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Manchester Pride 2014
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A typical summer's day started with torrential rain and woolly jumper weather but, as if the weathermen had specially arranged it, by 1pm when the parade was due to start there were fluffy white clouds floating in an otherwise blue sky. And as per usual on an August Bank Holiday Saturday in Manchester, thousands lined the streets cheer, wave and generally make a lot of noise to celebrate the annual Pride Parade through the main shopping streets and into the Village area - the gay heart of Manchester. This year we decided to be there at the start, at the corner of Liverpool Road and Deansgate so we saw all the floats and participants set off and, over an hour and a half later, watched as the council road sweepers started the mammoth task of removing the streamers, leaflets and other parade debris from the city streets.
It was one of the best parades of recent times in our opinion, though I am sure there are others who feel differently. But whatever is said, it did warm my heart to see how things have changed - I can clearly remember about 20 years ago during the reign of that notorious god-bothering homophobic chief of the city's police, James Anderton, that I saw two guys having a quick kiss - nothing salacious and well inside the Gay Village as it was then called - being threatened with arrest for breach of the peace for that one simple act by one of our 'boys in blue'. And now all ranks turn out in force and march in full uniform. Seeing a police car draped in the rainbow flag brought a lump to my throat. So, all in all, a good one this year.

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