Fascinating Facts about Manchester

Jan 28, 2019

Whether you’re a trivia geek or a tourist, swot up on these fascinating facts about Manchester and discover a side of “Manny” that you never knew before. 

The birthplace of Rolls-Royce

Rolls met Royce here back in 1904, at The Midland Hotel to be exact. Then a car salesman, Charles Rolls met up-and-coming engineer Henry Royce over lunch at the city centre hotel. Two years later Rolls-Royce Ltd launched and is now one of the most iconic car manufacturers on the planet.


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Vegetarianism too

Fancy cars aren’t the only thing to trace its roots back to Manchester. The city is the birthplace of Vegetarianism. The animal-friendly diet started up at a chapel in Salford astoundingly known as The Beefsteak Chapel. You’ll never guess the name of the Reverend who preached the virtues of plant-based eating either. One Reverend William Cowherd.


Baby, or the Small-Scale Experimental Machine to give it its full name, represented the world’s first programmable computer. Built at the University of Manchester in 1948, the giant machine was the size of a room and weighed almost half a tonne.

All of today’s computers can trace their technological roots back to Baby, which performed simple sums as part of its operations.

The Suffragettes

Manchester saw the founding of the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903 by one Emmeline Pankhurst. The Union would later become known as The Suffragettes, one of the leading movements in the campaign for women’s voting rights in the UK.

You can still visit Emmeline’s old house, now a museum in Manchester dedicated to the iconic women that fought for the cause during the 20th century.


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The world’s longest running soap

Coronation Street, the much-loved TV soap opera, is located and filmed in Manchester. The first episode aired way back on December 9th 1960 and the show has been on throughout the week ever since.


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Home of football

The National Football Museum, Manchester City, Manchester United – the city’s football heritage is amongst the finest in the world. The Football League was established in 1888 after a meeting at the city’s Royal Hotel. The League was the first professional football tournament in the world, contained 12 teams and was won by Preston North End after 22 games.


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And the steam engine

It’s not only football that we can thank Manchester for. The Liverpool & Manchester Railway opened in 1830 as the world’s first purpose-built passenger railway, with steam-powered engines transporting travellers between the two Northern cities.

Splitting the atom

Science has much to thank Manchester for, with many inspiring innovations and discoveries occurring in this great Northern city. Least of all the “splitting of the atom” in 1919 by a young Ernest Rutherford. Rutherford had already earned the title of the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner a decade earlier and is widely credited with being the father of nuclear physics.

The Curry Mile

Spice fans rejoice! Manchester’s famous Curry Mile is made up of over 70 delicious curry-houses. Though dubbed “The Mile”, this Rusholme street is actually not a mile at all, clocking in at just over half the distance.


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Oldest Library

First opened in 1653, the atmospheric Chetham’s Library is an architectural wonder. The nation’s oldest free public library, Mancunians have been taking out books from this iconic site for centuries. Wonder if anything is overdue since then?


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