Manchester Concord
An occasional diary of wednesday evenings

        Mary's Blog

Wednesday 22nd Sept 2010

 

Georgina

Early in the evening I was delighted to see Georgina, our member from John O'Groats, come in. She moved up there from Manchester several years ago now but still manages to get down here at least once every two years. When she first went up to Scotland she kept Georgine securely under wraps but over the years she has slowly told people about her and now finds a good level of acceptance even in this very remote community. She is a very friendly person and when she saw Sophie, shown below, looking a bit sad, she went over and they started talking together and Sophie quickly cheered up. I later saw them in Napoleons at one in the morning, still talking so they obviously hit it off.
On the right we have Wayne, who took over Dean's duties for the evening as Dean has taken a weeks holiday, so thank you Wayne you looked after us well.

Wayne

Sophie

On the right, is Sam and Kelly who had just returned from their honeymoon, which was a cruise round the Baltic visiting many different ports in various countries like Russia, Finland and the Baltic states. Kelly, herself, didn't go on the cruise, unlike Millie who did the same cruise some weeks ago accompanied by her mother and Millie went everywhere except Russia which she had found rather intimidating at the port so decided not to venture out.
I would like to wish Sam and Kelly every happiness in their marriage. It is wonderful to see a couple accepting each other as they are without feeling the need to change each other to fit in. They are off to a fancy dress party this weekend and Kelly's inlaws have insisted that she comes as a girl. I hope they have a great time and maybe we might even get a photo.

Sam and Kelly

Paula and Brydie

On the right we have Paula and Brydie, both regulars at the club who seem to enjoy word sparring with each other each time they meet, so here is a picture showing that they can both smile together.
This evening Brydie started telling me some of her life story and asked if I would include some of it here. I suggested that she had better write it down as I wouldn't be able to remember it accurately enough. Later this week I got a letter from her which is too long to include here so I have put it into the "Items from Members" page so that it can be seen by all and could also be expanded as she gets into the flow of her story. Watch that space called Brydie's Story.
Judy, on the right is getting more variety in her dress these days so her photo will keep appearing while she continues to experiment with her outfits. I hope she keeps it up.

Judy

Paula

Mary and Millie

Tanya and Joanne

Libby and Sarah

Ruby and Leslie Anne

Katie

Finally here are a few pictures to finish off with. Libby is a fairly new girl with us who I hope I get to know better as the weeks go by. Sarah is an occasional member but has changed her name recently so the Sarah may confuse some of you. Ruby has not been for a few weeks now, as life has been rather busy for her. Leslie Anne reckons she manages to get here about once a year so welcome back, we are glad to see you whenever you can make it. Katie somehow manages to get here fairly regularly even though she lives in Kent. She recently bought this dress on Ebay and I am jealous as it looks great, I would like one too.

Please dont forget that next week, the 29 we have Funky Pieces coming in to show off their wares and then two weeks later on the 13th of October we are having a Purple Dress theme night.

 

 
Wednesday 15th Sept 2010

 

Pam

This week a group of us were sitting in Eden having our usual meal when I suddenly saw Pam, shown here on the left, coming in to the bar. Pam used to come every week to the club when we met in the Hollywood, but a few years ago she decided to retire and move to Spain. But, being very sensible she has kept some accommodation here in England and is therefore able to come back whenever she wishes. England is obviously not that attractive as she doesn't come back very often, but when she does, she makes the effort to pop in and visit us as well. It was good to see you again Pam and to hear about your idyllic life in Spain.
Paula, on the right was back with us again as usual after her weekend collecting for charity, looking very relaxed and showing off her rather fetching tattoo on her left leg, which she tells me she had done relatively recently.

Paula

Amber


It was good to see Amber here again this week. She is steadily gaining in confidence and enjoys the social interaction at the club which has been lacking in her life recently. So thank you all for making her feel so welcome and taking her out and about with you, it is a great help for people new to the scene.
Tina, on the right, loyally comes along every week and helps to look after the door for most of the time she spends with us. But next week she is off to Germany for a "Railway" celebration holiday with a group of friendly enthusiasts, so we wont be seeing her for the next week or possibly two.

Tina

Brydie

Brydie, shown on the left, decided to come in Butch mode this week as she gets fed up with the aggro she has on her journey to Manchester when she comes dressed any other way. It is a shame, as she had the Op several years ago now, but still gets hassled by various different people as she journeys about Manchester.
Milli, on the right, has recently taken part as an extra in a film where the film company had asked for TV's to come along and act as the background people for a story about a TV. She has just sent me a letter that she got from the film company saying that they are setting up three different photo shoots very soon, asking for any TVs who would like to be included in a photo album they are making to register with them and then come along to one of the sessions. I will put a copy of their letter and the link to the website on the forum as soon as I have finished this blog so go there and have a look if you are interested.

