Association of Open University Graduates



Radio 6 studio taken by M Stobirski



Liverpool Museum taken by M Stobirski


Astley Hall fireplace taken by M Stobirski


The Black Brunswickers
taken by Margaret Stobirski


Manchester Cathedral

Stained Glass Window in Manchester Catherdral


News of AOUG in the North West (08)

Welcome | News | Diary Dates

Media City, Salford, Manchester

The members, friends and their families from Region 08, 07 and 05, joined together to make this an excellent visit to Salford Media City. It had to be arranged well in advance and the security was very strict. Our group joined with a group of Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel enthusiasts on a guided tour. The first part of our visit allowed us to experience what a radio studio is like. We went into the Radio 6 studio. Our guide was particularly knowledgeable in this area because this is where he worked. The photograph shows the studio and as you can imagine it was quite small. We were informed that very often live music is transmitted from here. The guide explained to us how different sounds were made to transmit over the radio. We were particularly interest in a staircase that has different sounds due to part being stone, some part wood some carpeted depending on the sound they required. Further on in the tour we saw the largest studio in Europe, It was explained that the studio is rented out to different companies such as ITV and BBC depending on their productions. ‘The Voice’, ‘Who want to be a Millionaire’ and many other shows are made here. It was astounding when one considers the amount of money that all of this costs for a show to be produced. The final part of our tour gave us an insight to the size of the News room and how the back drop can change for different productions. The response from our members for this tour was very positive but none of us became stars.

Margaret Stobirski - Local Contact 


Liverpool Museum

This venue has recently been renovated to a very high standard. Members enjoyed meeting for coffee in the restaurant area before making our way around the exhibits. It was particularly interesting to take in the Planetarium which provided excellent information of an update of the starts and planets. Members also enjoyed the wonderful venue that had been bombed in the war and restored. The restoration involved upgrading the café and making use of the old flooring and wooden panel walls. Liverpool always has interesting places to visit and the group want to continue our quest to visit much more. Our picture shows the wonderful frescos that were saved from the bombing in World War II. They are really stunning.

Margaret Stobirski - Local Contact 










Astley Hall

This Grade II listed building, was a truly unexpected surprise. The Hall was very delightful with excellent large gardens. I was taken by a wonderful statue of a World War II soldier. It was very Elizabethan in style and was almost like a small version of Speke Hall. The guides were very proud of its plaster ceilings however I thought they were very ornate. The photograph shows a fireplace made from stone but surrounded by wood panelling. Members of the group met in the Astley Hall Café before looking around the house. Members met up again later when it was decided to partake of a late lunch in a nearby public house. The café was absolutely packed which shows how popular the venue is.

Margaret Stobirski - Local Contact 







The Lady Lever Art Gallery and Museum - July 2018

The Lady Lever Art Gallery and Museum is situated on the Wirral and is nestled in the town of Port Sunlight close to Liverpool. The building itself was built in the early 1900s, as a museum in memory of his wife Elizabeth and Lord Lever Hulme’s ideas were taken from museums in America: one in New York and one in Chicago. He chose a classical style for the galleries. There are few windows with most of the light coming from roof lights but several glass domes let in natural light too. The central dome was magnificent and in this area was a marble statue. This is ‘Salammbo’ by Desiré Maurice Ferray which was purchased by Lever from the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1900.

There were plenty of Pre-Raphaelite paintings to view along with a massive collection of Josiah Wedgewood. ‘The Black Brunswickers’, one of my favourite paintings, is by Sir John Edward Millias and depicts a solider going off to war with his lady positioning herself to stop him knowing that she is aware that he will probably not return home.

Margaret Stobirski - Local Contact 








Manchester Cathedral

It was a beautiful sunny morning when a group of AOUG enthusiasts met at the Coffee House opposite Manchester Cathedral. There is a lot of development around this area which came as a necessity due to the Manchester bombings. Fortunately the Cathedral that had suffered in World War II was spared by the more recent bombings.

The Cathedral, which is smaller than others I have visited, is an example of a late medieval collegiate church and this was a reflection of the significance of the town of Manchester as a regional centre by this time in history. The Cathedral stands North of the modern town centre built upon sandstone between the River Irwell and the River Irk. It dates back to 1421 but many parts were added at a later date. Our visit to the interior was at an unfortunate time as due to the preparation for a concert that was to be performed that same evening, a stage had been set up in the nave which obscured the visitors’ view of the full length of the Cathedral. However the group was able to enjoy a leisurely walk around.

There were many stained glass windows that had been added mostly at the beginning of the 19th Century. There was one special window known as the ‘Window of Fire’ which added to commemorate the Manchester bombing in the World War II. At the West end of the North Aisle was a free standing figure of Humphrey Chetham which was produced by W. Theed in 1853 and at the base of this statue is the information regarding Chetham’s bequest to found a blue coat school and a free library in the College of Priests which was completed between 1654 and 1658.

Margaret Stobirski - Local Contact


Executive Representative – Vacant

Local Contacts
Treasurer – Margaret Stobirski 01925 263161