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NorthWEST

From the sprawling mass of the urban conurbations of Manchester and Liverpool to the sheer beauty of the Lake District there is something for everyone in the North West. When most people think of the North West it is of football and rain but it is so much more. Art and commerce being at its heart.

The Lake Poets or Bards of the Lake such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey and De Quincy created works of art that still define the British countryside across the globe. They were romantic poets at heart that connected people to their environment.

Modern music it could be said saw its beginnings in the North East. Bands such as The Searchers, The Beatles and The Merseybeats all rocking the birth of the teenager, through to the explosion of Acid House at the Hacienda and the Blackburn Raves. Music has always been at the heart of the North West. There is probably no other region in Britain that has so many bands to emerge in all musical styles. Oasis, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, Cilla Black, OMD, Elvis Costello, Take That, 808 State, Simply Red and The Verve to name but a few.

But the real story of the North West is the story of the industrial revolution. Where it took hold in Manchester greater than anywhere else. Manchester was the first and greatest industrial city in the world, so much so that it was known as ‘Cottonopoils’. And in certain countries around the world ‘Manchester’ is still used as a term for household linen; sheets, towels, tablecloths and pillow cases. George Orwell once described Manchester as the ‘guts and belly of the nation’.

The world’s first intercity railway linked the other great city of the North West; Liverpool. Where Manchester was the industrial powerhouse, Liverpool was the gateway to the world. Liverpool was the home of the Titanic and known in the 1850’s as the New York of Europe it was so prosperous.

There were smaller centres of craftsmanship around the North east as well. Macclesfield was a world centre for silk, so much so that Macclesfield Town are still known as the Silkmen. Accrington built the burgeoning cities with its bricks and at one point in the 17th & 18th century there were 53 hat making companies scattered around Stockport.

The rejuvenation of the North West continues, with Media City and the BBC now located in Salford. You can’t bet against the North West becoming the Northern Powerhouse it always was. The combination of art and graft is in its blood.

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