Milli

Cate


Cate, shown here on the left looking very pleased and again on the right looking more relaxed, is happy because of all the good news she has received lately. Even though she has multiple sclerosis and therefore has every reason to be depressed, she tells me she has never felt so content with her life as she does now. She has been fully accepted on the Transexual program by the NHS and is going ahead with all the necessary treatments, like hormones and hair removal, etc and has been told that even with her illness she will be given the full op in due course. She couldn't be happier and the doctors have now taken her off all the antidepressant medication that she has been having for many years as she no longer needs them.
For more info see Cate's Story in our items from members section.

Cate

Millie

Joan

Judy

Lisa

This blog was getting too many words so here are a few attractive pictures of some of the girls.

Kate and Joanne

Elaine

Susan


But Finally I cant resist saying a few words about Susan shown here. Susan is a long time member of Concord but doesn't manage to get here very often as she is a contract programmer and works away from home most of the time. So when she does get here it is usually when she is between contracts. The great thing about Susan is that although she is not planning to have the change she has decided to take as many opportunities as possible to live as Susan full time. Having discussed it with her employers she has now lived at work as Susan for well over a year and is even attending job interviews as Susan. Almost all the employers she talks to seem to have no problem with this and she certainly intends to continue even though her next job could be in Switzerland. Her work colleagues so far have all accepted her and she is really enjoying life.
Good on you Susan, you are showing a wonderful example to many of us who may need encouragement to do the same.

Susan

 

 
Wednesday 8th Sept 2010

 

This evening we had our "Little Black Dress" theme night and part way through the evening I took a group photo to make sure I got some of the people that like to go off round the village later on. I have tried it in various sizes but found that it looked best when shown fairly large so here it is below. It makes a dramatic start to the evening. I will leave you to work out all the names, but at least this size everybody can be seen clearly.

 

Black dress group photo

 

Paula collecting for Macmillan nurses



Unfortunately, black dresses can make rather a dull picture, so imagine my delight when Paula sent me these pictures a few days ago showing her and her friends doing their good deed collecting money for charity. I know Paula hates doing it but she manages to force herself once or twice a year.

Paula and friends

Amber

Last week we had several new people come along and one of them was Amber, shown here on the left when she came back this week bringing her clothes with her so she could get dressed at the club. We are very glad to see her back again feeling able to relax among her new friends for the first time. So welcome Amber, I hope you become one of our regulars here.
The group picture at the top shows most people in all black outfits so I was pleasantly surprised to see that Danni had managed to find a dress that had an unexpected extra down the back that made it stand out a bit more than usual.

Danni back view

Brydie

Mille, Elaine under the crown and Tina

Frances

Michelle and Mandy



Here are a few others, some of whom are in the main picture but some not. I was especially taken by Sally's corset dress, which really looks brilliant.
Mandy shown with Michelle, on the left has only been coming for two weeks now so it was nice to be able to include her here. Michelle's dress was at least Black and White so also deserved inclusion.
The Crown above Elaine's head does look really dramatic but I hope it doesn't fall one day and surprise someone.

Sally

Dee and Friends

Dee , from Dee Selecta, came in a bit later on in the evening with a group of friends so I have shown them here as they weren't included in the main photo.
Then they decided I should be included with them so here I am again, how vain.
I received a letter from a girl called Kelly a couple of days ago who is moving to Manchester next week from British Columbia. She has now put a request for some temporary accomodation onto the forum, so if any one has a spare room available for a short time please have a look on the forum for her entry. She will probably be here at the club on the 22nd.

 
Wednesday 1st Sept 2010

 

Kathy

This evening we had Pete and Sue here with us again selling their handbags, makeup and stockings etc and they put their stall up in the corridor at the back as this was the brightest place in the room when they arrived. We subsequently got some more light working in the main room but by that time they decided to stay as they were. Here is Kathy shown with all the products on display.
They didn't sell so many products this time, but maybe this was because we had Pam and Haley only the week before, so in future we will try to spread people out a bit more to give them a better chance.
On the right I show a group looking after the door with Alison, on the right, who is off to have her op in london on Monday. We hope all goes well and you are back with us before too long.

