Saturday 13 December 2008

So Where Is Manchester Then?

The other day I came across a blog where the author had held a kind of comment competition. The idea was that he asked a question at the end of his post and then that question was answered by the first person to comment. That person asked a question and then the second person to comment answered it and so on.

I thought I would play along for a laugh. I think I answered a question about what to give your pets on Thanksgiving – and it was a typically stupid Plastic Mancunian answer. But then I thought, I wonder what people know about Manchester? So I asked. “Do you know where Manchester is?” hoping that it would be a non-British person who answered.

It wasn’t.

The woman who answered the question was American and wrote something like “Oh, er, oh, you’ve got me there. Er er er nope! Don’t know where it is, sorry.”

I was appalled and slightly shocked. I was also saddened. I’ve decided to take action.

I know that there are many people who stumble across this blog come from outside the United Kingdom and I’m sure that there are a large proportion of people who know all about Manchester.

But for those who don’t – here are some details about this wonderful city that I call home.

Manchester is the third largest conurbation in the United Kingdom and is the “capital of the North” [of England]. The city has a population of around 2.5 million people (I can’t say how many dogs and cats there are though). Yes, that’s right. I live in the third largest city in Britain, behind London and Birmingham. This is one of the reasons I am so shocked at the response above.

Manchester is located in the north west of England. To get some sense of location, it is 73 miles north of Birmingham, 210 miles north of London, 33 miles east of Liverpool, 165 miles north of Oxford, 215 miles south of Glasgow, 217 miles south of Edinburgh and 43 miles west of Leeds.

People who are from Manchester are called “Mancunians” – hence my title.

The world’s first computer was built in Manchester fifty years ago. How amazing is that?

Manchester has the oldest public library in the English speaking world.

Manchester is home to two Premiership football clubs. First and arguably the most famous football team in Europe or the world: Manchester United (although most of the supporters come from outside Manchester). The second club is Manchester City.

The world’s first passenger railway ran from Manchester.

Despite being 36 miles from the coast and landlocked, the Manchester Ship Canal allows ships to sail into the Port Of Manchester.

Ernest Rutherford split the atom in 1917 at Manchester University.

Over 20 of the Nobel prize winners have come from Manchester

Manchester has four universities.

Many famous bands and musicians hail from Manchester, such as 10cc, The Bee Gees, Elkie Brooks, The Buzzcocks, The Happy Mondays, Oasis, Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Simply Red, The Verve, The Ting Tings and Sad Café.

Beetham Tower is Manchester’s tallest building and is also the tallest residential building in the UK. At 554 feet and with 47 stories, it is the 7th tallest building in England. Although it doesn’t compare with the skyscrapers in places like New York City it does stand out in the city.

Manchester Airport is the busiest UK airport outside London and has a Concorde on permanent display.

Manchester is twinned with St Petersburg in Russia, Wuhan in China and Cordoba in Spain.

Hopefully a few people who have no clue about Manchester will be enlightened by this post. And if there is anybody out there who fancies a trip to England, feel free to pop up north – you will be welcomed with open arms - you may even be lucky enough to meet me!


Anonymous said...

Thanks, PM...I knew where you were but did not know of all those interesting facts. That was a great photo with what I assume is Beetham Tower.

The Bee Gees...really? That I should've known! :o)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Holly,

Yes it is Beetham Tower. And it really does stand out - I believe that two more buildings are planned that will be even bigger.



Anonymous said...

Manchester United the beloved team of so many Americans who know nothing about the Barclay's. If I see one more stupid American wearing a United kit and I ask them what they thought about their last match and they give me a blank look I am going to slap the shirt right off their back.

I myself am a Gunner fan so you would never find me slumming around in a United kit here in the US. ;) Non the less excellent info on Manchester. I learned a lot.

Go Gunners!

Plastic Mancunian said...

And don't I now it! The standing joke for Manchester City fans is that Manchester United:

(a) isn't in Manchester (it is in the next borough)
(b) has fans that come from anywhere BUT Manchester
(c) are pompous arses

I agree with you about US Man U fans. Take a water pistol with some paint in it and spray them from afar.

I must admit - I'm not too fond of the Gooners either to be honest - but at least their fans tend to come from the right place.