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Manchester Histories Festival 24 Feb - 4 March 2012

The City Celebrates Its Rich History In A Festival Of Information, Entertainment And Fun

Published on January 31st 2012.

Manchester Histories Festival 24 Feb - 4 March 2012

Did you hear about the German prisoner of war who played in goal for Manchester City …with a broken neck? 

Had Scott of the Antarctic taken a wrong turn when he signed the Manchester Museum guest book?

Find out the answers to these teasers at Manchester Histories Festival, 24 February to 4 March 2012. 

Manchester Histories Festival brings a new, radical approach to exploring history and is not afraid to use cutting edge technologies to engage people of all ages

A digital treasure hunt, a rock and roll walking tour, the original plans for the Mancunian Way, a family vintage bike ride, community archeology projects, a football pub walk and the city heliport that never was are just some of the 100 plus events that are jostling to reinvigorate public perceptions of history.

From anarchic nineteenth century street gangs with brass-tipped clogs and soaped-down fringes to Turing’s work on the Enigma Code, the ten-day festival takes a challenging new approach to the familiar and lesser explored histories of the region. You simply need to know why hundreds of Sioux Indians set up camp on the banks of the Irwell in Salford and how it felt for 19-year-old celebrity wannabe Frances Lockett from Hyde to be crowned Britain ’s first Cotton Queen. 

Saturday 3 March is Celebration Day and provides a focus for the second Manchester Histories Festival. Spend the day immersed in the history of Greater Manchester at Manchester Town Hall, Friends’ Meeting House and at venues across the city. 

Other highlights of the festival, which is a partnership between University of Manchester , Manchester Metropolitan University and Renaissance North West, include: 

- The chance to climb 280ft to the top of Manchester Town Hall ’s 134-year-old clock tower (25/26 February and 3/4 March)

- A family cycle ride alongside penny farthing and other vintage cycles (26 February, starting from Bolton and Stockport )

- A debate about the overseas ownership of the city’s two football clubs (2 March), featuring Gary James, author of ‘Manchester A Football History’, Andy Walsh from FC United and Dave Wallace, former MCFC fan-on-the-board

- Cult theatre group Lip Service’s comedic and cake-fuelled tribute to the women who made Manchester (4 March), part theatre, part walking tour.

Claire Turner, festival director, said: “Manchester Histories Festival brings a new, radical approach to exploring history and is not afraid to use cutting edge technologies to engage people of all ages and historical experience, from school pupils and college students to family history enthusiasts and museum curators. 

“Partnership is key to our success. Museums, galleries, academics, archives, local and family history societies, cultural organisations and community groups across Greater Manchester have helped to create the event, delivering the activity and sharing their knowledge and experience.” 

The first Community History Awards, chaired by BBC’s Ranvir Singh, will recognise and reward successful partnerships exploring Greater Manchester history between schools and community groups and an archive, gallery, library, museum or university. 

The first Manchester Histories Festival took place in March 2009. Over 4,000 people demonstrated their enthusiasm for Greater Manchester’s history at Manchester ’s Town Hall. 

To see the whole programme, visit: www.manchesterhistoriesfestival.org.uk. 0161 306 1982 E: info@manchesterhistoriesfestival.org.uk Find Manchester Histories Festival on Facebook and on Twitter @mcrhistfest

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