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23/01/2020

Secret History of Manchester (Private Tour)

You think you know Manchester? Well, no one knows it like Ed Glinert, who has spent 40 years unturning every last stone in the city, uncovering layer upon layer of other histories, lesser-known stories, the secret side of the city to create the ultimate “believe it or not”.

On this we hear about:
* The atomic bunker under Piccadilly Gardens.
* the story of racist GIs during the Second World War and the drama they caused.
* The planned demolition of the Town Hall.
* L. S. Lowry the secret sadist.
* The attack on the paintings at the Art Gallery.
* The pillar box that didn’t survive the 1996 IRA bomb events…

It’s the Manchester that nobody knows. Well, apart from our guides.

 

Girl with Bow c1973

IRA Bomb 1

Start: 23/01/2020 5:30 pm
End: 23/01/2020 7:15 pm
Venue: TfGM office
Address:
Google Map
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, United Kingdom, M1 1RG
Cost: -

25/01/2020

The Secret History of Manchester

Next tour: Sat 25 January 2020, 3pm.
Meet: TfGM office, Piccadilly Gardens:
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

You think you know Manchester? Well, no one knows it like Ed Glinert who has spent 40 years unturning every last (Gothic) stone in the city, uncovering layer upon layer of other histories, lesser-known stories, the secret side of the city to create the ultimate “believe it or not”.

* Did you know there was a nuclear bunker under Piccadilly Gardens with a branch leading to the Town Hall?
* That L. S. Lowry was a secret sadist.
* Did you know there were race riots in the city during the Second World War thanks to an invading army.
* Do you think the pillar box that survived the 1996 IRA bomb is the one on Corporation Street?
* Did you know the council voted to demolish the Town Hall?
* Do you know how many secret service agents are in the Midland Hotel right now planting bugs?

It’s the Manchester that nobody knows…apart from Glinert and you after you’ve been on this tour!

 

Girl with Bow c1973

IRA Bomb 1

Here’s something else you didn’t know (we hope). During the Second World War the Government requisitioned a well-known building in Manchester city centre to be a secret regional HQ, to take over the running of not just Manchester but the entire North-West should Nazi invasion look imminent.

It was kitted out with the most sophisticated communications equipment, food and beds. Winston Churchill, prime minister, even kipped there one night to show how safe it was. But of course it was never needed. Where is it? Ah…

This is a trip into the deepest historical secrets of Manchester. Sites, streets, spaces that you’ve walked past a thousand times will never look the same again. The tour is conducted by Ed Glinert who knows Manchester better than anyone and knows the things that nobody else (apart from the people who told him) knows.

You think you know Manchester? Well, no one knows it like Ed Glinert, who has spent 40 years unturning every last (Gothic) stone in the city, uncovering layer upon layer of other histories, lesser-known stories, the secret side of the city to create the ultimate “believe it or not”.

On this we hear about:
* The atomic bunker under Piccadilly Gardens.
* Racist GIs during the Second World War and the drama they caused.
* The planned demolition of the Town Hall.
* L. S. Lowry, the secret sadist.
* The attack on the paintings at the Art Gallery.
* The pillar box that didn’t survive the 1996 IRA bomb…

It’s the Manchester that nobody knows.

 

Girl with Bow c1973

IRA Bomb 1

Start: 25/01/2020 3:00 pm
End: 25/01/2020 4:45 pm
Venue: TfGM office
Address:
Google Map
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, United Kingdom, M1 1RG
Cost: £11

26/01/2020

Alan Turing’s Manchester

Next tour: Sunday 26 January 2020, 11.30am.
Meet: Manchester Museum Reception, off Oxford Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

He broke the Nazis’ Enigma code, almost invented the computer, and was persecuted to a painful suicide by the ungrateful authorities.

Alan Turing: tortured genius and modern martyr.

We celebrate his life with a walk from Manchester University, taking in the site where the computer was invented and where he worked, on to the cinema where he met his nemesis and his statue in the Gay Village.

For more information, please see the Alan Turing page on this website.

Start: 26/01/2020 11:30 am
End: 26/01/2020 1:00 pm
Venue: Manchester Museum foyer
Address:
Google Map
Oxford Road at Bridgeford St, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, United Kingdom, M13 9PL
Cost: £11

26/01/2020

The Grand Canals of Manchester

Next tour: Sun 26 January 2020.
Meet: Malmaison Hotel, No. 3 Piccadilly, 2.30pm.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

Heading west from Piccadilly, the canals under the city streets flow towards Britain’s grand canal junction at Castlefield where four waterways cross. This is a spectacular stroll along the waterways of Manchester invoking a host of stories industrial and architectural, anecdotal and incidental.

Probable Route: Malmaison – Paradise Wharf – under Piccadilly – the Venetian-styled Crown Court – Canal Street – Gay Village – Bloom Street power station – under Oxford Street – Lee House – the Ritz – Manchester & Salford Junction Canal detour – the Hacienda – Roman fort – Duke’s 92 – Castlefield Canal Basin – Bridgewater Canal detour – collapse into Knott Bar.

