Manchester - Some Interesting Reading About Manchester

 

 

Manchester is a city in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 514,417 in 2013.[5] Located in the United Kingdom's second most populous urban area, which has a population of 2.55 million,[6] Manchester is in the south-central part of North West England, fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium, a variant of which name is preserved by the city's demonym: residents are still referred to as Mancunians (/mæŋkˈjuːnɪənz/). The Roman fort was established around ad 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. Historically part ofLancashire, although areas of Cheshire, south of the River Mersey were incorporated into the city during the 20th century.[7]Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution,[8] and resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialised city.

The building of the Bridgewater Canal in 1761 built to transport coal triggered an early 19th century factory building boom which transformed Manchester from a township into a major mill town. The Peterloo Massacre in 1819 and establishment of the Anti-Corn Law League in 1838 elevated Manchester's importance which eventually culminated in city status in 1853 – thus becoming the first new British city in over 300 years and cementing Manchester's position as the world's first industrial city. In 1877,Manchester Town Hall was built and in 1894 the Manchester Ship Canal, at the time the longest river navigation canal in the world, opened, creating the Port of Manchester and linking the city to sea. Manchester's fortunes decreased after the Second World War due to deindustrialisation. However, investment spurred by the 1996 Manchester bombing, which remains the most financially expensive terrorist attack surpassed only by the September 11 attacks,[10] led to extensive regeneration which continues to this day.

The city is notable for its architecture, culture, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact,sports clubs and transport connections. Manchester was the site of the world's first railway station and is where scientists firstsplit the atom, and developed the first stored-program computer. Recognised as a bold, independently minded city,[11][12]Manchester is also regarded as the birthplace of women's suffrage in the United Kingdom, and both capitalism and communism.[13] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels began to write the Communist Manifesto at Chetham Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world.[14]

Today Manchester is ranked as a beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and is consequently the highest ranked British city outside of London.[15] Its metropolitan economy is the third largest in the United Kingdom with an estimated PPP GDP of US$88.3 billion as of 2012.[16] Manchester is the third-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, afterLondon and Edinburgh.

 

The Brigantes were the major Celtic tribe in what is now Northern England; they had a stronghold in the locality at a sandstone outcrop on which Manchester Cathedral now stands, opposite the banks of the River Irwell.[20] Their territory extended across the fertile lowland of what is now Salford and Stretford. Following the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, General Agricolaordered the construction of a fort named Mamucium in the year 79 to ensure that Roman interests in Deva Victrix (Chester) andEboracum (York) were protected from the Brigantes.[20] Central Manchester has been permanently settled since this time.[21] A stabilised fragment of foundations of the final version of the Roman fort is visible in Castlefield. The Roman habitation of Manchester probably ended around the 3rd century; its civilian settlement appears to have been abandoned by the mid-3rd century, although the fort may have supported a small garrison until the late 3rd or early 4th century. After the Roman withdrawal and Saxon conquest, the focus of settlement shifted to the confluence of the Irwell and Irk sometime before the arrival of the Normans after 1066. Much of the wider area was laid waste in the subsequent Harrying of the North.

Thomas de la Warre, lord of the manor, founded and constructed a collegiate church for the parish in 1421. The church is nowManchester Cathedral; the domestic premises of the college house Chetham's School of Music and Chetham's Library.[23][26] The library, which opened in 1653 and is still open to the public today, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom.

Manchester is mentioned as having a market in 1282.[28] Around the 14th century, Manchester received an influx of Flemish weavers, sometimes credited as the foundation of the region's textile industry.[29] Manchester became an important centre for the manufacture and trade of woollens and linen, and by about 1540, had expanded to become, in John Leland's words, "The fairest, best builded, quickest, and most populous town of all Lancashire."[23] The cathedral and Chetham's buildings are the only significant survivors of Leland's Manchester.

 

During the English Civil War, Manchester strongly favoured the Parliamentary interest. Although not long lasting, Cromwell granted it the right to elect its own MP. Charles Worsley, who sat for the city for only a year, was later appointed Major General for Lancashire, Cheshire and Staffordshire during the Rule of the Major Generals. He was a diligent puritan, turning out ale houses and banning the celebration of Christmas; he died in 1656.[30]

Significant quantities of cotton began to be used after about 1600, firstly in linen/cotton fustians, but by around 1750 pure cotton fabrics were being produced and cotton had overtaken wool in importance.[23] The Irwell and Mersey were made navigable by 1736, opening a route from Manchester to the sea docks on the Mersey. The Bridgewater Canal, Britain's first wholly artificial waterway, was opened in 1761, bringing coal from mines at Worsley to central Manchester. The canal was extended to the Mersey at Runcorn by 1776. The combination of competition and improved efficiency halved the cost of coal and halved the transport cost of raw cotton.[23][26] Manchester became the dominant marketplace for textiles produced in the surrounding towns.[23] A commodities exchange, opened in 1729,[24] and numerous large warehouses, aided commerce. In 1780, Richard Arkwright began construction of Manchester's first cotton mill.[24][26] In the early 1800s, John Dalton formulated his atomic theory in Manchester.

