* STOP PRESS. New Marx & Engels date, Sat 28 Nov, in honour of Engels’s birthday.
Our autumn programme is now nearly complete. Exciting and enticing tours run in association with the Literature Festival and Science Festival are taking place in October and early November.
Away from the festivals, the regular tours will take place: the canal cruise, Manchester Town Hall, Central Library, Gorton Monastery, Chetham’s/Manchester Cathedral, John Rylands Library, the Airport and so on.
There are also some seriously brilliant new tours: The 7 Wonders of Manchester, Undiscovered Chinatown and Jeremy Corbyn’s Manchester
A New Policy: Please Check Everything Online
We won’t be producing a leaflet with walks running from 1 October to 31 March as we have in the past. There are many reasons for this, but after years of guiding we have realised that 90% of customers look online anyway, so we in the guiding world should use this to help the customer.
We could bring out our usual leaflet at the end of September, scheduling walks five months in advance and then watch helpless as unforeseen problems mount up. Here are some of the obstacles we have faced this summer.
* Political demos called after we had gone to print, making parts of the city centre no-go that day.
* Hooligans storming the Town Hall rendering that tour impossible for a week. (Fortunately this is a very rare occurrence).
* A football match arranged for a Friday night 5 months after the leaflet was produced, making the pub walk impossible to plan.
* Torrential rain and flooding making it unsafe to do a walk. In winter this would obviously be snow and ice making it dangerous to take people on the streets.
* A very prolific guide undergoing an emergency operation and then suffering an extra problem of not being able to walk for some time.
There were more that the leaflet couldn’t predict. However if you the customer could check the website a day or two before setting off it would save so much inconvenience for everyone.
Of course once we set a date for a new tour, we will do everything within our powers not to change it. Occasionally necessity demands, such as the very recent news that the world’s protesters will be converging on Manchester city centre on Sunday 4 October, rendering all walks impossible that day. We had a Tory Manchester special set for the Sunday until the news broke. It will now take place the previous day.
This new system means we’re not committing ourselves now, in August, to March 2016 dates, running the risk of battling with circumstances beyond our control. And who really needs to know about tours in 2016 before 2016?
Every week or so, more walks will be added, mistakes rectified and new information applied to make our schedule more user-friendly for you, the customer.
So please please do check the website before setting off!
See you soon.