Never think for one minute that the people of Ancoats do not care about their heritage. To see over 200 people coming together on Friday night at Hallé St Peter's, Blossom Street in Ancoats, to hear about the proposed vision of a future Dispensary was just amazing. During the packed evening, supporters and stakeholders were all treated to the acappella sounds of Golden Voices, Manchester’s only senior choir, contrasting beautifully with the young voices and lyrics of the very talented Brighter Sound.
Along with heritage displays, merchandise stall, art exhibits by AWOL Studios and delicious food, there was also a performance by actor and Patron, John Henshaw. John played the role of auctioneer, managing to raise a massive £700 for a beautiful exclusive work of art by urban landscape artist Julian Bovis. Julian also generously donated 10 limited edition prints of the Dispensary that quickly sold raising a further £500 towards ADT funds.
A variety of speakers each spoke about the Dispensary from their own perspective - and it quickly became very clear that the passion and interest in this building goes far beyond the walls of Hallé St Peter’s and Ancoats. Lucy Powell, Manchester’s first and only female MP, sent her praise of the Dispensary campaign via a recording message - praising the Ancoats Dispensary Trust’s tremendous work in reaching this stage of a long journey towards restoration.
Adding glamour to events was the Leos Strings Quartet who played a piece of classical music thrilling everyone with their unique interpretation. They also continued playing throughout the interval whilst delicious food and a chance to network were provided.
To conclude the evening, Master Chu’s Lion Dance Troupe performed a traditional Lion Dance accompanied by drums and cymbals - a significant gesture to the Chinese Society of Manchester. On leaving, the Lion blessed the Ancoats Dispensary Trust’s vision. A rousing farewell song, ‘People Get Ready’, provided by the Golden Voices ended the evening – a symbolic recognition of the hard work to come as we prepare ourselves for our next step of a long journey towards restoration.
Our thanks must be expressed to all the hard working student volunteers, our speakers, the audience and everybody else who supported this event in any way shape or form! The Rt Reverend David Walker, The Bishop of Manchester, summed up the evening perfectly in just three words… ‘It was amazing!’
We couldn’t agree more!