 

Manchester's history is concerned with textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. The great majority of cotton spinning took place in the towns of south Lancashire and north Cheshire, and Manchester was for a time the most productive centre of cotton processing,[31] and later the world's largest marketplace for cotton goods.[23][32] Manchester was dubbed "Cottonopolis" and "Warehouse City" during the Victorian era.[31] In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the term "manchester" is still used for household linen: sheets, pillow cases, towels, etc.[33] The industrial revolution brought about huge change in Manchester and was key to the increase in Manchester's population.

Manchester began expanding "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century as people flocked to the city for work from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and other areas of England as part of a process of unplanned urbanisation brought on by the Industrial Revolution.[34][35][36] It developed a wide range of industries, so that by 1835 "Manchester was without challenge the first and greatest industrial city in the world."[32] Engineering firms initially made machines for the cotton trade, but diversified into general manufacture. Similarly, the chemical industry started by producing bleaches and dyes, but expanded into other areas. Commerce was supported by financial service industries such as banking and insurance.

 

Trade, and feeding the growing population, required a large transport and distribution infrastructure: the canal system was extended, and Manchester became one end of the world's first intercity passenger railway—the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Competition between the various forms of transport kept costs down.[23] In 1878 the GPO (the forerunner of British Telecom) provided its first telephones to a firm in Manchester.[37]

The Manchester Ship Canal was built between 1888 and 1894, in some sections by canalisation of the Rivers Irwell and Mersey, running 36 miles (58 km)[38] from Salford to Eastham Locks on the tidal Mersey. This enabled oceangoing ships to sail right into the Port of Manchester. On the canal's banks, just outside the borough, the world's first industrial estate was created at Trafford Park.[23] Large quantities of machinery, including cotton processing plant, were exported around the world.

A centre of capitalism, Manchester was once the scene of bread and labour riots, as well as calls for greater political recognition by the city's working and non-titled classes. One such gathering ended with the Peterloo Massacre of 16 August 1819. The economic school of Manchester capitalismdeveloped there, and Manchester was the centre of the Anti-Corn Law League from 1838 onward.

 

Manchester has a notable place in the history of Marxism and left-wing politics; being the subject of Friedrich Engels' work The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844; Engels spent much of his life in and around Manchester,[39] and when Karl Marx visited Manchester, they met at Chetham's Library. The economics books Marx was reading at the time can be seen in the library, as can the window seat where Marx and Engels would meet.[27] The first Trades Union Congress was held in Manchester (at the Mechanics' Institute, David Street), from 2 to 6 June 1868. Manchester was an important cradle of the Labour Party and the Suffragette Movement.[40]

At that time, it seemed a place in which anything could happen—new industrial processes, new ways of thinking (the Manchester School, promoting free trade and laissez-faire), new classes or groups in society, new religious sects, and new forms of labour organisation. It attracted educated visitors from all parts of Britain and Europe. A saying capturing this sense of innovation survives today: "What Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow."[41] Manchester's golden age was perhaps the last quarter of the 19th century. Many of the great public buildings (including Manchester Town Hall) date from then. The city's cosmopolitan atmosphere contributed to a vibrant culture, which included the Hallé Orchestra. In 1889, when county councils were created in England, the municipal borough became a county borough with even greater autonomy.

 

 

Although the Industrial Revolution brought wealth to the city, it also brought poverty and squalor to a large part of the population. Historian Simon Schama noted that "Manchester was the very best and the very worst taken to terrifying extremes, a new kind of city in the world; the chimneys of industrial suburbs greeting you with columns of smoke". An American visitor taken to Manchester’s blackspots saw "wretched, defrauded, oppressed, crushed human nature, lying and bleeding fragments".[42]

The number of cotton mills in Manchester itself reached a peak of 108 in 1853.[31] Thereafter the number began to decline and Manchester was surpassed as the largest centre of cotton spinning by Bolton in the 1850s and Oldham in the 1860s.[31] However, this period of decline coincided with the rise of city as the financial centre of the region.[31] Manchester continued to process cotton, and in 1913, 65% of the world's cotton was processed in the area.[23] The First World War interrupted access to the export markets. Cotton processing in other parts of the world increased, often on machines produced in Manchester. Manchester suffered greatly from the Great Depression and the underlying structural changes that began to supplant the old industries, including textile manufacture.

