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Peterloo Massacre FREE expert tour on the day

Peterloo is for life, not just 16 August.
Tours all year round.
Please book below with eventbrite.

“Before Peterloo”: Saturday 6 August 2022.
Meet: Central Library, St Peter’s Square, 11am.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

The Peterloo Massacre (Full Tour on the Day): Tuesday 16 August 2022.
Meet: Central Library, St Peter’s Square, 11.30am.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

These unique Peterloo tours have been devised by Ed Glinert, Penguin author and compiler of the forthcoming Manchester Encyclopaedia, who has conducted enormous amounts of recent research into the entire Peterloo story (with many thanks to Mike Herbert’s invaluable expertise).

Manchester tour guide Ed Glinert has worked with both the campaigning journalist extraordinaire Paul Foot (author of Red Shelley) and Mike Leigh, director of the Peterloo film.

* Read on:


Peterloo 5

The Peterloo Massacre of 16 August 1819 is the most dramatic incident in English political history. Sabre-wielding 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 first few decades of the 19th century, enshrined in public imagination as the elegant age of the Regency, were a time of severe political repression in England. The Tory government, led by Lord Liverpool, feared that the kind of revolutionary activity recently witnessed in France would break out in England – probably in Manchester, where social conditions were so desperate – and chose 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 was also waging war against its own people.

This guided tour, visiting the site of St Peter’s Field in Manchester city centre where the Peterloo Massacre took place, has been devised by Ed Glinert, political commentator with 40 years’ experience for various leading newspapers, magazines and publishers, who worked with legendary left-wing political journalist Paul Foot at Private Eye combating injustice.

Glinert, who has researched the story for decades, brings his unique touch to this chilling story, going into extraordinary detail, explaining the build-up to the events, the violence of the day, 16 August 1819, and the dreadful aftermath, introducing related events, themes and people: Shelley’s powerful poem, The Masque of Anarchy; the birth of the Manchester Guardian; the Cato Street Conspiracy; the Six Acts; Tom Paine and his bones – even Anthony Burgess.

Start: 16/08/2022 11:30 am
End: 16/08/2022 1:15 pm
Venue: Central Library
Google Map
St Peter's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 5PD
Cost: FREE


Southern Cemetery FREE tour

Next FREE walking tour: Wednesday 24 August 2022, 11.30am.
Meet: Cemetery Gates (opposite James Hilton Memorials of 245 Barlow Moor Road ).(Barlow Moor Road Metrolink stop, 10 minutes walk away).
Please don’t go to: The Crematorium, Nell Lane…
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

We will see the graves and memories of Matt Busby, John Rylands, Joe Sunlight, Daniel Adamson, Tony Wilson and L. S. Lowry, as we explore Britain’s second biggest cemetery.

Southern Cemetery (1)Southern Cemetery - Rylands graveSouthern Cemetery - Matt Busby Grave

Start: 24/08/2022 11:30 am
End: 24/08/2022 1:15 pm
Venue: Southern Cemetery main entrance
Google Map
Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, United Kingdom
Cost: Free


Angel Meadow – Victorian Hell-Hole FREE Expert Tour

All walks meet at: Victoria Station wallmap (not the window list of battles!).

Next Free Tour: Wednesday 24 August 2022, 6pm.
Meet: Victoria Station wallmap.
: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

“The lowest, most filthy, most unhealthy, and most wicked locality in Manchester…full of cellars and inhabited by prostitutes, their bullies, thieves, cadgers, vagrants and tramps.”

Was this yesterday? No, journalist Angus Bethune Reach was writing in the 19th century when Angel Meadow was one of a number of notorious Manchester slums; probably the worst.

This is what proto-communist Friedrich Engels had to say about the locale in 1844. “The landlords are not ashamed to let dwellings like the six or seven cellars on the quay directly below Scotland Bridge, the floors of which stand at least two feet below the low water level of the Irk … utterly uninhabitable, [it] stands deprived of all fittings for doors and windows, a case by no means rare in this region, when an open ground-floor is used as a privy by the whole neighbourhood for want of other facilities. . . .”

A hundred yards on, at the end of Millow Street, stood “Gibraltar”. This was once described by the social commentator James Phillips Kay as the haunt of the “lowest” of the population. “The stranger, if he dare venture to explore its intricacies and recesses is sure to be watched with suspicion, on every side is heard the sound of the axe or knife…”

Okay, both those revered social commentators were writing many years ago, but go there now and it’s pretty grim, which is why we guide you around these atmospheric areas, converting the squalor and sordidness into scintillating stories. And we’ve not even entered Angel Meadow proper yet.

