It’s been a long time coming, but the rumours are getting stronger that Manchester University is going to sell off the former UMIST (now known as the Northern) campus. Some of the buildings on the campus are, it has to be admitted, awful. I remember, back in my student politics days, saying that the perk of my job on the Union executive was that my office was in the Barnes Wallis building- no matter what else happened, at least I didn’t have to suffer the pain of looking at the Barnes Wallis building.

Points raised in the comments below the MEN report are interesting. I’ve heard there’s a covenant restricting the uses the main (Sackville Street) building can be put to as well, so maybe the suggestion that Manchester Metropolitan University (I remember when it was the Poly) should take it over rather than building on a planned site in Hulme has merit. I also find myself agreeing that the Renolds (spelling? it’s been a while since I walked past and checked) Building has some historic/architectural merit and may be worth saving.

It’s been a long time since I was last inside the UMIST main building. Any “Northern Campus” based students want to sneak me in for a nostalgic/photographic wander?

And, of course, there is one big final question- if the campus is sold off and the Barnes Wallis building is finally put out of our misery, where are they going to hold BeerFests in the future?

Here are a load of photos of UMIST on Flickr. Some of them are mine.

Point of Contact, page 1

Starting today. A fun tale of first contact and the problems which ensue.

I’m still learning a lot about producing the art, so bear with me. It’s intended for publication as a black and white comic, hence the tones and shading.

I’ll be doing production notes as I go along. In jokes, nods to other media, that sort of thing.

Geri is wearing a UMIST top. The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology is no more. In our universe it merged back into the University of Manchester a few years ago, before Geri could possibly have gone there. But in the alternate where Point of Contact takes place it obviously didn’t.

Dan Moody is named after Dan Moody, reprobate and fellow Cumbrian of my acquaintance, though that’s partly by accident. I’d given my characters first names then asked if anyone I knew would like their family name immortalised in comic form. Dan the character was already half christened when both the Moody siblings volunteered their surname. Cartoon Dan has more hair than real Dan. I know how he broke his leg, but it’s only going to be revealed if the story calls for it.

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