Manchester is, sadly, in the news all over the world. Reports of horrors are coming in thick and fast, and words cannot do justice to the shock and despair the city and its population are enduring.
But this is not Manchester. James Corden taped a special segment for his Late Late Show, mentioning the spirit of the English town, its football teams and some illustrious people who have called it home.
Besides Man U and Man City, the Suffragettes and the computer, Madchester is a cultural city. And whilst we should never forget the horrible event of this May 2017, we should also always remember Manchester as…
The city of music: It seems most British superstars come from the North. There must be something in the air, because Madchester gave the world seemingly everyone: from the Bee Gees to The Smiths, Oasis to New Order, Joy Division to Take That. Bands do not, ever, stop pouring forth. With The 1975 set to take over the world and Blossoms’s first album peaking in charts almost instantly, there is nothing for it: Brit music is the sound of Manchester.
The city of arts: HOME, the new centre for contemporary arts, is an international hub of cutting edge cinema, theatre and visual art. Created by merging two Mancunian institutions – Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company – HOME is the place to be. Museum of the Year 2015, Whitworth Art Gallery was founded in 1889 and has recently gotten a facelift. The Gallery in the Park – the first in England – is time and again noted for its excellence.
The city of literature: The city of Anthony Burgess and Thomas de Quincey, Manchester has a way with words. Karl Marx was there, observing working life and so was punk poet John Cooper Clarke. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also here you will find the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, Chetham Library.
The city of textiles: Dubbed Cottonopolis during the Industrial Revolution, cotton has long been Manchester’s thing. Fast-forward to today and you would be surprised to realise that textile is still very much at the centre of what the city does. With the resurgence of the Made in Britain appeal, the northern city’s textile industry is once again busy.
A rich past and a thriving present, Manchester shouldn’t, and will not be remembered as the city of terror. Instead, it is the city of culture, where rock legends and cotton rub elbows with cutting edge art and ancient libraries. Lest we forget.