Dave's blog. Updates from Dave Carter, Head of MDDA.

Back in the USSR……………

On July 12th 1961 Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin visited Manchester and huge crowds braved the rain to welcome him to the city, where he recieved honorary membership of the Foundary Workers Union at their HQ in Brooks Bar. On July 12th 2011 Cllr. Jim Battle, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, hosted a 50th anniversary celebration of this momentus event. Many people who were there at the time, which includes Jim himself, came along to share their memories, including photos, press cuttings and a woman with the petals of a rose given to her as a young girl by the Cosmonaut himself. We’ve filmed this for posterity together with a visit we made, later the same day, to the excellent exhibition that Richard Evans and his colleagues at the Sale Waterside Arts Centre have put together. This has now been extended until early September and is a ‘must see’!! More details can be found here. Another great source of information has been put together by local amateur astronomer and space historian, Gurbir Singh, who also spoke at the celebration event: his book is entitled “Yuri Gagarin in London and Manchester” and subtitled “A smile that changed the World?” More about the book and an option to download one of the chapters now – here. The paperback  version is £10.00 and eBook for £5.00,  available from YPD Books . A fantastic event and it was great to be a part of it. More info about the short film we’ve made about this will follow soon.

Posted on: July 13, 2011.