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28/12/2018

Pre-Raphaelites

* Fri 28 December, 11.30am.
Booking: Please book here with eventbrite.

This is a tour in honour of women. Women who dazed and dazzled. Who starred and shone. Who glowed and gleamed through the canvas and the frames.

They were amongst the most feted women of the 19th century, captured for all time in intensely saturated luminous colour by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and their circle, but their names are still barely known to the public: Jane Burden, Elizabeth Siddal, Emma Watkins, Alexa Wilding…

They were the Pre-Raphaelite women featured in some of the most important British paintings ever created including Autumn Leaves, Astarte Syriaca, Work, The Light of the World and The Hireling Shepherd which live in Manchester Art Gallery.

Ed Glinert, official Manchester tour guide and author of Penguin’s Manchester Compendium, leads this fascinating fact-filled tour around the gallery’s best loved Victorian models and their contemporaries.

* And before you scream “it’s a man!”, like Sarah Harris, yes, it’s Jesus, but it’s Jesus modelled by Christina Rossetti…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pre-Raphaelites were Britain’s most important art school. They were aesthetes and zealots determined to bring honesty, drama and colourful vitality to staid Victorian painting.

They were formed in 1848, the year of revolution across Europe. But this was no political coup. This was art terrorism, powered by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais.

Reacting against the reactionary nature of Joshua Reynolds and the Royal Academy, they wished to create a body of work similar in brightness of colour, attention to detail, and honest simplicity to the period of Italian painting prior to Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520).

Rossetti wanted the group’s name to include the then fashionable term “Early Christian”, but when Hunt objected he proposed “Pre-Raphaelite”. Rossetti then added the word “Brotherhood”, as he wanted the society to be secret, in line with the Italian political group the Carbonaris in that year of revolution across Europe. When the artists staged their first exhibition Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Girlhood of Mary Virgin was signed “PRB” to maintain the society’s air of mystery.

Manchester has an unrivalled collection of the PRB’s works, dominated by William Holman Hunt’s spiritual Light of the World, his daring Shadow of Death and the eerie Scapegoat. This is art which benefits from intense scrutiny; from unravelling and demystifying the religious connotations and human dramas involved.

Start: 28/12/2018 11:30 am
End: 28/12/2018 1:15 pm
Venue: Art Gallery
Address:
Google Map
Mosley Street, Manchester, Select a State:, United Kingdom, M1
Cost: £10

28/12/2018

Emmeline Pankhurst’s Manchester/Tribute to Britain’s 1st Woman MP

Friday 28 December 2018, 2pm from the new Emmeline Pankhurst statue.

Booking: Please book here with eventbrite.

On 28 December 1918 a woman was elected to the British Parliament for the first time. This is what the Suffragettes had been dreaming about for decades. This is why they had smashed the windows of the Treasury, raided 10 Downing Street and hidden in the crypt of the House of Commons. This is why they had disrupted a Liberal Party at the Free Trade Hall in 1905 and spat at a policeman. This is why Emily Davison had thrown herself in front of Anmer, the king’s horse, at the Derby. They had done all these things and more to persuade the British establishment that women should have the vote.

At last, early in 1918, the Liberal Coalition government had passed the Royal Assent, giving (some) women the vote at the next general election, whenever that would be, after the Great War. The day after the Armistice of 11 November the government announced that a general election would take place on 14 December.

It took fourteen days for the results to be announced (to allow returning soldiers to vote and for their votes to be counted). Sixteen women stood. Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, one-time treasurer of the Women’s Social and Political Union, founded by the Pankhursts in Manchester in 1903, stood for Labour in Rusholme but lost. Only one woman was elected. She had impeccable Manchester credentials and had once been sentenced to death by the British government.

New Manchester Walks celebrates the entry of women, well one woman, to Parliament in this guided tour of suffragette haunts in Manchester one hundred years to the day of the first success.

Start: 28/12/2018 2:00 pm
End: 28/12/2018 4:30 pm
Venue: Emmeline Pankhurst Statue
Address:
Google Map
St Peter's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 5PD
Cost: £10

29/12/2018

Manchester’s Formidable Women

December: Sat 29 December 2018, 11.30am.
Booking: Please book here with eventbrite.

