On the 16th of August 1819, in what is now St Peter’s Square, over sixty thousand peaceful protestors gathered to hear “Orator” Henry Hunt speak, with the aim of invoking government reform. Despite the organised, civilised nature of the protest, the crowd was charged by paramilitary yeomanry, which resulted in the death of over fifteen civilians.
With the amount of recognition, promotion and publicity today’s feminist movement receives worldwide, it is important to reflect that the gruelling fight for female suffrage took place not so long ago. Whilst we still have a long way to go in terms of gender equality, the progress made since the suffragette movement of the nineteenth and twentieth century is a remarkable feat that is worthy of recognition.
Buried in an alcove of the Reading Room in Chetham’s library is an unassuming wooden desk. This desk was the station from which the founders of Marxism constructed their ideology during their time in Manchester. It was during the summer of 1845 that Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx worked from this desk, diligently developing the intellectual and literary roots that would change the world.
Any reader of the Manchester Historian is bound to have seen the ‘worker bee’ upon just about every surface in the city centre; from public bins to engravings in the Town Hall’s mosaic floor, it is hard to ignore the insect as a powerful motif embodying the Mancunian identity. But where does it originate from?
On the 10th September 2009, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, issued an apology to Alan Turing, culminating with the words “we’re sorry, you deserved so much better”. This apology came over 60 years after Turing’s ingenious cracking of the German Enigma code, which explicitly led to many British victories in WW2, such as the Battle of the Atlantic. During the war, Turing worked at Bletchley Park – more specifically, Hut 8, which was a section of the Government Code and Cypher School, tasked with deciphering German naval messages. It is here that his most notable achievement, the Bombe machine, was created.