Frances, Vida, Millie and Alison

Melanie

Lisa and Paula

Tanya

Mel, shown above had come here straight from work, so here she is looking very relaxed and colourful. She had been at work today where she used to work as her other self and had felt relaxed and accepted by all the people she used to work with. This is great to hear and just goes to show that transgendered people are able to be accepted into the community and can enjoy a full normal life. Mel, you are an excellent role model for many of the girls.
Lisa and Paula have now found their rightful place back at the bar and here is Tanya looking very elegant.

 

Marieanne

Rachel, Emma,Michelle and Elaine

Zoe, Sky and Libby

Marieanne, was here having a night off. She had popped in to see the new venue and thought we should be able to make it just as successful as the Rembrandt.
The middle picture shows Rachel, our member from Kent, with a Halo caused by the floodlight being used to brighten up the room making a not terribly suitable background to a photo.
The third picture shows Zoe, who is here for the first time this evening, Sky, who is a fairly new member and Libby who is also very new to us. These photos are a way of introducing newer people to all the members so that hopefully some of us, including myself, will remember their names. Welcome to you all and we hope to see a lot more of you in the future. Zoe comes from the liverpool area and she was already talking about trying to persuade some of her friends to come over with her soon.

Finally, please dont forget that next week we are having a "Little Black Dress" theme night which will be our first one in this venue. The layout of the room should allow us to get a large group picture much more easily, so do come along to make it a good crowd.

 

 
Wednesday 25th Aug 2010

 

Paula and Anya

Back for our second week at NewYork NewYork we had nearly as many people in as last week which is great as it gives the place a good atmosphere even though it was a bit dark still. Peter had improved the general lighting but for some unknown reason had removed the floodlight that had lit up the room the week before. He had also, already, put up a curtain to screen the changing area and improved the lighting in the ladies, so things are changing. We will endeavour to get it brighter for next week.
Paula had managed to get back to a place at the bar and here she is with Anya who came along for the first time this week and joined almost straight away, so welcome Anya we hope to see a lot more of you.
And on the other side we have Rachel shown with Elaine. She was also here for the first time so we welcome you to the club and hope to see lots of you as well.

Rachel and Elaine

Brydie

Here we have Brydie who attends the club very regularly so is well known by many of the members. She was keen to let me know that this wednesday was her seventh birthday as it was that long ago when she had her op to become the lady she now is. Good luck to you Brydie, I hope you have many more happy birthdays.
On the right, we have Chloe, who is still recovering from her broken leg and Hayley who is here with Pam selling clothes and accessories from their shop in Warrington.
I am sorry that is was a bit dark to see all their items for sale but I think they still did quite well as chloe and I spent over £100 between us and I am sure many other people spent something.
They have arranged to come again on the 20th of October and Pam is also offering Tarot card reading and Pam will offer makeovers. See the coming events page for more details.

Chloe and Hayley

Millie

Millie, on the left, tells me that the very nice pink dress she is wearing this evening was bought from Pam and Hayley the last time they came to the club so you can see they have some very nice clothes for sale. I do like the colour coordinated shoes that go with it.
Tulip, on the right, only manages to get here occasionally but when she does she likes to dress up very well. Behind her you can see the tables with a lot of the items for sale by Pam and Hayley and also a sneaky back view of Janice making a purchase. I hope she doesn't mind.

Tulip

Emily and Rosemary

Andrea and Mary

Judy

Joanne, Sally, Ruby and Tanya

These remaining views show a few more of the girls who were in the club this evening even including one of myself that Chloe took for me. All these photos also start to give an idea of the layout of the new room we meet in with quite a large open area in front of the bar plus a raise area at the end with comfortable seating all along the wall and a balustrade to act as a boundary to the step.

Next week we have Pete and Sue here again selling their bags and accessories and the following week will be a "Little Black Dress" theme evening, so if you dont have one there is still time to do a little black dress shopping trip.

 

 

 
Wednesday 18th Aug 2010

 

View of bar

Well, here we are in our new venue at NewYork NewYork. The picture on the left is just a general view of the bar giving some idea of the large space available to us and on the right we have Dean behind the bar being kept busy for most of the evening.
I was hoping for a good turnout again this week and we certainly got that with around 65 people attending which gave a nice buzz to the place. There are a few things that we need to sort out but on the whole it looks as though this could be a very good venue for us. I will be seeing Tracey, the owner on Monday afternoon to discuss how we can improve the changing area.

Dean the barman

Frances and Emma on duty

Rosemary and Joanne

Jayne and Emma at the desk

Above I am showing only some of the people that looked after the desk this evening in a position just opposite the entrance door which is quite convenient for this purpose. In the middle we have a picture with Rosemary and Joanne standing under the crown hanging from the ceiling so you start to get an idea of how exotic this room looks.

