Manchester Concord
An occasional diary of wednesday evenings

         Mary's Blog

The Sparkle Weekend, July 10th,11th and 12th 2009

I would first of all, on behalf of Manchester Concord, like to thank Bella Jay and all her behind the scenes team for putting together another fabulous weekend.
The really great thing about Sparkle is the bringing together of so many people from all over the country and many from abroad, who then have the opportunity to get to know one another while enjoying themselves in such a friendly environment. I personally, have spoken to many more people this weekend and got to know a lot more about what goes on in the various clubs and groups around the country.
I also had a long conversation with a girl from Oslo who is going to take part in a TV documentary to show the people of Norway what the life of a transgendered person involves. She was excited and nervous at the same time as it will make her a very public person in her own country. The program will be in Norweigan so unfortunately it will not travel easily to other countries.
This open, free, weekend does bring together far more people than the various hotel events round the country that have been going for many years now; so long may it continue and grow, as a way of getting us together.

Now lets talk about Manchester Concord. What a successful weekend we had. First of all our fantastic Volleyball team who won every game they played to come out as overall winners against three other teams. Two from Repartee and one from Tranny International. It just showed what a bit of practise can achieve, but this also added to the enjoyment for the team members. Team captain Michaela with Jay, Samantha, Sarah and Tanya. Their kit was sponsored and supplied by Dee Selecta, so thanks very much Dee.


The winning Team

Team Hug    and                                       Concentration

Real effort

The weekend started for some of us at a small party at Transfixed, hosted by Lisa and Zara, where they were offering free nail treatments etc as part of the fun. Thank you very much Lisa and Zara it was very much appreciated and great fun to get us in the mood.

Elaine and I then spent Friday morning rushing around transporting all the clothes etc, donated by club members and the staff of the Rembrandt, up to Taurus where Linda's sale was being held on the Saturday afternoon. This sale raised over £430 for Macmillan Nurses so was well worth the effort by all concerned. Elaine spent most of Saturday morning and afternoon helping there, which was why she was unable to help in the park.

On Friday afternoon, the Sparkle introductory get together was held in the upstairs bar of the Rembrandt. Several of our committee members including Alison and Elaine were there along with Jenny-Anne and her helpers with lots of leaflets etc to hand out to anyone that came. Vida had come to my house earlier in the week to select pictures and take master copies, for the display stands we wished to use in the park on Saturday. She then worked these up into two displays and rushed down to Stockport to get them made by Staples early on Friday afternoon. She deliverd them to us in the Rembrandt at 14:45 that afternoon so that we could fix them up there as well, to inform the visitors about Manchester Concord. They looked very professional and are helping to give the right impression about us. So Thank you Vida for your fantastic effort in getting them produced. They will now be available for any other events we attend needing publicity.
Vida would also like to thank the staff of Staples for their very professional and helpful approach to their work.

The bar filled up throughout the afternoon creating a great atmosphere, with many new people coming in and enquiring about our club. I spoke to one newcomer, who was out for the first time, wondering what he was going to do as he needed somewhere to change, but could only stay for the rest of the friday because he had other committments. I suggested that he booked in to the chinese meal for that evening with Jenny-Anne and then offered the use of my Hotel room as a changing place because it was just across the road from the ShangHai restaurant where the meal takes place. His femme name is Melissa and she came across with myself and Bev, to the meal and had a very enjoyable evening. Bev and I wished to leave the meal before Melissa to go walk about so I gave her a spare key to the room and left her to get changed in time to catch her train home. When I got back much later in the evening I found she had left me a lovely thank you note and says she will see us again very soon. So Thank you Melissa I enjoyed your company.



