A global powerhouse of a city that’s instantly-recognisable for its rich industrial and historical background, its impressive architecture, vast cultural landscape, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs, famous faces, transport connections, and so much more.
Not to mention, it’s also home to a growing population of more than 2.8 million people – the best people in the world, we might add.
But what does the word Manchester actually mean?
And how often do Mancunians genuinely stop to have a think about where our city’s name comes from?
Our guess is probably very rarely.
Perhaps it’s a thought that pops into your head once every blue moon (or red moon, if you’re from that side of town), but you never think to act on finding out the answer, and then before you know it, you’ve forgotten about the thought entirely and you end up carrying on with your life none the wiser.
Even if you do have a vague idea about its origins, there’s a good chance you don’t know the full story behind it, so let’s get the the bottom of it then, shall we?
The history of the Manchester name began during the Roman conquest of Britain.
If we’re explaining it in simple terms, it all started when a simple timber fort – constructed to help defeat a local Celtic tribe named the Brigantes – was built sometime between AD 78-86 on a rocky outcrop at the place where the River Irwell and River Medlock met.
This fort was then rebuilt in stone at the beginning of the third century and was given the Latinate name Mamucium (also known as Mancunium).
Mamucium means ‘place of the breast-like hill’, and was named for the mound on which it stood.
While these names are generally thought to represent a Latinisation of the original Brittonic word mamm – meaning ‘breast’ – and have become known as the accepted etymology for Manchester, more recent work does however suggest that it could come from mamma – meaning ‘mother’ – which is in reference to a local river goddess.
The ‘place of the breast-like hill’ definition is the first reference of occupation of the area, although the fort and small village that sprung up beside that breast-shaped sandstone bluff are understood to have been abandoned after the fourth century, with the next settlement being situated just a mile away at the site where Manchester Cathedral now stands on Victoria Street in the city centre.
It didn’t quite end there though, as the evolution of the settlement continued over the centuries, with the Anglo-Saxons changing the fort’s name to Mameceastre in 1086.
This is believed to have come from the Old English word ceaster – which means a ‘Roman fortification / Roman town or city’ and itself being loanword from the Latin castra, also meaning ‘fort or fortified town’ – which you may also recognise as being similar to the name of the nearby city of Chester.
And as the years went by and the usage became more frequent and widespread, the name Mameceastre gradually evolved to be known as the name we so proudly use today – Manchester.
But what about the adjective to describe the city’s brilliant people?
Well, this one’s a little easier to work out.
The word has directly evolved from the medieval Latin form of the place-name, Mancunium, with linguists and historians believing ‘Mancunian’ was most likely a neologism (new word) coined in the Victorian times, before eventually being shortened to Manc
So, there you have it.
Peter Kay Live at Manchester AO Arena – times, tour dates, tickets and more
Peter Kay will finally make his long-awaited return to the stage this week with a massive UK tour.
The beloved Bolton comedian is set to play a whopping 42 dates here in Manchester, as well as a monthly residency down in London at the O2.
His AO Arena dates begin on Friday 2 December and will run all the way through to 2025 (yes, really).
According to Ticketmaster, this will be the seating plan for the AO Arena for Peter Kay’s gigs.
It’s a fully seated tour but every block is set to be in use.
Venue security and requirements
The show is strictly for people aged 15+.
The AO Arena has a few strict policies to keep gig-goers safe, so make sure to check entry requirements carefully before you travel.
For example, only one small bag per person is allowed, and bags like backpacks, travel cases and laptop bags are not permitted inside the arena.
All bags are scanned on entry to check for prohibited items like laser pens, flares, projectiles, weapons, drugs and alcohol, and even selfie sticks.
Featured image: Publicity picture
Man uncovers long lost photos in charity shop depicting historic suffragette march
Whilst digging away in a charity shop, a man has uncovered a set of old Victorian era glass slides depicting what appears to be Women’s Sunday – a suffragette march held in London, organised by Moss Side’s own Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU).
Amongst a heap of slides that appear to be taken sometime around the early 1900s, one depicts a large group featuring women in the signature stripy hats worn by the protest group.
What’s more their new owner, Ray Newman, has even suggested that one of the photos may depict Emmeline Pankhurst herself.
Writing on Twitter, he shared a thread of the images with his followers: adding short commentary to each one.
One the photo in question, he comments: “If you zoom in on the woman in dark clothing seen looking towards the camera from between two PCs she looks like Emmeline Pankhurst, or am I fooling myself?”
Others have chimed in with suggestions as to the date of the photograph, with one writing: “The boater straw hats plus mutton sleeves equals c.1910.”
Given that the Women’s Sunday protest was held just two years prior to this in 1908, it does seem possible that this incredibly old photograph has captured one of the biggest moments in the suffragette’s history.
The event, organised by Pankhurst’s WSPU, featured the organisation’s colours (purple, white and green) for the first time in public. In days leading up to the event, over 10,000 scarves in the colours were sold at two shillings and elevenpence each, whilst men donned ties in solidarity.
Held to persuade the then Liberal government to support votes for women, the march is thought to have been the largest demonstration to be held until then in the country – drawing around 30,000 women marched to Hyde Park in seven processions.
Of course, the photos not being dated or marked in any way, it is hard to know if these really are images of Emmeline Pankhurst and the historic march but there are quite a few people online speculating that it could well be.
Several have pointed to the seemingly large police presence (and one person claims to have counted eleven officers), suggesting that that could indeed point to it being a photograph of a large suffragette protest.
Elsewhere amongst the collection of photos, images show a stately home, school or institution with flamingos outside, what appears to be a boy scout troop or group of cadets armed with rifles, boaters on the water at Alexandra Park, and a number of people posing in period dress.
Writing above a picture that depicts an old British high street, Ray comments on how the glass slides are tricky to scan adding that he had to “do it with my phone against a bright white screen.”
He continues: “This is a high street… somewhere… c.1910, I’d guess. I can see a sign for an inn with an ‘excellent motor garage’ but can’t work out any more than that.”
Above another, he said: “A stately home, school or institution. There are statues of flamingos on the left. Definitely haunted. (House and slide.)”
Offering a fascinating look into a lost world, some of the images are over 100 years old and taken when photography was something of a new art form. Unlike today, when everyone has a camera in their pocket, to own a camera was something of a rarity – making these images even more intriguing.
If you would like to see the full thread of pictures uncovered by Ray, you can do so by clicking here.