Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On top of the world

You could not meet a nicer bloke than Ian Wolfendale. He can see everyone else's point of view. He shows kindness beyond words, bravery beyond sanity and is the epitome of reason.

The only exception to this is the Hilton Tower in Manchester. You know, the massive one. Made of glass. He hated the building with a passion. Loathed it, detested this blot on the landscape. It was crass. Didn't fit in. Like a bloody big triffid hanging over Deansgate and creeping over the skyline in the unlikeliest places.

We were involved in a party for the Manchester International Festival last night in architect Ian Simpson's apartment at the very top of the tower. I asked Wolfie to come along into the head of the enemy mothership.

He's happy to say he's flipped his view. "It's something we've all embraced as a symbol of the modern city and something we're actually very proud of," he says. The hillwalkers of Wolfie's circle now use it as a point of reference from the top of Kinder Scout.
The view from the tower was spectacular, but I didn't feel twice as high up as the punters in Cloud 23, some 23 floors below. But you could peer into Coronation Street, see our office, the hills beyond and in one sweep you could see Old Trafford and the snaking line of rear lights heading to the match and the City of Manchester stadium to the east. It was amazing to be there. Ian's apartment, under construction, was also something to behold. It'll be great when it's finished. Manchester, that is.

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