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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Manchester U.K.

What do you know about Manchester? Have you been to Manchester? and what reminds you of Manchester the most?

I would like to hear from foreign people, but would like to hear from anyone in the U.K. outside of Manchester.

Even if you have not heard anything of Manchester i would still like to know.

Thank you!!!
 

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I am from Spain and I've been to Manchester twice, one week each time. I have a couple of English friends from Manchester so I went to visit them. They had been in Madrid a couple of years earlier and they invited me to visit Manchester so I took the opportunity.

My first visit was in January and it snowed a lot, the second visit was in October and it rained a lot :) but I had a great time on both occasions.

Things that I remember: the Mancunian Way, the remains of an old Roman fort, an area with canals and old industrial buildings (my friends told me the Industrial Revolution began around those places), certain pubs where we went, Rochdale Road, Middleton, Manchester Town Hall, Mam Tor, my problems with your accent :) and Lancashire hot pot :) .

Of course there were a lot more things but this has been a brief summary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Diegodbs

Anyone else, please let me know even if you have not heard of Manchester.
 

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Things that I remember: the Mancunian Way, the remains of an old Roman fort, an area with canals and old industrial buildings (my friends told me the Industrial Revolution began around those places),
The canal area is Castlefield, I love it round there.


Well I was born and raised in Blackpool, spent two years at university in London and the transferred and am now at the university of Manchester and as I have just finished my first year there I absolutely love it. Much more manageable then London in terms of size and the nightlife is amazing for students and really centralized. Quite a lot of crime but I've never personally been a victim of it so I'm not too arsed about that. The city just seems to be buzzing all the time.
 

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Never been there, but I know about your football teams and about the Englands second city fight with Birmingham. That's about it.
 

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what reminds you of Manchester the most?
For some reason, Montréal's rue Frontenac between rues Ontario and Hochelaga makes me imagine Manchester...pleasantly gritty, hardworking, simultaneously neighbourly and scary (although to a far lesser extent here, mind you), from which the fright be the reaction to swarms of loitering youth.



Have you been to Manchester?
Yes -- I remember it most for being where my relation I was with at the time decided to revert to putting on make-up.
 

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Don't Stare!
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Yeah i have but i haven't been to the center of the city which sucks.I prefer Manchester to London as its less touristy and is more about self pride(what Ive seen).I have been to Old Trafford stadium tour which rocked.Also the Trafford center is the best is my favorite shopping center with the titanic setting and the different models in the center which made your feel like you were in a different place.
 

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:cheers:Wikipedia
Boddingtons is an English beer, originally from Manchester, United Kingdom that has been brewed for more than 200 years.......The Strangeways Brewery was founded by two grain merchants, Thomas Caister and Thomas Fry, in 1778. [1] The location of the brewery, just outside the city centre, was chosen to avoid a grain tax levied by local mills that belonged to Manchester Grammar School.
:cheers::cheers::cheers:
 

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To be honest, I don't know much about Manchester. What stands out most to me is the Manchester United Football team and their fans (ever see EuroTrip? Fans like those...). The other major thing that stands out to me is the importance of Manchester in the industrialization revolution.

I've never been to Manchester, but I'd like to one day.
 

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perthistan
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I lived in greater manchester, Stockport to be precise. Lived there for a year and attended Reddish Vale high school (I think that was the name). Great experience for me as I now live in Australia.

Loved the 'tough' nature of the place. I think mancunians in general are very 'sturdy' and strong, which for an Australian male from Perth is something to be admired.

Enjoyed living in a rowhouse, was a novelty for me at the time.
 

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Manchester is one of my favourite cities on Earth. Coolest nightlife ever (if only the Hacienda was still going, and New Order were still young).

Canal street is brilliant, everyone's up for a party.

I'd move there in a minute. The city punches above its weight. It can only get better.
 

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I didn't know much about Manchester before moving here but after these two months I truly can say it's an amazing city ; )
 

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Well, last time I've been to Manchester was more than 20 years ago. This city seemed to me just like if it had been bombed. Princess road, the pretty 2 lanes road I used to live on 10 years before was being widened to an ugly 4 lanes freeway so all the Moss Side area was being bulldozed including my former house. Not far from Moss Side, Hulme, the other area I use to know seemed even poorer and more decrepit than before.
Also I remember plenty of buses an minibuses from different companies and different colors that were challenging for public transportation. And an ugly shopping mall in the city center above a bus terminal. Arnedale if I'm not wrong.
I'm sorry, it's certainly not what you would have like to hear if you're a Mancunian but it reflects my memories.
I've heard that things have drastically improved though.
 