Our display tent

Jay, Samantha, Mary,Vanessa, Miranda & Cheryl

Vanessa and Claire

Cheryl and Claire

Frances and Kate                                          Park view


Next, let us turn to the park and our display tent.It is shown in the top left and gives a view of the two display boards produced by Vida. The other pictures show a few of the people that helped look after it. The Park view gives some small idea of how busy the park got in the afternoon and Miranda, on the end, gave me many of the photos I have included here, so thank you Miranda. Claire shown with Cheryl was rather nervous about looking after the tent, before the event but was persuaded to take part. Afterwards she wrote to me and said how much she enjoyed it and could she do two hours next year. So well done Claire. 18 people agreed to do a one hour stint during the afternoon, in pairs and I think they all enjoyed it, so thank you to you all. Many people came and talked to us during the afternoon and I think we will get quite a few new members over the next few weeks as a result.
Also a big thank you to Alison, Dee and the others who helped to dismantle the tent at the end and bring all the kit back to the Rem.
I couldn't resist taking a photo of Sarah Louise as she had made a real effort. There were fewer people dressed to kill this year and I am sorry Bev but I failed to get a photo of your fantastic wedding outfit.

Sarah Louise


Brad and Vicky


Vida, Marianne and Brad


Now, lets turn to the Saturday evening. Excellent food, wonderful company and superb musical entertainment at the end. What more could we ask for.
Vida and Marianne must have worked very hard to put together such a program along with their two friends Brad and Vicky. It gave us all a fantastic end to the evening so thank you all very much indeed.
I have not seen MarieAnne, on the left, for many years now and was delighted to see her again still enjoying life having had many of her joints replaced after wearing them out rock climbing. She still loves dressing up as you can see.
Bev, on the right, outshone us all in the most glamorous outfit of the evening and deserves her special place in this record.

Thanks also to Tony for providing the food, Vicky for decorating the Bar and the staff of the Rembrandt for all the help they gave behind the scenes.


Finally, on Sunday I attended the meal in Villagio, which was excellent with over 80 people there. It was another opportunity to talk with a different set of people and was very interesting. Afterwards I spent the rest of the day around canal street and was rather disappointed to find so few people still out enjoying themselves. The best entertainment was provided by "The Gay Gordons" scottish Dancing team who performed in the street outside Taurus Bar with Polly encouraging many of the audience to get up and dance in his usual ebullient manner.
In the evening I went back to Taurus to eat and met up with some of the members of the National Trans Police Association and we had a meal together. Another opportunity to get to know them better.
Wednesday 8th July 09
This evening turned out to be very busy indeed, with some people already getting into the Sparkle spirit and planning to stay in Manchester until at least Sunday. The three ladies below left, Georgina, Emily and Julia have visited us a few times now and enjoyed each visit so much that they have now decided to join Manchester Concord. This brings our membership up to 256 after 15 months. As we very rarely take memberships outside the club meetings this means that almost all of them have visited us in that time. Jayne on the right with Sarah has now got herself a new wig and this one really suits her so I couldn't resist showing it.

Georgina, Emily and Julia


Sarah and Jayne


Lisa on the left found this new skirt the other day and was very pleased to find that it colour matched the pattern in an old blouse she had. This is part of the fun to be had while looking around for new clothes, making up new outfits from a mixture of clothes. Maybe we should ask Gok Wan to give us some help. That would be fun but too much exposure, I think.
Tina on the right also enjoys getting clothes from different places and putting them together and I think she is just as successful as she always appears in a different outfit each time she comes to the club.



Brydie on the left also always tries to come out in something different and manages to find most of her clothes in the various markets she goes to around Manchester. I think the dark stockings with the white skirt look good.
The two real girls I have my arms around in the picture on the right are friends. Lana's mother owns the Thai Gift Shop that is opposite the end of Sackville street. This shop has almost every thing a girl needs like makeup, clothes and hairdressing, but unfortunately it is going to close soon, as her mother wishes to retire. Lana had come to visit us to arrange to have a stall in the park on Saturday, which sadly she had to cancel later. But it is well worth visiting the shop as everything is now being sold off at a discount before it closes. Her friend Mei Ling teaches Yoga and is willing to teach some of us if we are interested.

