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Showing posts from March, 2017

200th anniversary of the March of the Blanketeers

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On Monday 10 March 1817, over five hundred men from Manchester and its surrounding towns met in St Peter’s Fields. Carrying blankets to sleep in at night, they set off to present a reform petition to the Prince Regent in London. The March of the Blanketeers evinced a bold determination to represent the grievances of the unrepresented, legally and directly, to the source of national power. The movement was the march, and the march was the movement.

The Manchester magistrates arrested the leaders on St Peter’s Fields, but not before about several hundred men had set off. About two hundred were arrested at Stockport bridge, but the postmaster of Macclesfield reported that multiple ‘groups of about twenty or thirty’ arrived in his town by four o’clock in the afternoon. That some got as far as Leek in Staffordshire, thirty miles from home, and one man apparently managed to reach London, was testimony to a belief in the connection their determination to defend the right to pe…

Field notes from a east-west walk of the radical sites of Manchester

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Although I spent the last blog complaining of an over-emphasis on flaneurs and psychogeography, in effect I did a mini-derive across north Manchester last week. Hypocritical, I know...

Here are my field notes. I will develop these into a proper deep-mapping study of the sites over time soon.

My most important finding was that walking radially, east to west, across the spokes of the main roads that lead into the centre of Manchester, is not an obvious or natural direction. The sites are not far from each other, but feel isolated and definitely worlds apart. I'm still working out whether they would have felt so in the early 19th century.

Total distance: 2.4 miles/3.85km
Highest elevation 57m above sea level.



2/3/17
Started at Piccadilly, down Ducie Street, and down Great Ancoats, from warehouse conversions and the canal to some old-school post-industrial 80s pomo retail units. Very polluted road; I had to hold my scarf against my face to block the fumes. Masses of tightly packed new…