NORTHERN SPIRIT

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Manchester Movements – Working Class Movement Library

January 26, 2013 in A WONDROUS SPACE, MANCHESTER, Wondrous Cities

Ruth and Eddie Frow

Eddie and Ruth Frow were a married couple from modest backgrounds. They shared a life-long passion in documenting the true unsung heroes and heroines (i.e. the workforce) of the industrial changes in the north of England. This has led to a quite remarkable institution – the Working Class Movement Library.

I met with library manager Lynette Cawthra in a room steeped in the history of true local heroes and heroines – the workers whose labours put the epithet of ‘Great’ into Britain. Over a cup of coffee I soaked up the history: a claret and blue banner of the West Ham electricity power suppliers union to one side, a banner of Lenin to the other, and the collection of Clarion chairs. These were from the Clarion Cafe on Manchester’s Market Street – The Clarion was a thriving socialist movement which had clubs, meeting rooms and a newspaper which started in 1891.

Eddie and Ruth got together in the early 1950s, having both been involved in workers’ struggles in their early years. Eddie took part in the Battle of Bexley Square in 1931. This was outside the old Salford Town Hall, when a peaceful demonstration of workers, enraged by government cuts, were set upon by the police and a battle followed which saw Eddie amongst others imprisoned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a shared interest, Eddie and Ruth’s joint collection of political and historical books and pamphlets started small, filling a single bookcase. Their insatiable appetite for both the rare and the more mundane manuscripts soon become apparent though. They would travel the country scouring bookshops in far flung towns, spending happy evenings perusing their purchases and sleeping in their van. The books often became an impromptu mattress. As time went on they moved to a more comfortable and practical solution of a caravan, towed by a Czechoslovakian car – a Skoda.

As married life moved on, their collection in Kings Road in Trafford grew and grew. Their archive of working class history became well known to historians and researchers, students and politicians. Banners and photos, prints and journals took up so much space that in 1987, with council funding and other donations, the collection moved to Jubilee house in Salford.

Plebs Journals

Plebs Journals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thousands of visitors cross its threshold. Researchers, actors, artists, students and even politicians have used it as an important resource to further their understanding of how working class culture shaped Britain today. One week’s visitors included a professor who had come from Japan to research silk weavers’ unions, and a wrestler who needed help with his first writing project, the story of his mother’s growing up in Ancoats. On a visit in 2009, veteran MP Tony Benn called it “one of the greatest educational institutions in Britain”.

Lynette Cawthra says: “Our founders started the Library in their own home, driven by the belief that working people should remember and value their own history. Together they rescued countless items which would have otherwise been lost to the future. In these turbulent times, that history has never been more relevant – and the survival of the Library will depend on the generosity of our supporters”.

The WCML Foyer

The WCML Foyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The collection dates back to 1760 and has 130,000 items, including volumes of the Plebs Journal and board games such as Class Struggle (I had this game myself  in the 1980s). A reading and research room, exhibitions, a room full of commemorative crockery and pottery and a shop full of wonderful books and information published by the North West Labour History Group and the Working Class Movement Library, make it a place of wonder and learning. I could literally feel the history, which led to many hours where I quietly reflected on all the hardships of those Salfordian and Mancunian workers.

Radical Board Game

Radical Board Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And with that paean to us ordinary and honest hard working folk of the north, my week’s curation has come to an end.

It’s been terrific fun researching and writing for you and I hope you have enjoyed the trips in my time machine – next time around maybe my time machine will be powered by graphene (useful for fast electronic devices). Two Manchester scientists won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics for their pioneering work on graphene, which is being pioneered in Manchester as I write.

It’s time for me to hand the creative baton onto Degna Stone in the north-east. My question to her is, “If you were to host a festival to showcase north-eastern culture to the world, who and what would be on the bill?”

Bye!

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Chrissy Brand

Chrissy originally comes from north-west London but has spent over half of her life in Manchester. Her passion for many aspects of the city and its surrounding countryside is such that she posts about it every day at the Mancunian Wave blog (see web link below). Formerly at the BBC World Service, Chrissy now works at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) and is also a freelance writer. She writes two monthly columns for Radio User magazine, and co-authored the 2007 book Wembley: Stadium of Legends (Tomsett & Brand, Dewi Lewis Media, Heaton Moor). She is general editor for the British DX Club's monthly journal Communication and also a guest blogger at 4 Manchester Women and Smitten By Britain, as well as writing a blog on aspects of radio, called DX International. In her spare time you will probably find her walking the towpaths of the Cheshire Ring Canal network or enjoying a caffeine fix in a Northern Quarter cafe.

