Society Meetings

Our Quarterly and Beginners Meetings

Meetings during the Pandemic

Our meetings are held online via Zoom at present. We look forward to seeing you at our Beginners sessions, quarterly meetings and our AGM and to welcoming our visitors and members who from across the world who are finding Zoom a lot easier than travelling! When restrictions are eased we will review our planned meetings - check on this page for the latest information.

Our planned Society meetings for 2021


5 JUNE 2021-ONLINE

A Practical Guide to Irish Research: Carol Wells

This talk is a practical guide to help you get the most out of your Irish research using the main websites that are available and introducing some that you may not be familiar with.

Carol Wells, a member of the MLFHS Tuesday helpdesk team at Manchester Central Library, has a special interest in Irish Genealogy. She has been researching the Irish branch of her family for over thirty years visiting all the main genealogy centres in Dublin a number of times.

She has learned many different ways of moving research forward and she will show you how much information is available if you know where to look.

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 5th June 2021
  • Saturday, 10.30am
  • Venue: Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Carol Wells
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost : Members - Free of charge 
  • Cost: Non-Members - £3.00
23 JUNE 2021 - ONLINE

Zeppelin, Ship of Dreams: David Skillen

David describes himself as a "consumer of history" and is an animated and professional speaker on a variety of topics.

The 1920's saw the start of inter-continental air travel. In this talk David will describe the role that the Zeppelin played in this development.

We will learn how the airship provided luxurious travel across the Atlantic during the following years. David will also examine the various disasters, including that of British R38 in 1921, which eventually led to the demise of this form of travel.

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 23rd June 2021
  • Wednesday, 2.00pm
  • Venue: Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: David Skillen
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost : Members - Free of charge 
  • Cost: Non-Members - £3.00
26 JUNE 2021 - ONLINE

Pit Lasses: The Female Miners of 1842: Denise Bates

What was life like for a woman labouring underground in early Victorian times, and how did their experiences shape the British mining industry?

Denise will analyse why women became involved in mining and the work they carried out. She will examine the many factors that led to them being excluded from undergound work in 1842 and how they adapted to the ban which threatened their liveihood.

Denise's interest in pit lassies was sparked by the discovery that her 4x Great Grandmother was one of these women leading her to carry out intensive research into the subject. She will reveal that the shocking criticisms of mining women in 1842 was based on evidence given by witnesses who had a vested interest in denigrating female miners. 

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 26th June 2021
  • Saturday, 2.00pm
  • Venue: Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Denise Bates
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost : Members - Free of charge 
  • Cost: Non-Members - £3.00
21 JULY 2021-ONLINE

Dating and Understanding Your Old Family Photographs: Steve Gill

In this talk Steve will explain to us how we can get the most out of our family photographs, date them and learn from the past.

As family historians we like to know more about the people in our old photographs. Finding the date of an old photograph is often the key to identifying who that person is. Steve will use his skills as a photograph restorer to show us the detail in the image, such as the styles of costume and fashionable wear, which will then help us to date the photograph more accurately.

Steve is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society with over forty years' experience in restoring and dating old photographs. Based in Lancashire, he is also a professional photographer and photography teacher.

This meeting, with a virtual presentation, will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 21st July 2021
  • Wednesday, 7.00pm
  • Venue: Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Steve Gill
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost : Members - Free of charge 
  • Cost: Non-Members -£3.00
8 Sep 2021 - ONLINE

The Anglo-Irish Treaty 1921: Dr Eamon Phoenix

 As part of our 1921 Census project we are pleased to present the online presentation 'The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921: From the Irish War of Independence to Negotiations and Civil War' by Dr. Éamon Phoenix, a trustee of the Ulster Historical Foundation and retired University educator from Stranmillis University College.

Dr. Phoenix is a specialist in early twentieth century Irish politic history and has written a highly acclaimed book called Northern Nationalism.

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 8th September 2021
  • Wednesday, 7.00pm
  • Venue: Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Dr Eamon Phoenix
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost : Members - Free of charge 
  • Cost: Non-Members - £3.00
25 Sep 2021 - ONLINE

Horatio Bottomley, Swindler of the Century: Jef Page

Horatio Bottomley, Editor of the popular weekly journal 'John Bull', a demagogic MP, financier turned fraudster and bare-faced crook who swindled his readers through the 'John Bull Victory Club' scheme and finally went to prison in 1922 for seven years. There was even scandal connected with Bottomley to do with the 1921 census.

This virtual presentation will be given by Jef Page, President of the Ilford Historical Society, experienced freelance lecturer and guide for over 25 years at the National Gallery in London.

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 25th September 2021
  • Saturday, 2.00pm
  • Venue: Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Jef Page
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost : Members - Free of charge 
  • Cost: Non-Members - £3.00

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 busy 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

Ond day we will be back at the Manchester Central Library! This is something to look forward to and meeting in person will be so good. Please enjoy our Zoom meetings until then, and let us know at the meetings if your joining us from afar - we are enjoying meeting members from all over the world and we want to keep in touch, online, in the future. These are busy times!

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.

Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything. In the interests of everyone’s safety and wellbeing, and slightly ahead of the Government’s restrictions, all of the society’s public-facing activity ceased in March. We look forward to a time when mass gatherings will be possible again.

Looking Forward

Today we are showing, below, a picture from our 2019 Peterloo event, a taste of the meetings and activities that can take place in the library's Performance Space. We will update this with details of new meetings and events as soon as dates, fixed or provisional. can be arranged.

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 changed everything. In the interests of everyone’s safety and wellbeing, and slightly ahead of the Government’s restrictions, all of the society’s public-facing activity ceased in March. As this beautiful new website was being created other volunteers were making arrangements to cancel meetings, rearrange schedules and planning ahead for the time when mass gatherings will be possible again.

Manchester Meetings Archive

For the Record

Manchester Ancestors delivers a programme of quarterly meetings and beginners sessions throughout the year, occasionally including additional monthly meetings or special meetings for special occasions. This is our archive of past meetings.