M anchester is a city in North West England. Manchester has recently come to be regarded by some as England's second city (after London). Immediately after Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002, a nationwide opinion poll commissioned by Marketing Manchester and conducted by pollsters found that out of just over 1000 people 34% of respondents thought that England's second city was Manchester; 29% thought it was Birmingham. In 2002 the central district had a population of 422,302. This district is the heart of a large conurbation called the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, which has a population of 2,513,468. People from Manchester are called Mancunians. I n the same way as "London" is used to refer to the entire metropolitan area of Greater London, the term "Manchester" is often used to refer to the Greater Manchester conurbation, rather than the City of Manchester which is a metropolitan borough. The constituent parts of Greater Manchester vary in how separately they identify themselves from Manchester. Salford, for instance, is a city in its own right with a distinct identity despite directly adjoining the urban centre of Manchester.
History of Manchester The Manchester area was settled in Roman times: general Agricola called a fort he set up there Mamucium, meaning "breast shaped hill". A facsimile of a Roman fort exists in Castlefield. In the 14th Century Manchester became home to a community of Flemish weavers, who settled in the town to produce wool and linen, thus beginning the tradition of cloth manufacture. Manchester remained a small market town until the Industrial Revolution beginning in the 18th century. Its damp climate made it and the surrounding area ideal for cotton processing, and, with the development of steam powered engines for spinning and weaving, the cotton industry quickly developed throughout the region (eg Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire). Manchester quickly grew into the most important industrial centre in the world. Its population exploded as people moved away from the surrounding countryside and into the city seeking new opportunities. Its growth was also aided by its proximity to Liverpool's ports and the emerging canal and rail networks. Manchester became the world's first industrial city, and the model for industrial development throughout the western world. At 11.20 am on Saturday 15 June 1996, the IRA detonated a large bomb in the city centre. In 2002, the city hosted the XVII Commonwealth Games very successfully, earning praise from many previously sceptical sources. The city had twice failed in its bid to host the Olympic Games, losing to Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000. In the 1990s, Manchester earned a reputation for gang-related crime, particularly after a spate of shootings involving young men, and reports of teenagers carrying handguns as "fashion accessories". Gun-crime is still a problem in Manchester (some have cynically referred to the city as "Gunchester") but a number of initiatives are in place by the Greater Manchester Police to help reduce the number of youths getting involved with gangs and their associated crimes. As a result, gun crime in the area is falling and other cities have overtaken it. The district of Moss Side gained a particular reputation for gang violence, although substantial community and police initiatives have helped rejuvenate the area.
The Lowry <ul><li>Situated at the heart of The Quays, Manchester’s thrilling leisure destination, The Lowry boasts an award-winning programme in its two stunning theatres, where you can find the best in drama, dance, opera, ballet, comedy, music and family shows. Galleries showcase the work of L. S. Lowry alongside that of artists of local, national and international renown, and the stunning building also contains gift-shops, a terrace café-bar and restaurant. </li></ul>
Old Trafford <ul><li>Old Trafford, also know as the ’Theatre of Dreams’ is the biggest football club ground in England. It is therefore both a popular tourist attraction and, of course, a regular retreat for keen followers of Manchester United Football Club. A statue of Sir Matt Busby, a Manchester United legend, watches proudly over the Old Trafford forecourt. </li></ul>
Central Library Manchester <ul><li>There has been a public library service in Manchester since 1852, when the Manchester Free Library was opened in the Hall of Science in Campfield. It was well into the twentieth century, however, before the City was able to build a Central Library fit for the great collections of books, periodicals and other materials that had been assembled by successive librarians and housed in a variety of locations. The Central Library is one of Manchester’s most famous and best-loved landmarks. </li></ul>
Manchester Art Gallery <ul><li>Located in the heart of the city, Manchester Art Gallery provides a welcoming, family friendly atmosphere and a wide-range of attractions, including an internationally renowned collection of fine art; a high tech interactive children’s gallery; one of the most important collections of decorative arts, craft & design in the country and a permanent exhibition space dedicated to Manchester’s artistic achievements past and present. </li></ul>
Manchester Town Hall <ul><li>Manchester Town Hall is a building in Manchester, England that houses the city's government and administrative functions. Completed by architect Alfred Waterhouse in 1877, it is a fine example of Victorian Gothic revival, featuring imposing murals by Ford Madox Brown. </li></ul><ul><li>As filming is forbidden in the Palace of Westminster, Manchester Town Hall is frequently used as its "body double" in British political dramatisations </li></ul>