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The absolute uselessness of Marketing Manchester, the local sort-of tourist board. Part

This is a photo of Richard Sherwood, Head of Commercial Partnerships at Marketing Manchester.

On Wednesday, August 9, 2023, Sherwood wrote to me, Ed Glinert, Manchester’s leading historian and most prolific tour guide at New Manchester Walks, to say:

Dear Ed, It’s been brought to our attention from a visitor that there has been a complaint raised following a tour cancellation. We’re deeply concerned about complaints of this nature.”

So deeply concerned is Richard Sherwood, that it is now January 2024 and I still haven’t been told what the complaint is! This is gross incompetence on the part of the tourist board – one day called Visit Manchester, the next Marketing Manchester – and is causing me monumental stress.

Meanwhile, I have been pleading with Visit Manchester/Marketing Manchester since we qualified in March 2009 to take guided tours and Manchester history seriously, to no avail. Their website is amateurish, impossible to negotiate and does Manchester no favours at all. The writing is flat and uninspiring. The people who write it can’t write! I, as a much-published author with books for Penguin, HarperCollins, Emons, Bloomsbury etc., have been offering to write copy for them – for free – so that visitors and locals might be enthused about exploring Manchester history. Not once have my offers been accepted, and so we have a Manchester tourist board website that is sub-standard.

As for tour guiding in Manchester, after handing Visit Manchester/Marketing Manchester some £2,000 to be trained as official guides in 2008, which meant a shabby amateurish, pointless course, we were promised regular meetings with the “cluster (sic) of guides”. There has not been one. We were promised that we would be the official guides of Manchester, but the tourist board now promotes any Tom, Dick or Harriet that sets themselves up as a guide without any training or understanding of Manchester history. Basically, we were conned and the public is still being conned because every journalist that approaches the city is sent on a tour with a guide who deliberately goes round Manchester relating inaccurate historical information because he can’t bear being corrected by a north London Jew. And in case you think I’m sore because I’m missing out on the income, I don’t want any money! I want Visit Manchester/Marketing Manchester to be run properly.

Back to Richard Sherwood. How can it take six months to relate what the complaint is? Predictably, the one thing that Richard has succeeded in doing is sending me his pronouns. Pathetic. This displays everything that is wrong with Marketing Manchester; wasting their time dealing with fashionable political bollocks instead of doing what they’re there for – supporting tourism properly.