Manchester, a truly vibrant community in the North West of England has a wealth of culture and heritage to be proud of. During my travels around the city, I have interviewed many different types of people, some from a Bangladeshi women’s community to a group for migrants helping each other learn English. Each group has had something unique and vibrant to offer the project on culture and heritage in the city. The more time I have spent in Manchester, the more I have come to realise the breadth and diversity of the city. This has been confirmed through the tragic events at the Manchester Arena and how many different people from various backgrounds came together to help each other.

Undoubtedly, Manchester is one of the UK’s best and most vibrant cities. If nothing else, the cost of a pint, or a glass of Prosecco is far cheaper than London and in this writer’s opinion, is still just as much fun if not even more so! Even though I come from The Midlands, I have spent so much time in the city it truly feels like a home to me. Home to one of the very best football teams in the world, Manchester City (sorry Manchester United) and a place where great music has been created throughout many eras, alongside simply being truly aware and proud of its own identity, it is a great place to visit and an even better place to live. Being married to a girl from London, for family reasons, it looks like I will be heading towards that part of our glorious isle soon, although if somebody were to ask me where my favourite city was in the UK, or where in my life I have felt most at home, Manchester would never be very far from my lips.

Archives + gave me a wonderful opportunity to develop a project about the culture and heritage in Manchester. Manchester’s diversity as a city is rich and varied and there are many stories to be heard throughout the city. That however can be a huge problem, simply by its very nature!

Oral accounts of history, or stories shared from generation to generation, unless captured and archived, can be lost forever. Just think for a moment, of all the conversations and truly evocative stories that are being told right at this very moment – the sort of inspiration that film makers and dramatists are enthralled by – all, ultimately being lost in time as there is no official recording or even record of these interactions.

Some of the very best stories, or versions of history have never been recorded and have never been written down. We have many official accounts of events but what about the people that were there, not necessarily those people in an official capacity with a clip board and pen but the voices on the ground away from the women and men in suits and writers and historians with their own agendas?

The clips in this collection, highlight some of these voices in Manchester, showing a real depth to the city. From stories centred around traditional fables in the Syrian countryside to the story of how one concert in the 1960’s, created a storm in the music world; we celebrate the people in this collection and we thank them for their time.

Although nobody has been named fully in these clips, they know who they are and we thank them for their individual contributions. We also thank all the organisations involved in the process of recording these clips for their time. Specifically, thankyou to Grand Day Out, Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation and Migrants Supporting Migrants. Without your help, this project would not have been completed and we are sincerely grateful for the support you have given. Below is the culmination of these efforts and we hope that they continue to enrich the beautiful city of Manchester.

Blog written by Robin Sweet