History

Cottonopolis: one year on

Starting as an idea around this time last year, the Greater Manchester network shared learning project, ‘Cottonopolis’, has grown and is now producing a range of learning events for U3A members.

By 1812 Manchester was known as Cottonopolis, reflecting its emergence as the first industrial city and the role of imported raw cotton in its amazing growth. The effects of this phenomenon are still rippling outwards today. The project covers many relevant study areas such as transport, industry, social conditions, arts and crafts.

The project is growing well and has forged links with staff at Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford University, and Exeter University.  Many individual U3As are also devising programmes tailored to their members’ interests.

Did you know?

  • The best handloom weavers working flat out could make around 50 metres of cloth a day. Modern airjet looms make around 250 metres an hour.
  • Francis Egerton, Duke of Bridgewater, turned away from high society when his engagement failed and found consolation sponsoring engineering. Brindley’s canal scheme made him one of the richest men in Georgian England.
  • At its zenith in the 1960s, Wythenshawe was the biggest council housing estate in Europe, with housing stock being added from the 1920s to the 1970s.

The idea of Cottonopolis was started by the Manchester Network of U3As –  with historian Maggy Simms, (Bury and Bolton U3As) and actively supported by Jenny Carley, Research Project Adviser – have been working with the network on the project. There is now an exciting list of events to be held this summer in Manchester and we would urge U3A members to take a look and get involved.

Contact cottonopolis.gmu3a@gmail.com for more details about booking for any event