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.
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
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
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.
Mary and Millie
Tanya and Joanne
Libby and Sarah
Ruby and Leslie Anne
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
blog was getting too many words so here are a few attractive pictures
of some of the girls.
Kate and Joanne
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.
Wednesday 8th Sept 2010
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
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
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
Mille, Elaine under the crown and Tina
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.
Dee and Friends
, 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,
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
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.
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
Lisa and Paula
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.
Rachel, Emma,Michelle and Elaine
Zoe, Sky and Libby
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Emily and Rosemary
Andrea and Mary
Joanne, Sally, Ruby and Tanya
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Tina and Millie
Milli and Mary
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Tina, Tanya and Sophie
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.
Lisa and Linda
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Heather and Jenny-Anne
Kerry and Fay
Lisa, Marolyn and Leanne
Lee and the picture of Audrey Hepburn
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Pauline and Frances
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
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
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.
Becky and Zoe
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.
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.