In the North of England and especially in Manchester we have different words for meal times.
Breakfast is always the same "breakie" is a slang term for this but the word breakfast is most commonly used.
Lunch - This is often called Dinner. If someone says 'what are you having for dinner?' This usually means 'What are you having for lunch?'
Dinner - To confuse you even more we call the evening meal 'tea' (yes like the drink). So if someone says 'what are you having for tea?' We mean 'What are you having for dinner?'.
Smoking is banned from any public place in England. This means that you can not smoke in a restaurant, a pub or anywhere with 4 walls unless you are in your own home. Most public places will have designated smoking areas outside and if you are really lucky they will have outdoor heating and a seating area.
Also when buying cigarettes in a shop the cigarettes have to be hidden from public view so ask the retailer if they sell cigarettes because they will not have them on display.
Electronic cigarettes are quite popular and can be purchased at most markets. It is up to the owner if you are allowed to smoke the electronic cigarettes in their pub or restaurant. Most pub landlords won't bat an eyelid but it is always best to check.
Manchester is very tolerable of people from the lesbian, gay and transgender community and such people are accepted. Of course there are the odd people who may want to cause trouble but on the whole it is a very gay friendly city. Manchester is home to Canal Street (otherwise known as the gay village - see separate tip) which is a cluster of gay and lesbian bars and clubs.
Every year on the last weekend of August (August bank holiday weekend) Manchester hosts Gay Pride/ Manchester Pride. Tickets for Manchester Pride can be bought on the day but you can get it cheaper booking it in advance on the website, the only draw back to this is that at that point you won't know which acts will be performing. Some acts in the past have included Steps, Alphabet, Alexandra Burke, Robyn S, Alison Moyet and Eurovision's Noreen. etc. As well as performers there is also a market arena, art galleries and other areas.
Tickets give you entry to the gay village area where you can watch performers (usually quite famous English and European singers). Some bars and clubs will still charge entry and there is no set price so it depends on the bar itself.
No tickets are needed for the pride parade, this takes place in central Manchester and this marks the start of Manchester Pride weekend.
Those of you who have learned English will know that the word "Cheers" is something that you say when making a toast at a dinner party or a get together. This is correct but in Manchester and most of England the word "Cheers" is also a very informal, slang way of saying "Thank you". The two words "Cheers mate" is a very common thing to say especially from one man to another man and simply means "Thanks friend" or "Thanks Pal". "Cheers mate" can be said by women but it is considered a little it unlady like and is something really two men would say to each other. "Cheers" on it's own is perfectly OK to say whether you are a man or a woman.
Bank Holidays in England are days in which most shops will be closed especially Banks, Post Offices, Building Societys. Shopping centres, Theme parks and super markets are usually open on all Bank Holidays apart from Christmas day and Boxing Day.
Christmas Day - 25th December
Boxing Day - 26th December
New Years Day - 1st December
Summer Bank Holiday - Last weekend in August.
Good Friday - Can change - Check website for details
Easter Monday - Can change - Check website for details
Spring Bank Holiday - Can change - Check website for details.
The website below is the official government website and is the most accurate source for determing Bank Holidays before you travel.
You will find that when you visit Manchester they sound a lot different from people that you might see on the BBC. You don't have to travel very far in England to hear different accects, dialects and slang. If you travel just 40 minutes on the motorway to Liverpool the contrast in the way that people talk is extrodinary. I have written below some of the slang used in Manchester which may help you understand people a little bit better when you travel.
"Yorlright?" - Are you alright?/ How are you?
"Hiya" - Hello, Hi
"Innit?" Isn't it?
"Thats mint" - That is really good
"I need to go to the loo" - I need to go to the toilet
"Tenner" - £10
"Fiver" - £5
"A ton" - £100
I wouldnt recommend a forgeigner trying to use these words themselves whilst in Manchester unless someone else is using these words when speaking to you.
From Mid November until the week before Christmas, Manchester is buzzing with all kinds of great things. There is the famous winter markets which is the big draw. The main European market is in Albert Square in front of the looming tower of the Town Hall. The German market is in St. Ann's Square and there are extensions to the markets from Brazenose Street, New Cathedral Street and Exchange Street. Find arts and crafts, gifts, food and drink to sample and bring home for holiday cheer!