Here’s part of the roll-call:
* Elizabeth Gaskell, who wrote Mary Barton, one of the classic “condition of England” novels in 1848.
* Hannah Mitchell, who challenged Churchill at St John’s School during the Suffragette era.
* Annie Horniman, who established Britain’s first repertory theatre company.
* Shelagh Delaney who pioneered modernist theatre with her groundbreaking A Taste of Honey.
* Kathleen Ollerenshaw, who overcame deafness to become Lord Mayor, a leading educationalist, mathematician and advisor to Margaret Thatcher (now what sort of job is that for a Mancunian?!).
* Sylvia Pankhurst, Britain’s greatest political campaigner.

These are just some of the heroic Manchester women we will be celebrating during Wonder Women Week.

PankhurstsElizabeth Gaskell

 

Kathleen Ollerenshaw
Kathleen Ollerenshaw

 

 

Start: 29/12/2018 11:30 am
End: 29/12/2018 1:15 pm
Venue: Midland Hotel steps
Address:
Google Map
Peter Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M60 2DS
Cost: £10

29/12/2018

John Rylands Library And…

November: Wed 28 November, 11am.
Booking: Please book here with eventbrite.

December: Sat 29 December, 2.30pm.
Booking: Please book here 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: 29/12/2018 2:30 pm
End: 29/12/2018 4:15 pm
Venue: St Ann's Church
Address:
Google Map
St Ann Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 7LF
Cost: £10

30/12/2018

Friedrich Engels’s Manchester

* Friedrich Engels’s Manchester
(get out the house post Christmas)
Date: Sun 30 December 2018.
Meet:
Engels statue, HOME, 11,30am.
Booking: Please book here with eventbrite.

Follow in the footsteps of Friedrich Engels, the German cotton merchant and secret revolutionary who spent his working life in Manchester making capitalist money so that he could live the life of a bourgeois, riding with the Cheshire Hunt at the weekends, but researching social conditions in the Manchester slums to write one of the most influential political books ever written, The Condition of the Working Class in England, in 1845.

Hugely entertaining, informative and intriguing, this tour has been devised by Ed Glinert, author of Penguin’s The Manchester Compendium and many other tomes published by the cream of British publishers, who has been hacking away at the coal-face of local politics for 35 years, including a stint at the heart of one of the most sinister Trotskyite cells Hulme ever witnessed.

Start: 30/12/2018 11:30 am
End: 30/12/2018 1:00 pm
Venue: Engels Statue
Address:
Google Map
HOME arts centre, Manchester, United Kingdom, M15 4FN
Cost: £10.50 in capitalist money

30/12/2018

Karl Marx’s Manchester

Please book here with eventbrite.

We know him as the founder of communism, a political philosopher whose ideas drove half the world in the 20th century and still resonate today, particularly at home within Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Karl Marx came to Manchester some twenty times to see his esteemed colleague, Friedrich Engels, a German cotton merchant with whom he wrote The Communist Manifesto (not at Chetham’s, Creative Tourist, Manchester Evening News note).

Here is an unusual description of Marx from Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff, Liberal Under-Secretary of State for India, to Princess Victoria:

“He is a short, rather small man with grey hair and beard which contrast strangely with a still dark moustache. The face is somewhat round, the forehead well shaped and filled up — the eye rather hard but the whole expression rather pleasant than not, by no means that of a gentleman who is in the habit of eating babies in their cradles — which is I daresay the view which the police takes of him.”

Walk in his Manchester footsteps with Ed Glinert, author of Penguin’s The Manchester Compendium and many other tomes published by the cream of British publishers, who has been hacking away at the coal-face of local politics for 35 years, including a stint at the heart of one of the most sinister Trotskyite cells Hulme ever witnessed.

Start: 30/12/2018 2:15 pm
End: 30/12/2018 3:45 pm
Venue: Victoria Station wallmap
Address:
Google Map
Victoria Station Approach, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 1PB
Cost: £10.50

16/01/2019

Manchester’s Most Beautiful Buildings

Please book here with eventbrite.

Forget that trip to Bath, Brighton or Barcelona when you can follow our guide around the streets of Manchester and marvel at the exquisite Italianate features of Chepstow House and George Meek’s Castlefield Library; the perfect symmetrical beauty of the Classical styled Friends Meeting House; and the Venetian effects and embellishments at the Memorial Hall.

What was it the Builder magazine said about Manchester?

“One can scarcely walk about Manchester without coming across frequent examples of the grand in architecture. There is nothing to equal it since the building of Venice.”

