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The Lancashire and Cheshire                
Antiquarian Society

Founded 1883

Charity Registration No 1105708

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Manchester in the Age of Mrs Gaskell

On Saturday 28 November 2015 the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society met at Gaskell House for a day school entitled Manchester in the Age of Mrs Gaskell. A packed day included guided tours of the house and a chance to see round the garden with one of our members, Jacky Tucker, who is a volunteer there. The first speaker was Janet Allan who described the long struggle to restore the house to its present impressive state. She was followed by Alan Kidd who spoke about life in the Manchester suburbs at the time of the Gaskells, he brought to life the fairly rural area which it is hard to imagine now. After a very high quality lunch provided by the Gaskell House caterers Anthony Burton spoke about the contribution of the Gaskells to the intellectual life of Manchester. Poor Mr Gaskell had to borrow books from the Portico for his wife as she could not be a member. The final session was Steve Collins talking about Thomas Wright, an unjustly forgotten working class philanthropist in Victorian Manchester, and his connection with Mrs Gaskell. We were lucky to have an extra session from Mark Watson who showed some of his engravings of Manchester in the Gaskell era, delegates could take a closer look at this collection over lunch. All in all it was an interesting and entertaining way to learn more about an important figure in Manchester’s past.