I Thought It Was Just Football & Music, But I Never Expected This In Manchester, UK-Mersey River

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The Manchester Ship Canal, Manchester, England:

One of the most important civil engineering project in Victorian times England is the Manchester Ship Canal. Opened in 1894, it was the largest river navigation canal in the world. It directly links Manchester to the Irish Sea. During those times in the 1800s, transporting of goods between Liverpool and Manchester was costly and time consuming. The idea then of constructing a man-made canal was the solution. The Manchester Ship Canal has turned a land-locked city into a port. Ocean-going vessels can finally sail along the Mersey River (from Liverpool) into Manchester. Construction began in 1837 and inaugurated personally by Queen Victoria in 1894. Since then, the canal turned Manchester into England‘s 3rd busiest port. It helped generate income into the city’s economy for half a century, putting Manchester on the map. But in the ’70s, Manchester dock began to decline. Container vessels could no longer navigate the ship canal. It was closed in 1982. Tanker ships going into Manchester now use the single bouy mooring at the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester’s Castlefield.

About Manchester:

Map showing Manchester, UK.

A metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England, Manchester is UK‘s 3rd largest city. It is located in Northwestern England. Most of its area is in Lancashire, although it also include an area south of the Mersey River in the county of Cheshire. It was just a market town in 1717 but a boom in its textile industry took place in 1851. This made Manchester a manufacturing and prime commercial city. However, there was a decline in its industrial power during the 20th century. But this city did not stop from being England‘s “capital of the north”. With its musical and sporting legacy, Manchester has become a city of creative talent, fresh ideas and international outlook. Sadly the city was blown apart after an IRA (Irish Republican Army) bomb was detonated in 1996. Large sums of money were raised to rebuild Manchester and it is now a major cultural and tourist hub.

I was in Manchester in 1992 while under contract with M/T Knock Allan via the ship canal to discharge oil. This city is home to some of the greatest trends, inventions and growth the world has seen. And because of that it has its audacity and conviction to become one of the most spirited cities in the world. A place of thriving culture and history, it has changed the world in many ways. I thought it was just football and music but I never expected this in Manchester, UK. Either you are planning for a visit to this city soon or just a lover of culture, here are extremely amazing facts about it.

Birthplace of 1st Professional Football League

Manchester United’s home port in Trafford.

The year was 1888, at the Royal Hotel in Picadilly (Manchester, because there is also a Picadilly in London) when the English Football League was created. It was regarded as the first football league in the world. However, about 20 years after that historic formation of this famous sport, Royal Hotel was demolished in the 1900s. I thought is was just football and music but I never expected this in Manchester, UK. and fast forward to the 21st century this city is now home to 2 biggest football clubs. Manchester United and Manchester City football leagues are just 4 miles apart from their respective stadiums. You can watch them play either at Old Trafford for Manchester United and The Etihad for Manchester City.

The Picadilly in Manchester.

“Shlurpe the Purple”, The Creation of Vimto Fruit Drink

At Granby Row, Manchester in 1908 a wholesaler of herbs and spices by the name of Noel Nichols from Blackburn, Lancashire concocted Vimto. This is a herbal tonic made of a secret recipe of herbs, fruits and spices to give drinkers “vim and vigor”. This fruit drink is now sold to over 85 countries throughout the world. I thought it was just football and music, but I never expected this in Manchester, UK. This city gave the world a soft drink with a medicinal tang like no other.

Home of “Coronation Street”, Longest TV Sitcom In The World

The set of Coronation Street at ITV Trafford Wharf Studios.

I thought it was just football and music, but I never expected this in Manchester, UK that it is the home of Coronation Street. The longest running soap opera in the world was created at Manchester in December 1960. The show depicts the everyday lives of the city’s working class. A fictional Coronation Street named after the coronation of King Edward VII is where the main characters of the sitcom live. Coronation Street is now aired at more than 40 countries all over the world which include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Morocco, South Africa, Estonia and Poland.

