Manchester City Council

Under our Feet

Peterloo is present in two projects bringing the past back to life this week.

This is something I meant to blog about last week and although the event has gone still think it's worth a mention. On my way back from the Regional Leaders' Board in St.Helen's last week, I stopped off at Barrack Park in Hulme to have a look at the most recent Dig Manchester. Dig Manchester started life ten years ago as Dig Moston, an excavation of Moston Hall, which brought together the expertise of Manchester University with thousands of school children and local volunteers to explore a part of Moston's history. The project was valuable archaeologically, educationally, and for building community capacity and was followed in 2006 by Dig Northenden. The energy and enthusiasm of Moston councillor Paul Murphy supported by the late Roy Oldham, then Leader of Tameside, created Dig Manchester as a long term project for the whole of Greater Manchester and the Hulme dig, expertise now provided by Salford University, is part of this summer's programme.

The dig covered part of the former Hulme Barracks, topical at the moment with Maxine Peake's performance of Shelley's The Mask of Anarchy at this year's Manchester International Festival, as this was the barracks troops came from to the Peterloo Massacre. The park covers the barracks site, and the dig uncovered part of the buildings and some of the adjacent tiny back-to-back housing. The experts were as always supported by a small army of volunteers and lots of visits from local school children, making the history of where they live just that little bit more real. Might be a lesson for Mr.Gove in that!

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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