Lana, Mary & Mei

Wednesday 1st July 09


This club is all about people. It was lovely to meet Carol again. She hasn't been for about two years as her job takes her away from home for much of the time, but when she does come along, she cheers up the world around her and helps to make us all feel good.
Emma, on the right, is one of our most regular members and has now been living full time for around 9 months and getting more confident every day. It is very nice to see her slowly coming out of her shell and growing into a confident woman. She has been greatly helped by Pauline offering her a home to rent where she is among friends.


I was also delighted to meet Helen again, who was brought along by Shirley and Debbie. I last saw her at Joanne's funeral eighteen months ago, having first met her here at the club twenty years earlier. She has been living as Helen for many years now and is enjoying her retirement. A photo is not appropriate.
Lexi came in during the evening for the first time for several weeks and we were very glad to see her looking so well, because the last we had heard, she was suffering from depression and wanting to kill herself. She says it was probably caused by the combination of pills she had been prescribed and she has now changed what she takes and is feeling very much better. All transsexuals do need to be very careful about what they take, especially early on in their treatment, while their bodies get used to the real changes that take place.



Jay, on the left, is one of our volley ball team who are all going for a practice in a park on Saturday to prepare for the competition next weekend at Sparkle. Their uniforms are almost ready and I think they are all getting excited about it now. The team captain is Michaela and then we have Sarah, Jay, Samantha, Tanya and Jessica making up the squad. Only 4 play at any one time but they can change in to take turns at playing.
This evening was extremely hot and muggy so as you can see I decided to wear slightly less than usual and I am glad I did, although I lost a silver earing so if anyone finds it I will be very grateful.

Mary and Elaine


Janine(Petra) and Susan


Daniella is enjoying herself with different kinds of clothes. Janine above has now decided she wishes to change her name to Petra and along with the other girls shown had outfits that were very suitable for this weather. Rihanna, perhaps took it to extremes, but it was warm enough and she is able to carry it off with confidence. What it is to be young.
Rihanna did me a great service two weeks ago when she took me down to the Asian shops in Wilmslow road and helped me to buy a new Sari ready for our Sari evening in August. I will probably bring it with me next week to show it off and to show how it is worn. I would like to encourage as many as possible of you to get a Sari for that evening and Rihanna and I are willing to take a group back to the same shop, if you are interested, so that you can buy your own. The people in the shop were very friendly and helpful including altering the top to fit my figure for a very reasonable price. Another alternative is to get one via Dee Selecta who are in contact with people who will supply them.
Sparkle starts on Friday the 10th of July, with a get together in the upstairs bar of the Rembrandt from 3 - 6pm. We will be there along with various other groups who are all there to help people find their way around and make some friends before the fun starts.

It is not too late to bring more clothes for Linda's clothes sale on the Saturday in Taurus. You can bring them this wednesday to the Rem or leave it till the Saturday and take them straight to Taurus before 12 o'clock.

Please note:- we are not hiring room one at the Rembrandt for the weekend for use as a changing room because it is too difficult to manage it in the Hotel environment. The alternatives that are possible are to use the room at Taurus, which will be available but only has 6 lockers to keep clothes in. The use of this space and the lockers is free. OR you will need to make friends with someone who has a hotel room available that you can use. There are so many people staying locally that most people should be able to find somewhere.

Wednesday 24th June 09
White Dress Evening  

Millie and Alison

As tonight was our white dress evening I was pleased to be greeted by these two ladies Millie and Alison when I first came in the door. I couldn't then resist including this picture of Millie in her full length gown looking very elegant.

Very early in the evening we met Lisah who is visiting us from California and she tells us that we may see a lot more of her this year as she is coming over every few weeks on business. She was very quickly at home with us as she is such an outgoing personality. She is shown below on the left.



Paula and Lisa and Lisa


Milli and Mary

As you can see we are starting to get more people with similar names with Lisa becoming very popular.

