Walks and Talks
This page is divided into two sections;
1. Walks and talks provided by All Things Considered (Martin Gittins)
2.Walks and talks by other providers which I think may be of interest.
All Things Considered
I can offer a range of talks, some of which are linked to guided or self-guided walks, on a range of subjects including the history of Crumpsall, Cheetham and other parts of North Manchester. The Peterloo Massacre, The Middleton Pace Egg Play and other Easter Traditions and, given reasonable notice, The Early History of St. Chad's Cheetham, Manchester's Catholic Mother Church.
Further, non-history-related talks are also available.
Below you will find brief outlines of each talk/walk and links to the accompanying books where available.
To find out when walks or talks are taking place, or to book a walk or a talk for a group email
SMEDLEY, THE FORGOTTEN SUBURB
The small area of Smedley, which can still be seen identified on maps, but which is rarely referred to by name, was home to some fascinating and famous individuals. This talk tells their stories and explores the area with a particular focus on Smedley Lane itself.
YORK STREET, THE STORY OF CHEETHAM HILL ROAD
As the name suggests, this arterial road heading north out of Manchester was originally the first part of the route to York. As Cheetham developed as a town in its own right the name of the road was changed to reflect this fact. Using a series of descriptions written over a period of about 100 years we delve into the buildings, the businesses and the people who have created the diverse and fascinating district that we see today.
The why, when and where of the bloody massacre of 18 citizens on the streets of Manchester. On 16th August 1819 a gathering of some 60,000 workers from all around Manchester gathered to hear the inspirational orator Henry Hunt. They were charged upon and brutally dispersed ion the most shameful day in Manchester’s history. This talk explains how the events came about and what happened on the day and, finally, asks the question what if?
ODD SIGHTS AND SIGNS
For many years I have been collecting images of things that look odd, out of place or downright strange, including many signs which often leave the reader more bewildered than informed. In addition I have a small ‘cabinet of curiosities’ – objects with a strange use or an interesting story or which have simply baffled me. This light-hearted talk is also an opportunity for the audience to handle and discuss some of the objects and, who knows, even solve a few mysteries along the way.
FROM THE GREEN (see below for details of each individual walk)
A series of self guided, circular walks, each one being less than 2 miles in length and all of which start and finish at Crumpsall Green. Using historical records, photographs and maps the walks explore how Crumpsall, once an area only fit for use as rough pasture became one of the most desirable suburbs of Manchester. Each walk is accompanied by a booklet including all the necessary directions to guide the walker, at their own pace around the route.
The content of these walks can be combined in various ways to create illustrated talks varying from 45 minute to 90 minutes. In addition, guided walks by the author are held occasionally throughout the summer. Details on website www.all-things-considered.org click on the image on the home page for details of forthcoming walks.
RED BANK RAMBLE
A new self-guided circular walk which takes the reader from the heart of Angel Meadow, a little way out of town describing stories of deprivation and starvation, industry and endeavour and finding out about the lives of the great and the good as well as the ‘ordinary’ people upon whose labour the great city of Manchester was built.
THE SONG OF THE IRWELL
The River Irwell which both divides and unites the twin cities of Manchester and Salford was once described as The Hardest Working River in Europe. It was also one of the most polluted rivers and one which has been at the centre of our history since the time of the first Roman settlement. This self-guided walk gives just a glimpse into that history in a walk of about 3 miles. Starting where the River Medlock becomes the water supply for the Bridgewater Canal and ending by the side of the River Irk as it joins the Irwell this is a fascinating insight into the three rivers of Manchester. (the guided walk includes a short refreshment break at the iconic Eagle Inn on Collier Street.)
N.B.This is not a circular walk. It begins at Castlefield tram stop and ends at Victoria station where a return tram can be taken.
From The Green - 1
A GUIDED WALK INTO THE HISTORY AND HERITAGE OF CRUMPSALL. (WILTON RD. HOLLAND RD. CRUMPSALL LANE)
This circular walk of about 2 miles starting and ending at Crumpsall Green will explore what Crumpsall may have looked like a hundred and fifty years ago, and how it has changed in the intervening time.
On the way discover ancient boundary walls, imagine former farm buildings and grand houses and locate the sites of significant buildings long-since gone.
The walk, starting and finishing from The Cleveland Hotel car park, takes about 2 hours, at a leisurely pace and at the end there is an opportunity to view some old photographs and maps of the places visited, and to slake the thirst at The Cleveland Hotel.
From The Green - 2
A GUIDED WALK INTO THE HISTORY AND HERITAGE OF CRUMPSALL. (MIDDLETON ROAD, WILTON POLYGON, RECTORY ROAD)
The second walk in this series explores the south side of Crumpsall Lane, visits the site of an ancient toll gate and sees how the agricultural appearance of Crumpsall gave way to the houses of wealthy merchants with their grand gardens.
Once again this walk is easily completed within two hours, and starts and finishes at the Cleveland Hotel car park.
From The Green - 3
A GUIDED WALK INTO THE HISTORY AND HERITAGE OF CRUMPSALL. (STATION RD, SEYMOUR RD, THOMAS ST. CRAVENWOOD RD)
'The Flicks', A castle, and broken biscuits from Woolworth's; The Egertons, The Wiltons and Earl Grey; The cemetery that disappeared and the grave of England's greatest archer all in a two hour stroll.
As with all the walks 'From The Green' begin and end at The Cleveland Hotel car park.
From The Green - 4
IN DEVELOPMENT - walk number 4 will cover ASHTREE ROAD, MOSS BANK, CRESCENT ROAD AND THE ABRAHAM MOSS CENTRE
From The Green - 5
IN DEVELOPMENT - walk number 4 will cover CRUMPSALL PARK, CRUMPSALL HOSPITAL, AND THE CLEVELAND ROAD AREA.
Away From The Green - 1
IN DEVELOPMENT - In order to complete the story of Crumpsall a further two walks will cover the areas further away from The Green. The first will start at the junction of Cheetham Hill Road and Greenhill Road and cover the area from there to Alms Hill Road, and back via Woodlands Road and Greenhill Road.
Away From The Green - 2
IN DEVELOPMENT - The final section will start in front of St Anne's church and cover the lower part of Crumpsall along Hazelbottom Road to Blackley Village and back up Delauneys Road.
Walks Organised By Others.
Before the area is re-developed Legendary Manchester tour guide Jonathan Schofield will lead a series of 'behind the scenes tours of Mayfield Depot, Manchester's lost station.
Abandoned for years Mayfield depot is now poised for redevelopment as U+I and the Mayfield Partnership transform 24 acres of central Manchester into one of the most exciting urban areas in the kingdom.
The tours include a visit into one of the great jaw-dropping interiors in the north of England, Mayfield Station Depot. This is epic civil engineering from 1910 where mighty iron columns stretch into the distance. It’s almost as though a scene from a fantasy or sci-fi movie has come to rest in the city. It never fails to astonish those who enter. Each tour will also take a trip up the huge brick causeway to the lofty platforms of the former station with their equally impressive engineering.
The tour covers the rich history and background of Mayfield and throws in a trailer for one of the very first Zombie movies from 1970s, The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, featuring one of the former buildings on the Mayfield site. Daft zombies aside, there are love stories, drama and tales of raw industrial power, plus lots of humour. This is a very complete tour which also looks at the future of the site.
For a full list of dates and times, and to book your tickets visit;