 

Lisa and Paula


On the left we have Lisa and Paula who have not yet managed to find a new comfortable home propping up the bar, which is their more normal position. I am sure it wont take long before they do.
On the right we have new girl Tara, here for the first time this evening being looked after by Estelle who is now recovering well after her operation. She tells me that she is putting weight back on which is a very good sign of recovery for her.
Welcome to Tara, I hope you manage to come fairly often and make some friends with us.
Tara was not the only newcomer we had this evening which is great as there were at least three others as well.

Tara and Estelle

Jenny Michelle

On the left we have Jenny Michelle who came along early in the evening dressed in drab just to see what we were like, before committing to come along dressed, which many new people do. After chatting with her for a bit she told me that she did have some clothes with her but had left them in the car. A bit of gentle persuasion helped her to decide to go and fetch them after I had shown her where she could get changed. She was quite a long time away and I was beginning to think she may have changed her mind, when she re-appeared and told me that it was just as well she had gone back to her car as it had been clamped and she was able to get it released after paying a hefty fine. But if it had been left till later on it may well have been towed away so she was at least relieved that she still had it.
Sophia, on the right is also new this evening and is already competing for the shortest skirt competition. I got a lovely letter from her on thursday saying thank you for making her so welcome. These thanks apply to all of you who help to create such a welcoming atmosphere.

Sophia

Rachel

I have shown "Rachel" on the left but I think I may have got her name wrong so I do apologise for that. She came over from Leeds this evening with Cindy and tells me that she has taken over the running of the First Friday event in Leeds from Mandy and Cindy who are now running an event called LIPS on the third Saturday of each month. Full details of both these events are given on our website under the heading "Other TG events in Manchester Region", so have a look there and go along if you can.

Finally, to celebrate our first meeting in this new venue, we upped the prize in the raffle to a bottle of Champagne and the lucky winner was Jayne, shown here sitting at the bar with her prize.
Our program of events will carry on as normal in this venue so next week we have Pam and Haley from NewImageFashion here with us with lots of goodies for us to buy, so do come along and enjoy the evening.

Jayne with the champagne

 

 
Wednesday 11th Aug 2010

 

Busy Bar

As this was to be our last evening at the Rembrandt, I was hoping for a good turnout and that is what we got. So thank you all for coming along to give us a good send off. We had over 75 people come in during the evening which is about double our normal attendance for an ordinary wednesday night.
As you can see, the bar was busy, this was taken early in the evening and Paula and Lisa, two of our most loyal members, were in the Pink as ever, here to enjoy themselves.
I spoke to so many people during the evening that my brain is in a whirl, so here are a collection of pictures of the people that came through the door.

Paula and Lisa

Kate and Joanne

Kerry,Jenny,Cindi and Marolyn

Sue and Mary

Lesley and Brydie

Tracey and Jane Maybe

Michelle and Rachel

Kirsty

Kirsty, on the left, came in for what may be the last time , as she is planning to move to Thailand in the near future where she has been accepted on a course to learn to be an English teacher. If she passes the course she will be able to get a job out there teaching Thai School children to speak English. Apparently to do this job they dont want you to be able to speak Thai as this ensures that the children have to learn to speak english very naturally. I wish her luck with her new venture.
Lin and Sophie, on the right had come up to Manchester together from Reading for an evening in Manchester, staying overnight, but didn't know that this was our last evening in the Rem. Sophie has been a few times before but had not joined the club, so didn't get the email telling her about it.

Lin Wong and Sophie

Sarah Jane and Bev

This has persuaded her to join so at least she gets told what is happening from now on. They are fairly new to each other as they met at work while they were standing outside having a cigarette and just got talking. Sophie is delighted to have such an accepting friend.
Sasha, shown on the right with Mary, was brought along to the club for the first time this evening by Rihanna and has immediately become a member as a club like this is exactly what she is looking for. So welcome Sasha, I hope you keep coming and make many friends here.

Sasha and Mary

Adriane, Elaine, Ana and Mary

Ana, our friend from Brazil, came in again this evening with her two sisters Adriane and Patricia so this time we took some photos to have a proper record. All three of them are shown on the right along with Lee, who, like Ana, is working with Professor Stephen Whittle towards a Phd. They are only here for a little while longer as they return to Brazil at the end of August with Ana staying only one week more before she has to go as well. We will miss them all.