I am glad to see Milli popping in more often now.
Elaine is shown with Michelle who is a rare visitor so far.

The pictures shown are all the ones I managed to get of people on their own.

At about 9:15 we took all the people in white outfits out into the park across the canal and took a couple of group photos shown below. We tried get everyone to swap places from front to back between the two pictures so that every one is shown clearly.

Elaine and Michelle




Below are the two group photos we took out in the park. I have left them as large as possible so that people can be seen better. I would be interested to know if anyone is able to name everyone in these pictures.


PS the new owner "Drew" of The Village Rooms, across the road from the Rembrandt, which are now called Eazysleep at has been in touch and is offering newly decorated en-suite rooms next week only for £30, after that they will be £35 to all our members.

I received the letter below from Hazel, so am delighted to include it here along with the photos she supplied.


Hi Mary.
I just wanted to let you know that the trip to Ladyboys went well. The show was quick moving and colourful as you would expect.
2 people had to drop out but both tickets were not wasted, As Estelle was able to join us at short notice and at even shorter notice as we left Villagio (Where we had a great meal) we spotted a T/Girl alone having Coffee, I approached her and asked would she like to join us and she was overjoyed, her name was Lisah and was visiting whilst working. Apparently she had met up with Jayne last wednesday. So in the end it was Myself, Jayne, Sarah, Kathy, Estelle and Lisah who made it to the show, despite the rain!! Seating was a little dodgy but Jayne spoke to the management and got us moved to a better spot.
We had lots of nice comments from the people who attended and lots of laughs.
We now look foward to Blackpool in Oct.
I have attached some photos kindly taken by Kathy in case you want to use them for the blog.
See you Wednesday.
Hazel X.



Wednesday 17th June 09

Lynne, Sarah and Jayne

Lynne, shown on the left with Sarah and Jayne came for the first time to Manchester as Lynne on Monday and is staying till Thursday. She has already been out shopping and had a meal on Tuesday evening in Taurus with Vanessa. She was staying in the Britannia and says she was very well treated there.
Clare on the right has been once before and has now joined.



Jessica shown here stays over in the flat used by Julie at Frillies and came in this evening looking really stunning. Her makeup was done by Julie and I just wanted to show the enlarged picture here to show how well it has been done.
We are now getting so many members that even the relatively unusual names are being used by more than one person in the club. This starts to create confusion when someone asks me "is so-and-so here tonight" and I say yes but then find they really mean someone completely different. It is not going to get any easier, but I dont know what the answer is.



Lee       and       Kate


Frances, above, came in wearing her new top that she had bought on Saturday from Dee Selecta where she spent a very pleasant time being shown round and then finding some clothes she really liked. She was very enthusiastic about the way she was treated by Dee and Mischa and we have now put an entry on our recommendations page for Dee Selecta.
Lee, who is the girl doing her thesis about transvestism in the village, came in looking very goth so I couldn't resist taking a photo. Kate only manages to get here very occasionally but enjoys herself when she can. Cheryl told me that she got this dress from ebay and it turned out not to be exactly as she expected, but she is now pleasantly surprised at how well it looks.


The three girls on the right Melanie, Jane and Gigi all like similar kinds of music and now go out together when they can. Jane is living on her own and Melanie now shares a house with Gigi.

Courtannay on the left has been coming to Concord occasionally for several years now, but finally decided to join last week. So welcome Courtannay I hope we can encourage you to get out more and make some friends.

Melanie, Jane and Gigi


Zoe on the left always manages to look the tops. She doesn't manage to get out very often because of her work, but when she does she goes to town and makes a real effort.

Brydie was looking very relaxed today having been out doing a bit of shopping and found this very up to date puffy skirt in the market for a reasonable price. Unfortunately the photo doesn't show it as well as it could have done. I should have taken it from a lower angle.



