Week Ending: The other Sir Howard’s flight of fancy & more

WHILE Manchester council supremo Sir Howard Bernstein frequently dominates the news agenda in this parish, it was another Mancunian Sir Howard – Davies – the chairman of The Airport Commission, making waves this week.

He may not exactly have been spreading a message of festive cheer to the audience at Manchester Airport regarding his views on the role regional airports should play in UK aviation mix, but the former Financial Services Authority boss, revealed his affinity with his home city and the airport too.

Harking back to a bygone era, he said: “I’ve just learned to my horror that this place is no longer called Ringway – I took my first flight from here in 1966.

“It was a BA Trident to Prestwick in Scotland where I connected to an Aeroflot flight to Moscow. It’s not something I have forgotten.”

It’s a shame though that he still regards Manchester as a provincial airstrip – not the thriving international northern hub it aspires to be.


IT’S true, as you get older policemen do start looking younger and so do prime ministers. And eventually a Chancellor of the Exchequer is heard name-checking Factory Records in the House of Commons.

During the Autumn Statement George Osborne unveiled the whopping £78m for a new theatre in Manchester which will be called the Factory, harking back to the still totemic record label of the same name.

Led by Anthony Wilson it was responsible for the Happy Mondays, Joy Division and many others, along with the Hacienda nightclub.

Mr Osborne said: “Manchester City Council propose to call it The Factory Manchester. Anyone who’s a child of the 80s will think that’s a great idea.”

Political columnist Rafael Behr tweeted, “That Factory-Manchester 80s club scene reference was wasted on the House”. To which spoof MP Peter Mannion replied “I got it. ‪#withit‬ ‪#arcticmondays‬”