Adriane, Patricia, Ana and Lee

Vanessa came in early this afternoon and spent some time dismantling our projector and screen and took them out to her car for safe keeping along with our sound equipment. I decided to stay overnight in room 1 so that I could take away the lights, from the bedroom, our cupboard and computer, etc in the morning. Before leaving I thanked the staff who had helped us over the years and gave a small thank you present to John and Bob on your behalf. They have really put themselves out to help us since we went to the Rembrandt and I am sorry we have to leave them.
I then went and had a cup of tea with Elaine in her flat on Canal Street before we met up with Tracey at NewYork NewYork and carried all our stuff up to the new bar ready for next week. I have arranged to return there on Tuesday afternoon to help organise a changing area in the new bar. If we have time we will fit up the mirrors and lights ready for wednesday.

So, that is the end of an era for us at the Rembrandt and we can now look forward to a new start at NewYork NewYork. I hope many of you will make the effort to come along next week and see what the new bar is like. I hope to see you there.

 
Wednesday 4th Aug 2010

 

At the end of last weeks blog I said that I hoped to meet the knew owners to find out what their plans were with regard to our continued use of the Rem each Wednesday. I believe that they were in the building but they did not come up to see me. Instead, at the end of the evening, Alan, the duty manager, was asked by them to come up and tell me that they had other plans for the use of the bar we currently use and he gave me notice that next week the 11th of August would be the last week that we could have the use of the bar. Alan was very apologetic, but I was a bit shocked by this late information as the previous owner Lee had indicated that he thought we would still be able to use the bar at the Rem.
I am sorry this Blog entry is so late but I have been away for the weekend and also otherwise engaged in worrying about where we would be able to go.
I sent an email out to all the members and quite a number have responded with suggestions about where we could go. I have followed up a number of these since then and on balance have decided that at least for the next 6 weeks, starting on the 18th of August, we will meet in the upstairs bar of NewYork NewYork in Bloom Street. This will give us time to examine all the other possible options while giving us what may turn out to be a more permanent home. Tracey, the owner, is delighted to offer us this space and we look forward to working with her to make a success of it.
There will be space available for any of us to change as well as a private room with its own bar. This bar will be open from 7 pm to 11pm as usual for us and the changing space will be available from much earlier in the afternoon. The cost for us will be very similar to what we currently pay for the bedroom at the Rem so moneywise nothing needs to change.

That is enough about the changes, the rest of this blog is just about the normal wednesday evening we had on the 4th of August 2010.

 

Sam and Pauline

The first people I sat with on wednesday were Sam and Pauline who were just getting ready to go out for a meal with a group of friends to a restaurant well outside the village. They were a bit early so Pauline was still doing her nails while waitimg in the club. I hope we get a report next week about how their meal went.
Karen was here again doing her Avon Calling bit with a lot more to show that she has had previously. She is working very hard at trying to build up a client list so I hope she gets sufficient support to keep her going.

Karen with her Avon stock

Lisa

Tina and Millie

Milli and Mary

 

 

Paula

Above are a few of the different outfits that were apparent early in the evening with Millie and Tina, who were doing the door together, showing the two extremes of dress length that can be achieved.
Below them, on this row we have Paula and Rebecca who are not yet regular members of the club, but hopefully we will see more of them in the future.
I have no photos, but I was pleased to see Ana, our Brazilian friend, come to visit us in the club this evening along with her two sisters who are currently visiting her for a few weeks. They are all delightful people, full of life and can communicate easily, even though English is not their first language. I hope we see more of them before they return home at the end of August.

Rebecca

Zoe

Zoe came in towards the end of the evening, looking her usual stunning self, so here she is again. She usually comes in quite late, but maybe it takes that long to get as good a look as this. It is well worth the effort.
As mentioned at the top, next wednesday, the 11th of August, will be our last week at this venue so we hope we will have a good crowd to give us a send off.

 

 

 
Wednesday 28th July 2010

 

Danni

It was nice to see Danni back again so quickly, having joined us for the meal in Eden last week, here she is again a week later, very relaxed in our company with a quick sense of humour.
We were also joind very early in the evening by Susie, shown here on the right and her partner Margaret. Susie had written to me in June saying that she was planning to come once Margaret was comfortable with seeing Susie dressed. I am glad to say they came together and Margaret was very relaxed and appeared to enjoy the evening. I later introduced them to another couple Alison and Haley with whom they appeared to get on very well.
I have now received a very nice thank you letter from Susie, saying how they enjoyed the evening and they are planning to come along once a month to the club. So thank you Susie, we enjoyed having you both with us.

