Nobody is likely to confuse Hollywood, California, the capital of the movie industry, with Hollinwood, UK, an industrial town near Manchester, but apparently someone is trying to cause some confusion.
The BBC has reported that a three-foot-high reproduction of the famous Hollywood sign, but spelled “Hollinwood”, has appeared next to the M60 motorway. Hollinwood (pictured here) is less than five miles away from Manchester, which recently signed a “friendship agreement” with Los Angeles to increase business between the two cities.
Local officials are panicky that LA will be upset and they quickly denied putting up the sign. They say they have no idea where it came from. Relax folks! I doubt the multibillion dollar American movie industry really cares.
So what’s there to see in Hollinwood? Well, no famous directors, no Walk of Fame, no movie studios. In fact, Hollinwood’s last movie theater was demolished two years ago. And there are no movie stars from Hollinwood.
But Hollinwood does have one famous resident. Local bigwig Hannah Beswick had a morbid fear of being buried alive, so she left strict instructions to be kept above ground in case of apparent death. When she did shuffle off this mortal coil in 1758 she was embalmed and kept in the family mansion, where doctors checked her on a regular basis to see if she had come back to life. Of course, having been embalmed meant that even if she had been alive, she certainly wouldn’t be afterward, but the terms of the will were quite clear and the doctors carried them out to the letter. After several years of public viewing at her home, her remains were moved to a museum in Manchester and put on display. Soon the Manchester Mummy gained national fame.
Poor old Hannah never did show any signs of recovering, and 110 years after she died she was finally laid to rest in 1868.
The museum is still open, and this Museum Junkie recommends it highly. Not only do you get the usual dinosaurs, stuffed animals, and butterflies, but you also get a cool collection of armor. There are even some mummies, but of the ancient Egyptian kind. Sadly, that room is temporarily closed, but it will reopen in time for next summer.