Manchester, so much to answer for (and all of it ace)

Mancunians are a pretty special kind of people. I know I’m biased because I am one, but its clear from talking to incomers to the area just how much this fine city gets under your skin. Manchester is a beautiful city, inside and out. Its people have more heart that they know what to do with and I’m blessed to have been born and bred here, and I’ve always felt that way.

Mancunians are a breed apart, different in outlook and temperament to their cousins in Liverpool and across the Pennines into Yorkshire. The rivalry may be fierce, but it is for the most part good humoured and affectionate. 

Manchester is an industrial city. It blossomed, bloomed and boomed during the industrial revolution and was known as Cottonopolis. From Manchester came the first passenger railway, the first computer and the invention of graphene. It was the birthplace of the Pankhurst’s and Karl Marx lived here for a time. We created a whole genre of music, and we’ve got famous actors, poets, writers and artists coming out of our ears. But what makes Mancunians special (apart from absolutely everything)?

Manchester, so much to answer for (and all of it ace)

© The Manchester Bee Company, 2017

We bloody love Manchester. We really bloody love Manchester. We’re incredibly proud of where we’ve come from and what a glorious, inclusive, cosmopolitan, historic, forward-thinking city it is. We love that we’re good at music, sports, science and the arts. We love our industrial heritage and our industrious nature. Manchester is awash with entrepreneurial spirit, we are grafters, thinkers and doers. We are rich in social history and compassion. 

Manchester is a city filled with many different kinds of people. City fans, United fans, indie kids, goths, we have a beautiful LGBT community who bring more to Manchester than I think even they realise. We have people from all over the world coming to live and work here. We have several huge universities and it seems that most people who come to Manchester to study never really go home again afterwards.

Mancunians are not generally intrusive people, but if someone is looking lost, upset or in trouble, we will step in and offer to help if we can. We are an incredibly kind people, sharing what we have with those we meet with no expectation of a reward beyond thanks.

We make eye contact on public transport, we talk to our neighbours and our neighbour’s neighbours. We’ll nod hello to strangers on the street. We rally round when people need us, we join together to show the world our collective strength. We are Manchester. 

Mancunian women have a reputation for being strong, some people call us battleaxes. Well, we are strong, we can be fierce, but we’d do owt for anyone and woe betide anyone who looked at our kids the wrong way.

Manchester is a diverse and wonderful city. Its people are full of good humour, with notable funny Mancunians including Les Dawson, Steve Coogan, Victoria Wood and Caroline Aherne, to name just a small handful.

Music has always been important to us, but we’re not *just* all about Oasis and The Stone Roses. The Halle Orchestra are resident here, and we have the world famous Chetham’s School of Music in the city. But yes, you’re right, we do love a bit of indie around here – Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Happy Mondays.

Tony Wilson is often quoted as saying “But this is Manchester, we do things differently here.” And we do.

We have beautiful green spaces, great parks, botanical gardens, wonderful architecture. We are a city and a people looking forward to the future, whilst embracing and taking pride in our industrial past. 

Pride is important to us. We are Proud Mancs. We’ve always been Proud Mancs. We are proud of our roots, our achievements, our attitude and our compassion. We are proud to be from this amazing city. This gorgeous, gleaming metropolis we call Cottonopolis. Its streets packed with history and hidden gems, its eye always on the future. 

I asked my friend Bob about what he thought made Mancunians special. He gave this lovely answer…

“Going to Love Train at the Ritz. Rubbing shoulders with goths and beardy old leather-clad rockers in Jilly’s back in the day. We’re such a strong community, even the venues have their own personalities. They come and go, Jilly’s and Hacienda have gone, but still loved and never forgotten. The city itself is our extended family. The City of Manchester stadium as the train pulls into Piccadilly. Beetham Tower on the horizon as the bus approaches Salford. It’s iconic from every angle and every time you pass a ‘Welcome to Manchester’ sign it’s a homecoming, whether you were born there or are adopted by the city, its people and its heart.”

Mancunians. We’re brave, bold, funny, kind, loving, we have heart and soul in spades. Int that right r kid?

9 responses to “Manchester, so much to answer for (and all of it ace)

  1. I’m one of those who came for uni & never really went home. I ran away for a couple of years when things didn’t go the way I’d planned but life brought me back soon enough xx

  2. Been in an affair with that beautiful city since the first time I touched the ground there several years ago! I am always happy when I’m there and full of dread when it’s time to leave! ❤️

  3. I couldn’t have put it better myself. I was born in Manchester and even though I gee up in greater Manchester, nothing is greater than the city itself.

  4. Lesley Kincey

    Love it, well said. When I left Manchester to go to college in Twickenham, I couldn’t believe the way people ignored each other and never looked up on the tube. My friend and I used to love doing crazy things to see what response we got! We are also responsible for the fact that everyone has free access to open coutryside as a result of the Kinder Trespass which was organised by the Manchester branch of the British Workers Sports federation. We’ve never been a city to stand around and do nothing, as the Peterloo massacre proves, 60 – 80 thousand gathered that day in 1819 to demand the reform of Parliamentary representation, 15 people were killed and hundreds injured when the cavalry charged into the crowd! Manchester Youth Theatre in the late 60s/early 70s, was responsible for nurturing talents such as Mike Leigh, Paul Seed, Alun Williams and David Bamber. Amazing city, amazing times.

  5. Ah you’ve made me want to visit all the way from Cornwall!

  6. Wonderfully put, from one battleaxe to another x

  7. This is EVERYTHING. If you dont bloody love Manchester are you even Manc though? Best city in all the world by far with the warmest hearts and the best accent ever. X

  8. Your post is amazing and sums us up perfectly! I had to chuckle… we DO make eye contact on public transport! Something that always confused me in London – we walk into shops and say hello and start chatting to random people, it’s not the done thing down there… I always received strange looks and don’t get me started on the time I asked for a bacon muffin in a butty shop! We are awesome, we truly are – we’ve shown the world how awesome we are and how big our love is and love conquers all. Our music, food (don’t forget Black Pudding), people, just everything… even the rain doesn’t stop us, if anything we embrace it! Sim xx

  9. This post needs etching into marble!

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