Manchester Moments – Great Abel

January 25, 2013 in A WONDROUS SPACE, MANCHESTER, Wondrous Cities

Today we climb to the top of probably the most iconic of Manchester’s buildings.

The neo-gothic masterpiece that is the jewel in the crown of Manchester’s 19th century architecture is topped off by the clock tower.  Building of the Town Hall was started in 1868 and almost 20 years and £1 million later it was finished. Alfred Waterhouse’s design was the most practical, if not the most popular, of over 130 designs that entered to win the right to build.

Ever since, it has been the heart of Manchester’s civic pride, a logical end point for demonstrations and rallies. Festivals and markets, sport and music are all held here. In fact, it seems that there is rarely not a cultural event either in place or being set up. Tourists pose outside for photos looking up at the 286 feet (87m) high clock tower.

Once inside, there are amazing mosaics which include the Manchester Bee – the city’s symbol for its industrious work – and statues aplenty, including Roman Governor, Agricola, who founded the original fort of Mamuciam. But it is the clock tower and the bell of Great Abel that I am focussing on here. I went up the clock tower recently, which is only open at certain times of the year, so it was a privilege and one I recommend to all Mancunians and others who are able to climb the claustrophobic spiral staircase.

The bell tower has 23 bells, with the clock bell named Great Abel after Abel Heywood. It first rang in New Year’s Day of 1879 but cracked and had to be replaced. It is inscribed with Heywood’s initials and the Alfred Tennyson line Ring out the false, ring in the true.

The Town Hall Clock Face

The Town Hall Clock Face

Heywood from was from a poor background but rose to great heights. He ran a bookselling business on Oldham Street for many years and was imprisoned in 1832 for four months for refusing to pay a £48 fine stamp duty which would have suppressed mass publishing. He later went onto become Mayor of Manchester twice. His interest in publishing for the masses continued throughout his life. Seeing as there were no affordable travel guides for workers to take advantage of the expanding rail networks, he began to publish a series of Penny Guides, short travel guides that covered such places as Buxton, Bath and the Isle of Wight.

It was decided to recast the bells (apart from Great Abel) in 1937 to commemorate a new King, which proved to be a costly error. The bells were engraved with the title of ‘King Edward VIII’, but Edward then decided to abdicate, so they had to be re-engraved for the King who replaced him, known as George VI (not that many people would ever have seen the engraving).

Guardian Angel

One of the City’s Guardian Angels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The clock face bears the inscription Teach us to number our Days and once you reach the summit and wander around outside you can almost reach out and touch the city’s four guardian angels with hearts of stone. It is quite a moving moment.

The Tower, viewed from outside.

The Tower, Viewed From Outside.

The views on each floor of the tower’s innards are fascinating – the mechanism room and the dial room are steps back in time and ascending the many stairs is not for the faint hearted. Glimpses of the triangular town hall’s design can be seen at certain points, and an ever distant Manchester looms below. On a clear day you can see out to the wonderful countryside surrounding the city, on a gloomy day there is a sense of history and industrial heritage in the air. You can imagine the atmosphere chock a block with soot and pollution in its heyday when the local mills and factories belched out fumes and destroyed the lives of the workforce within, whilst city elders basked in comfort in their palatial and modern Town Hall.

To this day the town hall clock issues forth its evocative chimes on the quarter hour, resounding across the city, although chimes are switched off at 9 p.m. for the night as they disturb residents and hotel visitors within earshot…What would Mr Abel say?

 

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Chrissy Brand

Chrissy originally comes from north-west London but has spent over half of her life in Manchester. Her passion for many aspects of the city and its surrounding countryside is such that she posts about it every day at the Mancunian Wave blog (see web link below). Formerly at the BBC World Service, Chrissy now works at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) and is also a freelance writer. She writes two monthly columns for Radio User magazine, and co-authored the 2007 book Wembley: Stadium of Legends (Tomsett & Brand, Dewi Lewis Media, Heaton Moor). She is general editor for the British DX Club's monthly journal Communication and also a guest blogger at 4 Manchester Women and Smitten By Britain, as well as writing a blog on aspects of radio, called DX International. In her spare time you will probably find her walking the towpaths of the Cheshire Ring Canal network or enjoying a caffeine fix in a Northern Quarter cafe.

