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Slavery and Manchester FREE tour during Black History Month

Next tour: Sunday 17 October 2021.
international anti-slavery weekend
Meet: Victoria Station wallmap, 12 noon.
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite.

SlaverySlavery - shacklesSlavery - hands





Manchester prospered from the horrors of slavery for much of the 18th century but the growing town was soon leading the campaign for its abolition.

The turning point was a meeting held at the Manchester Collegiate Church (now Manchester Cathedral) on 28 October 1787 fronted by the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson. “When I went into the church,” Clarkson recalled, “it was so full that I could scarcely get to my place; for notice had been publicly given, though I knew nothing of it, that such a discourse would be delivered. I was surprised also to find a great crowd of black people standing round the pulpit. There might be forty or fifty of them. The text that I took, as the best to be found in such a hurry, was the following: ‘Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt’”.

Manchester amassed the biggest number of signatures for the petition against slavery that went before Parliament. Sadly the petition was destroyed when the Houses of Parliament burned down in 1834.

While America continued to promote the system in the 19th century, Manchester led the move for Stateside abolition even though most of the raw cotton that fuelled the Manchester economy was picked by slaves in the Deep South.

This tour cuts straight to the heart of one of the most controversial and disturbing social systems ever devised. We hear how Manchester families such as the Heywoods and Gregs who benefited from slavery became its biggest opponents. We explain how the “Slavery Triangle” (Lancashire-America-Africa-Lancashire…) kept the system going, relate the stories of the escaped slaves such as Henry “Box” Brown, who once posted himself in a box from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia and who visited Manchester, and discuss how leading 19th century local Liberals such as John Bright and Richard Cobden not only kept the anti-slavery campaign flourishing but were even in contact with Abraham Lincoln.

We finish the tour at the Abraham Lincoln statue in Lincoln Square, naturally.

Start: 17/10/2021 12:00 pm
End: 17/10/2021 1:45 pm
Venue: Victoria Station wallmap
Google Map
Victoria Station, Victoria Station Approach, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 1NY
Cost: FREE


Masterpieces of Art & Architecture PRIVATE tour

No description has been entered for this event.

Start: 18/10/2021 10:00 am
End: 18/10/2021 12:00 pm
Google Map
United Kingdom


Ed Glinert giving talk on Walter Sickert for Heswall Art Socety

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Start: 18/10/2021 1:00 pm
End: 18/10/2021 2:00 pm
Google Map
United Kingdom


Ed Glinert giving talk on Underground Manchester for Fulshaw WI

To book New Manchester Walks to give this exciting and eye-opening talk please e-mail

Start: 18/10/2021 8:00 pm
End: 18/10/2021 9:00 pm
United Kingdom


Manchester’s Political History PRIVATE tour for Manchester College

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Start: 21/10/2021 10:30 am
End: 21/10/2021 12:30 pm
Google Map
United Kingdom


Manchester’s Political History PRIVATE tour for Manchester College

No description has been entered for this event.

Start: 22/10/2021 10:00 am
End: 22/10/2021 12:00 pm
Google Map
United Kingdom


Alan Turing: An Heroic Life FREE public tour

Next walking tour: Saturday 23 October 2021, 10.30am.
Meeting Place: Manchester Museum Reception, 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: 23/10/2021 10:30 am
End: 23/10/2021 12:15 pm
Venue: Manchester Museum foyer
Oxford Road at Bridgeford St, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, United Kingdom, M13 9PL
Cost: FREE


Formidable Women of Manchester PRIVATE tour

These formidable women…
* Annie Horniman, who established Britain’s first repertory theatre company.
* Elizabeth Gaskell, who wrote Mary Barton, one of the classic “condition of England” novels in 1848.
* Hannah Mitchell, who challenged Churchill at St John’s School during the Suffragette era.
* Shelagh Delaney who pioneered modernist theatre with her groundbreaking A Taste of Honey.
* Ellen Wilkinson – “Red Ellen” who accompanied the Jarrow miners to London.
* Kathleen Ollerenshaw, who overcame deafness to become Lord Mayor, a leading educationalist, mathematician and advisor to Margaret Thatcher (now what sort of job is that for a Mancunian?!).
* Sylvia Pankhurst, Britain’s greatest political campaigner.

These are just some of the heroic Manchester women we will be celebrating.

Start: 23/10/2021 2:00 pm
End: 23/10/2021 4:00 pm
Venue: Midland Hotel steps
Peter Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M60 2DS
Cost: £11.50


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

Next walking tour: Sunday 24 October 2021, 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 Governor’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: 24/10/2021 11:30 am
End: 24/10/2021 1:30 pm
Venue: Victoria Station wallmap
Google Map
Victoria Station Approach, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 1PB
Cost: £10.50


Southern Cemetery FREE tour

Next walking tour: Monday 25 October 2021, 12 noon.
Cemetery Gates (opposite James Hilton Memorials), 245 Barlow Moor Road (Barlow Moor Road Metrolink stop, 8 minutes walk away).
Please don’t go to: The Crematorium, Nell Lane…
Booking: Please press here to book with Eventbrite 

New Manchester Walks will take you around Southern Cemetery, final resting place of some of the greats of Manchester history, with Ed Glinert, author of “London’s Dead” (published by HarperCollins).

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: 25/10/2021 12:00 pm
End: 25/10/2021 2:00 pm
Venue: Southern Cemetery main entrance
Google Map
Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, United Kingdom
Cost: Free
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