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The Lancashire and Cheshire                
Antiquarian Society

Founded 1883

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Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society Volume 110

The volume of Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society no. 110 (for 2017) is now available and has been sent out to members. The main contents are:

Morris Garratt:  The Reverend Joshua Brookes: portrait of a Manchester cleric.

David Eastwood:  Lord Stamford and the second world war.

John Miller: Two northern bands. [Stalybridge Old Band and Foden’s band].

David Ratledge: Lancashire’s Roman roads: a Lidar reassessment.

Andrew Abram:  The twelfth-century constables of Chester: re-assessing the evidence.

Steve Collins:  The Manchester Guardian 1838: a challenge to the editor.

Lawrence Gregory:  The home of the de Trafford family.

If you wish to obtain a copy, please contact Morris Garratt through this website for details.


Lancaster in the Great War (Towns and cities in the Great War Series)

John Fidler

116 pp. Pen & Sword Books, 2016. Paperback £9.99 (Kindle and ePub versions £5.99) ISBN 9781473846111

Although Lancaster was the ancient County town, it had a population of only 40,000 in 1914. Of these, it is thought that some 5,000 men saw war service between 1914-18, and over 1,000 did not return. In consequence, the recruiting drives, the tribunals to consider exemption from 1916, and the ever-growing casualty lists provide the main theme for this book.

Some 3,000 men had volunteered by December 1914, to join those already serving. While the depot of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment was in the town, about eighty regiments had Lancaster men in their ranks, and both the casualty lists and the awards for gallantry reflect this.

The town was out of range for shelling from the sea, or aerial bombardment, but did experience an explosion at its munitions factory in 1917. Apart from this, the mayor and council endeavoured to continue with their primary duties as far as possible in running the town.

A review of this book was published in Transactions vol. 110


Angel Meadow: Victorian Britain’s Most Savage Slum

Dean Kirby

196 pp.  Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 2016. ISBN 9781783831524, paperback £14.99.

Angel Meadow: an innocuous name for an iniquitous area. Dean Kirby details the origin of the name and relates many astonishing, but accurately-researched stories in his pacey, page-turning book. The publisher's cover copy sets the scene:

'Step into the Victorian underworld of Angel Meadow, the vilest and dangerous slum of the Industrial Revolution. In the shadow of the world's first cotton Mill, 30,000 souls trapped by poverty are fighting for survival as the British Empire is built upon their backs.'

Special offer: available to our members at 25% discount, with free postage in the UK!  Just ring the publisher on 01226 734222 or use their website checkout and enter the voucher code 668712.

A review of this book was published in Transactions vol. 110

The Irish in Manchester c.1750-1921: Resistance, adaptation and identity

Mervyn Busteed

286pp. Manchester University Press, 2016. ISBN 9780719087196; hardback £75.

Mervyn Busteed examines the ways in which Irish immigrants to nineteenth-century Manchester strove to preserve and express their distinctive identity in the first British city to undergo the industrial revolution. Using extensive archival sources, the book analyses how historic anti-Irish prejudice was renewed by making the Irish the scapegoats for the ills of industrial development, and the strategies they devised to cope with an alien and hostile situation.

A review of this book was published in Transactions vol. 110

Blitz Britain: Manchester and Salford

Graham Phythian

The History Press, 2015. ISBN: 9780750961578; £12.99

In 1940, the Manchester and Salford Blitz saw the city and its surroundings targeted by the German Luftwaffe. The most destructive attack was launched in late December 1940; it is remembered today as ‘the Christmas Blitz’. Nearly 800 people lost their lives, and thousands more were injured, in two nights of raids ending with a devastating Christmas Eve that saw hundreds of tons of high explosive and thousands of incendiaries fall. Attacks continued into 1941 and beyond, and landmarks such as the cathedral, the Free Trade Hall, the Royal Infirmary and the Royal Exchange were all to suffer.

Manchester: The Making of the Modern City

Edited by Alan Kidd and Terry Wyke

Liverpool University Press, June 2016. ISBN: 9781846318788; paperback £14.99. 9781846318771 hardback £35.00

This book is available at a generous discount from the publisher: £10.00 paperback and £30 hardback (plus P&P). Just fill in this order form.

Every town and city has its story, but few have a history that is essential to understanding how the modern world was made. Manchester was the first industrial city and arguably the first modern city. During the industrial revolution it became the centre of the world's trade in cotton goods, so associated with that product that it was known as ‘Cottonopolis’.

In the nineteenth century Manchester was recognised across the globe as a symbol of industrialism and modernity. It was one of those iconic cities that came to stand for something more than itself. Its global reach stretched beyond industrialism as such and encompassed the political and economic ideas that the industrial revolution spawned. Manchester was simultaneously the home of the capitalist ideology of Free Trade (famously naming its chief public building in honour of this idea) and the place where Marx and Engels plotted the communist revolution.

The history of modern Manchester opens doors to an understanding of how science helped shape the modern world from the discoveries of Dalton and Joule to Rutherford’s splitting of the atom, the first stored-program computer and the invention of graphene. But Manchester has also been home to sporting and cultural achievements from the prowess of its football teams to its media presence in television. The city has been the venue for the expression of numerous voices of protest and affirmation from the Peterloo demonstrators in 1819 to the Suffragettes nearly a century later and the Gay protests of more recent times. It has always been a cosmopolitan city with a lively mix of ethnic groups that has added celebration and tension to its cultural and social life.

Over time the population growth in and around Manchester generated an urban sprawl that became a city region. ‘Greater Manchester’ has been a reality for over a century and along with Greater London is the only metropolitan region to be named after its core city. As the industrial base on which the city and region had depended for two centuries collapsed in the later twentieth century the city had to take a new path. This it has done with remarkable success and twenty-first century Manchester is recognised as the post-industrial city that has been most successful in reinventing itself.

Appreciating how this has happened is as much a key to understanding Manchester as is knowledge of its past greatness. Written by leading experts on the history of the city and with numerous insights and unexpected stories, this profusely illustrated book is essential for an understanding of what Manchester has been and what it can become.

A review of this book was published in Transactions vol. 110