This is the postbox outside Marks and Spencer’s on Corporation Street. It survived the IRA bombing of Manchester on June 15th 1996, the day on which the beginning of the BBC’s From There to Here was set.
We all remember that day. Euro ’96. Three lions on the shirt. I was at home with my sister, but we might easily have been in town, on a Saturday morning. A lot of people were. We know how lucky we were that no-one was killed: three years earlier, two young boys were murdered by an IRA bomb down the road in Warrington. However, our city centre was very badly damaged – but it was rebuilt, and now it’s better than it was before, and we’re very proud of that.
It’s hard to believe that it was 18 years ago. Memories are still very fresh, and that makes it a sensitive and controversial topic for the BBC to tackle in a drama series. Opinions are divided as to whether or not they should have done so, so soon … but they have done – and the first episode was really very good in terms of entertainment. Oh, for the days when someone could joke that City were a Buddhist club because they believed in eternal suffering, LOL!
However, did they have to make one of the main characters some dodgy git who was mixed up with all sorts of low lives and was sick enough to fake a bomb attack on his own business in the hope of claiming compensation? Why does the BBC always have to do this? Let’s set a drama series in a city in the North of England and show that it’s full of criminals. WHY do they have to do this? It’s a shame, because it was very well-acted.
So there we are. I’ll watch the other two episodes, though. Oh, and, even after 18 years, I still had to cover my eyes when Gareth Southgate took that penalty! I’m looking forward to the World Cup, but this was a reminder of just how nerve-racking it’s going to be!!