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Lickers’ Alley, Fishy tales, Mad Markets – a guided tour.

Guided tour of the city’s markets past and present with Peter O’Grady

Published on August 7th 2009.

Lickers’ Alley, Fishy tales, Mad Markets – a guided tour.

Manchester’s first markets were held in Acresfield -or St Ann’s Square as we know it. In 1223 the Lord of the Manor was given the right to hold an annual fair. The height of Mancunian sophistication in those days was demonstrated by our habit of pelting the first pig into the market with a hail of acorns. Nowadays, we prefer a hog-roast and a glass of Pinot Noir. Times change.

The early markets were riotous affairs and were moved to Castlefield when the area around Acresfield became more gentrified. An early example of nimby-ism perhaps?

But now, the markets are back. They are also much more frequent as well as being more refined affairs.

Green Badge City Tourist Guide, Peter O’Grady (you might remember him as one of the former owners of the Market Restaurant), has devised a guided walk around Manchester’s famous (and not so famous) markets in the city centre.

On the way you will be introduced to some of the traders, get to taste some samples and hear some fascinating stories about the products, the markets and their place in the story of Manchester.

For instance guests will visit the site where the very first Markets were held and see the splendid old Smithfield Market façade (once the largest market in the country). People will also find out where were the cheapest veg and cuts of meat to be had – and at midnight too?

There’s even the story of Manchester’s ‘Lickers’ Alley’ - a street where you could get ice cream and typhoid too. Very tasty.

You can even get a 10% discount off Afternoon Tea at the Market Restaurant.

Meet: at the Visitor Information Centre, Town Hall Extension, Lloyd Street

When: at 11.30am (walks last approx 90 minutes): Saturdays 8/22 August, 12/26/ September, 10 Oct.

Price: £5

Book: Call Peter O’Grady 07923 925566 or email peter.ogrady@btinternet.com or through the website mancuniantours.com.

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