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Manchester Quotes
This is a list of some comments, pleasant or otherwise, made about Manchester through the ages. The list starts with the most recent quotes and works backwards.
 
"Lost in Manchester's city centre - architectural chronicler Nicolas Pevsner called it " one of the most confusing city centres in England" one senses Manchester's enduring grittiness, particularly in the bohemian Northern Quarter. But much of it has followed American cities' example of transforming industrial zones into "warehouse districts". Manchester's cotton mills, insurance halls and warehouses have become lofts, restaurants, bars and graphic design HQs."

From " A bright outlook in the North"
by Oliver Bennett, Daily Express, October 1998.
 
"I still..... have yet to gaze upon (Manchester's) cathedral.. .containing some of the richest medieval wood carving in England - or, for that matter, upon Marx and Engel's old rendezvous in Chetham's, Europe's first free public lending library. But I have sailed in a narrow boat, heard one of the world's great orchestras playing Stravinsky and drunk the cheapest ale in Britain, although not quite at the same time. Can a man ask for more?"

From " A taste of the floating world: cheap beer, gourmet cuisine and canals all figure in the new- look Manchester"
by Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman, 3rd October 1998
 
"The thing about Manchester is...it all comes from here"
From Noel Gallagher, pointing to his heart. BBC2 September 1998.
 
"Anthony Wilson says that for a big City, Manchester is just small enough. It's true. People know each other, collaborate, cross-pollinate. Ideas can mix and match. It's easy to get things moving. But Manchester's size also makes the social processes more visible. Things can't be contained. Even as you stroll round the new urban pleasure zones you can see the collapsed excluded communities. You can see how things are developing. Where they might end up is another matter. ..Will everything keep spinning and never actually fall down?....Who knows. But Manchester, as Mancs love to tell you, has been ahead of the game. Perhaps it'll be the first place to show us whether our new cities work."

From "Manchester Divided" by Jim McClellan, Esquire Magazine, June 1997.
 
"The first time I came here I knew it was a place rich in culture. Italian restaurants in the city centre, China-town, Asian restaurants in Rusholme, the Gay Village, the English pubs, the cafe bars, and then you've got the inner city in Moss Side. Manchester reminds me very much of San Francisco. Even the weather's the same. The thing is that the English don't do a good job selling England - but they do an excellent job selling Florida. There are so many people in America who need to come because they think England's full of cobbled roads. When I go back home to California, people ask me if I'm homesick. How can you be homesick in Manchester? There's so much going on here."

Mark Delaney Robinson 29 year old, American captain of Manchester Giants basketball team. Interviewed in the Manchester Evening News, 20th February 1997.
 
"By no stretch of the imagination is Manchester a picturesque city. It is however, emphatically if unconventionally beautiful. In common with all things beautiful...It is fundamentally flawed. It has a compulsion to preen and show off. It is narcissistic, contrary and wayward, and yet you cannot help but love it. It is both admirable and maddening."

From "Change and Contradiction" by Chris Lethbridge, Diverse City 1994.
 
"Manchester's got everything except a beach."

lan Brown
former lead singer with The Stone Roses.
 
"Manchester, so much to answer for."

From "Suffer the little children" by
The Smiths, 1984.
 
"Manchester has everything but good looks..., the only place in England which escapes our characteristic vice of snobbery."

Historian AJP Taylor.
 
"Manchester....the belly and guts of the Nation"

From "The Road to Wigan Pier" by George Orwell.
 
"(Mancunians) make an affectation of candour and trade a little on their county's reputation for uncouthness."

From "Hobson's Choice" by Harold Brighouse, 1917.
 
"For Manchester is the place where people do things.... 'Don't talk about what you are going to do, do it.' That is the Manchester habit. And in the past through the manifestation of this quality the word Manchester became a synonym for energy and freedom and the right to do and to think without shackles."

From "What the Judge Saw" by Judge Parry, 1912.
 
"...Looking for the Apollo music saloon on London Road one Saturday night in 1849... "Itinerant bands blow and bang their loudest; organ boys grind monotonously; ballad singers or flying stationers make bold proclamations of their wares. The street is one swarming mass of people. Boys or girls shout and laugh and disappear into the taverns together...From the byways and the alleys and back streets fresh crowds every moment emerge."

Angus Reach, The (London) Morning Chronicle.
 
" But the most horrible spot .... lies....immediately south west of Oxford Road and is known as Little Ireland. The race that lives in these ruinous cottages, behind broken windows, mended with oilskin, sprung doors, and rotten door-posts, or in dark, wet cellars, in measureless filth and stench....must surely have reached the lowest stage of humanity."

From " The Condition of the Working Class in England" by Frederick Engels, 1847.
 
"Certainly Manchester is the most wonderful city of modem times."

From "Coningsby" by Benjamin Disraeli, 1844.
 
"When entering for the first time a town like Manchester, a stranger, overwhelmed by the new and interesting spectacle presented to him, scarcely dares look this giant full in the face at once...."

From "Ireland, Scotland and England" by J.G.Kohl, 1844.
 
"On this waterlogged landscape....are scattered palaces and hovels....It is here that the human spirit becomes perfect, and at the same time brutalised, that civilisation produces its marvels and that civilised man returns to the savage."

Count Alexis de Toqueville, 1840.
 
"Manchester is frequently represented as under the visitation of perpetual rain, but in reality the air and the climate of this place do not....differ from other parts of the county."

From " History, Directory and Gazetteer of the County Palatine of Lancaster" by Edward Baines, 1824.
 
"I arrived in a shower, in the wet now set off,
Eight days in the place I remained:
Seven days, seven nights and a quarter, I vow,
By Jove! it incessantly rained.
What then? not a day nor an hour was I dull:
The Lancashire lads played their part:
I found every friend of politeness brim full,
And myself in the midst of the arts.
May Manchester flourish! and if once again
By chance I should ere be brought hither,
I hope that from weeping the clouds may refrain,
And grant me a peep at fine weather.
"

From anonymous poem written at the coach-office and appearing in the Manchester Chronicle, 1821.
 
"Manchester is large, opulent, well-built. The women are esteemed handsome. Manchester is the best regulated town in England."

From "General History of Europe" by Barlow, late eighteenth century.
 
"If I should be so blessed as to revisit again my own country, but more especially Manchester, all that I could hope or desire would be presented before in one view."

From the letters of Robert Clive (Clive of India).
 
"Mancestre....is the fairest, best buildied, quikkest and most populus Tounne of al Lancastreshire"

From "Itinerary" by John Leland, 1538.
 
The above references were compiled by Jonathan Schofield with the help of
Manchester by Alan Kidd
Manchester 'This Good Old Town' by Brooks and Haworth
Manchester Historical Recorder by Axon
Twin Cities - Manchester and Salford by Douglas Measor.
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