Browse

Abstract only
Steve Hanson

Exchange is a process, and it is two buildings in Manchester. These are the Cotton Exchange building, now the Royal Exchange Theatre, and the Corn Exchange. As well as being monuments to capitalism, the Cotton Exchange was tied up with overseas slavery, particularly in the American South. The Corn Exchange is associated with more localised struggles for living standards. ‘Exchange’ was a general term before Manchester capitalism, but it emerges from the other side of nineteenth-century industrialism – which Manchester drove – as a markedly different thing. Global, globalising and highly divisive, this entry explores the tensions within the term ‘exchange’ in the city of Manchester.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Steve Hanson

Manchester mythology posits a city of warm, gritty, authentic and rooted subjects. It projects an image of itself as tough but ‘homely’. Yet the speed at which the city tears down and rebuilds presents an opposite view. Many buildings are entirely destroyed, but the façade – the frontage – is often left standing. These ‘fronts’ are the second Janus face of Manchester myth. They are also ‘fronts’ as in the frontiers of revanchism, as capitalism finds yet another space to cream surplus from – either directly off or to the detriment of – its citizens. Here is the tragic face, the counterpart to the garrulous myth of the swaggering, cheeky Mancunian on the make. Here is the evidence of Manchester as a radical right city.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Sean R. Mills

The human sense of touch allows us to understand the world through texture and shape and enables the manipulation and embodiment of tools. Neurophysiological and psychophysical research has identified the exquisitely sensitive neural and psychological mechanisms that capture information through the skin. Ecologically, this information is used to guide behaviour and control movement. However, as Manchester thrums at our fingertips, these capabilities are hijacked by the motion of the city. Through vibrotactile psychogeography, this chapter explores the interface between the vibration of transport, construction and material texture, and the physiological machinery of sensation.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Sarah Sayeed

Flower looks at the role fauna plays in Manchester. From the beauty of hand-picked flowers to the mosaic memorials on the pavements by the Town Hall, this chapter studies the symbolism and history of these flowers and the importance their role plays in defining the city. It gives a quick overview of the Peterloo massacre by comparing those injured and killed by the dragoons to flowers that had been trampled on.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Matthew Steele

Manchester is not a city readily associated with green space. Yet, in order to alleviate inner-city slum conditions and poor air quality, it was the Garden City Movement that the city’s municipal authorities looked to when planning new housing estates on land to the south of the city centre in the interwar years. Subsequently referred to as Wythenshawe Garden Suburb, residents had access to their own private gardens which they were encouraged to look after and cultivate. This chapter looks at the importance of these private gardens to early residents of the estate, and how these once-valued green spaces have fared after almost one hundred years of change.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Becky Alexis-Martin

This chapter explores the connections between Manchester, Hiroshima and peace through the ginkgo tree. The green spaces of Manchester are the adopted home of a living fossil. The paired lobes of the leaves of Ginkgo biloba are marked by prehistoric striations, unchanged for 270 million years. Like Homo sapiens, the ginkgo is the sole survivor of a once ample family tree. Unlike us, a single tree can survive for over two thousand years, outliving our regimes and empires. The ginkgo has somehow persisted, seemingly oblivious to the melodramas of both dinosaurs and humans. However, isotopic traces of our human age are sequestered away within the ginkgo’s trunk during each growing season, to be accessed only by the dark art of dendrochronology. Through the growth and planting of the Manchester-Hiroshima ginkgo trees, the histories of two cities have become entangled as peace becomes globalised.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Cassie Britland

This chapter explores the history of Dukinfield Cemetery in Greater Manchester, and the writer’s personal connection to one of Manchester’s most notorious historical crimes. The writer is looking for the unmarked grave of Thomas and Elizabeth Hannah Britland, the victims of serial poisoner Mary Ann Britland – the first woman hanged at Strangeways Prison and the writer’s distant ancestor. The chapter includes nineteenth-century descriptions of the newly opened cemetery, and reflects on its significance to the community. It ends with a spot of light gravedigging.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Jenna C. Ashton

A narrative connecting archives of mothers, daughters and a Russian childhood. The story of Alice Pitfield, encountered through a curl of her hair and a plait cut from her mother’s, found in the Royal Northern College of Music archives; building a new archive of hair-stories: images and narratives from women in Manchester Art Gallery in 2016. Alice’s curl and her mother’s plait, alongside the hair-stories of other women, offer us a different type of Manchester. Manchester-as-woman, mother, sister. Manchester as playful, tender, corporeal and vulnerable.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Steve Hanson

Homeless gives the lie to the Manchester bee myth – a myth about solidarity and warmth, of togetherness, of a city of benevolent left-wing radicals. Here is Manchester, both old and new, as a radical right city: buy yourself a new shirt, get yourself into the game, or die in a doorway.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Qaisra Shahraz

Here, immigration is discussed and the negative connotations of the word are drawn into question by dismissing its use as a political weapon to win votes or cause dissent. The chapter examines attitudes to media coverage of immigrants and refugees, and questions what it means to be English.

in Manchester