It Is Where Rolls Met Royce

Over a famous lunch at Midland Hotel in Manchester in 1904, car salesman Charles Rolls collaborated with engineer Henry Royce to create the best car in the world. I thought it was just football and music but I never expected this in Manchester, UK. Their first car, the Silver Ghost Edition was launched in 1907. From that memorable lunch in 1904, Rolls-Royce Ltd. has become a global brand. It’s a fantasy to most people throughout the world would want to drive.

1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Edition

Where Pop Music Originated


“And so Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late. As we’re walking on by” – Oasis.

All the music you love and artists you adore: Oasis, Simply Red, Bee Gees, Take That, and so much more. Many of UK‘s and the world’s best musicians are from Manchester. I thought it was just football and music, but I never expected this from Manchester, UK. The city has produced great pop artists in all the years that have influenced the sounds of today. It saw the rise of Britpop bands from the ’60s (Bee Gees, How Deep Is Your Love), to the punk era of the ’80s (Simply Red,If You Don’t Know Me By Now) and the rise of Madchester music in the ’90s (Oasis, Don’t Look Back By Anger). The Gibb brothers: Barry, Robin and Maurice grew up in Keppel Road, Charlton, Manchester before their family emigrated to Australia in 1958. Michael James Hucknall a.k.a. Simply Red was raised solely by his father at Denton, Greater Manchester. The Gallagher brothers: Liam, Noel and Paul who make up Oasis grew up at Manchester‘s suburb of Burnage in Cranwell Drive.

It Is Kelloggs’ Factory

Coco Pops, Corn Flakes….the cereals you love to munch at breakfast were created in 1938 at a factory in Trafford here in Manchester. I thought it was just football and music but I never expected this in Manchester, UK. And even though Kelloggs is an American company based in Michigan, USA, the factory in England is the largest headquarter. You can still see the small Kelloggs bridge when you go and visit the city.

Baby, World’s First Computer Was Born At University Of Manchester

I thought it was just football and music but I never expected this in Manchester, UK that it was in this place where the world’s first computer was developed in 1948. The Department of Computer Science of the University of Manchester is one of the oldest in the UK. And it was here that professors has designed and built “baby”. This is the first stored-program electronic digital computer in the world. FC Williams and Tom Kilburn made the first successful run of a program in June 21, 1948 to be exact.

It Created Chetham Library, Oldest Public Library In The World

Housed in a sandstone building that dates back to 1421 as a priests’ college, Chetham Library is the first and oldest free library of the English-speaking world. I thought it was just football and music but I never expected this in Manchester, UK. Established in 1653 upon the bequeath of Humhprey Chetham (1580-1653) for the education of the “sons of honest and industrial parents”. Chetham Library has served knowledge-hungry scholars like Karl Marx while he developed his socialist philosophy with Friedrich Engels. This library holds about 100,000 rare books and texts accumulated from across the world over the centuries. It is located at Long Millgate in Manchester and considered as a cultural heritage of the city.

Arguably The World’s First LGBT Friendly City

I thought it was just football and music, but I never expected this in Manchester, UK that it’s the first gay-friendly city in the world. It has a thriving LGBT scene with its epicenter at the world-famous Canal Street. A must-see for you when you are in Manchester especially for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders, it is located south of the city’s Chinatown. This corner is not only famous for its active nightlife but hosts special events like the Manchester Pride. A local artist, Mark Kennedy was commissioned to set rainbow tiles into flagstones all over the city which mark memorable LGBT (LGBT Heritage Trail) places of interest.

I hope you enjoyed reading some of the amazing facts on Manchester that make it the city as it is today, one that is constantly re-defining. You will discover more of what makes it one of the culturally relevant cities of the United Kingdom when you visit the place yourself. Don’t just take my word, go and experience Manchester. Because it’s only in your personal involvement that will give you the best memories and clearest ideas. Cheerio, have a good one.

References: Wikipedia; www.Britannica.com