Released: June 2014
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 160 x 160mm
Author: Camilla Brook-Charlton
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Bradwell’s Eclectica Greater Manchester features a plethora of facts and information about the people and events that have helped to make the area so interesting. The title brings together dialect, humour, recipes, murder stories, local names, walks and maps, ghost stories, local customs, local sports, local history and famous locals in one 80 page softback publication.
Think Manchester and what do you think of? The industrial powerhouse that led the way in the Industrial Revolution? The birthplace of countless music acts that have gone on to become household names? Or perhaps you think of the football teams and players which have helped make Manchester a popular city around the world . . . Manchester is without doubt a city with many faces, from its industrial roots right through to its continuing place on the world stage. No wonder that Britons voted Manchester ‘Britain’s Second City’ in a national survey in 2013!
In this book I’ve aimed to show how Manchester manages to have both its industrious and its inventive side. Perhaps it’s this mix of the quirky and the committed that lies behind the many scientific breakthroughs which have their origin in Manchester. Perhaps it’s why the city has seen so much commercial progress. It could also be why Manchester has played a big part in the development of radical movements which have helped to improve life for people on a much wider scale, from the cooperative movement to the Suffragettes to the start of the trade unions. Manchester has a fascinating past, as you’ll see from this book. But Manchester’s future is pretty exciting too. It has the fastest growing economy outside of London with a GDP of £28 billion and it is home to over 2,000 foreign enterprises (source: Metro). Manchester is also the third most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, after London and Edinburgh (source: BBC).
Manchester seems to be a place where interesting things keep on happening – not just in terms of great sporting achievements or its continuing contribution to the music scene. There’s also the matter of the spinning mummy of Manchester Museum and the recent apparition in a pub in Bolton, both stories reported widely in the international press. Not forgetting the curious fact that Manchester has been acknowledged as something of a UFO sighting hotspot by the Ministry of Defence!
Britain’s Second City has brought many firsts to the world. From the very first free public library to the start of the Vegetarianism movement to the first mill to use steam power, it is Manchester that has led the way in so many areas. Manchester is the home of the UK’s oldest symphony orchestra, the world’s first professional football league and the first steam passenger railway! There’s more. The world’s very first Co-operative Society was established in Rochdale in 1844! It’s extraordinary that one city could give rise to Rolls-Royce, Marks & Spencer and the TUC. Or that one place could have contributed so much to science, such as the discovery of the First Law of Thermodynamics and other ground-breaking discoveries including atomic theory, meteorology and colour blindness, to name but a few. Or that the first computer with a stored programme and memory was developed at Manchester University in 1948. It’s a history which is recorded brick by brick in Manchester’s incredible architecture, from the Victoria Baths to Albert Square. We’ve included two walks to give a quick snapshot of all that Manchester’s buildings and other sights have to offer. Perhaps you’ll get a chance to practise a little Mancunian by using the dialect guide in this book, whether you’re asking for a ‘chip butty’ or you want to let people know how ‘made up’ you are to be visiting the city. From ‘Cottonpolis’ to ‘the Chimney of the World’ to ‘Madchester’ to ‘Britain’s Second City’, Manchester has had many identities.
There’s so much to say about Manchester and so little time to do it in this short book. My advice? Take a peek around this book and, if it inspires you, why not take a trip to Manchester? If you know it already, you’ll find there’s always more to discover. I would go further than George Orwell’s quotation shown earlier. Manchester isn’t just about belly and guts. It’s about heart, too.