20 Aug 2007
In Memoriam Tony Wilson 
Tony Wilson's funeral service was held at the St Mary's Catholic Church ("the Hidden Gem") in Manchester this afternoon. The service was by invitation only for family and close friends. However, approximately 200 members of the public turned up to silently pay their respects, gathering on the steps opposite the church.

Cerysmatic Factory reader Jonathan Deakin was amongst them and here he describes what it meant to him to be there:

"I wasn't inside, but went just to be near. I am a teacher and I'll probably be back in school when the memorial service comes around.

I would say that there were a couple of hundred Mancunians outside, they were people like me who just wanted to say goodbye. I don't think any of the public who were there could be said to be intruding. There were steps opposite the church and that's where we gathered in near silence throughout.

In contrast, there was a heavy press presence who formed the inner circle around events. Most were fine, but it was weird to see a few of them break ranks to get close ups of the bouquet messages and family members. All the local media (Key, XFM, Granada and BBC) were the ones who got the interviews with people though.

At the end, all the congregation stood around with those outside and clapped the cortege off which was a good way to include people like me. There were a lot of people inside who spotted faces to say hello to when they came out so I think (and hope) those of us outside were welcome in the whole thing.

The roll-call of attendees included:

Terry Christian, Peter Hook, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan (Granada), Shaun William Ryder, Clint Boon, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, Derek Hatton, Alan Erasmus, Gordon Burns (Granada), Lucy Meacock (Granada), The Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Pat Karney, Guy Garvey (Elbow), Rowetta, John Robb, Andy Rourke, Dave Haslam, Vini Reilly. Peter Saville seemed very much to be alongside Yvette throughout.

I was glad I went, because I won't get another chance to say goodbye."


More reports on the funeral:

BBC News
Manchester Evening News + photo gallery

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"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

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