Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet
Search type

Manchester Wakes, at Manchester Central Library

06 May 2015

University of Manchester postgraduate students present Manchester Wakes, in collaboration with Central Library (11 May - 5 June 2015)

Manchester Wakes

Manchester Central Library delivers an exciting series of events this May with the Manchester Wakes project. 

Manchester Wakes is inspired by the tradition of "Wakes Week", which saw factory workers travelling around the UK to enjoy family holidays by the sea. 

The project brings the Library and The University of Manchester together, through a collaboration with MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students. 

Central Library will open after hours on Friday 15 May for 'Workers At Play' - and presents the 'Wonderland By The Waves' exhibition from Monday 11 May - Friday 5 June 2015.

Workers At Play is an evening curated by Tom Hingley, former frontman of Inspiral Carpets. Inspired by leisure practices of the past, it features live music, experimental sound performances and storytelling. An accomplished musician and author, Tom Hingley has developed a unique programme that is not to be missed. It aims to bring back the spirit of Wakes Week in a night of entertainment presented in a truly modern context. The live part of the evening will feature award-winning performance poet JB Barrington, with special guests from the RNCM and collaborative folk performance from Monologue John Bartley and Manchester’s broadside ballad singer Jennifer Reid. The night will also bring together local choirs - The University's Cosmo Singers and a mixed group from the Kadenza and Bolton Clarion choirs - magician Jez Mansfield, ukulele group Levy Uke Up, Oldham Youth Wind Ensemble and newly commissioned, experimental, responsive soundscapes composed by members of NOVARS - all reflecting on ideas of work and play.

Tom Hingley, curator, Manchester Wakes, said: "I am more than excited to be acting as curator for Workers at Play, on Friday 15 May. I have been ably assisted in the project by library staff and postgraduate students of Arts Management at The University of Manchester, in putting together a programme of musical spectaculars to accompany the official opening of a wonderful archive exhibition.

"Whether you're a Central Library stalwart, or a novice; whether you've seen the beautiful newly updated library, or have not stepped inside the cultural spaceship for years, we can guarantee music, sights and sounds to make you laugh, cry, reminisce and look backwards to the future. I couldn't be prouder to be asked to put this evening of entertainment together for Manchester Wakes at Central Library."

Wonderland by the Waves, curated by MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students, is open throughout the month of May - aiming to bring holiday memories back to life. It will feature previously unseen donations from Manchester residents and a local history of traditional pastimes. The exhibition demonstrates the strong significance of holidays in Blackpool, which inspired the theme for this exhibition. Bolton Museum, The Transport Museum, North West Film Archive and Stockport Museum have all loaned significant objects and films reflecting the popularity of travelling to Blackpool and sea-side holidays.

Booking information:

Wonderland by the Waves exhibition: 11 May - 5 June 2015, Central Library. Free, open during library opening hours

Workers at Play event: 15 May 2015, 6pm-9pm. Free, booking required via: 

Further information: