The History of Carnival - an online talk for Black History Month

12 Oct 2022, online via Zoom, 7.00pm

An online talk for Black History Month in collaboration with Archives+ at Manchester Central Library, given by Linford Sweeney. 

The history of the Caribbean Carnival is a complex one. It is more than a celebration of colourful costumes, music, and dance. Historically, it an interesting mix of eighteenth-century European masquerade events, Christian practices, African traditions, and freedom from slavery. Also, in the Caribbean, it is a yearlong celebration; and now takes place around the world. We can be easily distracted by the costumes, music, and dance, but these celebrations have great historical and cultural significance.

Linford Sweeney, a Black history educator, genealogist, and author, with seventeen years’ experience in delivering courses, talks, workshops, and projects to a wide variety of organisations, including schools, colleges, universities, local authorities, health services, private companies, and the African and Caribbean communities in the UK and abroad.


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Date: 12 October 2022
Day: Wednesday, 7.00pm
Venue: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Linford Sweeney
Booking: Eventbrite 
Cost: members - free of charge 
Cost: non-members - free of charge

Meetings Post Pandemic

Manchester Central Library has been fully 'open for busines' since the beginning of 2022 and we are now able to arrange our AGM, quarterly meetings and beginners/refreshers meetings to take place in the library again. Please check the Eventrbite booking before setting out. There is bound to be an element of uncertainty for the foreseeable future as Covid-19 and its variants continue to disrupt the best laid plans.

We are also keen to keep in touch with our members who have been able to attend our online meetings via Zoom but for whom a visit to a traditional meeting was impossible. The branch societies of Oldham, Bolton and Anglo Scots are forging ahead to provide traditional in-person meetings, online meetings and hybrid meetings.

Our Calendar of Events at Manchester Central Library

"Booking on Eventbrite will be essential for these meetings"

Booking on Eventbrite will be essential for these meetings (please see the calendar page) so please follow us on this page, on our social media accounts and on Eventbrite to check when booking opens. Meetings are online at present but will return to Manchester Central Library and will of course be in line with any government guidelines that might be in force at the time. 

All meetings are free of charge to members and, in a normal year, it’s quite possible for a member of the MLFHS to attend 62 meetings a year (admittedly you would have to attend beginners’ courses three times – but why not?) for an annual subscription of £15. Meanwhile, web editors will be updating the site and adding new content to enhance your subscription further; project managers and volunteers will continue to save, transcribe and make available important records and the office volunteers will keep the membership and the post running smoothly.

Meetings and Venues

We are back at the Manchester Central Library! Initially our meetings will be in-person in the Performance Space on the ground floor and we look forward to meeting our local members once more. Our branch societies are working with hybrid meetings at their local venues. The use of technology during the pandemic has changed the way that societies and members interact, worldwide, and this will continue to be reflected in the society's events as we move forward.

Our Meeting Rooms

Our meetings are held in the Performance Space on the ground floor of Manchester Central Library. The rooms are airy and light, with plenty of space for social distancing if that will be required when our meetings are resumed.

Our Venue

Manchester Central Library, convenient for all forms of public transport, is a modernised, comfortable building, designed to offer visitors ease of access, refreshments, a local history library and meeting rooms, all on the ground floor.

Important Things to Know

Our Meetings

The MLFHS usually holds meetings once a quarter; on the 2nd or 3rd Wednesday of the month (but other local events and the availability of speakers sometimes make a change of date more reasonable). We try to find the best speakers to help us discover more about our Manchester heritage.


Hopefully, the restrictions that we endured are now history. We are all aware, though, that plans might have to be changed at a moment's notice, and any changes will be shown on the website or, for online meetings and meetings booked on Eventbrite, will be advised by email.

Events at the Library

Here is a picture from our 2019 Peterloo event, a taste of the meetings and activities that can take place in the library's Performance Space. The Library is always a busy venue with recent 'pop-up' performances by choirs and ensembles.

Peterloo event at MCL: Hilary Hartigan

The wonderful Oakenhoof Performers at the Peterloo Celebrations at Manchester Central Library, August 2019, entertaining visitors at lunch time. The Performance Space (PS) meeting rooms are to left of the musicians, and the Helpdesk is at the top right of the picture. We can’t always guarantee such exciting entertainment on our meeting days, but this is the venue! Arrive early, get a coffee, wander around the displays, say ‘hello’ at the Helpdesk and then take your seats in room PS1 and settle in comfortably for an interesting and entertaining talk.

*Non-members pay £3 per meeting. Some meetings, in particular the summer visit to another venue, may incur additional costs, any such additional costs are paid by all attendees.

The Small Print

The MLFHS usually holds meetings once a quarter; on the 2nd or 3rd Wednesday of the month (but other local events and the availability of speakers sometimes make a change of date more reasonable) and we try to find the best speakers to help us discover more about our Manchester heritage. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things, not least the need for our new website to deliver information to members at home and all over the world. Visit often to see what meetings have been arranged and what new records have been added to our searchable database.

Society Meetings and Events

Meetings Archive

From our first online Zoom meetings

A handy list of proposed meetings and an archive list of all meetings held since we first started offering online meetings. Please note, though, that meeting arrangements can change unexpectedly, so for each meeting we have added links to the relevant pages for more details.