Susie

Sally

Another two new people came along this week. Sally came in at the begining of the evening and agreed to join the club almost straight away.
Daphne, shown on the right with Michelle in the background came in much later but does not expect be be able to come along very often so has not joined yet.
I was pleased to see Rayne come again, along with her friend Tony, as she is one of our younger members and we would like to encourage more girls like her. They sat down at a table and soon got talking with Brydie. Quite a bit later I noticed that Brydie was still talking with Tony but Rayne was looking less involved, so I asked if she would like to meet some other girls. With Tony's encouragement she agreed and moved to another table where she got much more involved with the conversations going on. At the end of the evening Brydie and Tony were still talking, so I am glad Rayne agreed to move.

Daphne

Cindy

Rayne said to me that she had enjoyed the new company so it worked out for the better as the club is all about making new friends.
Cindi, was here last week and here she is again looking absolutely stunning. She tells me that they have now started a Saturday evening meeting in Leeds and she promised to send me the details for our website.
Karen was having a week off from her Avon Lady job and had persuaded Emma to come out for the evening with her, so here they are relaxing together.
The handing over of the Rembrandt, to the new owners was scheduled to take place on Thursday morning so this was the last night under the control of Lee, so I would like to thank him for looking after us and wish him well in his new occupation. I would hope that we meet the new owners next wednesday.

Karen and Emma

 
Wednesday 21st July 2010

 


I had been emailed earlier in the week by Danni who had been to the club once before so was still unsure of her bearings, but she said she would like to join us in Eden for the evening meal. She phoned me early in the evening to get directions to a car park nearby as she was staying in EasySleep but did not want to park in the street overnight.
She joined us for the meal a bit later on and came into the club afterwards with the rest of us. So this theme night made a good introduction for her and here she is as one of the group that were available for the photo at about 8:45 before Tina has to leave. I have made this group photo larger than normal as they show up better this size.
Below are a the few individual white dress photos I took..

Karen,Tina,Cate,Brydie,Danni,Mary,Millie and Lisa

Lisa

Danni

Millie

Haley

Haley, shown on the left, comes quite regularly now, with her partner Alison but didn't have a white dress so we let her off, but still took her photo anyway. Alison was telling me that she had just come back from a holiday with her ex husband who she gets on with better, now they are not married, than they did when they were. They have lots of interests in common so enjoy holidaying together. It's a funny world.
Karen, our Avon Lady is now coming quite regularly to the club so if you want anything from their catalogue you know where to come.

Karen

Paula

Paula is back in her usual place by the corner of the bar but had forgotten to take her white dress to work, where she changes before coming to the club so we let her off.
And these other two probably had no excuse but they still look good so I cant resist including their photos as well.
It was a fairly quiet week but even so we managed to sign on four new members. This brings our total to 340 people in the last two years.

Cindi and Katie

The Rembrandt is changing hands next week and I am hoping to meet the new owners on wednesday so it would be good if lots of you came along then to encourage them to keep us going.

 

 
Wednesday 14th July 2010

 

sample wares from Pete and Sue

Two friends of Sally, Pete and Sue, came along to show their very smart Handbags, makeup and some hosiery that they have for sale. They did have a website selling these products but have now given it up and are selling off their stock when they can. They obviously enjoyed the evening as they have already asked if they can come along twice more in the run up to Christmas. These dates will appear on the coming events page shortly.
We changed the layout of the room slightly to accomodate the stall so here are Paula and Lisa looking after the door from the other side to make room.

Paula and lisa on duty

Cate, Melanie and Vanessa

It was a quiet evening, following the intense activity of the Sparkle weekend, but at least this gives some of the regular attenders at the club, time to relax with each other like the girls shown here.
I am sure most of you know that Cate, here on the left with Melanie and Vanessa, has MS and she tells me that sadly it is getting worse quite quickly and she is finding stairs much harder to deal with now. Before long she may not be able to manage them at all, but she is still very happy that she has managed to become Cate before it was too late. If there is any help we can give you Cate, please just ask.

Tina, Tanya and Sophie

Tina


Tina, our legal committee member now always does a stint on the door whenever she comes to the club, which is every week except when she goes on one of her holidays. She always leaves by about 9 pm and this evening I asked to take her photo just as she was about to leave. After I took the photo on the left she told me that the dress was completely reversable so here she is on the other side with the dress on inside out. What a useful idea for holiday dressing as you only need half the clothes. Incidentally, as she goes at 9 pm, Tina wont know that she won the wine raffle this evening, so it will be waiting for her when she comes next week. I think she deserves it.

