If I hadn't already declared my hand last week, I might have called this 11111111 but then my pedantic friend in France would probably want to change it to 1100111111 or something equally incomprehensible. It will be a hundred years before we have a repeat so for most of us it will be the only 11111111 in our lifetime so I hope it was memorable for you.
I spent the two minute silence on a tram en route from the Quays to the Town Hall. We actually had a three minute silence with the tram halted at the Manchester Central/Deansgate stop and I'm pleased to say the silence was observed by pretty much everybody on board and even from there, the sound of the maroon going off at the town hall was very loud. The weather looks good for the weekend so I hope that will lead to a big turn out at the Cenotaph on Sunday.
I'd been to the Quays for a breakfast time Question Time organised by the Estates Gazette at the Lowry Centre. Had a moment of panic this morning when I looked at my diary which identified the venue as the Lowry but didn't specify whether it was hotel or centre, but fortunately managed to find the editor's mobile number, the right venue, and got myself there on time. Apart from me, the panel consisted of three property people and a banker but fortunately the questions weren't just about property. Indeed they range widely over economic and governance issues including a question of would it be helpful to have an elected Mayor for Greater Manchester where a straw poll of the audience showed them to be unanimously against. When the conversation did focus on property though, there were very strong messages about just how serious the current global economic position is and how long ( five to eight years ) it is likely to take us to get out of it. The task for Manchester is to do our best to buck the trend, which there is some evidence we are doing, and to make sure we maintain our sustainable growth momentum.