Chances are if you live in Salford and have heard stories of a rogue developer stomping over planning legislation, another of our historic buildings being bulldozed into the ground, yet another in a long list of miscarriages of justice heaped upon the masses by the powers that be, then you have read about it first in the formidable Salford Star.
For over 13 years one man has been beavering away hidden in plain sight at countless community meetings and protests, a quiet unassuming man with pen and pad in hand and a keen ear that misses nothing. Most would pass him by in the street without even giving a second glance , not knowing he is one of Salford's most famous sons. A man who has shaped the fabric politics of Salford more than any politician ever could or would, be that by forcing mayors into many embarrassing u-turns, bringing light to questionable planning decisions, championing the community in times of need or by simply holding those who think they are above scrutiny to account.
That man is none other than the Salford Star himself Stephen Kingston.
But alas all is not well with Salford's Media, over the years it has been eroded, chipped away at, absorbed and sold lock stock and barrel to the media behemoths, then re-badged as a Salford Edition of another Cities news. The years have not been kind to the independent media within our MediaCity, the closure of Salford Online was the herald of dark days ahead for local news in Salford and now sadly the Salford Star stands in a similar situation, a fight for its survival, it's existence teetering on a knife edge.
And so after 13 year, over 5,000 articles and multiple paper editions, a battle is being fought to keep the Salford Star shining, a fight to prevent its light from dimming forever, a struggle for media survival in a world in which the odds have always been stacked against it by the very nature of its 'keep it real' style of reporting. By refusing to compromise on its standards or core beliefs, over the years the Star has acquired many an enemy, some who would sooner see it close than survive.
It is for that reason it is so important to not let that happen, if the Star was to close then those that should be held accountable to the people of this City would pretty much have free reign to do as they please.
That can NEVER be allowed to happen.
And so at 2pm on Sunday 9th of December an auction of memorabilia will take place on Salford Shopping Precinct hosted by coronation street bad boy Nigel 'Our Terry' Pivaro.
Up for grabs on the day are some truly unique items and memorabilia from our Cities past, such as...
The Toilet of Broken Salford Promises – a decade's worth of 'strategies', 'pledges', 'regeneration plans' and more displayed in a genuine 1970s avocado toilet. Reserve price £1.
A Holiday With The Salford Star – spend a night in a real Salford tower block covered in dangerous Grenfell style cladding! Go for a drink in a real Salford pub with Nigel Pivaro! Take a tour around the social cleansing hotspots and hand out socks and food to homeless people with Salford Street Support. Reserve price £1,000
The Last Brick in Broughton – this incredibly rare brick comes from the very last affordable house demolished in the 'Top Streets' of Broughton. It comes complete with keys from one of the last houses demolished, a teapot that's been CPO'd three times, a full history and a certificate of authenticity. Reserve price £500
Tickets For A Social Cleansing Tour of Salford – this limited place tour will take in the sites of the regeneration areas, focussing on areas where communities have been broken up and 'diluted' so that more 'economically active' people can take their place. This is a must for academics and poverty porn addicts alike. No reserve
Ringo Starr's Brick – A genuine brick from Ringo Starr's childhood home in Liverpool, donated by the Salford team currently working on the house. Comes with a certificate of authenticity and photos to prove provenance. No reserve
A Genuine Piece of the Salford Quays Crane – When Salford Council demolished the beautiful blue cargo cranes at Salford Quays no-one was allowed a souvenir piece of them. However, on the day the Salford Star managed to obtain a three inch long fragment from the jib. This treasured item is both a symbol of old Salford and the heritage destruction reeked on the city by the authorities. Comes with a certificate of authenticity. Reserve price £100
A Genuine Piece of the Dirty Old Town Gasworks – the iconic Salford gas holders, made world famous by Ewan MacColl's Dirty Old Town anthem, are currently being demolished and the Salford Star has managed to obtain a genuine beautiful bolt from the structure. Reserve Price £100
The Original 'Silver' Star used in the Salford Star Logo – Reserve price £1million (or near offers)
All proceeds from the Auction will go towards ensuring that this vital local media source lives on to fight another day... FOR YOU.
So get if you can, get down to the precinct, go buy a mug or a hoodie or a t-shirt, put in a bid and help reignite the light of the star before all that is left is a gaping media black hole that we all end up sucked into.
Image Copyright: Salford Star