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Masterpieces of Manchester Art, Architecture & Design: FREE tour with Arts Society lecturer Ed Glinert

Next Tour: Wednesday 27 October 2021, 2pm.
Meet: By Central Library, St Peter’s Square.
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: 27/10/2021 2:00 pm
End: 27/10/2021 3:45 pm
Venue: Central Library
Google Map
St Peter's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 5PD
Cost: FREE


The Secret History of Manchester FREE walk

The next walking tour: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 6pm.
Meet: Outside Mercure Hotel, Portland Street.
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”.

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: 27/10/2021 6:00 pm
End: 27/10/2021 7:45 pm
Venue: Mercure Hotel Manchester
Google Map
Portland Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M1 4PH
Cost: £10.50


Jewish Manchester (Cheetham Hill trail) FREE tour

Next walk:

The Old Jewish Ghetto (Cheetham Hill Trail):
Next FREE tour: Thursday 28 October 2021, 11am.
Meet: Victoria Station wallmap.
Ends: At the newly reopened Jewish museum.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

Manchester’s Jewish community first appeared in numbers in the late 18th century around the parish church (!).

Well, that was the old town, where people lived.

Gradually Manchester Jews began to move north, first to Strangeways (the area, not the prison, you schmerel), then Cheetham Hill, Hightown, Prestwich and eventually Whitefield.

Only London has a bigger Jewish population in Britain than Manchester. But only Manchester has a Torah Street (with its own bacon-curing factory; really!) and a prison built like a mosque in the heart of the ghetto. And that’s apart from a history embracing that rogue Robert Maxwell, the rich-beyond-rich Nathan Meyer Rothschild, and the rabidly irreligious Karl Marx – all Yiddisher fellers.


Start: 28/10/2021 11:00 am
End: 28/10/2021 12:45 pm
Venue: Victoria Station wallmap
Google Map
Victoria Station Approach, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 1PB
Cost: FREE


Thomas de Quincey’s Manchester. Ed Glinert’s talk at the Portico Library

No description has been entered for this event.

Start: 28/10/2021 6:15 pm
End: 28/10/2021 7:30 pm
Venue: Portico Library
57 Mosley Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 3HY
Cost: £4


Discover Manchester: Expert FREE Tour

This tour is FREE
Friday 29 October 2021, 2pm.

 Emmeline Pankhurst statue, St Peter’s Square.

Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

What can we tell you? New to the city or just looking to be refreshed at parts you’ve reached before? This is the ideal walk, for this is Manchester; a taster, a teaser, a trip through town. It’s a best of everything, taking in the old and the new, the ancient and the artful.

Where do we go and what are we likely to see? Most of the following, depending on how quickly you walk!
The Peterloo Memorial
The Hidden Gem church.
The magnificently refurbished Central Library.
The magnificent towering Town Hall.
The Midland Hotel.
The site of the Peterloo Massacre.
The Free Trade Hall (pic, below), now a 5-star hotel.
The awesome John Rylands Library.
The Royal Exchange, for decades the parliament of the cotton lords.





Start: 29/10/2021 2:00 pm
End: 29/10/2021 3:45 pm
Venue: Emmeline Pankhurst Statue
Google Map
St Peter's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 5PD
Cost: FREE


Secret History of Manchester FREE walk

This tour: Fri 29 Oct 2021, 6pm.
Meet: Outside Mercure Hotel, Portland Street.
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 is an atomic bunker under Piccadilly Gardens and Chinatown 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 the presence of an invading army.
* Did you know that the pillar box on Corporation Street is NOT the one that survived the 1996 IRA bomb?
* 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.


Girl with Bow c1973

IRA Bomb 1

Start: 29/10/2021 6:00 pm
End: 29/10/2021 7:45 pm
Venue: Mercure Hotel Manchester
Google Map
Portland Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M1 4PH
Cost: -


Salford Quays (Salford Histories Festival FREE tour)

The next tour is FREE as part of the Salford Histories Festival: Saturday 30 October 2021.
Meet: Salford Quays Metrolink stop, 10.30am.  
Please press here to book with Eventbrite

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

Here 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: 30/10/2021 10:30 am
End: 30/10/2021 12:15 pm
Venue: Salford Quays Metrolink stop
Google Map
United Kingdom, M50 3WL
Cost: FREE


”The Ghosts of Wuthering Heights” FREE Hallowe’en tour

Next walking tour is FREE on Hallowe’en: 3pm, Sunday 31 October 2021
Meet: Haworth Steam Railway Station.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

“…My fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in–let me in!’ ‘Who are you?’ I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself. ‘Catherine Linton,’ it replied, shiveringly.

Join Penguin author and cruise ships speaker Ed Glinert on this magical walk around Haworth to meet some of the most memorable figures in English literature – Heathcliff, Cathy, the wimpishly wet Edgar, the brutish Hareton, the insufferable Pharisee Joseph, the egotistical Lockwood, residents of Gimmerton, home of Wuthering Heights, and setting for the wild, windy, wuthering moors inspired by the real-life Haworth in West Yorkshire.

