Report from Crosspool Forum visit to BBC Media Centre and Salford Quays

Thanks to David Rumsey for sending us this report from this week’s trip to the BBC and Salford Quays, which was organised by Crosspool Forum for some of our older residents.

Visit to BBC Media Centre and Salford Quays

Fifty friendly followers of the Forum left The Sportsman car park at 8.30 on a cold Monday morning and headed over the Snake in the TM coach expertly controlled by John.

We followed a learner driver at 20 mph from Hollow Meadows to Glossop on the most nerve tingling driving lesson ever known and with the traffic behind tailing back all the way to Sheffield. We made up speed on the motorway however and then into Manchester and Salford Quays arriving about 10am.

The aim of the trip was a conducted tour of the BBC Media Centre, a newly-conceived public relations exercise by the Beeb to demonstrate their increasing presence in the untamed North. We visited the Radio 5 Live studios, the Blue Peter and the Breakfast studios and some brave members of our group had a go at reading the news and weather forecast (just like the real thing).

Finding out how radio dramas are made was also most interesting and none of us will ever listen to The Archers again without remembering how they do the sound effects replicating the birthing of a spring lamb! Sadly we didn’t get a look inside the large sports building where all BBC sport is organised but it was an eye opener to find out that the BBC owned nothing (much) on Salford Quays – it was all rented! Apparently very much the cheaper option.

While we waited for our turn for a tour around the Media Centre we could spend fascinating hours in the Imperial War Museum North or the Lowry Gallery and Theatre. As well as the famous paintings the Lowry included a very striking exhibition on the costumes, albums and career of Annie Lennox; a collaboration between the Lowry and the V&A. A maybe less fascinating time could be spent in the large Lowry Outlet Shopping Mall.

The day was very effectively rounded off with a splendid meal at the Willow Bank Hotel (a Best Western Hotel) on the Wilmslow Road where we all had a chance to catch up on our day before John had the dubious pleasure of driving us back over the Snake.

A special thanks to Ian Hague, our Chairman, for organising such a great day out, for arranging the sponsorship from Sheffield City Council and for the hotel meal at such an extremely modest price! Great value.

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