mapmymcr: the old wellington innBack
For twenty years Tash Willcocks has worked in Manchester designing record covers for Elbow (Asleep in The Back, specifically), motion graphics for Mika’s world tour, and skateboards in collaboration with Linder Sterling; she has photographed freelancely for Jack Daniels and Arcadia, is part of Generic Greeting Collective, and for sixteen years she was a lecturer in Graphic Design at Salford University; right now she works as a programme leader at Hyper Island. This is by no means all, but it was as much as we could gather before Tash boarded a plane. Well, not quite all; she also told us this:
I’m a Cornish born,
unicorn with a pen for a horn.
In MCR I made my nest,
as this city is the best…
At day I teach,
On the Hyper Island beach.
At night I naps
and ink up maps.
I draw, I dance, doodle & drink, And like to sketch what people think…
*we have no teachers at HI but cannot rhyme Programme Leader
Those night-time inking activities are the focus for these pages. Tash hasn’t just lived and worked in Manchester for twenty years, she has bloody loved it, and looking at her MapMyMCR illustrations has reminded us of all the times we fell in love with Manchester, too. It’s a typographic project that is growing nightly, because there are no limits to Manchester, and no limits to memory, and no limits to love.
THE OLD WELLINGTON INN
This gorgeous pub was carried brick by brick from its old home in the Shambles and lovingly rebuilt in Hanging Ditch. I had dinner upstairs a long, long time ago as a record label treated us to fine foods — I felt completely at home with the low hanging beams that crisscross the ceilings and, though I was wearing heels in a vain attempt to look a little posh/grownup, I could still scamper around without having to bend down. I was feeling pretty good as I had a dress on that I had saved up all my tips for and had combed my star scattered hair. An old man with a at cap appeared during dinner and stopped me as I tried to escape to the loo. He had that dusty faded look of a ghost with almost clear blue eyes, a drinker’s nose speckled with age spots that brought a little colour to his face, and a at cap that glistened with the mist of rain that he had just avoided by entering the pub. “Ah, look at you!” he said — I smiled back with a rosy glow, that someone had at least noticed I had made an effort — “You look like a little chubby monkey.” My glow disappeared faster than E.T.’s dying in a ditch. I sulked off and he tried to follow me with more evil compliments — luckily misjudging a beam and smacking his head hard enough to knock his cap off and distract him as I took my leave to cry in the loo (I didn’t really cry — I’m tuffer than that).
Originally published in The City Talking: Manchester, issue 1