The ‘Ban the Bomb’ movement was a direct challenge to the existence of nuclear weapons and adapted to the changing technologies and doctrines of the ensuing Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union that followed the end of the Second World War. Among the major actors of the Cold War was Britain, whose nuclear research predated and had added substantial scientific knowledge to the U.S. Manhattan Project. Britain pursued nuclear weapons independently from the U.S., gaining atomic weapons in 1952 and the far more destructive hydrogen bomb in 1957. Although Britain established itself as a member of an exclusive international nuclear club, there were significant, albeit, small movements in favour of nuclear disarmament at home.
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.
Over the past year, I have taken a particular interest in the North Manchester slums as my own family lived there until the end of WW2. They survived on what little money my Great Grandfather and his eldest sons could bring home from their work at London Road Station (now known as Piccadilly Station). But who were those residing in these slums?
The history of the Jewish community in Manchester can be traced back to the 1780s, when a man named Jacob Nathan became the first known Jewish resident in the city. At this time, there were no synagogues in Manchester, but since the 1740s, groups of Jewish people who were travelling through the city would all come together to pray in a mysteriously named Synagogue Alley which appeared on a map of Manchester in 1741. In 1796, the first permanent synagogue in the city was opened inside a warehouse on Garden Street within the city centre.