 

Like most of the UK, the Manchester area was mobilised extensively during the Second World War. For example, casting and machining expertise at Beyer, Peacock and Company's locomotive works in Gorton was switched to bomb making; Dunlop's rubber works in Chorlton-on-Medlockmade barrage balloons; and just outside the city in Trafford Park, engineers Metropolitan-Vickers made Avro Manchester and Avro Lancaster bombers and Ford built the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines to power them. Manchester was thus the target of bombing by the Luftwaffe, and by late 1940 air raids were taking place against non-military targets. The biggest took place during the "Christmas Blitz" on the nights of 22/23 and 24 December 1940, when an estimated 474 tonnes (467 long tons) of high explosives plus over 37,000 incendiary bombs were dropped. A large part of the historic city centre was destroyed, including 165 warehouses, 200 business premises, and 150 offices. 376 were killed and 30,000 houses were damaged.[43] Manchester Cathedral was among the buildings seriously damaged; its restoration took 20 years.[44]

 

Cotton processing and trading continued to fall in peacetime, and the exchange closed in 1968.[23] By 1963 the port of Manchester was the UK's third largest,[45] and employed over 3,000 men, but the canal was unable to handle the increasingly large container ships. Traffic declined, and the port closed in 1982.[46] Heavy industry suffered a downturn from the 1960s and was greatly reduced under the economic policies followed by Margaret Thatcher's government after 1979. Manchester lost 150,000 jobs in manufacturing between 1961 and 1983.[23] Regeneration began in the late 1980s, with initiatives such as the Metrolink, the Bridgewater Concert Hall, the Manchester Arena, and (in Salford) the rebranding of the port as Salford Quays. Two bids to host the Olympic Games were part of a process to raise the international profile of the city.[48]

Manchester has a history of attacks attributed to Irish Republicans, including the Manchester Martyrs of 1867, arson in 1920, a series of explosions in 1939, and two bombs in 1992. On Saturday 15 June 1996, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out the 1996 Manchester bombing, the detonation of a large bomb next to a department store in the city centre. The largest to be detonated on British soil, the bomb injured over 200 people, heavily damaged nearby buildings, and broke windows 1⁄2 mile (800 m) away. The cost of the immediate damage was initially estimated at £50 million, but this was quickly revised upwards.[49] The final insurance payout was over £400 million; many affected businesses never recovered from the loss of trade. Spurred by the investment after the 1996 bomb, and aided by the XVII Commonwealth Games, Manchester's city centre has undergone extensive regeneration.[48] New and renovated complexes such as The Printworks and The Triangle have become popular shopping and entertainment destinations. The Manchester Arndale is the UK's largest city centre shopping centre.[51]

 

Large sections of the city dating from the 1960s have been either demolished and re-developed or modernised with the use of glass and steel. Old mills have been converted into modern apartments, Hulme has undergone extensive regeneration programmes, and million-pound lofthouse apartments have since been developed. The 169-metre tall, 47-storey Beetham Tower, completed in 2006, is the tallest building in the UK outside London and when finished was the highest residential accommodation in Europe.[52] In January 2007, the independent Casino Advisory Panel awarded Manchester a licence to build the only supercasino in the UK,[53] however plans were officially abandoned in February 2008.

Since around the turn of the 21st century, Manchester has been regarded by sections of the international press,[55] British public,[56] and government ministers[57] as being the second city of the United Kingdom.[58] The BBC reports that redevelopment of recent years has heightened claims that Manchester is the second city of the UK.[59] Manchester and Birmingham have traditionally been considered for this unofficial title.[59]

The City of Manchester is governed by the Manchester City Council. The earlier Greater Manchester County Council was abolished in 1986 so it is effectively a unitary authority. Manchester has been a member of the English Core Cities Group since its inception in 1995.[60]

The town of Manchester was granted a charter by Thomas Grelley in 1301, but lost its borough status in a court case of 1359. Until the 19th century, local government was largely provided by manorial courts, the last of which ended in 1846.[61]

