Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Farewell to the Big Wheel

A few days ago I was walking past the lovely Exchange Square when I noticed something different – the Big Wheel had vanished!

I stood there for a few seconds, looking at the vast empty space as if it were an illusion. No, sadly the wheel was not there. Where there used to be movement and liveliness, the sight was now dull and boring.

Apparently, the Big Wheel has been forced to say goodbye to Manchester and travel to Edinburgh, and will involuntarily cede its home to a giant screen for the Olympic Games.

The Big Wheel’s life in Manchester has not been a long one, as its permanent presence in the city only dates back to 2006 (after a short Christmas visit in 2004). However, for a person like me, who have only lived in Manchester since 2008, it was part of the city as much as any other main landmarks. It was an iconic site indeed and a meeting point with friends too!

I feel relieved to know that I am not the only one who had secretly fallen in love with this enchanting, white spinning circle and the dynamic atmosphere it created in the city centre, since conversations are already taking place to prepare its comeback. Still, the bad news is that Exchange Square will not have the pleasure to welcome its friend any more, but a new home will have to be found for it. And, to be honest, I do not think that the Big Wheel will feel at home in any other place in the city or that Exchange Square will feel too comfortable hosting a giant, cold, lifeless screen...