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7 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT ANCOATS

It was Britain’s first industrial suburb, a land of massive mills, smoking chimneys, mean terraced housing with ne’er a tree or blade of grass in sight. That was 1820. Now in 2020 it has been reborn as the main mighty meme of Manchester, high-life Central, with a high-maintenance history. Here is a hit of hot history from the ’hood.

Regular guided tours, just waiting for the A-OK from the powers that be!
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Official Manchester Tours (the perfect way to learn the city’s history)

New Manchester Walks is the only official, trained, expert group of guides operating commercially in the Manchester area.

Entertaining, exciting guiding: why be bored on a tour?

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…
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DO YOU HAVE A GROUP? WE CAN DO PRIVATE TOURS FOR SMALL GROUPS

Take to the streets, get some exercise, indulge in some brain nourishment. Because we know many of you are apprehensive at going on a packed tour we are welcoming private tours for small groups.

So, if you have a large group, maybe U3A or Probus, or just a group of friends, we can take you out in smaller numbers, one small group at a time. That way everyone gets to go on the tour and everyone feels safe.

Please e-mail info@newmanchesterwalks.com or phone 07769 29 8068 for more details.
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Confused about the new rules and regulations in Greater Manchester? Come on a tour: safe, sound and stylish. £11 for one, £16.50 for two

Spain’s out, America’s out and Okunoshima Island off the coast of Japan is overrun with rabbits but has no inhabitants. So forget going abroad and holiday in Manchester. The city is overrun with history and you can take part in it at cheap and nourishing prices:

£11 for one person
£16.50 for two.
Please book with eventbrite. If you can’t, let us know.
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What Shall We Do With the Manchester Statues?

It’s not just Bristol (and London as Sadiq Khan has just discovered) that have the wrong statues. Manchester is full of them. First of all, the most glaring anomaly, is that in a city that prides itself as one of the most left-wing in the country there are more statues of Tories than socialists: 3-2 at the last count.

Funnily enough the people, yes, we the people, are to blame for this in one respect. When the public was asked a few years ago to choose a new statue that had to be of a woman, under-represented in the city’s statuary, there was huge support for Emmeline Pankhurst at the expense of her more deserving daughter, Sylvia. It was hardly surprising…
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WHY CENTRAL LIBRARY LOOKS LIKE THE PANTHEON

* The following article is now featured on the ILoveMcr website.
* New Manchester Walks’s architecture tours are the only expert architecture tours taking place in the city. They have been devised by RIBA judge Ed Glinert, aided as always by John Alker. A new date for the next tour will be announced soon as it is possible to do so. In the meantime, here is a wonderful story explaining why Manchester Central Library is modelled on Rome’s Pantheon.

***

You may have noticed that Manchester’s Central Library looks like The Pantheon of Rome. It is so strikingly obvious. But it begs the question why?
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HONOURING MANCHESTER’S GREATEST WRITER, THOMAS DE QUINCEY

Next year, 2021, will see the bicentenary of one of the most spellbinding and hypnotic books in English literature, Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of An English Opium-Eater, a work with such a strong Manchester connection. Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859) is still woefully overlooked and obscure.
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MANCHESTER’S GREATEST PAINTING: WORK by FORD MADOX BROWN

Today’s Manchester painting dissected, discussed and dismembered is “Work” by Ford Madox Brown (1852-65). Ed Glinert reveals all behind Manchester Art Gallery’s most complex and epic painting.
No painting in Manchester Art Gallery attracts more viewers than “Work”. Hordes of people make for it as if by magic, and when they get there they are astonished at the breathtaking panoply of figures, ideas and stories.
On first inspection
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THIS WEEK’S PAINTING: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Today’s Manchester picture to enjoy while the Gallery is closed and we can’t take you on art tours: “The Light of the World” by William Holman Hunt (1851-53).

Manchester Art Gallery owns one of three versions of William Holman Hunt’s 1856 Pre-Raphaelite work “The Light of the World”. The others are in Keble College, Oxford, and the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral. Yes, it may be unusual to have more than one version of a painting, but what is even more unusual about the Manchester one is that it may well not be by Hunt, but by his pupil Fred Stephens.
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CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT

Just over a hundred years ago, on 1 December 1919, something unprecedented happened in British politics: a woman entered Parliament for the first time. American socialite Nancy Astor had just won a by-election in Plymouth Sutton for the Tories, replacing her husband, Waldorf Astor, who had just been ennobled ironically.
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