now and one of the purposes of the club meeting on wednesday evenings is to provide a friendly place where people can start out. We believe that we achieve this along with the help that all our members willingly give to new people. This appeared to reasure him greatly and he went away, back to his hotel, saying that she would be back later.

Clare came back in, about an hour later, looking really very good and we made her welcome again and through the evening introduced her to two or three different groups of people so that she was able to start to make some friends and feel comfortable. She stayed with us all evening and after the club finished at around 11:30 pm we also took her across to Napoleons to show her a different side of the TV scene in the village, which is something she had wanted to do. This also enable me to get to know her a bit better and to find out a bit more about her circumstances. I wont go into the details here as it is not appropriate but I find it very helpful to understand the different lifestyles that our members have.

I think Clare thoroughly enjoyed her evening adventure and we will see more of her as the opportunity arises. I did not take a photograph as I think it is unfair to do this until people are confident about their appearance.

So just to give the other side of the coin here on the right is a photo of Rachel looking stunning in a long summer dress. It does give me real pleasure to see girls who make the effort to look elegant like this.

I know I normally prefer the short skirt look but sometimes the long dresses can really make a statement and this outfit did just that.

Finally can I say that it is Sparkle in just over two weeks time and I still have a number of places left for our Buffet on the Saturday evening, so if you know anyone who is thinking of coming to Sparkle please try to encourage them to join us at the buffet overlooking the park. All the details are on the events page.

Wed 4th June 2008
   
I was very pleasantly surprised when Iris on the left walked in at the beginning of the evening saying that she had been asked by Christine, on the right who came in a bit later, to come along and meet with herself and Raymond. These three have known each other for very many years as they were in the vanguard of the tranny emergence. Iris used to run the group that met in Manchester University for several years, long before I came on the scene and Christine used to be the Beaumont rep for this area. Both these stalwarts have now joined Manchester Concord along with Raymond and they all offer us their full support.
Christine is now living up in Scotland and had come down specially to visit Raymond in Northwich and come to the club. Unfortunately Raymond was not able to make it this week but Christine was happy to come along and meet up with a lot of newer people on the scene. She later went out with a few of them to visit other venues in the village. When she came back in later on she said she was very impressed with the people she had met and was very encouraged by the new blood that was keeping the tranny scene alive in Manchester.
   

 

 

Later in the evening Vanessa came in, who we have not seen for a very long time, with the good news that her work schedule has now changed and she expects to be able to come along much more often in the future. Her new freedom has given her the confidence to offer her services as a Sparkle Steward on the Saturday so she will be helping to give back something to the community.
Bella is still looking for a few more people to help as Stewards in the park, at the behest of Manchester City Council, who are insisting that we have visible people available all the time the park is in use.

They will have to wear High Vis blouses while on duty but please dont let this stop you.

Vanessa

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