Tina

Lisa and Linda

Later in the evening a new girl came in called Linda and here she is shown with Lisa standing at the bar. If my memory serves me correctly she had chanced upon us, as she was staying in the Rembrandt hotel but had not realised the club met here on wednesdays until she arrived. She was visiting from Northumberland so does not expect to be in Manchester very often, but at least she now knows where to meet some girls at the start of an evening out.
Brydie, on the right, now lives full time as Brydie but still loves to dress up and have her photo taken whenever she can and I am happy to oblige.

Brydie

 

 

 

Next wednesday we are having a White Dress theme evening so I hope to see a sea of white during the evening. If we get a good number we will go out into the park for a group photo.

 
Saturday 10th July 2010

The Sparkle 2010

 

 

 

Sparkle 2010 took place this weekend and it proved to be another very successful weekend with several hundred trans people and their friends visiting Manchester for a relaxing and enjoyable time together. We all owe a great debt to Bella Jay and the committee of the Sparkle Charity for all the effort they voluntarily put in to make this weekend a success.
This year, for the first time, Manchester Concord took responsibility for setting up and organising the talks in the Mechanics Institute, instead of the University building, with the lead in this activity being taken by Astrid. So thank you Astrid for all the hard work and stress you have had to endure to make these talks a success. On the day she was supported by Frances, who helped supervise the meetings and Vanessa who made sure that all the technical bits and pieces actually worked. We should also thank the staff of the Mechanics Institute for all the help and encouragement they gave and Vida for creating and getting made the Concord advertising collages which we used in the park and the Institute.
We should also thank the PRIDE 2009 committee for so generously donating £500 to help us pay for this facility.

I dont have any photos from the talks so if anyone can give me some I will include them here.
Also in the other rooms of the institute we had another club member Lee creating a picture of Audrey Hepburn, with the help of many of the visitors and this picture was subsequently auctioned at the ball to raise money for the Sparkle charity.
During the day there were also other talks and demos arranged by Jenny-Anne and TREC which all added to the variety of activities that were available to our visitors to Manchester.

 

Danielle and Pauline

In the park we again had our tent to advertise our club and I am very grateful to all those club members who so willingly helped to look after it during the day. I am sorry but I dont have photos of all those who took part as these are the only ones I took, towards the end of the afternoon.

There were far more stalls in the park this year which helped to give it a much more alive atmosphere with plenty of things to buy, including all the bring and buy clothes, etc that were on offer

Danielle, Sarah-Louise and Pauline.

Strawberry Elephant in the park

in Linda's tent which this year had moved from Taurus Bar to the park, in order to try to get more visitors to it. I am told by Elaine, who helped to set it all up, that they eventually raised £1000 for the charity they were supporting.
I was glad to see Marieanne's group Stawberry Elephant performing on the stage, but there was so much going on that I was unable to see all the other events that took place on the stage.
I took very few pictures this year but was pleased to see Heather and Jenny-Anne relaxing in the park later on in the afternoon looking very happy.
Then we have Kerry and Fay in Linda's clothes tent with the Beaumont society tent in the background and finally Lisa with Marolyn and the not so often seen, Leanne in the foreground in front of our tent.

 

Heather and Jenny-Anne

Kerry and Fay

Lisa, Marolyn and Leanne

Abby

Lee and the picture of Audrey Hepburn

Vanessa

Martine Rose

After the park activities were finished the next big event of the evening was the Manchester Concord Ball in the Hall of the "Place Apartments". There were so many people at this event that it was difficult to take individual pictures so here are some of the small number that I took. For those that dont know her, Abby, in the top left, came over from Houston and she and I shared a flat at the place for the weekend. She was also here on business and travelled back to the US on the following Saturday, but thank you Abby, I enjoyed your company.
Above I show Lee with her picture that she managed to complete in time for the start of the ball at 9 pm this evening. It looks stunning.

Beverley

Kimberley

Bella Jay was a bit put out at the start of the Ball because the DJ she had booked failed to turn up, but, resilient as ever, she stood in for him and did a stirling job keeping the music going during the times when the band and other entertainment was not happening. Shown here are Kimberley who was the hostess for the evening and Marieanne fronting the Strawberry Elephant band during their set.
I would also like to thank all the people from Pink Punters who did a sterling job looking after the door for the ball.
On the Sunday, Abby and I both attended the two meals that had been organised. One at lunchtime in Villaggios which was very well attended and later in the evening at the Indian restaurant organised by Jenny-Anne. This had fewer people there but was an excellent indian meal and made a very good ending to a very enjoyable weekend.