Start: 26/01/2020 2:30 pm
End: 26/01/2020 4:30 pm
Venue: Malmaison Hotel
Address:
Google Map
3 Piccadilly, Manchester, United Kingdom
Cost: £11

30/01/2020

Masterpieces of Art, Architecture & Design

January 2020 tour: Thursday 30 January.
Meet: Midland Hotel, Peter Street, 11.30am.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

Ed Glinert, occasional RIBA judge and Manchester architecture expert,
takes you on a remarkable whirlwind tour of the city’s greatest aesthetic achievements:

* The Pre-Raphaelite paintings in the Art Gallery.
* The paintings of the Stations of the Cross at the Hidden Gem.
* The Golden Ratio proportions of Lutyens’s Midland Bank on King Street.
* The gargoyles at the John Rylands Library.
* The Georgian splendour of the bank manager’s house nearby…

this is Manchester at its most stylish and sophisticated.

Lutyens' Midland BankBarbirolliParr's Bank

Start: 30/01/2020 11:30 am
End: 30/01/2020 1:30 pm
Venue: Midland Hotel steps
Address:
Google Map
Peter Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M60 2DS
Cost: £11

30/01/2020

John Rylands Library And…

Next expert Rylands tour: Thursday 30 January 2020, 2.30pm.
Meet: St Ann’s Church.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

The John Rylands Library is one of the world’s greatest libraries – Manchester’s No. 1 attraction on TripAdvisor – thanks to the astonishing collection that includes first editions of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, the largest number of works printed by William Caxton, Britain’s first publisher and many of the world’s most valuable bibles, including the 1631 Wicked Bible.

Image result for st ann's church manchester

Why do we start the tour at St Ann’s Church? Well, the John Rylands Library was built out of the proceeds of John Rylands’ cotton empire to house his collection of religious works. Rylands and his wife, Enriqueta, were devout Protestants – Congregationalists – we start the tour at Manchester’s Protestant nerve centre, St Ann’s Church. We then nod to the nearby Royal Exchange, the Parliament of the cotton lords in Rylands day, pass the Catholic Hidden Gem before arriving at Rylands.

There, there’s a quick tour of the locale to set the library in context (it was purposely built in what was then the poorest and most violent part of town) before we enter to unveil the library’s history and riches, in particular the St John Fragment, the oldest piece of the New Testament ever found.

* For more information, please see Walks & Tours: John Rylands Library.

John Rylands Library

Start: 30/01/2020 2:30 pm
End: 30/01/2020 4:30 pm
Venue: St Ann's Church
Address:
Google Map
St Ann Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 7LF
Cost: £11

01/02/2020

Old Docks & Salford Quays

Next tour: Sat 1 February 2020.
Meet: Salford Quays Metrolink stop, 11am.  
Booking
: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

Glass, steel and burnished metal tower over Salford Quays and huge docks which once harboured the world’s ocean-going liners on the Manchester Ship Canal.

Ship Canal - generalHere are gleaming museums of the modern age, seering stretches of sun-drenched water and the shining towers of Media City, a city of glass, steel and burnished metal, bold and brilliant, a 21st century empire for the BBC and ITV.

This is perhaps the most visually splendid outdoors walk in the NMW canon. The thrill, the high of those deep, dark docks; those vast canyons of water and the histories they hide from the days when ships laden with tea chests, barrels of whiskey, rum and sugar, packed by stevedores in the New World, pulled up in Salford to be unloaded by the men of Ordsall, to be consumed by the hungry folk of the North-West. It was a feast of heavy labour transformed into today’s heritage heavy regenerated Quays.

We will show you how the old docks became the new city, became Media City.

Docks 1

 

Start: 01/02/2020 11:00 am
End: 01/02/2020 12:45 pm
Venue: Salford Quays Metrolink stop
Address:
Google Map
United Kingdom, M50 3WL
Cost: around £10

01/02/2020

Peterloo: The Story continues

Next tour: Saturday 1 February 2020, 2.30pm.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

Peterloo: the story continues.

Here’s one of the strangest stories in Manchester history. At the end of November 1819 the great radical writer William Cobbett returned from America bearing the very bones of Thomas Paine, an even greater radical writer. Paine had written the most influential political book in English history, The Rights of Man, in 1791. It was so hot nearly every publisher refused to touch it. Paine was a leading figure in three revolutions: the French (still too early to say if it worked), the American (it replaced the monarchy with figures like Nixon and Trump) and the English (it failed).

In Manchester late 1819 All Cobbett wanted to do was put the bones on the table in front of him while he spoke at a public meeting about the horrors of Peterloo a few months earlier. It never happened. The feds boarded his coach at Irlam and gave Cobbett an ultimatum: transport to Manchester for you, yes, but not those bones. He chose not to speak without the remarkable prop and didn’t return until 1831.

