Western Park Beer Festival is coming next month

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It’s Western Park Beer Festival on September 15 and 16. It’ll be ace. This year we’ll be spreading the love for Loros, the local hospice, and saluting the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Drinks-wise it means 16 cask, six keg, four ciders and liver-shaped swimming pools of gin…

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Leicestershire’s surprising rock credentials

tonyiommi

If you flick through the pages of rock’s vast and sticky encyclopaedia, it won’t be long before you come across a Leicester or Leicestershire-related entry. Here, I’ve done some of the leg-work for you. So prepare to be pleasantly surprised by three blokes called Jo[h]n.   1. Disarming rock lunatic…

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Framework Brewery – Leicester city centre’s first craft brewery

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  Framework Brewery is a name you’re going to be hearing good things from in 2017. Leicester city centre’s first craft brewery started taking shape in the summer and their first brew, a hoppy American Pale Ale, only sloshed into a pint glass as recently as December 6. Since then,…

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Leicester city on Leicester City today

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  Some clever artist from London came up and sprayed this all over a wall off King Richard’s Road. It’s a corker. Just after taking this pic this morning, I called into Dayman’s DIY store “If you’re going to do it, do it with Dayman’s” – which is a stone’s…

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I never spoke out until I was 40. It was taboo. Men aren’t victims of abuse

Tony Magee is searching for the right words as he absently taps his fingers on the table in an airless conference room at Mercury headquarters. “What do you call it when something is like something else?” asks the grey haired 55 year old, his accent a disarming patter of Midlands-softened…

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The future of Leicester Central

PICTURE ALEX HANNAM - inside of part of the old Great Central Station with plans to turn it into 100 bed hotel - STORY CAT TURNELL

It’s one of Leicestershire’s unofficial tourist destinations. Tucked away down a side street, removed from the bustle of the city centre. “I get plenty of visitors,” nods Mukhtar Shah, who has a car workshop in Great Central Street. “Sometimes 10, 15 people come a month, a lot of people who…

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Letzgo Hunting – the Leicestershire dads bringing hebephiles to justice

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Fingers clatter across an iPad and up goes the internet chat room profile of 14 year old Jess. A couple of seconds pass and the phone vibrates to indicate a message. The date is December 14, 2014 and this is the first contact from Peter Hyam in Essex. “Hello Jess…

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So you thought you’d like to go to the show, to feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow

  In the moth-tattered annals of De Montfort Hall, many a band have turned up, plugged in and rocked out. Yet none have executed an edge-of-your-seat show with quite the same singular panache as Pink Floyd. Technologically advanced and technically adept, Floyd swept into the city on February 10, 1972,…

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Leicester legacies: The life and times of The Charlotte

  It was the sort of place where it was okay to spill your pint, ruminates Andy Wright. “It was what it was – stage, bogs, bar. Some called The Charlotte a toilet stop,” he shrugs, “I don’t have a problem with that.” For many, The Charlotte needs no introduction. For…

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The tale within Fairytale of New York

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    “And the boys of the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay, and the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day.” Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York gets everywhere at this time of year. Even Tesco in Narborough Road, where this week I was shopping and…

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Lilian Lenton – the Leicester suffragette who the Home Secretary wanted stopped

  Lilian Lenton in court in Doncaster with co-accused Harry Johnson in June 1913.     Lilian Lenton’s prison photograph sits in a display case at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The sepia image, now more than a century old, was taken covertly by police when she was among…

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In need of TLC. New and old pics of Leicester’s listed Western Park Open Air School

      With vandals on one side and the elements on the other, Western Park School – formerly Western Park Open Air School – has taken a bit of a kicking in recent years. Shut in 2005, this elegant 1930s building – Grade II listed and one of very…

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There’s a new film Suffragette – here are some suffragists, they’re usually less camera shy

  “Always and always facing toward the light.” They’ve not seen Poltergeist, have they? Here are some magnificent suffragists standing proud in Bowling Green Street. I don’t know their names but I’d like to buy each of them a drink. Which they’d most likely turn down, cos they’re probably part…

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The Electric Cool – Festival of Psychedelic Rock @ University of Leicester 17th October

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    The headliners Sienna Root were rocktastic organic man-flesh from Sweden. The Cult of Dom Keller were a Leicester-Nottingham hybrid with an awesome drummer. And my oldest mate Ben, representing Western Park, and to some extent Hinckley, did the opening Moog atmospherics under the moniker The Early Remains. Oh,…

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Modern Toss creator and former Leicester resident Mick Bunnage, also of cult musos Deep Freeze Mice

Mick Bunnage. Writer, cartoonist, musician. He once worked for Honey magazine, interviewed Vivienne Westwood for Honey magazine and got told to "get on with it" at the old Abbey Park music festival.

      Mick Bunnage is a dream interviewee. The former musician, Loaded writer, cartoonist and Leicester resident has an unerring habit of making the mundane seem peculiarly jocular. Even when he’s trying to pronounce the address of his old stomping ground in Belgrave. “Leer-rah Street,” he hazards. “Leer-eh?” He…

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The prettiest industrial estate in England?

Use me as the main one

It’s a sunny Sunday in October and I’m pootling around Faircharm Industrial Estate with a camera. Faircharm is a mixed use industrial estate on the edge of Aylestone Meadows, bisected by the River Soar and the Grand Union Canal. On first appearance it’s pretty underwhelming, but carry on walking, graze your…

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