5 Things You May Not Have Known About Manchester

May 06, 2021
hackajob Staff

We're just going to come out and say it – we love Manchester, and we think it's a really cool city to live, eat and work in. Recently labelled as one of the UK's fastest-growing tech hubs, it's also notable for its impact in culture, politics and sports. There are many reasons why Manchester* stands out, so we thought it was high time we put together a few of our favourite facts ...

1. They kinda started the railway revolution.

The world's very first inter-city passenger railway was opened by the Duke of Wellington in 1830. Now you may be thinking 'Wellington isn’t in Manchester?' You’d be right. But the railway ran from Manchester to Liverpool, and it started the railway revolution in the UK.

This clearly isn't the Manchester-Liverpool railway from the 1800s. We can't quite time travel yet, but it may have looked something like this.

And that's not all, this particular railway was also the first to use locomotives driven exclusively by steam power, as well as the first to have a signalling system, first to be fully timetabled and the first to carry mail. Whew. So if you enjoy a good train journey every now and then (and we're not talking about a daily commute), then the next time you're on one you can thank the great people of Manchester (and Liverpool!).

2. The Suffragette Movement of the 20th century had it's roots in Manchester

In 1903, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union in their home in Manchester. The WSPU sought votes for women, after the country had denied women suffrage in 1832. The movement quickly picked up pace, and made waves in the UK.

If you're interested in visiting where it all started and an iconic site for women's activism, you can still pop in for a tour here!

3. Home of longest-running TV soap opera.

Not many shows can boast having over 10, 000 episodes, but one that can is our fave – Coronation Street. The show first aired on December 9th 1960 – so it's been 61 years. Wow.

Originally not even predicted to last three weeks, this fan favourite has beat the odds to become one of the most iconic shows of British television. But did you also know that the band Queen's music video for I Want to Break Free was a parody of Coronation Street? Yep! You can find out more here and here.

4. Vegetarianism (as we know it today) started here

Whilst we can’t claim that vegetarianism in it's entirety was founded here – many cultures around the world have practiced vegetarianism – the British version of a meat-free diet was first recorded in Salford over 200 years.

They weren't quite eating delicious vegetarian dishes like this but they made a start. Now meat-free alternatives are a standard at most eateries. 

Salford boasted a Reverend William Cowherd (yes, his name is quite apt), who waxed lyrical about the morality of a vegetarian diet. He did all this in a chapel called Beefsteak Chapel. No, we’re not kidding.

5. It has the first free public library in the English-speaking world

Love reading? Then you’ll be pleased to know that Manchester can boast about having the first free public library. Chetham Library, was was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in Britain.

We imagine the Shakespeare's of yesteryears would have enjoyed this public space

It's also housed in a building that dates back to 1421. Yes 600 years old – crazy. The best bit is, it's still open for public use. Find out more here.

Bonus fact

Because we're crazy about this city, we thought we'd throw in one more fact for free. Manchester as a city is absolutely buzzing, and is already Europe's fastest growing tech hub. If you’re looking for your next tech role, plenty of companies such as AND Digital, Money Super Market and Missguided to name a few, are hiring via hackajob. Sign up here – it takes just 5 minutes.

Part of our Manchester series looking into life in the city, we hope you enjoyed the facts. If you're wondering what kind of companies are hiring for tech roles in Manchester, you can find out here, or if you're already convinced and want to know where to eat, live and socialise then we've also written about it here.

*Manchester in this article refers to the area of Greater Manchester, including Salford.