I recently read an article that Phil Griffin wrote for Manchester Confidential, which celebrates Levenshulme for being itself. He concluded that the grittiness of this Manchunian suburb is the “grit that makes the pearl”.
Flicking through the comments in response to the article, it is clear that people continue to have mixed views about the area, and many are nostalgic for it’s interesting past. I can’t help feeling the same as I wander past the dilapidated old buildings that evoke images of a once much grander time in Levenshulme’s history.
One definition of ‘gritty’ is “showing courage and resolve”, two words that, if you stop and think for a moment, can easily be linked to Levenshulme.
Scratch a little below the shabby exterior and you will start to see the courage and resolve of community groups which give Levenshulme a sense of something changing, of progression, of community spirit, which makes it a place with a real heart.
So, when I hear the police helicopter overhead, or feel frustration about the amount of rubbish people think is ok to dump on the street, I take a moment to remind myself about the wonderful things that are on offer in Levenshulme. I thought I would share my favourites and by doing so, hope to encourage those of you reading from Leve’ to think about and share your own, and those of you who aren’t, to rethink your preconceptions and remember not to judge a book by it’s cover.
Looking particularly lovely in it’s Autumn coat, the park is a great place to walk, run, play tennis, and people watch.
I also love the Christmas Tree, in a tongue in cheek sort of way. I like to think that, like Leve, it will perk up one day!
2. Community Events
Most recently the Halloween and Firework Spectacular in Cringle Park, which always puts on a good display for such a local event.
I can’t help but pop down to buy a brownie, or a loaf of bread – and then I find myself walking away with so much more.
4. Cats of Leve
On Twitter and now on Facebook. It’s nice to see so many people rescuing cats and reuniting them with their owners. And feline stories always warm the heart and bring a smile – OK I confess, I’m a little bit of a crazy cat lady.
A treasure trove of items to suit many tastes and the perfect starting point for refurbishing one of Leve’s many period properties.
6. Fallowfield Loop
For running, cycling, or blackberry picking – and a traffic free route to Chorlton. A place where locals experience the great outdoors on their doorstep.
7. Quirky local businesses
You can obtain most things in Levenshulme if you know where to look. From brunch at Trove or Pod, to curry at Himalaya, to dessert from Indulge, to haircuts at Shine, to plants from Bud… you get the general idea.
8. The smell of biscuits
There are many times I’ve had to resist popping out to buy a packet of Hobnobs, the smell from McVitie’s is just so delicious.
9. Transport Links
An easy train to town, and from a little further afield at Mauldeth Road, trains to the airport. What more can you possibly need.
What would be yours?
Stunning photos taken by Mark Johnson, the rest by me