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ONE WORLD
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Manchester was one of the best cities I ever visited. Id just ended a long term relationship and went on my travels again, finally within my own country. I mapped out where, when, what i wanted to see from the different city quarters (Northern Quarter, Millennium Quarter, Castlefield Canal District, Salford Quays, Chinatown, Piccadilly etc), and in the evening picked up the courage to go into a club on my own. Normally in London I imagine if you did that I could conceivably spend the whole night in the corner watching the crowd. However Manchester proved very different, I made many friends that night, it was absurdly friendly and a complete contrast to down South. I had a great time, and have concluded the old buildings in Manchester are grander, taller and more ornate than the ones in London, though they are fewer. I was blown away by the use of ornate domed towers on street corners and department stores, hotels and civic buildings, which I thought superlative.

My one dodgy time was when I picked up a stalker the second night, who followed me zigzagging through the city centre and ended up waiting outside my hostel, which was pretty weird, but kind of exciting in a severely twisted kinda way.
 

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Well, last time I've been to Manchester was more than 20 years ago. This city seemed to me just like if it had been bombed. Princess road, the pretty 2 lanes road I used to live on 10 years before was being widened to an ugly 4 lanes freeway so all the Moss Side area was being bulldozed including my former house. Not far from Moss Side, Hulme, the other area I use to know seemed even poorer and more decrepit than before.
Also I remember plenty of buses an minibuses from different companies and different colors that were challenging for public transportation. And an ugly shopping mall in the city center above a bus terminal. Arnedale if I'm not wrong.
I'm sorry, it's certainly not what you would have like to hear if you're a Mancunian but it reflects my memories.
I've heard that things have drastically improved though.
Yes, it has greatly improved, the mid 80s were probably Manchester's nadir. The ugly shopping mall has had a thorough makeover, the bus terminal underneath is gone, Hulme and Moss Side are much improved (although still some of the poorest areas in the city), the old buildings have been cleaned and/or refurbished and there are loads of good new ones.

I remember visiting Manchester in the 1980s as a child/teen and thinking it was a dump, now it's one of my favourite UK cities.
 

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Anthony Burgess
The Buzzcocks
Joy Division/New Order
James
The Smiths
The Fall
The Happy Mondays
The Stone Roses
Inspiral Carpets
Charlatans
Tony Wilson
 

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I'll split this in two parts. The first was my impressions before I visited and the 2nd a more recent interpretation after seeing the city. The first part may seem rather negative, and it's meant to. It was the real impressions that I, and everyone I knew had of Manchester and the Northern cities where I grew up. So if that bothers you, I apologize. However, the 2nd part does lighten up a quite a bit :O)

Part 1
1st of all, growing up in Australia and New Zealand, Manchester had very little exposure outside the obvious football and music associations. When people visited the UK, or when photos or films were seen of the UK, it was either London (and Oxford, Cambridge etc) or the countryside. No other major city was really known about or discussed. And I'm not surprised why as the sparse imagery that escaped the northern cities were of drab slums or hard core working class hell holds. Grey skies and rain, industrial wastelands and protesting workers, even the grand buildings were caked in black grime and pollution. There was nothing at all endearing that seemed to come out of Manchester.

This was compounded by the majority of British immigrants from the UK were from the North and cities like Manchester. It seemed Londoners and Southerners were happy and content with their globally famous city or towns, but the people of urban centers like Manchester were desperate for escape. Of cause it may have only been images portrayed in the media (the depressing music starting Coronation Street brought shivers up most of our spines and made us eternally glad we were not born in that part of the world) but it wasn't only the media. On the odd occasion I did meet someone who had been to Manchester, usually to visit a long lost relative, their description usually was a short as "total dump".

I couldn't understand how a city could let itself down so much. History has always shown that the Northern cities were such important trade and industrial centers. That grand buildings dominated the cities which were envied around the world. Yet here I was looking at images of places I could only describe as hell, and that's if I was being polite.