Marianne and Strawberry Elephant at the Ball

 

 
Wednesday 7th July 2010

 

Jacqui, Danielle and Lisa

This evening we were getting ready for Sparkle and this meant that I had a load of kit, ready for use in the park, in the boot of my car. So at the start of the evening I asked a group of the girls to come out and help me bring it all in to the club. As we were going along the road outside the Rem we got asked by two lovely girls if we could tell them where there was a good restaurant to eat in, nearby. We recommended that they went to Villaggios so they thanked us and went on their way. Later in the evening Danielle was walking down Canal street and she met them again

Brydie, Mary, Jacqui, Danielle and Lisa

and invited them to come up to the club to see what it was like. She duly brought them up and they spent most of the rest of the evening with us. They were up from London on a business trip and had been here a few days. Today they had left their work colleagues and were out for a night on the town dressed as they wanted to and had been looking for somewhere to go. They were really enjoying themselves with us in the club and were happy to have their photos taken. When I got home that evening I noticed that they had already put a thank you message onto our forum, so thank you Jacqui and Lisa, we really enjoyed your company and hope to meet you again soon either here or down in London.

 

Paula


As part of our preparations for Sparkle the committee had decided that we should produce some up to date collage screens to be used in our tent in the park to advertise the club. Our artistic member, Vida, has duly done the job and here they are set up to show them off before being used over the weekend. They dont show up well in these photos but they really are very impressive, so thank you Vida.
As an extra advertising item Vida and Vanessa had also produced a rolling video that was displayed on the screen in the club throughout the afternoon get together on Friday. This worked really well as it also gave the program of talks we were hosting at the Mechanics Institute and a map of how to get there.

Sorry I have forgotten your name.

Kate

Pauline and Frances

 

 

Katie

 

Lisa


I am sorry that this Blog is rather late this week, but the Sparkle weekend started for me on the thursday, as I met my friend Abby from Texas at the airport on thursday morning and then spent the rest of the weekend with her, staying in the Place Apartment near Piccadilly Station and taking part in many of the Sparkle events. This has left me completely exhausted so have only just got round to doing this blog on wednesday the 14th.
I will include a small extra blog about Sparkle itself by next week but at the moment I dont have time.

 

 

 
Wednesday 30th June 2010

 

 

Ruby and Paula

It is great to see people looking happy. Ruby, shown here with Paula, only joined us in March this year, but has made friends very easily and seems to enjoy her visits. I met her a few months ago in Napoleons where she was sitting by herself, so I started chatting and found that she didn't know about the concord meetings. She came along the following week and has continued to support us ever since.
Lisa, shown with Michelle, is very pleased with her colour co-ordination as she told me that not only did the shoes and the dress match but so did her underwear. She said I would have to take her word for that, I cant think why!

Michelle and Lisa

Jenny

Jenny, shown here,comes up about twice a year from Grantham where she lives, to visit with her friend Iris who was one of the early members of the original TV/TS group here in Manchester. When she comes Iris always brings her along to the club for a night out. So welcome again Jenny, but next time I must get Iris in the photo as well.
Michaela, on the right, still leads a very busy life, even though she is semi-retired. She only manages to get here for a short time every few weeks but at least this enables her to keep up with friends who are always glad to see her, so keep it up Michaela, you are one of the stalwarts of the club.

Michaela

Becky and Zoe

It was nice to see Becky here again after a long absence. I think she said it was the first time this year she had managed to get here. She could be right as I find it very difficult to remember as we get so many different people here each week.
Zoe was looking as stunning as ever. She has offered to find me a copy of the dress she was wearing last week as I wasn't able to get it in Manchester and she had bought hers in Liverpool.
It was a nice warm evening so Brydie didn't see why she shouldn't wear something cool like this. But she was very upset by some verbal abuse she got from another girl, not a member of this club, who shouted at her while she was talking to some other people in Canal street. She said she would report this behaviour to the police as it did upset her.

Brydie

Finally, next week, starting on Friday, we have the Sparkle weekend, so I hope many of you will be out and about during the day either in the Park or at one or more of the talks being given in the Mechanics Institute opposite Cruz 101. These talks have been organised by our Committee member Astrid and are finacially supported by the PRIDE 2009 Community fund for which we are very grateful.
Then in the evening we have the Manchester Concord Sparkle ball with entertainment from among others the "Strawberry Elephant Experience" which is a group led by our member Marieanne who has entertained us a few times in the past.

Astrid

 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to previous pages

C copyright Manchester Concord 2010