A Manchester Movement – Vegetarianism

January 24, 2013 in A WONDROUS SPACE, MANCHESTER, Wondrous Cities

Today we look at a Manchester movement which has a global reach: vegetarianism.

The Vegetarian Society spreads the message of a healthy and cruelty-free lifestyle across the UK and beyond, from its base in Altrincham, just south of Manchester. While avoiding a meat-based diet had been a choice by many for centuries, it was the early 19th century when the genesis of an organised vegetarian movement came together in the UK.

It was at the Christchurch Chapel in Salford’s King Street, just across the River Irwell, which divides the two cities of Salford and Manchester, that Reverend William Cowherd declared in 1807 (nine years before his death) that the congregation should not eat meat. His theory was that eating meat was sinful. At the time, due to economic oppression, the poorest ate cheap cuts of meat that would have done them little good and Cowherd set up free medical services, a library and a soup kitchen to sustain his followers. Being a man of some wealth he was able to fund the building of his Swedenborgian church as well as provide the people of Salford with a printing press and a school.

As more people questioned the morality of killing animals for food, the Cowherdites (as Cowherd’s followers were known) went from strength to strength and Joseph and Mary Brotherton continued the debate which eventually led to the formation of the Vegetarian Society in 1847.

Mary published the first vegetarian cookery book in 1809 and in 19th century Manchester, as today, there were thriving vegetarian restaurants throughout the city and the rest of the country. In the early 20th century, on the site which later became Lewis’s Department Store, there was a large vegetarian restaurant aimed at providing the workers cheap and healthy food.

Vegetarian Society Headquarters

Vegetarian Society Headquarters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vegetarian Society is the oldest of its kind in the world and promotes the cause through information packs, talks, cookery demonstrations and other events. Its HQ also houses the Cordon Vert cookery school where professional chefs and ordinary people are taught to cook extraordinary vegetarian food, as well as training hospital caterers and others how to provide nutritious meals without meat.

They run National Vegetarian Week each year (Monday 20 May – Sunday 26 May 2013) to raise the profile of vegetarian issues, alongside campaigns like Butcher’s Cat and Silent but Deadly. As a vegetarian of 30+ years I can vouch for the benefits of avoiding meat, both on moral and health grounds.

Everyone has their own reasons for becoming veggie and today’s movement is a far cry for that envisaged by the Manchester and Salford chapels of 200 years ago. But I imagine the Cowherders would be impressed and would agree with the reasoning.

Cordon Vert

Cordon Vert School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarianism is better for animals. Around two million land animals are slaughtered every day in the UK alone, just so that people can eat their flesh. It’s also more sustainable. Growing grains and pulses to feed to animals is much less efficient than eating them ourselves. The livestock industry uses huge amounts of land, water and fossil fuels, while producing 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution.

Manchester has long epitomised the wonderful variety of vegetarian spirit and culinary: the mouth-watering delights of the two stylish restaurants named 1847 (in the city centre and in Chorlton cum Hardy); On the Eighth Day serving wholesome food and quality products in its café and shop on Oxford Road in Manchester since 1970; Earth Café next to the Buddhist Centre in the Northern Quarter – a lunchtime stop to brighten any day, as is the bohemian Oklahoma opposite it; the elegance of Greens in Didsbury for over 20 years; plus the two Greenhouses – one in Rusholme that opened in 1983 and sadly closed in 2012 when owner Robin retired, and the other, separate Greenhouse on Oxford Road in Altrincham which again is a great lunchtime stop.

1847

1847

 

 

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Chrissy Brand

Chrissy originally comes from north-west London but has spent over half of her life in Manchester. Her passion for many aspects of the city and its surrounding countryside is such that she posts about it every day at the Mancunian Wave blog (see web link below). Formerly at the BBC World Service, Chrissy now works at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) and is also a freelance writer. She writes two monthly columns for Radio User magazine, and co-authored the 2007 book Wembley: Stadium of Legends (Tomsett & Brand, Dewi Lewis Media, Heaton Moor). She is general editor for the British DX Club's monthly journal Communication and also a guest blogger at 4 Manchester Women and Smitten By Britain, as well as writing a blog on aspects of radio, called DX International. In her spare time you will probably find her walking the towpaths of the Cheshire Ring Canal network or enjoying a caffeine fix in a Northern Quarter cafe.