Have things improved? Yes, with much thanks to the Friends of Angel Meadow. When we’ve finished with all the terrible tales we deserve an ale or two at the Marble pub with its gorgeous tiles, magnificent ales and friendly atmosphere.

Start: 24/08/2022 6:00 pm
End: 24/08/2022 7:45 pm
Venue: Victoria Station wallmap
Google Map
Victoria Station Approach, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 1PB
Cost: Free


Jewish Manchester (Cheetham Hill trail)

Next walk:

The Old Jewish Ghetto (Cheetham Hill Trail)
Next tour: Friday 26 August 2022, 12 noon.
Meet: Victoria Station wallmap.
Ends: At the newly reopened Jewish museum.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.
Cost: £10.50 for one in advance, £10 cash on the day. £16 for two.

Here’s the full S.P.

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 sort of.


Start: 26/08/2022 12:00 pm
End: 26/08/2022 1:40 pm
Venue: Victoria Station wallmap
Google Map
Victoria Station Approach, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 1PB
Cost: £10.50 for one. £16 for two. £10 cash on the day.


Ancoats FREE Expert walking tour

Next FREE walking tour: Saturday 27 August 2022.
Meet: Band on the Wall, Swan Street, 11am.   
: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

From San Francisco to Sao Paulo, from St Etienne to St Helens, the masses have been beating a path to soak up the boho, NoHo, So-ho mojo atmosphere of Ancoats.

Which is why we have collected a phantasmagoria of stories for you from the world’s first industrial suburb starring…

* Some of the oldest mills in the country, breathtaking monuments to Mammon and cotton from the late 18th century.
* The newspaper office where the Yorkshire Ripper story was broken.
* The world’s first aircraft manufactory.
* The picturesque marina created out of industrial spoil.
* The saved Ancoats hospital.
* The so-called Chips building.
* And the site of the motorcycle factory which went bust after the Russian Revolution.

Start: 27/08/2022 11:00 am
End: 27/08/2022 12:45 pm
Venue: Band on the Wall
Google Map
Swan Street, Manchester, United Kingdom
Cost: FREE


Manchester Music: The Hacienda Years (FREE expert tour)

Next tour: Sat 27 August, 2pm.
Meet: HOME arts centre, 2 Tony Wilson Place.
: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

  • Do you pay in advance? No. However Ed Glinert tells New Manchester Walks that he will be most happy to accept a few shekels, or even better, some folding paper pressed into his hand at the end of the tour if you think he’s done a good job. If you think he hasn’t, he might pay you! By the way, we’re not paid by the council, tourist board or any Russian oligarch.


Forget Memphis and the Mersey, Manchester is Music City, a factory of superior song-making and stirring soundscapes courtesy of The Smiths, Joy Division, The Fall, Buzzcocks, John Cooper Clarke, Oasis, New Order, Happy Mondays and Elbow – 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.

• Our Music walks are now starting from HOME, Manchester’s funky but chic (as David Johansen would say) new arts venue, appropriately based at 2 Tony Wilson Place, Whitworth Street West (opposite the Hacienda, natch).

Hacienda - interiorRead on…
Despite no tradition of making memorable music, Manchester became the most feted music city in the world towards the end of the 20th century, acclaimed for its role in nurturing groups such as The Smiths, Buzzcocks, the Fall, Joy Division, New Order and 808 State.

That Manchester would attain such elevated status looked unlikely in the 1960s when the city lived darkly in the long shadow cast 35 miles away in Liverpool by the Beatles, and it remained so in the 1970s with Manchester playing little part in prog or mainstream rock.

Those with local connections that were successful like 10cc and Roy Harper made music that had little to do with Manchester culturally.

The Manchester-based beat groups of the mid-60s were phenomenally successful in terms of sales. Herman’s Hermits and Freddie & the Dreamers cleaned up in America. But this was not exactly cutting edge quality music to rank alongside the greats of that era, such as the Yardbirds, Animals and Who.

So how did Manchester music become so important?

Amazingly we can trace this back to two chaotic Sex Pistols gigs at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in the summer of 1976.

Present that night were many of those who went on to dominate Manchester music for the next few decades, including Barney Sumner (Joy Division, New Order), Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) and Morrissey. Some formed groups, while others set up from scratch a music industry infrastructure of promoters, songwriters, agents, designers, journalists and record label owners.

We go to some of their haunts and venues on the various music walks.

That scene played a huge role in the general renaissance of the city in terms of media, design, architecture and culture. We can trace a development from the summer of ’76 to the opening of new venues such as HOME in 2015.

The music scene has attracted countless people to the city, some as students, some to work in attendant industries.

If you want to see how dull a similar city without a vibrant music scene is like, go to Leeds!