I could never understand how one city like London, could still become so famous and so visited, whilst every other city in the country seemed so ignored and destitute. Of cause, London's large size was one factor, but many countries also have large dominating cities, but it doesn't mean all the others become such run down uninspiring places. I simply couldn't understand how the people who lived there could live with this. It wasn't lack of pride, as they were all terrifyingly proud of their city, but they seemed to lack any thought that it could actually be better. It was like improving themselves and their city was a word not in their vocabulary.

Now, I don't know what triggered off the changes that have recently improved their city. Maybe it was immigrants returning home and bringing some of their new idea's with them. Maybe it was the loss of the Olympics to Sydney which highlighted the stark differences in how a city can be beautiful or maybe it was the economy. I have no idea. But since the beginning of this century Manchester and the other northern cities have suddenly bloomed into fascinating and interesting places. Urban redevelopments, improved transportation and infrastructure. Simply cleaning things up such as the grand old buildings and quality modern constructions have all helped.

Part 2
I first visited Manchester in 2001 and a few more times over the next four years. All for business, so unfortunately I didn't get the best opportunity to see the city, but I did get a highlighted tour and a feel for the place. My first impression wasn't terrific though. I remember once where I stayed at the Dury's Inn Hotel, which was quite a nice redeveloped industrial building from memory right on the canal. For breakfast the waitress asked if I wanted a canal view table, and of cause I said yes. What I was presented with was a view to a decayed industrial site and a canal so polluted it was bright orange and red in colour with overgrown weeds along it's banks and rubbish floating downstream. I actually found it difficult to eat.

But the city has certainly improved enormously since then. On later visits I walked through the city center, and enjoyed the fantastic dining and pubs. The city was certainly moving forward. It seems to have learnt that if it wanted business, it has to compete for it. Much like going to a job interview, you put on your best suit, or at the very least dress smartly. A city is no different. It has to look it's best if it wants to compete against other regional centers for corporate headquarters or subsidiaries to move in. It has to become a place where people want to move to, not move away from. And Manchester has now become such a place. And it can complete with London. It's cheaper for a start, and money counts for a lot in corporate locating decisions. But it must also compete with other similar sized cities across the UK and Europe.

The new skyscrapers really give the city a proper urban edge. UK cities, especially the Northern ones, are really perfect for skyscrapers. Many lost a lot of their history during WWII, often to the level where they had little more great historical assets in downtown than their colonial counterparts. Replacing these with lowrise bland architecture does nothing for the urban fabric of the place, but contrasts between the beautiful old buildings and modern quality skyscrapers looks fantastic, at least in my opinion.

Manchester still has a way to go. Although I want to visit it now on a holiday, I don't know if I could make it a full week or two like I would in other competing cities like Berlin, Barcelona or Amsterdam. It needs better transport still. It deserves a proper underground metro and some iconic modern buildings. They type of architecture that becomes known around the world. Coronation street still sends a shudder down my spine, though the street does look a bit better kept these days (though what is it with working class Brit's and loud clashing floral wallpaper?!)

I personally think that if Manchester keeps building on what it has been doing recently, this city has a very bright future. It has to realize that London isn't the only city in the UK capable of attracting attention, though you don't attract attention by just existing, you have to work for it. Instead of whining about London "getting everything" (which you can see so clearly even on these here forums) get out and just do it on their own. The northern urban belt in Britain has something like 20million people in an area the size of Wollongong to Newcastle (Australia) which is four times less populated. If these Australian cities can afford to stand up on their own, so can Manchester and the other major centers. In fact, what better time to attract businesses to Manchester than now, with Boris in charge of London and threatening to cancel or block many skyscraper developments. Promote your city, improve your city and those developers will build there, especially if they can save money.

To sum up my impressions. Yes, I really like Manchester now. I didn't in the past, but that has since changed. It has become a lively, attractive cosmopolitan city with a great future. It's last great hurdle is to stop whining about London. Once this has been achieved, the growth in this city will be formidable.
 

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Really interesting post Justme.

The problem we have in Britain is the dominance of London and this leads to these rather facile 'second city' debates which are rather pointless when you consider that London has the same population as all the other major British cities put together.

I think that the challenge for Manchester is to stop thinking of itself as a northern version of London and concentrate on its own merits. After all, Barcelona doesn't try to be an eastern version of Madrid.

One thing about the way Britain has changed over the last fifty years is that the distinction between the prosperous south and the grim downtrodden north is nothing like as obvious as it once was. The south suffers from congestion, over-development and an over-reliance on a Hugh Grant image to sell itself. The environment in the north, for the most part has improved no end.
 
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