Friday, 21 November 2014

The pubs of Manchester

This website will take you on a tour of hundreds of Manchester's pubs, many long since forgotten. Many entries are well illustrated with a brief history. There is a good list of useful links to related sites.

You will come across pub names such as the Engineers and Filecutters Arms,  the Greengrocers Arms and the Isonomy Inn, all three close together in Ancoats and the Bundle of Sticks in Boundary Street East. Visit the City's medieval pubs, most long demolished and read about some of the characters who ran or frequented these hostelries.

Learn also about some of the breweries that have long since gone our of business. Kay's of Ardwick, Cronshaw's of Hulme and Groves and Whitnall for exampe.

The Band On The Wall, an Historical Archive

One of Manchester's premier music venues, The Band On The Wall has operated as a jazz club since the mid 1970's. This was formerly a public house, The George and Dragon , Swan Street. The pub first opened its doors in 1803 although the building has undergone many changes since then.  As far back as the 1930's the pub boasted a stage on which musicians regularly performed and it was at that time the nickname "Band On The Wall" was first coined.  The adjoining building, now the venue's cafe bar "Picturehouse" has been in the same ownership as the pub since the early 20th century, if not longer. It has had many roles since it was built in 1865 including conversion to a picture house in 1915.

The George & Dragon as a Wilson's house.

The Band On The Wall website has a superb archive. This documents the meticulously researched history of the building and adjoining Picturehouse.
Early days as a music venue

Swan Street is in one of Manchester's oldest districts, an area with a fascinating history.  The archive tells the story of the neighbourhood. Smithfield Market, Little Italy, Ancoats and New Cross all feature as do violent gangs such as the Scuttlers. The music heritage of Manchester is a strong feature of this archive; "Broadsides", cheap song sheets were printed in the area and the Ancoats Brotherhood was founded by Charles Rowley to bring serious music to the streets.

Smithfield Market
This website is highly recommended, it makes fascinating reading. If jazz music is also to your taste then there is even more of interest.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Coming Home

Beth Kucera has an antique business in Madison, Wisconsin.  Visiting England six years ago, she and her husband came across a cup commemorating the hundredth anniversary of methodism in Furness Vale.

The cup itself is now more than a hundred years old and Beth is very kindly donating it to the History Society. We hope to be able to show this cup at a meeting in the near future.

Do take a look at Beth's own blog. Amongst her wide range of topics she often writes about Britain and our history and the pages of her website contain a great number of interesting stories.