From a very early time, the township of Manchester lay within the historic or ceremonial county boundaries of Lancashire.[61] Pevsnerwrote "That [neighbouring] Stretford and Salford are not administratively one with Manchester is one of the most curious anomalies of England".[29] A stroke of a Norman baron's pen is said to have divorced Manchester and Salford, though it was not Salford that became separated from Manchester, it was Manchester, with its humbler line of lords, that was separated from Salford.[62] It was this separation that resulted in Salford becoming the judicial seat of Salfordshire, which included the ancient parish of Manchester. Manchester later formed its own Poor Law Union using the name "Manchester".[61] In 1792, Commissioners—usually known as "Police Commissioners"—were established for the social improvement of Manchester. Manchester regained its borough status in 1838, and comprised the townships of Beswick, Cheetham Hill, Chorlton upon Medlock and Hulme.[61] By 1846, with increasing population and greater industrialisation, the Borough Council had taken over the powers of the "Police Commissioners". In 1853, Manchester was granted "city status" in the United Kingdom.[61]

In 1885, Bradford, Harpurhey, Rusholme and parts of Moss Side and Withington townships became part of the City of Manchester. In 1889, the city became a county borough as did many larger Lancashire towns, and therefore not governed by Lancashire County Council.[61] Between 1890 and 1933, more areas were added to the city which had been administered by Lancashire County Council, including former villages such as Burnage, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Didsbury, Fallowfield, Levenshulme, Longsight, and Withington. In 1931, the Cheshire civil parishes of Baguley, Northenden and Northen Etchells from the south of the River Mersey were added.[61] In 1974, by way of the Local Government Act 1972, the City of Manchester became a metropolitan district of the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester.[61] That year, Ringway, the town where the Manchester Airport is located, was added to the City.

In November 2014 it was announced that a new directly elected Mayor would control £1bn of public money, in a move described as "Devo Manc"

 

Manchester Liverpool Road was the world's first purpose-built passenger and goods railway station,[117] and served as the Manchester terminus on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway – the world's first inter-city passenger railway. Today the city is well served by the rail network,[118] and is at the centre of an extensive countywide railway network, including the West Coast Main Line, with two mainline stations: Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria (Being redeveloped). The Manchester station group – comprising Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Manchester Oxford Road and Deansgate – is the fourth busiest in the United Kingdom, with 41.7 million passengers recorded in 2013.[116] On 7 February 2014, construction of the £600m Northern Hub project, which aims to increase capacity and reduce journey times across the North, began with construction work commencing on a 4th platform at Manchester Airport railway station.[119] The High Speed 2 link to Birmingham and London is also planned, which, if built, will include a 12 km (7 mi) tunnel under Manchester on the final approach into an upgraded Piccadilly station.[120]

 

 

Manchester Metrolink is the largest tram system in the UK, with a total route length of 57 miles (92 km).[121]

Manchester became the first city in the UK to acquire a modern light rail tram system when the Manchester Metrolink opened in 1992. 25 million passenger journeys were made on the system in 2012/13.[122] The present system mostly runs on former commuter rail lines converted for light rail use, and crosses the city centre via on-street tram lines.[123] The 45.6 mi (73.4 km)[124]-network consists of six lines with 69 stations (including five on-street tram stops in the centre).[125] An expansion programme is underway[126] which will create four new lines to add to the current three and will be at least 99 stops, 62 more than in 2010. Manchester city centre is also serviced by over a dozen heavy and light rail-based park and ride sites.[127]

The city has one of the most extensive bus networks outside London with over 50 bus companies operating in the Greater Manchesterregion radiating from the city. In 2011, 80% of public transport journeys in Greater Manchester were made by bus, amounting to 220 million passenger journeys by bus each year.[128] Following deregulation in 1986, the bus system was taken over by GM Buses, which after privatisation was split into GM Buses North and GM Buses South and at a later date these were taken over by First Greater Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester respectively.[129] First Greater Manchester also operates a three route zero-fare bus service, called Metroshuttle, which carries 2.8 million commuters a year[128] around Manchester's business districts.[130] Stagecoach Manchester is the Stagecoach Group's largest subsidiary and operates around 690 buses.[131] One of its services is the 192 bus service, the busiest bus route in the UK.[132]

An extensive canal network, including the Manchester Ship Canal, was built to carry freight from the Industrial Revolution onward; the canals are still maintained, though now largely repurposed to leisure use.[133] In 2012, plans were approved to introduce a water taxi service between Manchester city centre and MediaCityUK at Salford Quays.[134]

 

Courtousy of wikipedia.org

 

 

 

 

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