We commemorate that bizarre event and look at other momentous political events in the wake of Peterloo 200.

 

Image result for peterloo

Background
16 August 1819: troops charged 60,000 Mancunians at a rally called to lower the price of bread and demand the vote. More than a dozen people died and some 650 were injured. The event, the most violent episode in English political history, became known as the Peterloo Massacre.

The tour has been devised by Ed Glinert, political commentator with 30 years’ experience for various leading newspapers, magazines and publishers, who worked with Paul Foot on Private Eye.

Glinert goes into extraordinary detail, explaining not just the momentous events of the day itself, 16 August 1819, but bringing in associated topics and characters such as the birth of the Manchester Guardian, the Cato Street Conspiracy, the remarkable story of the bones of the period’s leading radical, Tom Paine, the Government’s draconian Six Acts – even Anthony Burgess.

***

The first few decades of the 19th century, despite being enshrined in public imagination as the elegant age of the Regency, were a time of severe political repression in England. The Conservative government of Lord Liverpool was fearful of the kind of revolutionary activity recently witnessed in France and so decided to stamp out all dissent and free speech.

The government was at war with France which saw Wellington triumph over Napoleon’s forces at Waterloo in 1815.

But as Paul Foot once wrote, the British government also waged war against its own people.

Ed Glinert, who has researched the story for decades, brings his unique touch to this chilling story.

Image result for peterloo 

Start: 01/02/2020 2:30 pm
End: 01/02/2020 4:15 pm
Venue: Central Library
Address:
Google Map
St Peter's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 5PD
Cost: £11

02/02/2020

Manchester Music: The Hacienda Years

Official Manchester Music Tours

Meet: HOME Arts Centre, 2 Tony Wilson Place.
Tour Guide?: As Ian Curtis sang: “I’ve been waiting for a guide…”

This tour
“Manchester Music: The Hacienda  Years”
Sunday 2 February 2020, 12 noon.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

Where do we go from here?
* Tony Wilson’s house.
* The Boardwalk, where Oasis made their debut.
* The Hacienda.
* Elbow’s “hole in my neighbourhood”.
* The Free Trade Hall, where Bob Dylan was booed and the Sex Pistols invented the modern Manchester music scene.
* The arts club where The Fall made their debut.
* Liam Gallagher’s shop.
* The basement record shop where Morrissey had a job – yes! – for about five minutes, resulting in a depression that inspired those great lines from “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”.
* The Ritz, where the first Smiths gig took place.
* The Hidden Gem church where Tony Wilson’s funeral took place.

Our Guides:
It could be Steve Bourne (former roadie at the Free Trade Hall, who’s on speaking terms with Damo Suzuki); Elton-like pianist John Alker; or Ed Glinert, co-author of the Fodor “Rock ‘n’ Roll Traveller” series and one-time production editor of Mojo magazine.

What does it sound like?
Forget Memphis and Merseybeat, Manchester is music city, a venue to rank alongside New Orleans or Notting Hill, a factory of superior song-making and stirring soundscapes courtesy of Joy Division, the Fall, New Order, Buzzcocks, Happy Mondays, John Cooper Clarke, the Stone Roses, 808 State and, of course, the Smiths, all spinning around the legend of the Hacienda, the world’s hippest nightclub, chicer than the Copacabana, sexier than Studio 54, cooler than the Cavern or Cream.

The SmithsAt the centre of the city’s beat was Factory Records, a record label to rival Motown and Chess with a business model that could be compared only to British Leyland or the South Sea Bubble. But it’s not about Mammon or the man, it’s about the music, the songs, and what songs! – “Dead Souls”, “William, It was Really Nothing”, “Rowche Rumble”, “Time Goes By So Slow” – the list, like the road, goes on forever. (Jon the Postman’s versions of “Louie Louie” certainly did).

“Manchester, so much to answer for,” as the man sang.

 

Dylan ticket

Start: 02/02/2020 12:00 pm
End: 02/02/2020 1:45 pm
Venue: HOME
Address:
Google Map
Whitworth Street West, Manchester, United Kingdom
Cost: £11

03/02/2020

Hidden Gems of Manchester

February 2020 tour: Monday 3 February.
Meet: Art Gallery, Mosley Street, 11.30am.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

This is a remarkable tour of city sights and sites you always wanted to see but maybe never managed to.

We go to as many of the following that we can manage: the interior of the Freemasons Hall, designed like the Baths of Caracalla in Rome), the Portico Library, the Lesser Free Trade Hall (where the Manchester music scene was invented), the most beautiful part of the Midland Hotel that led to the German Restaurant, the Hidden Gem church (of course), the awe-inspiring reading room designed like a mediaeval nave.

It’s the Manchester you never thought you’d see!

Masonic Hall

 

 

Start: 03/02/2020 11:30 am
End: 03/02/2020 1:30 pm
Venue: Art Gallery
Address:
Google Map
Mosley Street, Manchester, Select a State:, United Kingdom, M1
Cost: £11
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