Check out the various light displays in the city center
Go skating in Piccadilly gardens until just after New Year (Need to buy a ticket)
Ride the Manchester Wheel (need to buy a ticket)
Over the last few years Manchester has hosted Christmas Markets consisting of Stalls set out in various locations around the city. Now widely considered to be amongst the best in Europe they are a great place to get in the festive mood. Take in the aroma of Roasting Chestnuts, Sample some Mulled Wine. You can browse the handcrafted wares from jewellery to wooden toys and some weird and wonderful gift ideas.
If you’re hungry grab a warm Glüwein and continental sausage maybe paella or try some Turkish food, Hot dog or burgers there will be a great range of delicious festive food.
There is a VT meet ( We have just had the 3rd annual Christmas Markets Meet) organised by VTer Gillybob on November 28 2009.
It was a really really great day of not only shopping but some drinking and eating as well. (and some more drinking).
I can't wait till next Years !!
The name shambles originates from the middle English word 'schamel', meaning bench, i.e. benches were meat was displayed for sale. A Shambels would likely have bits of meet and blood running down the gutter, and thus the word has remained in English to mean a scene of disorder.
The Shambles square in Manchester houses the re-built Old Wellington and Sinclairs Oyster Bar. It was created in 1999 after the IRA bombing severely damaged both buildings.
What is now Manchester United Football Club started life as 'Newton Heath Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Football Club' in 1978, formed by the workers of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot in Newton Heath. The name was shortened to 'Newton Heath Football Club' in 1983 after it entered the Football League and began to sever its links from the Rail Depot.
The club neared bankruptcy and their ground, at Bank Street, was closed by the bailifs. It recieved a sizeable investment from J.H. Davies, who later became the chairman. At early board meetings the issue of the name was broguht up, and after dismissing names such as Manchester Celtic and Manchester Central, the board settled for Manchester United. On 26th April, 1902, Manchester United officialy came into being and the clubs colours were changed from Newton Heath's green and gold to red and white. The club was promoted to the 1st division after finishing 2nd division runners up in the 1905/06 season. It has remained in the top division of English Football to this day, apart from the 1935/36 and 1974/75 seasons. During the clubs first 43 years, Manchester United were first division champions twice (07/08 & 10/11), FA Cup winners in 1909 and capped both first division wins by winning the Charity Shield twice (1908 & 1911).
1945 saw the arrival of Matt Busby as manager. During his 24 year reign over the club, they were First Division champions five times (51/52, 55/56, 56/57, 64/65 & 66/67), once more capped each title winning the CHarity Shield (although the last three occasions were shared after draws), achieved 2 titles in the FA Cup (48 & 63), and became the first English team to win the European Cup in 1968.
The Munich Air Disaster is still remembered as the worst event in the clubs history. In 1958, BEA flight 609 crashed a the end of a runway in Munich after attempting to take off in poor weather. On board were Matt Busby, 17 Manchester United players, 3 members of the Manchester United staff, 6 Air Crew, 11 journalists and 6 other passengers. Of the 44 people on board, 23 died. 8 were Manchester United players, 3 were Manchester United staff, 2 members of the Air Crew, 8 Journalists and 2 other passengers. Much of Uniteds first team was lost, but the club was not beaten and managed to reach the final of the FA Cup the following season, loosing to Bolton Wanderers.
Busby left in 1969 and Manchester United went through a period of unrest while they struggled to find their feet (Busby did return for six months in 1971 after the team finished a disapointing 8th in the 69/70 season and had a poor start to the following season). They went through a further four managers untill Alex Ferguson took over in 1986. During this intervening period United only managed to win one Charity Shield (83), shared one (77), both times after finishing runners up in the first division, however they managed three FA Cup titles (77, 73 & 85). During this period they were also demoted to the 2nd Division (74/75) in whcih they finished first and were promoted back.
In 86, Alex Ferguson took over from Ron Atkinson as manager. Ferguson remains the manager of the club to this day and in his 23 years at the club has won 11 Premier League titles (92/93, 93/94, 95/96, 96/97, 98/99, 99/00, 00/01, 02/03, 06/07, 07/08 & 08/09), 7 Charity/Community Shields (93, 94, 96, 97, 03, 07 & 08), shared one (90), 5 FA Cup titles (90, 94, 96, 99 & 04), two victories in the European Champions League (99 & 08), a European Cup Winners Cup (91), a European Super Cup (91), and also achieved world success on two occasions, winning the Intercontinental Cup (99) and the FIFA Club World Cup (08). Infact, Manchester United more than doubled their trophy cabinet under Alex Ferguson, and also won the infamous and unique 'Treble' in 1999, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and European Champions League, the only English team to do so.