Ed Glinert will lead you around the glories of Manchester architecture

Image result for cervantes institute manchester

Image result for chepstow house manchester

Start: 16/01/2019 11:30 am
End: 16/01/2019 1:15 pm
Venue: Central Library Steps
Address:
Google Map
St Peter's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 5PD
Cost: £10

17/01/2019

Hidden Gems of Manchester

Next tour: Thu 17 January 2019.
Meet: Art Gallery, Mosley Street, 10.30am.
Booking: Please book here 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, a plush suite at the Radisson (maybe the very one Gordon Brown stayed in!), the Hidden Gem church (of course) and the marble bank vaults on King Street. Then there’s the glimpse of the places you can’t go to … yet (we’re working on them).

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

Masonic Hall

 

 

Start: 17/01/2019 10:30 am
End: 17/01/2019 1:00 pm
Venue: Art Gallery
Address:
Google Map
Mosley Street, Manchester, Select a State:, United Kingdom, M1

17/01/2019

Spooky Manchester

This tour: Thu 17 January 2019.
Meet:
Victoria Station wallmap (on top of the old graveyard), 5.30pm.
Booking: Please book here with eventbrite.

 

 

 

There are lot of unexplained deaths on this tour, as well as the odd decapitation, hanging and being buried alive. Then there are the

Tragic deaths.
Accidental deaths.
Hoax deaths.
Bloody deaths.
Death by shooting.
Murders.
Assassinations.
Instant death.
Slow, tortuous death.

These are gruesome, ghastly and ghostly stories, especially when they involve those who weren’t supposed to be dead. Take the case of Manchester man John Beswick. He woke up some time in 1750 to find himself in a confined space, and then realised it was his own coffin. He banged on the roof and was rather relieved to find a crowd of people on the other side ready to release him. They were the mourners at his funeral. He wasn’t dead, just very tired.

His sister, Hannah, was so mortified of being similarly buried alive she asked a local doctor, Charles White, to check her corpse regularly once she had expired. In return she made a hefty donation to Dr White’s new infirmary, what is now the MRI in Chorlton-on-Medlock. Once looked as if Hannah had expired the doctor made sure by pickling her in vinegar and stuffing the body into a grandfather clock in her own house in east Manchester where the servants could check on her every day. Hannah Beswick remains dead.

This is just one of many deathly stories we’ve dug up and revived for this chilling tour with the equally frightening Ed Glinert.

Start: 17/01/2019 5:30 pm
End: 17/01/2019 7:15 pm
Venue: Victoria Station wallmap
Address:
Google Map
Victoria Station Approach, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 1PB
Cost: £10

18/01/2019

Manchester Central Library

Next tour: Fri 18 January 2019, 2.30pm.
BookingPlease book here with eventbrite.
Meet: At the Library entrance.

Manchester’s magnificent and multi-volumed municipal library re-opened in March 2014 after a multi-million pound refit and has proved an endless source of fascination to locals, visitors and tourists.

At once it is reassuringly familiar (the exquisitely domed reading room) and mind-boggingly different (the ground floor area, so wonderfully opened up and now hi-tech).

The building, which opened in 1934, has even been segued with the adjacent Town Hall Extension in various ingenious ways. (Both were designed by Emmanuel Vincent Harris, whose best known work is the Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall).

Crowds greet George V for the royal opening in 1934
Crowds greet George V for the royal opening in 1934

Since reopening the good folk who run the Library have allowed us to host monthly talks on aspects of Manchester history (see the Library’s Archives+ website). They have also sent a number of groups (U3A, Probus etc) our way to conduct private tours of the newly-revamped buildings, and so we have also decided to run public tours of this wonderful building.

We will show you around this Romanesque revival masterpiece updated for the 21st century while revealing the surprising history of the various incarnations of this library (the first such library in Manchester was opened by Charles Dickens in 1852), outline the best stories of this building, show off fascinating pictures of the earlier Manchester libraries and explain who all the famous folk are on the top floor.

And a real treat at the end; we will espy some of the most remarkable artefacts from the collection: priceless first editions and barely-believable rarities.

Start: 18/01/2019 2:30 pm
End: 18/01/2019 4:15 pm
Venue: Central Library
Address:
Google Map
St Peter's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 5PD
Cost: £10.50
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