Hacienda - interior

Start: 27/08/2022 2:00 pm
End: 27/08/2022 3:45 pm
Venue: HOME
Google Map
Whitworth Street West, Manchester, United Kingdom
Cost: Free


The Pankhursts FREE Expert Bank Holiday Tour

The next walking tours are FREE but please book on Eventbrite so that we can regulate numbers:

Next Free Tour: Monday 29 August, 11.30am.
Meet: Emmeline Pankhurst statue, St Peter’s Square.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

It is just over a hundred and two years (1 December 1919) since a woman entered the British Parliament for the first time. American socialite Nancy Astor won a by-election for the Unionists in Plymouth Sutton, ironically replacing her husband, Waldorf Astor, who had just been ennobled.

The campaign to win women the vote and the right to enter the Commons had been raging ever since more than a dozen people were killed and hundreds injured at the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester in 1819. Henry Hunt, the main speaker at the Peterloo rally that never happened, later became the first MP to put forward a bill to allow women to vote in general elections, but that was back in the 1830s. Two generations later the Pankhurst family took over the campaign, leading one of the most bitter and brutal political battles in British history, for many years from Manchester.

Partial victory was celebrated in 1918 when (some) women were at last allowed to vote and stand. One woman was elected, but never took her seat. A year later Nancy Astor made up for it.

Hear the full story on this eye-opening guided tour.

This is the only Pankhurst tour which goes to the Pankhursts’ shop (yes, I bet you didn’t know they had a shop in Manchester city centre!) and gives the accurate political background to the infamous Free Trade Hall rally in October 1905.

We have made a forensic and in-depth study of this extraordinary story. Discover Manchester’s cataclysmic connections…

…read on below.


Further study
In August 1819 at least a dozen people were killed demonstrating for the right to vote at St Peter’s Fields, Manchester. Nearly a hundred years later, in 1903, the Pankhurst family, disgusted with the Independent Labour Party’s refusal to allow women to use the newly-opened Pankhurst Hall in north Manchester, founded the Women’s Social and Political Union to step up the campaign for the right of women to have the vote in parliamentary elections.

What had been a sedate pressure group, willing to stay within the law to change the law, soon became militant. The women suffrage supporters (“suffragettes,” the Daily Mail called them) disrupted a Liberal Party rally in the Free Trade Hall in 1905 and two of their leaders – Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney – were jailed. Manchester had become Suffragette City, but it took a generation and many thousands of broken windows for women to secure the vote.

This is a walk in memory of the Pankhursts – Emmeline, Christabel and Sylvia – fierce campaigners, resolute radicals. We visit their haunts, outline their struggle and follow in their footsteps.

An excerpt from the walk
When Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney were arrested for disrupting the Liberal Party’s political rally at the Free Trade Hall in October 1905 they were taken first to a cell in Manchester Town Hall and then to Strangeways Prison.

Soon one of the leading Liberal politicians of the day turned up at the prison offering to pay the women’s fines so that they could be quickly released. The philanthropic politician was none other than Winston Churchill, MP for Oldham, who had recently crossed the floor from the Conservative benches. But was this really a welcome move or just a cynical one? Surely if the women agreed to his offer he could champion himself as being in control of them …


Start: 29/08/2022 11:30 am
End: 29/08/2022 1:15 pm
Venue: Emmeline Pankhurst Statue
Google Map
St Peter's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom, M2 5PD
Cost: FREE


Alan Turing: FREE public tour on Bank Holiday

Next walking tour: Bank Holiday Monday 29 August 2022, 2.30pm.
Meeting Place: Outside the Holy Name Church, opposite Manchester University Students’ Union, Oxford Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

Alan Turing has gone down in history as the man who didn’t invent the computer! He should have, in the 1940s, but didn’t have the spare parts to do so. When he discovered to his chagrin that mathematicians at Manchester University had beaten him to it in the summer of 1948 into building the world’s first programmable computer he contacted the department and had little difficulty convincing them he should be hired; his reputation went before him.

We now know, though it was a secret at the time, that Alan Turing had had an excellent war, heavily involved in cracking the supposedly uncrackable codes that the Nazis had encrypted into their Enigma machine. Turing had been a maths prodigy as a boy. At the age of 14 his first day at Sherborne school coincided with the 1926 General Strike. So determined was he to attend school, he biked it 60 miles to the school, stopping overnight at an inn. At Sherborne he developed an interest in the latest mathematical philosophies, in particular Bertrand Russell’s paradox: “the set of all tea cups is not a member of itself, but the set of all non-tea cups is”, its beautiful and simple resonance so influential in the development of logic as a science.

