Useful Notes: Football, Pop Music, and Flat Caps
The Liverpool/Manchester area comprising the counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside as well as parts of Cheshire and the town of Glossop in Derbyshire. Cheshire is quite the prosperous county, being to Liverpool and Manchester what the Home Counties
are to London. Lancashire, which borders the area to the North
, on the other hand is more working class
and has a large South Asian Muslim minority population, as do Oldham and Rochdale in Greater Manchester. The area lies on the western side of the Pennine Hills, with Yorkshire and Derbyshire to the east. West Yorkshire also has a large Muslim population, mainly in the large cities of Leeds and Bradford, which are separated from Greater Manchester by the sparsely-populated Pennines. The principal cities are Manchester and Liverpool, with other notable towns and cities including Bolton, Bootle, Southport, Wigan, Widnes, Warrington, Salford, Macclesfield, Stockport, Southport, Oldham, Rochdale, Runcorn and Birkenhead. In the southeastern part, near Glossop, is The Peak District.
"[T]he country is divided into two unequal halves: the South, and the other bit with the good football teams."
The area is home to the English League's
two most successful clubs of all time, Liverpool and Manchester United, along with several other notable teams such as Manchester City, Everton, Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers.
Due mostly to being a major port, a lot of American blues and rock and roll music came to the UK through Liverpool, inspiring The Beatles
and many other bands. Not to be outdone, Manchester has produced a number of bands and became one of the main cities where British Alternative Rock
and indie bands came from. They even ended up at the forefront of the British music scene for a while between the late eighties and the early nineties thanks to the "Madchester" movement.
During the industrial revolution, Manchester was the UK's largest manufacturer of cotton, earning the nickname "Cottonopolis", and flat cloth caps became the stereotypical headwear of the Northern working-class man
. During the 2002 Commonwealth Games, held in Manchester, the people who gave out the medals wore silk cloth caps during the presentations (easily the silliest thing about a Games that, on the whole, went well for the city).
Famous real people from the area:
- The Beatles - Liverpool
- Take That - Manchester
- Craig Charles - Liverpool
- Christopher Eccleston, actor, the Ninth Doctor - Salford
- Mike Harding, comedian and folk singer, born in Crumpsall, Manchester, and a man who made a career out of taking the North Up to Eleven.
- Peter Kay, comedian - Bolton
- LS Lowry, artist - Manchester
- Joy Division and by extension New Order, post-punk bands, The Smiths, "Madchester" bands (The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans), Oasis - Manchester
- The Teardrop Explodes - Liverpool
- Ian McKellen, actor - Bolton
- Lee Mack, comedian - Southport
- The Verve - Wigan
- Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange - Manchester
- The Hollies - Manchester
- Ken Reid - Manchester
Famous fictional people from the area:
Appearances in fiction:
Manchester is a very common setting in British fiction due to the historical presence of Granada Television, the most successful ITV
franchise by far.
- The 51st State, partially set in Liverpool.
- Boys From The Blackstuff, set in Liverpool.
- Brookside, set in Liverpool.
- Control, a biopic of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.
- Coronation Street is set in a fictional part of Greater Manchester called Weatherfield and has Manchester trams going past frequently; or, in one recent case, crashing through a shop and exploding.
- Cracker, set in Manchester.
- East is East, set in Salford, with scenes in "Bradistan" and featuring the immortal line "He's not dead, he's living in Eccles!"
- Looking For Eric, set in Greater Manchester and starring Man Utd star footballer Eric Cantona As Himself.
- The TV show Shameless is set on a fictional Council Estate in Manchester.
- Nowhere Boy, a Biopic of some guy called John Lennon.
- Phoenix Nights is set in Bolton.
- The Royle Family is set in Manchester.
- Survivors is set around Manchester (Naj has a Man City duvet cover and other signs indicating it have been seen).
- Trollied is set in Warrington.
- 24 Hour Party People, covering the history of Factory Records and their bands in the Manchester scene from The Seventies through to The Nineties.
- Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps is set in Runcorn.
- Clocking Off, which centres around a Manchester factory.
- Yellow Submarine, er, sort of.
- Waterloo Road is set in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.