The club has seen some of the greatest players in the world wear the red shirt, such as Eric Cantona, David Beckham, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Christiano Ronaldo
There are many reports of Haunted buildings in Manchester. This magnificent building in particular is said to be where Derek Acorah (of TV's Most Haunted) was posessed whilst filming - hazards of the job I suppose!! On approaching the building, the film crew reported to have seen a man's figure in the window... spooky!!
The 'Madchester' music scene developed in the late 1980's and early 1990's in Manchester, centered around Tony Wilson and Factory Records. The musical style of 'Madchester' was a micture of indie rock, psychadelic rock and dance music. The major artists assosciated with the scene were The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, The Charlatans, 808 State and A Guy Called Gerald, to name but a few. The Haçienda night club, owned by Factory Records, was the spiritual home of the followers of this scene. Manchester music had been dominated by the post punk era indie bands such as The Smiths, New Order and The Fall immediately before this period and were a great influence on the Madchester bands.
In 1988, a number of songs came together to form the begining of the Madchester scene, most notably 'Elephant Stone' by The Stone Roses, 'Wrote for Luck' by The Happy Mondays and 'Voodoo Ray' by A Guy Called Gerald.
The end of 1989 saw Madchester achieve country-wide dominance, with 'Move' by Inspiral Carpets, 'Pacific' by 808 State, 'The Madchester Rave On EP' by The Happy Mondays and 'Fools Gold/What The World Is Waiting For' by the Stone Roses all being released now. It was the Mondays record which coined the word Madchester, as it had previously been suggested as a T-Shirt slogan for them by the Bailey Brothers, their video producers.
Madchester peaked in 1990, but after that the scene began to deteriorate. The Haçienda closed its doors in 1997 after Factory Records went bust, and Manchester then lost much of its musical importance.
However, the Madchester bands are still extremely popular, and Manchester still has a thriving music scene, with bands such as Oasis still world-wide superstars.
(Tip written in 2007) Manchester is well known for its many good real ales pubs especially in and around the area known as the Northern Quarter. However, like many of our cities, they do seem to have a habit of disappearing. Two of those are worth a mention just in case you are planning a trip and intend visiting them.
The Beer House is a pub where rumours have always circulated about closures, refurbishments, re-openings etc. As at May 07 it is closed with planning permission having been granted for the area around it. I guess it might survive in the new development
The Pot of Beer, a decent back street pub is now closed and boarded up and developers are seeking permission to pull it down and use the land for residential purposes.
2009 Update - The Pot of Beer is still closed. The Beer House has re-opened and been re-named The Angel. The Castle on Oldham St is now closed.
During the Civil War Manchester was one of very few towns in Lancashire to support Parliament against King Charles I. Indeed it bears the dubious distinction of claiming the first casualty of the whole war. In a melee on Market Street in 1642 Richard Percival, linen weaver, was shot dead. In September of the same year Lord Strange, in command of between 3,000 and 4,000 Royalists attacked the town along Deansgate and across Salford Bridge (the Town Hall Mural shown depicts this assault). When Strange had demanded that the town give up its store of gunpowder and its weapons, he received the reply that he would get "nothing, not even a rusty dagger". The defenders were led by Robert Bradshaw and William Radcliffe under advice from Colonel Rosworm, a German Mercenary. At the battle's height two barns caught fire, the smoke of which caused confusion. As the smoke cleared it became clear that the assault had failed. Strange lifted the siege on 1st October. As a consequence of the victory Parliament gave the town its first MP. The new representative was one of the local Parliamentarian gentry: Sir Charles Worsley from Platt Hall in Fallowfield. When a vengeful monarchy was restored in 1660 Manchester's support for Parliament was remembered and it lost its MP. It didn't get one back until 1832.
The Free Trade Hall now still stands on the site of the Peterloo Massacre. Here on 13 October 1905 Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney, armed with a banner painted with 'Votes for Women' shouted their question to the Liberals in their meeting - 'Will the Liberal Government give women the vote?' The incident concluded with Christabel and Annie being thrown out, Christabel spitting on a policeman and both of them spending that night in prison.
It was before this pivotal incident however that in October 1903, Emmeline Pankhurst, her daughters Christabel, Sylvia and Adela, Pattie Hall and a small number of other women founded the women only Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) actually in the house which is now a museum and women's centre on Nelson Street.
The Pankhurst Centre - 60-62 Nelson Street, Manchester, tel: 0161 273 5673