Alan Turing - Enigma (Paolozzi)At Cambridge University Turing developed the idea of a thinking electronic machine but lacked the parts to build one. Manchester had succeeded (find out more on our Oxford Road/University/Science walks) and Turing helped extend the department’s knowledge of primitive computer technology, working in a small brick office on Coupland Street.

It all went wrong for Turing in the 1950s after he picked up a boy at the Regal Cinema on Oxford Street (now the Dancehouse Theatre) and took him home. The boy allegedly tried to blackmail Turing, and the mathematician went to the police. When they discovered that there had been a (then illegal) homosexual relationship between the two men they turned the tables on Turing and prosecuted him for gross indecency. His conviction led to the removal of his security clearance at a time of public anxiety about spies and homosexual entrapment by Soviet agents. He was forced to take hormones to “cure” him of his sexual leanings which made him grow breasts, and on 8 June 1954 Turing’s cleaner found him dead. The cause was established as cyanide poisoning.

Did Alan Turing commit suicide, depressed about his career and life being in ruins, or was his death an accident brought on by failing to take care following one of his numerous chemical experiments? A further complication to the drama suggests that Turing was re-creating a scene from his favourite film, Snow White, and that he deliberately executed an ambiguous death to save his mother from too much embarrassment.

Alan Turing was cremated at Woking; his life-size statue occupies pride of place in Sackville Park, where we end the tour.


• Many thanks to Jury’s Inn, Manchester, for supporting our tour. Here is their excellent tribute.

Alan Turing of Manchester, by Jurys Inn Manchester Hotel 

Alan Turing Infographic by Jurys Inn Hotels

Alan Turing at 101


Start: 29/08/2022 2:30 pm
End: 29/08/2022 4:15 pm
Venue: Holy Name Church
339 Oxford Road, Manchester, United Kingdom, M13 9PG
Cost: FREE


Strangeways FREE tour (and you can go home afterwards!)

Next walking tour: Saturday 10 September 2022, 11.30am.
Meet: Victoria Station wallmap.
Booking: If you’d like to go to Strangeways, the law will help you. Alternatively, just follow the orders from the guv’nor below.
Oh, alright: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.
Bring: Bucket for slopping out.
End: Somewhere near the guv’nor’s office.

Strangeways. The very name is enough to send a frisson of fear down the spine of the most hardened felons.

Strangeways has been home to the most evil elements in existence – Ian Brady and Harold Shipman – and temporary refuge of political prisoners such as Christabel Pankhurst and Austin Stack, the Irish Republican who was one of the few to escape from its clutches.

Even Ian Brown, ex-Stone Roses, was briefly incarcerated within in 1998. No, not for inflicting his tuneless drone and inane lyrics on humanity but for getting into a strop on an aeroplane. 60 days. So what was it like in Strangeways, Ian? “Dirty. The food was like dog food.” He’s out now.

Ian Brady was sent here for stealing from Smithfield Market, where he worked in the late 1950s. John Robson Walby (alias Gwynne Owen Evans), was hanged at Strangeways on August 13, 1964 – the last person in England to suffer this punishment. (No, it wasn’t Ruth Ellis).

In April 1990 three hundred prisoners filed into the chapel to attend the church service. During the sermon a prisoner, later identified as Paul Taylor, stood up and shouted: “I would just like to say, right, that this man has just talked about the blessing of the heart and how a hardened heart can be delivered. No it cannot, not with resentment, anger and bitterness and hatred being instilled in people.”

It all kicked off. Riot!

Prisoners took to the roof and began to dismantle the prison for 25 days. 147 staff and 47 prisoners were injured. One prisoner and one prison officer died. Your NMW guide, Ed Glinert, was ordered by his editor at the Sun to doorstep home secretary David Waddington. He never made it.

Later, Paul Taylor and Alan Lord faced a five-month trial as its ringleaders. Both were acquitted of murder. The riot resulted in the Woolfe Inquiry which ended the practice of slopping out and saw the jail rebuilt and euphemistically renamed as Her Majesty’s Prison, Manchester. But to everyone else it’s still good old Strangeways.

Start: 10/09/2022 11:30 am
End: 10/09/2022 1:15 pm
Venue: Victoria Station wallmap
Google Map
Victoria Station Approach, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 1PB
Cost: 10 years


Secret Manchester: expert tour

The next tour: Wednesday 14 September 2022.
Meet: Outside Mercure Hotel, Portland Street, 5.30pm.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

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 tour 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 pillar box that didn’t survive the 1996 IRA bomb events.

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

Start: 14/09/2022 5:30 pm
End: 14/09/2022 7:15 pm
Venue: Mercure Hotel Manchester
Portland Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M1 4PH
Cost: £10.50 for one. £16 for two. £10 cash on the day.
iCal Import