We will tour the usual Haworth haunts:

  • The church where Jabez Branderham thunders his sermon on “Seventy Times Seven, and the First of the Seventy-First”.
  • The gradiently gruesome Main Street up which the Bronte family climbed when they first arrived locally in 1820.
  • The Bronte Parsonage museum.
  • The Gate of the Dead.
  • The church wall Rev Patrick Bronte used as his shooting range.
  • The steam railway station used in The Railway Children.
Start: 31/10/2021 3:00 pm
End: 31/10/2021 4:45 pm
Venue: Haworth Steam Railway Station
Google Map
66 Main Street, Haworth, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, BD22 8DP
Cost: FREE


The Smiths’ Manchester FREE tour

Next walking tour: Sat 6 November 2021.
Meet: Outside the Mercure Hotel, Piccadilly Gardens/Portland Street, 12 noon.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.

Yes, he’s a difficult bugger. Yes, he’s a handful. Yes, he makes statements Dave Haslam doesn’t like. Yes, he hasn’t made a decent record since, well, a long time, but as Des Taverner almost once said, he may be a git, but he’s our git. And now he’s 60 we’re still singing “This Charming Man”, “Piccadilly Palare” and the hauntingly beautiful “Jack the Ripper” (well, I am).

To commemorate the Mozster’s seventh decade, Ed Glinert, who used to play records for Mike Joyce at the Union disco, leads this tour around his old Manc haunts.



Where we go:
• The Hacienda, vilified in his most famous song.
• HOME cinema to hear recall The Smiths’ cinematic links.
• The building where Moz actually had a job!, which inspired…
• Central Station and its role in the Moors Murders that inspired the Smiths’ name.
• The building where the Smiths rehearsed relentlessly in 1983.
• The venue where they made their debut.
• The Lesser Free Trade Hall where Morrissey saw a music revolution and earned his first appearance in the media.
• Morrissey’s favourite pub.

and more. Read on…


They were Britain’s greatest ever group, more melodic than the Beatles, more powerful than the Stones, cleverer than the Who, catchier than U2, funnier than Madness and better-looking than Jesus & Mary Chain (okay, not hard).

They played music that lifted the soul with words that sharpened the mind.

They played both types of music: fast and slow, soft and loud, country and western (???), and they came from Manchester.

They were The Smiths.

They sang about the city and shot its sites for their sleeves: the Hacienda, Manchester Central, “a river the colour of lead”, Coronation Street, the Holy Name Church…

The Smiths’ Manchester walk takes a trip through their haunts and their dark underbelly. Unlike other Smiths’ tours, we don’t shirk from the difficult stories. We explain how the horrendous denouement of the Moors Murderers’ killing spree gave Morrissey the inspiration for the band’s name and affected much of his song-writing.

This is a music-driven tour. We play the relevant song at the relevant stop.

Here’s an extract
Morrissey’s stint in Yanks’ record shop, a dank and now defunct basement outlet in Chepstow Street’s Canada House early in 1979, partly inspired the line about jobs and misery in “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”. Yes, he could play records all day, but was still not satisfied. The contradiction of being unhappy with not having a job yet being depressed with job was a long running problem with Moz. As he once noted in his diary: “When I had no job I could pinpoint my depression. But when I did get a job I was still depressed.”

The gestation of the song itself, two minutes-plus of sumptuous sardonic cynicism, was typically Smithsonian. Converting the title of an obscure Sandie Shaw number, “Heaven Knows I’m Missing Him Now”, Morrissey recorded the vocals for the first verse in London. He then insisted on travelling to Manchester to do the vocals for the second verse. Consequently the producer, John Porter, booked a studio, packed the tapes and went North. There Morrissey recorded another verse but then announced he was popping out to the chip shop. 45 minutes later he still hadn’t returned. Porter phoned Moz’s mother who told him, “Oh he was here but he’s gone back to London.”

Watch Ed Glinert taking the Manchester Evening News on the tour here:

Start: 06/11/2021 12:00 pm
End: 06/11/2021 1:45 pm
Venue: Mercure Hotel Manchester
Google Map
Portland Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M1 4PH
Cost: FREE


Secrets of the Northern Quarter FREE tour

Next walking tour: Saturday 6 November 2021, 3pm.
Meet: Queen Victoria Statue, Piccadilly Gardens.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.


Boho Manchester, cool Manchester, modish Manchester, funky but chic Manchester.

It’s the Northern Quarter, the ’hood east of Piccadilly Gardens. A land of crumbling cotton factories, sky-scraping fire-escapes, Bohemian bars, downhome hidden spaces, cult markets, chic galleries and cardamom-scented, sizzingly-cheap curry cafes; a style haven shaped in marble, steel and beechwood, with streets named in Mediterranean tiles and pavements slabbed in mosaic.

There’s even a great history of political turmoil, a stretch of the last remaining back-to-back houses in Manchester, and testaments to the great figures who have walked its streets, like Abel Heywood, L. S. Lowry and Emmeline Pankhurst.

Join the hardest-working tour and historian in Manchester, Ed Glinert, who was once Boho, cool and modish, but never funky nor chic in this in-depth trawl and trail through the land that the developers forgot.

* It’s old Manchester renewed and new Manchester refreshed. It’s good. It’s modern.

Start: 06/11/2021 3:00 pm
End: 06/11/2021 4:45 pm
Venue: Queen Victoria Statue
Google Map
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, United Kingdom, M1 1RG
Cost: FREE
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