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Top 10 tours of this year’s Manchester Histories Festival

Manchester Histories Festival returns from 3-12 June for 10 days of events celebrating the familiar and revealing new and hidden histories and heritage from across Greater Manchester

Walks and tours are always a big part of the festival and this year is no different. There are walking tours, cycling tours, bus tours, musical tours and running tours. Yes, running tours.

We’ve put together our Top 10 tours of this year’s Manchester Histories Festival.

And we’ve teamed up with Manchester Histories Festival to give away an exclusive private tour of Salford Museum and Art Gallery followed by afternoon tea for four people. This can be taken at a time selected by the winner after the festival – to enter click here.

1. Manchester’s LGBT Centre: We were born in the 80s

Just as Thatcher’s government were enacting Section 28, Manchester became the first place to build an entirely publicly funded, purpose designed centre for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The story will be told on this walking tour. 2pm – 3.15pm Saturday 4 June. Meet at Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square M2 5DB (by the small pride flag in the pavement). FREE / Booking essential.

2. Something’s In the Water!

From lost rivers, fantastic bridges and devastating floods, to industry, tourism and wildlife. Morag Rose, co-founder of The Loiterers Resistance Movement (organisers of unique psychogeographical explorations of Manchester), and Steve Millington, a senior lecturer in Geography at MMU, will lead this fascinating walk that will explore how water has shaped Manchester. Cottonopolis, engineering wonders, commodification, profits, public health, and regeneration will all be topics of discussion. 2pm – 4pm Thursday 9 June. Meeting point confirmed on booking. Free / Booking essential

3. Quarry Bank present LipService Theatre Company

The Gregs, one of the most significant local families that you have never heard of. LipService Theatre company will bring the histories of Quarry Bank to life on this promenade walking tour of the city centre. 1pm & 4pm Saturday 4 June. Meet at Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street M2 1NL. £12 / Booking essential.

4. Angel Meadow Tour

This nineteenth century Manchester slum was considered so diabolical it was re-christened ‘hell upon earth’ by Friedrich Engels. Based on brand new book ‘Angel Meadow: Victorian Britain’s Most Savage Slum’ by Dean Kirby, Emma Fox of Manchester Guided Tours will lead a walking tour of this now desirable residential area and award-winning park. 2:30 Saturday 4 June. Meet at Victoria Station near Java Bar Espresso No.4 Cigar Alley, Todd Street, M3 1WY. £8 / Booking essential

5. Stories of Women in Science

Manchester Girl Geeks (love the name!) lead this walking tour of Manchester’s city centre featuring stories of Manchester’s scientific women. 2pm – 4pm Sunday 5 June. Meeting point confirmed on booking. £4.50 (includes booklet & refreshments) / Booking essential

6. Cottonopolis

Join Manchester-based folk trio The Bailey Sisters for a walk, talk and songs about the history of the Manchester textile trade. Starting with the Flemish weavers’ arrival in Manchester, The Bailey Sisters will take you on a journey around the sites – and some of the sounds – of Manchester’s cotton history. Learn about the Cropper Lads and the Luddites, the world’s first factories. Discover what Marx and Engels thought about our city, and how a statue of Abraham Lincoln came to be here, as well as how to kiss a shuttle! 2pm – 4pm Sunday 5 June. Meet at Cathedral Gardens, near the entrance to the National Football Museum, M4 3BG An easy walk of about 1.5 miles total, suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. £5 / Booking essential

7. Godlee Observatory Tour

Set high above the streets this is a unique opportunity to get inside one of Manchester’s true hidden gems, where local astronomers have gathered for over 100 years. 2pm – 4.30pm Thursday 9 June. Meet at the Sackville Building, University of Manchester, Sackville Street M1 3BB. £5 / Early booking recommended / Booking essential by post / payable by cheque to MANCHESTER ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY. FAO Anthony W Cross.

8. WoManchester Cycle Tour

A six-mile guided cycle tour visiting sites associated with the six women shortlisted for a new statue as part of the WoManchester Project (Elizabeth Raffald, Elizabeth Gaskell, Margaret Ashton, Emmeline Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, and Louise Da-Cocodia). Hear stories and song about these women who made significant contributions in Manchester and beyond. 11am-2pm Sunday 12 June. Meet outside Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square M60 2LA. / Early booking recommended / Booking essential

9. A history of walking in ManchesterTour

Join the Loiterers Resistance Movement and follow in the footsteps that made Manchester…. Encounter heroes, villains, revolutionaries, artists, poets, philosophers, monsters and mystics, and explore how the city has been shaped by transport and why Mancunians have fought for the right to wander our cities. 2pm – 4pm Sunday 5 June 2016. Meeting point confirmed on booking. Free / Booking essential

10. Manchestour

Like your tours just that little more energetic? Manchestour is a running tour around the city centre and its surroundings. 8am Saturday 11 June & 9am Sunday 12 June. Meet at the Albert Memorial Albert Square M2 5DB. FREE

Find out more about Manchester Histories Festival 2016 at #MHF2016

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