Finally, please dont forget that next week is our WHITE DRESS NIGHT and it would be fun to get a big crowd together out in the park across the canal to get a proper group photo. Lets hope the weather is better than this week was.

Also, keep the clothes coming for Linda's sale at Sparkle. We can store them at the REM until that weekend.

Wednesday 10th June 09


This evening was just an ordinary club night with nothing special laid on but we still managed to get over 50 people come along. These numbers do have the effect of creating a very pleasant atmosphere with quite a buzz about the place. Tina on the left is now one of our regular committee girls who help to look after the door along with Alison, Pauline, Michaela and Francis. It is good to see more people getting involved with running the club. Tina is now off for three weeks on two holidays one after the other with only a day between them. She is an inveterate traveller, who also manages to pick up new clothes and shoes when she is away.

Jill on the right was passing through Manchester on her way to spend a few days in Blackpool which she does at least once a year.


Two views of Lisa's outfit

I couldn't resist showing these two views of Lisa's outfit. She has got the colour matching spot on. Lisa is now one of our most regular attenders, hardly missing a week. She has made good friends with Julie at frillies and gets changed there most weeks.

Liz on the right doesn't come very often but when she does she is very noticeable. I hadn't realised till I took the photo how much taller she is than Brydie

Liz and Brydie


Danielle and Miranda and Vanessa



Paula and Samantha

Danielle above is slowly coming out of her shell and Miranda and Vanessa have been expanding their horizons going out on wednesday afternoons into Manchester to visit places of interest such as the Manchester Art Gallery.
Paula has been doing more of her charity work, collecting money for Breast Cancer relief. She tells me that when she was out the other day with her collecting bucket, a lady, who had been watching her, came up and said to her, you aren't just doing this for charity are you? You just look too good with everything about you just right. Paula gave her a grin and said thank you very much. So you cant hide behind the "collecting for charity" idea if you dress too well, not that Paula was bothered.
Samantha on the end is one of our Volleyball team and we now have a fifth person J who has volunteered.
Sharron came along for the first time this evening with her partner Karen and they both had an enjoyable time, with Sharron becoming a member before they left.


On Saturday evening I went to the monthly meal out in the village being run by Bev. This time there were 20 people attending the meal in Eden Bar and a good time was had by all. There were several new people there who dont find it easy to come along on wednesdays but can make the weekend venues, so these meals out are usefully extending the benefits of the club. Thank you Bev for the work you do.
On the Sunday lunchtime I met up with Dianne and some of the new people for a bite of lunch in Taurus bar before going on the see the girls Lisa and Zara at Transfixed where we spent a pleasant afternoon.

Dianne and Mary outside Taurus


The SPARKLE WEEKEND is rapidly approaching and there are a number of actions that need to be done before then.

1. Linda is again running a clothes sale in the downstairs room at Taurus as detailed on the advertisement on the right. The Rembrandt Hotel have allocated some storage cupboards that we can use to store any clothes you bring along to the club before Sparkle. So, if you have some good condition clothes that you are willing to give to help Linda raise money for the Macmillan Nurses, then please bring them along as soon as possible.


2. We are running a buffet here in the Rembrandt on the saturday evening and all the details are on our Sparkle page. There are still plenty of tickets left but we need to know before much longer, how many people will be coming, so can you please buy any tickets you want as soon as possible.

3. Manchester Concord is having a stand in the park on the Sparkle Saturday from 12pm till 6 pm approx. I would like to have at least two people from the club in attendance between these hours. I am suggesting that no one should be expected to stay on the stand for more than one hour so this will require 12 people at least to fully cover it. I would now like to ask for volunteers to please email me to say when they could be available and we will work out a rota before the day. Thank you all in anticipation.

