Manchester Radical History Collective is a small group of politically active people living in Manchester. We’re not affiliated to any single movement or Party and have a range of views on major political issues of the past, present and future. If you want to know more, or are considering getting involved, please contact us or see the Write For Us page.

We share an interest in the city’s radical and grassroots history – the local struggles and campaigns that have shaped the city of Manchester and the towns that make up Greater Manchester, and the people that live in them. And we’re inspired by the way that Manchester’s people have maintained a spirit of independence and resistance which has endured down the years.

This website, and the print publications which we hope will also stem from it, came about with the aim of collecting accounts of different strands in Manchester’s history, recording them, and making them available to as wide an audience as possible. We’re particularly concerned with recording the memories of older members of our various communities and ensuring that their experiences and knowledge are not lost.

We hope to achieve a number of things with the tales and information we collect:
– we want the people of Manchester to have a place where they can easily access information about their areas, communities and interests, and to be able to see themselves in the context of a city which has an exciting and inspiring radical tradition;
– we hope to help today’s activists and campaigners to see themselves not as isolated individuals or groups, but as part of a vibrant tradition, and to be able to learn from the movements which have gone before them;
– we want young activists and campaigners to have access to the experience and life-stories of people who have successfully led lives as sustainable, productive radical people, balancing the demands of families and work with their political commitments;
– we hope to act as a source of experience, training and income for writers sympathetic to and involved in Manchester’s many radical movements and traditions.

Membership of the Collective is open to new individuals who want to offer time and commitment, and we are also always looking for new writers who will help us glean information from different areas, communities, campaigns and movements.

Thanks to our current funders, the Institute for Anarchist Studies and the Network for Social Change.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. First of all I would like to express my appreciation of such a wonderful site. I was born in Droylsden and moved to Manchester to live with my father when I started work at the age of 16 in 1960 as an engineering apprentice. Apart from just over five years working for the Communist Party in London,1974-1980, I lived and worked in Manchester until I retired. I now live in Dent in South Cumbria.
    Since I retired I have started writing fictional works based on my apprenticeship, mainly for the entertainment of my son and to give him a flavour of the times in which I lived and how he ended up with a father like me. I am currently writing another fictional work, set in 1838 onwards, whose central character is Bess Akroyd, a cotton spinner working in Ancoats – a trade unionist and Chartist . Although it is fiction I am attempting to set the story against a background that is as historically accurate as possible. In this regard I would appreciate any assistance and criticsism available. Lastly, may I again express my appreciation of your work. It was particularly enjoyable to read about my old comrade, Bill Watson, from Eccles in the Communism page.

  2. Dear Malc,
    I have just had my first experience with the site and found it to be pretty good. I was looking up information on my great uncle Hugh Delargy.
    Although I am certainly not in any way a communist I am of an open mind and would be happy to read you fictional works. As much to learn further about those times as the political environment of the time.
    If you are wondering about my political leanings, to be honest at the moment I am finding things particularly difficult – it just seems that a reasonale individual has nowhere to go. But I could NEVER vote Tory!
    I am currently in Ulverston so not a million miles away.
    Regards Paul

  3. I am a Mancunian now living in Nothamptonshire. This e-mail is directed at Hugh Delargy’S great nephew. My father went to school with Hugh Delargy who I met once at my brothers wedding. He was my brothers godfather. My father talked about your great uncle a great deal, especially about their school days at Grange Over Sands. Pauline.

  4. Came upon this site after reading an entry in my Granfathers diary for 1891. He was a lamplighter, working for the Corporation, living in Spittal St New Cross with a young family. He writes, first meeting of the Independant Labour Party,Hayes St Ancoats, showing himself as Treasurer and two others as Secretary and President, they later moved to Naylor St. it made me go on to read about the ILP and so to your site, and the start of the Labour Movement.
    Well done.

  5. I am trying to research the life of my grandfather Thomas Savage, born in Glasgow on 31st October 1876. He lived with his wife Grace on Heath Street in Lower Broughton. He was a close friend of Ewan MacColl’s parents and was referred to by MacColl in various articles and interview as a “fine orator” and “working class intellectual.” He was an active trade unionist and I believe a member of the community party.
    If anyone has any information about him I would be very grateful to hear it.

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