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The Northern Quarter – Bohemian Manchester

Next tour: Wednesday 15 July 2020, 2.30pm.
Meet: TfGM Travelshop, Piccadilly Gardens.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.


Medieval Quarter, Mediaeval Quarter, University Quarter, Green Quarter and of course the Northern Quarter. There we are, that’s most of Manchester covered in its five quarters. But the Northern Quarter is the big quarter. Now here’s an admission from New Manchester Walks’ Ed Glinert.

“I didn’t like the term ‘The Northern Quarter’ when it first appeared in the 1980s. Hell, I was at the council committee where the name was revealed and I said it would never work, you can’t have a council committee originating the name of an area; it has to develop organically, like Castlefield or Ancoats. To me the area was Smithfield (near the old markets) or Piccadilly by the canals.

Now I love what the place has become with its cheesy retro outlets, gleaming bars, downhome curry cafes, outré venues alongside the preserved weavers’ cottages, West Side Story-ish warehouses, the last remaining back-to-backs in the city, Affleck’s of course

After doing some serious research I’ve now unearthed some hardcore history so that we can hear about:

  • The spot where the Fenians were arrested in 1867, which led to some of the last public hangings in Britain.
  • The recording studio that perfected the Manchester sound of the late ’80s – “Pacific 202” still unbeatable for a gorgeous melody wrapped around electronic beats.
  • The pubs where the Chartists were accused of insurrection in the 1830s.
  • How Britain’s first woman MP in her earlier guise led the campaign to oust Winston Churchill as a Manchester MP in Stevenson Square.
  • The hilarious Stolen exhibition at Affleck’s.
  • The ingenuity of Dry Bar (when it first opened).