Wednesday 3rd June 09
This evening we had the pleasure of the company of Anne who makes her own jewellery and her friend Michelle who came along to support her. Anne is a long time friend of Steffie who had asked if she could come along to sell her products. She brought along a large variety of artefacts most of which she had made herself. Her prices are exceedingly reasonable as she does this as a hobby and is really only trying to break even. We have already arranged that she comes back again on the 22nd of July so if you are interested in reasonably priced jewellery then remember that date. I will put her email address and phone number on the links page so if you would like to see her before then, get in touch.

Her friend Michelle is a beauty therapist who works in Manchester and she is going to come along on the same evening in July and do a demonstration makeover. Her details will also be on the links page.


Danielle on the left has come back to the club after a long absence and I am really pleased to see her now looking so well and much less stressed. She tells me that she is coming out of her shell and we can expect to see a lot more of her.
Mandy on the right,( I hope I have the name right) was on an overnight visit from York and was here for the first time, so welcome Mandy. As she left towards the end of the evening she assured me that she would be back very soon, so we must have made a good impression.




Michaela shown here looking very swish in two different guises has agreed to be the captain of the club's Voleyball team that will take part in the games at Sparkle. She is already hot on the trail of items to make up the outfits the team will wear. You will have to wait till then before we unveil them

The team we have at present consists of Michaela, Sarah, Samantha and Tanya. We need four players to enter but I would like to have a fifth in reserve, so if anyone else is willing to volunteer we would be delighted to have them.


Sarah Kane

Another new visitor to the club was Sarah Kane on the left who came in wearing this very striking outfit. She has been out in the village for some time now but this was the first time here on a wednesday evening. I hope we see more of her.
The two girls shown on the right are both long time members of Northern Concord who have not been to the club here for perhaps two years now. They had arranged to meet here this evening and spent most of the time talking to each other catching up with their lives.
At the end of the evening they both agreed to join Manchester Concord so hopefully we will see more of them.

Susan and Millie

But Susan has been working in London for the last few years on a contract which has now finished, so at present she is free. When she starts a new contract this may take her away again so there may be another long gap. She was telling me that she had tried to encourage other TV's in London to start a group similar to ours but had no luck in persuading enough people to get involved. London is so large that travelling becomes a problem wherever you try to set up a base. This makes me realise just how lucky we are in Manchester.
Wednesday 27 May 09


This evening we had designated as a Partners night, when we had advertised that we wished to encourage members to bring along their partners so that they could see what our evenings are like and to meet other partners in a sociable situation. Altogether 8 couples attended during the evening and as a small token of our appreciation the club gave each partner a fresh Red Rose. It was unfortunately a rather quieter evening than usual, possibly due to the Manchester united cup final that was being played in Italy. Even though it was away, the city centre was still very busy with a lot of heavy traffic.
I would be very interested to hear the reactions of any of our visitors to the evening. I did not take any photos with partners in them as we would not wish to show them on this public website, so the rest of this blog will just refer to other people who came along.




Brydie came along this evening after a gap of a few weeks while she did her duty as a citizen and served on a jury. I think she quite enjoyed the experience but did find it very tiring.
Rachel on the right is becoming quite a regular visitor even though she lives in Kent. She works a shift system which allows her to have time off every few weeks and is able to travel around britain visiting various TG establishments as she wishes. We are pleased that she considers us worthy of such visits at frequent intervals.



Catherine Anne

Catherine Anne on the left came along right at the beginning of the evening for the very first time, having been encouraged by Elaine who met her at a get together at Teela's near Chester. She was very excited by the whole idea of the club with the opportunity it gives to express herself as she wishes. She got taken out and shown round the village quite quickly which she really enjoyed.
Later in the evening Lisa came in, also for the first time, and they quickly hit it off when they found that they both lived in the same town. They were still together encouraging each other in Napoleons much later in the evening after we had finished in the Rembrandt.




Fay on the left always manages to look really smart when she comes and I couldn't resist taking this photo.
Rihanna on the right came in at the end of the evening and we had a bit of a chat before taking this photo to finish off our evening.


Next week Stffie's friend Anne is coming along to sell costume jewelry so if you are interested do come along.



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