There’s an entry (alley, ginnel) in Whalley Range, running between Milton Grove and Upper Chorlton Road, which emerges alongside the Territorial Army centre, opposite the 86 bus stop.

An industrial building runs the length of it, which currently houses the Morris Minor Millenium Company and the studio of artist Michael Mayhew.

Ten years ago, the Manchester Evening News christened the place ‘Death Alley’, following the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Matthew Bryan from Hulme; 2 years before that, Roger Ormsby (who I was at school with) was found shot dead in a blazing car in the same spot.

Some local people wanted the alley to be gated, as so many other nearby entries and ginnels have been, but so far this hasn’t happened… and I’m glad because I like taking this short-cut, in spite of its unhappy history.

In recent years, the row of shops between the alley and College Road has altered to become a vibrant social hub. Award-winning restaurant Palmiro’s pioneered this local scene, but their premises is now The Nip & Tipple bar; next door is the pub The Hillary Step, and a few doors along is Jam Street Cafe.

Local artist Michael Mayhew plans to hold a pop-up gallery in the alley called ‘The Allery’ on the Jubilee Weekend at the beginning of June. He has invited submissions from local artists and has organised a series of talks, workshops and events, in conjunction with The Hillary Step, The Nip & Tipple, Jam Street Cafe and The Creative Corner Cafe, which occupies the old Driving Test Centre premises on Milton Grove.

The Creative Corner Cafe is offering a free film workshop, primarily intended to document the festival, but those taking part are free to pursue other ideas. The cafe will also host a ‘speakers corner’ called ‘Speak Your Brains’, which will run each day; a stage will be set up outside the cafe, named ‘The Anthony Wilson Stage’, which will bare the likeness of Anthony Wilson, supplied by participating artist Trafford Parsons. There is also a darkroom photography workshop with Margeret Banton; email inclusiveartsresources@gmail.com for more details.

Please book in advance for the workshops at: allerygallery.weebly.com. At present, the event line-up is as follows:

Friday 1st June

The Creative Corner Cafe
5 Day Open Film Workshop – FREE
email: inclusiveartsresources@gmail.com

The Hillary Step
2pm – 4pm: Ed Barnwell, solo jazz piano

6pm onwards: THE ALLERY GALLERY LAUNCH
Begins in the Alley and continues into Jam Street, Hillary Step and Nip & Tipple. Details to be announced.

Nip & Tipple
Later: Dirty Vinyl

Saturday 2nd June
The Creative Corner Cafe
Àgata Alcañiz, Life Drawing Workshop
Steve, Lampshade-making Workshop
email: inclusiveartsresources@gmail.com

Nip & Tipple
10am – 12:30pm: Sue Fox, Photography Workshop

The Hillary Step
2pm – 4pm: ‘Take 2′ with Dave Taylor on keys, accompanied by guitar and percussion, jazz and blues

Jam Street Cafe
1pm – 5pm: 10-Second Film Festival

Nip & Tipple
7pm – Late: A Curious Night

Sunday 3rd June
The Big Red Bus Magical Mystery Tour – Time to be confirmed.

Nip & Tipple
11:30am – 1:30pm: David Rudlin, Talk: ‘How Cities are built’
2pm – 5pm: Sophy King, Tiara Making Workshop
2.30pm – 5pm: BINGO

Jam Street Cafe
12pm – 5pm: Films About Place

The Hillary Step
2pm-4pm: Helen Pillinger (Tenor Sax0, Bob Jones (guitar) Jazz, Latin, ska
9pm: Ed Barnwell (keys) Steve Chadwick (Trumpet) modern jazz

Monday 4th June
Nip & Tipple
10am – 12:30pm: SuAndi, ‘Sussed Words’ Writing Workshop
Afternoon: Classical Music Presentations
“Classic FM bounces into The Late Junction and gate crashes into Jarvis Cocker”

Jam Street Cafe
12pm – 5pm: Films About Place

The Hillary Step
2pm – 4pm: Ed Keinyak (sax) with piano accompaniment, modern jazz.

Nip & Tipple
7pm – 10pm: Words That Bite

Tuesday 5th June
Nip & Tipple
10am – 12:30pm: Lucy Burscough, ‘Butterfly Bombing’
11am – 1pm: Sophy King, Tiara Making
Afternoon: Tiara Parade
7pm – 10pm: Tiara Party

Jam Street Cafe
12pm – 5pm: Films About Place

For more information, or to check or confirm these details, see allerygallery.weebly.com.

The Creative Corner Cafe and Trafford Parsons are also participating in Chorlton Arts Festival during May 2012.