Manchester Music Moments – A Man Of A 1,000 Gigs

January 23, 2013 in A WONDROUS SPACE, MANCHESTER, Wondrous Cities

David Ecker - Man of a Thousand Gigs

Going to gigs invariably starts in your teenage years but it doesn’t have to stop when you hit 30 years old. Unsurprisingly a city of Manchester’s size (and popular musical pedigree) has a choice of gigs pretty much every night of the year.

Someone who has seen many a band, and many a venue, rise, fall, reform and break up is Dave Eckersley from Springhead (see image above). An avid gig-goer since the 1960s, Dave can regale you with musical tales all evening long.

He was there for a famous occasion in 1964 when the blues and gospel train came to south Manchester. Wilbraham Road station was renamed Chorltonville – (itself actually a lovely area of Chorlton) whose name was thought to lend itself to the feel of the southern States of the USA. Muddy Waters, Cousin Joe Pleasants and others performed on the platform and with the audience grouped on the other, a storm rolled in and a legendary musical Manchester moment unfolded. Granada TV’s Travelling Eye filmed it for posterity.

Dave was also a regular at other Manchester 1960s hangouts. The famous Twisted Wheel club and coffee house opened on Brazennose Street in 1963 and was where many a blues act performed, including a young Georgie Fame. Other musical Mancunians to grace the venue included John Mayall, Elkie Brooks, Spencer Davis Group, Alexis Horner, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, The Dakotas and Freddie and the Dreamers. The Twisted Wheel moved to 6 Whitworth Street three years later until it closed in 1971. The building at 6 Whitworth Street is disgracefully due to be demolished in 2013 (to make way for yet another hotel).

The Twisted Wheel

The Twisted Wheel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Twisted Wheel northern soul concept will not die, however, and has been holding regular nights since a revival in 1999. In 2013 Twisted Wheel has regular nights in Manchester at NQ Live on Tib Street and a radio show on North Manchester FM 106.6 on Thursday evenings.

The Oasis Club was another 1960s Northern Beat coffee and dance club (nothing to do with a certain Manchester band who named themselves after a cafe at Manchester City’s Maine Road stadium). Oasis evolved into Rubens club in 1972 on Lloyd Street (one of the owners went on to run Slack Alice’s with George Best). The clubs may be long gone but the favoured pubs to meet in remain nearby – The Old Nags Head and The Rising Sun.

The Rising Sun

The Rising Sun

The Old Nag's Head

The Old Nag’s Head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave recalls that the bands wouldn’t come on stage until 11 p.m. or midnight and after the gigs, “…We would sleep in Piccadilly Gardens – it was all grassed over then – waiting for the buses to start running again in the morning. When you woke up there’d be hundreds of people there having all crashed out.”

There’s probably not a music venue in the region that Dave hasn’t frequented at some point or other. From seeing Family play at a club in Oldham in the late 1960s through to the obvious venues of today such as Old Trafford, The Ritz, Apollo and the MEN Arena. He remembers the Electric Light Orchestra descending on stage in a giant space ship in the 1970s, bands at the Free Trade Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall in Oldham and Bury Met to name but a few.

If I had a time machine I would have liked to have joined Dave at a 1967 gig at the Palace Theatre, where Jimi Hendrix headlined, Pink Floyd played “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” and other acts the bill included The Move, Amen Corner, The Nice, Outer Limits and Eire Apparent. In 2010 Classic Rock magazine described it as the best bill ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d also like to know if the rumoured Pink Floyd free gig at dawn on Granby Row in the late 1960s did ever take place? Or maybe it’s best left as a mystery in Manchester music mythology.

Even in his autumn years, Dave’s still a regular gig-goer, be it to see the likes of Mostly Autumn at the Academy, the Enid at Band On the Wall, or up and coming acts at his local pub in Lees. He’s truly a north-west man of a thousand gigs.

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Chrissy Brand

Chrissy originally comes from north-west London but has spent over half of her life in Manchester. Her passion for many aspects of the city and its surrounding countryside is such that she posts about it every day at the Mancunian Wave blog (see web link below). Formerly at the BBC World Service, Chrissy now works at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) and is also a freelance writer. She writes two monthly columns for Radio User magazine, and co-authored the 2007 book Wembley: Stadium of Legends (Tomsett & Brand, Dewi Lewis Media, Heaton Moor). She is general editor for the British DX Club's monthly journal Communication and also a guest blogger at 4 Manchester Women and Smitten By Britain, as well as writing a blog on aspects of radio, called DX International. In her spare time you will probably find her walking the towpaths of the Cheshire Ring Canal network or enjoying a caffeine fix in a Northern Quarter cafe.

