Tag Archives: The Angel

New CD to be released on 19th February

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On Friday 19 February 2016, English roots musical collective Edward II release ‘Manchester’s Improving Daily‘, a collection of rare and historic songs, known as the Manchester Broadside Ballads, dating back over 200 years to the Industrial Revolution.

Beautifully designed, packaged and presented, the physical CD is the culmination of a 15-month project, ‘Manchester’s Improving Daily’.  accompanied by a book, written by social archaeologist David Jennings, explaining the history of the songs and providing an informative commentary to these rare glimpses into the lives of working class Mancunians in the Victorian times.

The CD is to be distributed through Cadiz Music and can be ordered through any good record store, this website and all main digital outlets.  Physical copies only will include the book about  the broadsides.

Ordering info:-

Artist: Edward II

Distributor: Cadiz Music

Album Title: Manchester’s Improving Daily

Catalogue No. E2MID1819

Peterloo

The growing urban discontent that led to the infamous meeting in 1819, like other occasions of civil unrest covered in the Manchester Ballads, grew out of a combination of circumstances that, seen in hindsight, were almost bound to end in conflict.

On the 16th August 1819, the area around St Peters Square in Manchester was the site of a peaceful protest that ended in bloody confrontation with the authorities. Quickly dubbed ‘Peterloo’, the name is a satirical comment on what was seen as the cowardly actions of the soldiers and yeoman who attacked unarmed civilians. By using the term Peterloo, protesters and social commentators were mocking the troops with a name redolent of the famous battle at Waterloo, where the bravery of men was taken for granted, and a matter of national pride. Peterloo, in contrast, was seen by most as a matter of national shame. The speakers platform had banners arranged that read

“REFORM, UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, EQUAL REPRESENTATION
and LOVE”

however, events on the day prove just how hard the fight was for the working classes in industrial Manchester and Salford.

The French Revolution of 1789 was still in the minds of many radicals in England, and the word of various activists added to the unease that many workers felt under the increasingly dominant and often abusive grip of the factory owners. Thomas Paine’s rhetoric was typical, and captured hearts and minds across the working classes.

 

Peterloo

Nothing New Under the Sun (or clouds…)

The Great Flood of 1872

The Great Flood Lyrics

The River Medlock rises in the hills above Oldham and empties into the River Irwell in central Manchester

The Medlock has reportedly burst its banks and flooded areas of the city on a fairly regular basis. However it was on 13th July 1872,  after two days of torrential rain which takes its place most notably in the history books, as this account from a Manchester newspaper, written at the time, describes:

“It was about half past twelve when the floods came … the banks of the Medlock were overflowed to such an alarming extent and the first intimation of the flood was the sweeping away of a footbridge near to Philips Park … It must have been very strongly fixed, for it not only bore the rush of the flood for a considerable time, but it resisted it to such an extent that the water backed up for a considerable distance. The flood increased in depth and power, and at a length swept in a fierce torrent over a large portion of ground apportioned to the Roman Catholics at the Bradford Cemetery carrying away not only tombstones but actually washing out of their graves, a large number of dead bodies. Indeed from the first indication of danger, so far as works on the banks of the Medlock were concerned, dead bodies were observed floating down the river, and those watching could easily see that the bodies had been disinterred out of the Bradford cemetery. It is impossible to calculate how many had been swept out of their final resting place but the number is not short of fifty.” (source:Manchester Courier, 15 July 1872)

So, no great shakes for soggy electrical cables and knocked down gazebos, but interesting that this most remarkable of events took place in early July, just when we all least expect it.  There really is nothing new under the sun, or a grey cloudy Mancunian sky!

The full version of this article can be found at http://www.medlockvalley.org.uk/Sites/MedlockValley/Objects/PDFs/The_Great_Flood.pdf

The Angel in the not so heavenly Angel Meadows

Ragged School

Most of the buildings from the industrial era have been lost to gentrification, development and demolition, but where they remain they provide evocative indicators of the way social identities were played out.   Domestic housing was usually cramped, damp and with few, if any, creature comforts.   As a result, many people socialised in communal buildings and in public spaces. This was often done via the demarcation of clear – and often clearly labelled – social spaces such as markets and licensed premises. The Angel Inn, on the edges of Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter, is a perfect example. Although much altered and rebuilt since the Angel Inn of the eighteenth century, this is the site of the pub that is mentioned in the 1859 version of ‘The Soldiers Farewell to Manchester’, the first broadside in the Manchester Ballad collection.   Today, the Angel Inn stands in the middle of the area dominated by the new ‘Noma’ development by the Co-operative group, with apartments and plush office blocks now surrounding the pub.