DIARY: Year ahead looking grim in Manchester

The PROs of Manchester have been trumpeting the town's traditional grim-and-bear-it brand image and eschewed any inclinations to cure those January blues.

The North Manchester Partnership and Manchester City Council have created a calendar, including views of the Blackley and Crumpsall suburbs of the city, and sent it to schools, libraries and councillors as well as local artists and residents.

The move has left North Manchester residents up in arms at the 12 grim and grainy scenes taken by photographer Jan Chlebik.

Cavendish Press canvassed the opinions of Mancunians, who said the calendar harks back too much to the city's industrial past with its smog-filled skies.

'You can be arty, but this is ridiculously downbeat,' said Ray Malkin, chairman of Manchester's Civic Society. 'January looks like it could be Beirut. It's grim up north and Manchester council doesn't want us to forget it.'

We have declined the opportunity to carry images of the calendar in a bid to keep readers' new year spirits up.

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