Updated: Friday, 22nd May 2020 @ 2:15pm

Reds, rain, raving and...Ugg boots - is this really the Cream of Manchester, or a load of crackpot cliches?

Reds, rain, raving and...Ugg boots - is this really the Cream of Manchester, or a load of crackpot cliches?

by Aimée Horwich

MANCHESTER has a reputation for its grey skies, gloomy song lyrics and grumpy locals. Yet, the reality is far - often very far - from the truth.  As a proud Mancunian born and bred, Aimee Horwich decided it was time enough that the phony clichés attached to Manchester were put to rights.


1. The Rain

“Welcome to Manchester Airport, where the local time is 3.45pm. The outside temperature is 10 degrees Celsius and there is a light rain.” When landing at Manchester Airport, passengers on board seem to have already succumbed to the Mancunian weather.

Yes, it does rain in Manchester, 809mm a year in fact. However, that’s 90mm less than the rainfall in Glasgow and 15 other UK cities.

Moreover, Milan’s annual rainfall reaches a whopping 1012mm; so much for a far-off Mediterranean city that invokes ideals of Italian romance and culture.

2. Boddingtons Bitter

Branded as ‘The Cream of Manchester’ Boddingtons beer - or ‘Boddies’ as it is fondly known - put Manchester on the map for its brilliant encapsulation of the city’s charisma.

The drink of choice for 80s band The Macc Lads, brewed in Manchester and marketed by Mancunian actress Melanie Sykes, Boddingtons embodied a typical Mancunian: loud and proud.

With the closure of the Strangeways brewery in 2004, The Cream of Manchester is now in fact the cream of South Wales and Scotland.

What's more, you are more likely to wind up drinking a jar of Boddingtons in the sun at the newly opened English pub ‘The Captain’s Table’, in Yuba City, California, than you are in your Manchester local.

Ironically, these days the brewery - which once stood as one of the city’s landmarks - now serves as a £3-a-day car park. Not too much to complain about though... us Mancunians do like a good bargain.

3. Manchester United

Fergie’s Red Army are Manchester’s pride and joy. We even have a street named after a former Man U manager and had a number 1 single in 1994 with ‘Come on You Reds’.

Yet, many of Manchester United's most die-hard fans have never been near the city - or even the country. The football team have been marketed as such a huge global brand the majority of Reds fans hail from countries across the world. 

Indonesia claims to have over 20 million United supporters and American singer, Justin Timberlake, admitted to The Sun in 2007 that he was “a red”.

4. Ugg boots

What with all the "rain", Mancunians have learnt how to wrap up warm, whilst maintaining a sense of style, and Uggs are rife in this city.
I only realised this mid-July, when walking through town in my sundress and flip flops I saw many girls were still donning their winter staples.
So, it came as little surprise to hear Ugg had opened its first store outside London in the centre of Manchester. These Australian beauties are set to stay, whether we like it or not.

If only Melbournians could have a sneak peak at our Mancunian fashionistas, clad like an Ugg army. We girls must look rather silly wearing what Australians consider a comfy indoor sloucharound as serious footwear: "Those Manchester Sheilas wear their slippers outdoors," I can hear them say.

5. The Hacienda

With Tony 'Mr Manchester' Wilson dead and buried, along with his iconic nightclub The Hacienda, has lost its Madchester?

The site of what was once labelled the world’s most famous club may now just house several plush apartments, but the Mancunian ‘24-hour’ clubbing scene is very much alive and kicking.

The Warehouse Project is now the hippest place to party. With a three-month stint of weekend raves and line-ups from October to New Year, including performances from the likes of Deadmau5 and La Roux, the Manchester club scene is still showing the world how it’s really done.


Manchester’s clichés have stuck, and though the reality is often warped and blown out of proportion, they have enabled the city to gain iconic status. Manchester simply wouldn’t be the same if it was endlessly sunny and our favourite sport was show-jumping. Besides, who hasn't encountered shouts of glee and: ‘Oh yes, Manchester United!’, when they go abroad and tell someone they are Mancunian.