• Image of Issue 1186: June 5-11

Johnny Marr knew from an early age that he wanted to be a musician. But the former Smiths guitarist says the pressure on kids today to achieve academic results means it’s harder than ever for new Manchester bands to emerge. He also tells Saskia Murphy about his love for his home city and the way it responded after the Manchester Arena attack.

There’s a copy of every book published in the UK and newspapers going back to the 18th century in its temperature-controlled warehouses. The British Library at Boston Spa is a treasure trove for researchers, so Mark Metcalf took a seat in the reading room.

Candidates in the general election have reached the home straight. In the second part of our election coverage Roger Ratcliffe looks at four northern constituencies where results are keenly anticipated – Shipley, Burnley, Chester and Wakefield.

Best known for plays like Shirley Valentine and Blood Brothers, Willy Russell has taken up painting. He’s exhibiting at a small gallery in Kirkby, which is aimed at both residents and visitors to the town.

On our news pages, we report on hidden homelessness on the Isle of Man and announce our media partnership once again with Manchester Literature Festival.

Rugby league-loving Howard from Leeds is our featured vendor this week. “Everyone should vote in the general election and make it count,” he tells us. “It feels like there are more people homeless now than there have ever been.”

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