A Manchester Moment – Elizabeth Raffald, Businesswoman of the Year 1773?

January 22, 2013 in A WONDROUS SPACE, MANCHESTER, Wondrous Cities

Elizabeth Raffald

We start the trip in my time machine and pull up in Manchester of the 1760s. To put this into historical context, 1762 was the year in which the Bridgewater Canal opened, to carry coal from Worsley into Manchester, which was at that time developing fast from the remnants of a medieval town into the world’s first industrial city. James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny in 1765 which helped the cotton and weaving industries’ mechanised outputs. The population of Manchester was 24,386 by 1774.

The time machine has brought us here to look at a woman whose business acumen would have stood her in good stead in the 21st century, let alone the 18th. Were she alive today she would surely win a Mancunian businesswoman of the year award for her many successful entrepreneurial and community based ventures (and adventures).

Elizabeth Raffald was born Elizabeth Whitaker in 1733 (and died in 1781) but crammed much into her six decades of life which was spent mostly in the north-west.

Elizabeth is famed for her cookbook entitled The Experienced English Housekeeper: For the Use and Ease of Ladies, Housekeepers, Cooks & Co which was published in 1769, but this was just one of her enterprises.The cookery book was based partially upon her experiences as housekeeper at glorious Arley Hall near Northwich in Cheshire. Arley Hall was the stately home of the privileged Warburton family – Peter and Elizabeth.

Arley Hall

Arley Hall

Arley Hall Servants' Bells.

Arley Hall Servants’ Bells.

 

 

 

Elizabeth married the head gardener at Arley Hall, and took his surname. Aged 30, Elizabeth and husband John moved into Manchester where she became a successful businesswoman, running a delicatessen shop in Fennell Street, while John became a florist selling seeds and flowers at a market stall. They also ran the nearby Bull’s Head pub during 1769 while John’s family later ran a Stockport pub on Millgate. (This was the Arden Arms which was built in 1815 on the site of a market garden run by John and Elizabeth and remains to this day).

In 1770 Elizabeth moved across the River Irwell to become landlady at the King’s Head Inn in Chapel Street, Salford. She established a post office in the King’s Head, and rented stage coaches which operated between Manchester and London. By 1771 she was part of a team who founded the first newspaper in Salford (titled ‘Prescott’s Journal’) and later became a joint owner of the Harrop’s Mercury newspaper.

Pub On Exchange Square

Pub On Exchange Square

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In her final years John had become Master of the Manchester Coffee Exchange House and Elizabeth provided the catering. Anyone assuming that the coffee house explosion in the city is a 21st Century phenomenon should think again,

The Raffald couple somehow found time to have nine daughters (or possibly 16 children – the truth is patchy). Elizabeth also wrote a book on midwifery and opened the first registry office in Manchester, which allowed servants to get married. She even ran an employment agency for servants and could speak French.

As for her recipes, she was the first to document how to make icing and, all told, her ground -breaking book consisted of 900 recipes all based on her own trial and error. Having read some of the book there are some horrific recipes, and far too many are meat-based, including those which involve the cooking  of turtles and hares.

But we shall look at a reaction to carnivorous diets in a Manchester Movement later this week. She is even credited with inventing the forerunner to the Eccles cake with her recipe for ‘sweet patties’ containing the ingredients which are used in the famous Eccles cakes. (See also Natalie Bradbury‘s posts on Manchester food).

The Old Foodie website is among many to quote Elizabeth Raffald recipes, and this one for Snowballs looks worth a try: “Pare five large baking apples, take out the cores with a scoop, fill the holes with orange or quince marmalade. Then make a little good hot paste and roll your apples in it, and make your crust of an equal thickness and put them in a dripping pan. Bake them in a moderate oven. When you take them out make icing for them the same way as for the plum cake, and ice them all over with it about a quarter of an inch thick. Set them a good distance from the fire till they are hardened, but take care you don’t let them brown. Put one in the middle of a china dish and the other four round it. Garnish them with green sprigs and small flowers.”

Her grave is in Stockport Parish Church and a blue plaque is dedicated to her in Exchange Square Manchester. It reads: ‘Cookery book author and publisher of the first Manchester trade directory. Established a cookery school, shop and domestic agency near this site.’

An inspirational Mancunian.

