The Royal Exchange Manchester to celebrate 100 years

The building is asking for people to share their stories, memories and photographs
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Later this year, The Royal Exchange Manchester will be celebrating 100 years since the building was officially opened by King George V and Queen Mary following a seven-year extension and remodelling.

To help them celebrate, The Royal Exchange is asking for people to share any stories, memories or pictures they may have associated with the building.

Over the years the Grade II listed building has seen many changes.

Lots will remember the antique style shopping centre in the basement and Brannigan’s nightclub, a popular haunt which was also in the basement and accessed by a door at one end of the Arcade.

In the 1950s, The Royal Exchange even had an air terminal check-in on the Cross St side, in the site which is now occupied by Sostrene Grene.

“While we’re clearly not expecting any memories from around the time of the official opening, we are hoping to hear tales from people about their memories of our shops and cafes from over the years,” said building manager Tim White.

“We know many people have fond memories of the shopping centre in the basement or partying the night away at Brannigan’s so we’d love to hear about them, as well as any others.”

The Royal Exchange Manchester is now home to a unique collection of independent boutique shops, premium brands, health and beauty as well as a choice of eateries catering for different tastes and dietary requirements. 

Highlights include Fjallraven – the first stand-alone UK store, home of contemporary outdoor wear and the hugely popular Kanken backpack (the store also has 20% off everything, except Kankens, all weekend until close of business on Monday); quirky footwear and accessories brand Irregular Choice; and Arthur Kay Jewellers – the oldest shop at The Royal Exchange, it has been in the building for over 125 years.

Food and drink options include Annies, a popular traditional tea room and restaurant owned by Jennie McAlpine (Fizz from Coronation Street) and her husband Chris; plant-based vegan eatery Vertigo; and The Remedy Kitchen – a free-from café offering a dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free menu.

Soon, there will also be a members-only gym in the basement, providing an innovative fitness space of the highest standards.

In addition, the building is home to the much-loved Royal Exchange Theatre, a beautiful venue that has welcomed so many esteemed actors over the years, and which we hope to see open and performing again very soon.

So, if anyone has any stories or pictures they’d like to share on social media please remember to tag @royalexchangemanchester (Facebook and Instagram) or @TheRoyalExMcr (twitter) and hashtag #ExchangeMemories. Alternatively, you can email frontofhouse@manchesterroyalexchange.com with #ExchangeMemories in the subject line.

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