New Manchester Walks is the only official, trained, expert group of guides operating commercially in the Manchester area.
Our mission is to open up Manchester history to as many people as possible though our tours, walks, talks, articles and books. It’s a bit of a battle, given that Manchester’s history has been severely mistreated for decades by historians and Blue Badge guides (see the end of this post).
We are the only tour company open to all working guides past, present and future, without fear or favour. Other groups are run by impenetrable cliques, whereas we are always looking to take on new guides and give them the opportunity that others refuse to allow.
We choose guides for tours based on their knowledge, enthusiasm, expertise, wit and reliability – not on who they know, which pointless colour badge they own, or which impenetrable clique they’re in. We welcome any guide or would-be guide that wants to earn a crust for doing a great tour.
Our guides will not take money off you or haggle for a tip after telling you nonsense like Rolls and Royce met at the Midland Hotel, that the pillar box on Corporation Street is the one that survived the 1996 IRA bomb, that the three stripes on the city coat of arms signify the three rivers of Manchester, that George Orwell called Manchester “the belly and guts of the nation” or or that the name Manchester comes from the Latin Mamucium.
Yes, we go that much further than other guiding organisations. For instance, read Ed Glinert’s article on the Holman Hunt painting “The Shadow of Death” in Manchester Art Gallery. That is the kind of detail, analysis and knowledge the customer wants. That is the kind of in-depth guiding the Blue Badge guides of Manchester wouldn’t allow New Manchester Walks to include. So we do it ourselves. It’s called giving value. Yes, we invented the campaign for real Manchester history.
* I find it extraordinary that Manchester has never been treated to a serious, in-depth, intelligent, witty, properly-written history. London has volumes by Jerry White, Peter Aykroyd, and my own “London Compendium”. Jerusalem has Simon Sebag Montefiore’s. I did propose such a book to Penguin but was told “Manchester was too niche”. Yes. I’ve never been able to find a Northern publisher brave enough to take on such a task. An alternative is The Manchester Encyclopaedia which I have been compiling for years without any interest from publishers.