 

 

 

 

Avatar of Chrissy Brand

Chrissy Brand

Chrissy originally comes from north-west London but has spent over half of her life in Manchester. Her passion for many aspects of the city and its surrounding countryside is such that she posts about it every day at the Mancunian Wave blog (see web link below). Formerly at the BBC World Service, Chrissy now works at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) and is also a freelance writer. She writes two monthly columns for Radio User magazine, and co-authored the 2007 book Wembley: Stadium of Legends (Tomsett & Brand, Dewi Lewis Media, Heaton Moor). She is general editor for the British DX Club's monthly journal Communication and also a guest blogger at 4 Manchester Women and Smitten By Britain, as well as writing a blog on aspects of radio, called DX International. In her spare time you will probably find her walking the towpaths of the Cheshire Ring Canal network or enjoying a caffeine fix in a Northern Quarter cafe.

Introduction to ‘Manchester Movements and Manchester Moments’.

January 21, 2013 in A WONDROUS SPACE, MANCHESTER, Wondrous Cities

Every city, be it north, south, east or west, is surely made up of the sum of its parts plus an added ingredient that’s made from aspiration, inspiration and perspiration. Architecture, culture, infrastructure all play their part in a city’s stature, but it is the spirit of the people who live there that can make a city great or fearsome, lively or desolate. Some people lead, others inspire, many are exploited and some watch from the sidelines.

So what is it that makes Manchester Manchester? Certainly its industrial heritage shaped the city’s politics and attitude. Factory owners and other privileged Victorian gentlemen may have headed the world’s first industrial city which came to be known as Cottonopolis – but it was built on the back of the workers. Through exploitation rose resistance and protest movements which took on their own momentum.

In my week’s curation of ‘A Wondrous Place’ I’m hoping to bottle some of that Mancunian spirit and present it under the banner of Manchester Movements and Manchester Moments. Join me as we journey from a Georgian businesswoman to a veteran gig goer, via a city landmark and two global institutions that came to fruition from the people and are for the people.

I must also credit and give equal billing to Manchester’s oft-overlooked neighbour – the city of Salford, ever a short stroll away over the River Irwell. At least three of my posts have strong Salfordian connections. The two cities have such an overlapping history, geography and culture and yet proudly remain distinct entities. I’ll not be the first (nor last) blogger to struggle for a satisfying solution to the two cities scenario.

There are many moving and notable examples that I could have chosen but have omitted, e.g. The Peterloo Massacre (which led to the formation of The Guardian newspaper) and the Suffragette Movement. Indeed, Manchester should surely also be known as Suffragette City, alongside its other epithets of Mamucium, Mancunia, Mamecestre, Warehouse City, Cottonopolis, Madchester and Rainy City.

So do join me tomorrow for the first trip in the time machine I have especially rented for the week – don’t be late!

But before we set off I need to answer a question from last week’s excellent curator Sid Fletcher, who asks:

“Chrissy, you’ve experienced living both in London and now Manchester… What sells Manchester to you over the capital?” I love both cities for different reasons – London for its quantity of landmarks and galleries. Manchester has its own galleries and landmarks too, admittedly fewer. But the smaller size of Manchester means that it is more manageable, quicker to travel around and also cheaper to live in than the capital. I find there are more opportunities here, you can be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. The city is small enough for you to be a part of it, to live, work and socialise and become a local in communities and areas, such as the Northern Quarter, Chinatown, etc. Unlike London, Manchester is surrounded by such diverse, dramatic and accessible countryside too – to get away from it all when you need to – the Cheshire Ring Canals, Peak District, Lake District and north Wales.

 

Avatar of Chrissy Brand

Chrissy Brand

Chrissy originally comes from north-west London but has spent over half of her life in Manchester. Her passion for many aspects of the city and its surrounding countryside is such that she posts about it every day at the Mancunian Wave blog (see web link below). Formerly at the BBC World Service, Chrissy now works at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) and is also a freelance writer. She writes two monthly columns for Radio User magazine, and co-authored the 2007 book Wembley: Stadium of Legends (Tomsett & Brand, Dewi Lewis Media, Heaton Moor). She is general editor for the British DX Club's monthly journal Communication and also a guest blogger at 4 Manchester Women and Smitten By Britain, as well as writing a blog on aspects of radio, called DX International. In her spare time you will probably find her walking the towpaths of the Cheshire Ring Canal network or enjoying a caffeine fix in a Northern Quarter cafe.