r Monkey has been going to exhibitions at Urbis for six years, and he's enjoyed the changing cultural shows on offer.
Now Urbis is turning into the new home of the National Football Museum, which means it's got to be closed down for a while.
Mr Monkey has mixed feelings about the changes, but he was glad to receive an invitation to the closing down party on Thursday. He RSVP'd promptly, and, on the right day, scampered through the slightly damp streets of Manchester to Urbis. He gave his name (and his humans', too) at the door and went in.
Beneath a large welcoming sign Mr Monkey found a book for people to write down their memories of Urbis. He wrote down his favourite memories while his humans had a quiet drink.
Mr Monkey watched the crowds get bigger as more people came in. He kept still while people roamed around with video cameras, and met some very friendly young ladies while his humans enjoyed the complementary alcoholic beverages.
After a while, Mr Monkey went upstairs. For the first time ever that he can remember all the exhibitions were open in the evening and people were allowed to take their drinks upstairs (but only in plastic glasses, of course). He looked around the Urbis Has Left The Building
exhibition which just made him realise how much he'd miss Urbis all over again.
Going up the stairs to Level 3 Mr Monkey was able to peer over a wall and found that, in some places, Urbis had already packed up and left.
On the way downstairs he stopped to say goodbye to Pollyanna Clayton-Stamm who as Head of Creative Programmes has done so much to make Urbis an excellent place to visit (and has always given Mr Monkey information about exhibits that Mr Rik was too forgetful to write down). Mr Monkey is sure she's going to do as good a job when the exhibitions have to be football-related.
Eventually Mr Monkey's humans pointed out that there isn't an infinite supply of trains and that the 192 night bus doesn't run on Thursdays, so he had to leave. Outside he looked up at Urbis, saw the lights on throughout the building and wondered if he'd ever seen it looking so good.
And then he went off to catch a train home.
Mr Monkey says 'thank you' to everyone who has worked at Urbis, past and present, and wishes you all the best in everything you do.