Angel Meadow scuttler wars mapped

Fearless gangs of street fighters known as scuttlers waged war on the streets of Angel Meadow in the last quarter of the 19th century and struck terror in the hearts of slum dwellers. Wearing pointed, brass-tipped clogs and using knives, iron pokers and heavy belt buckles as weapons, they prowled the slum looking for a… Continue reading Angel Meadow scuttler wars mapped

The Real Sherlock

I was lucky enough recently to be invited by BBC's The One Show to appear in a short film about Jerome Caminada, Victorian Manchester's most famous detective and a true-life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. Caminada's life is the subject of a gripping book by Manchester author Angela Buckley, entitled The Real Sherlock Holmes. Caminada's arch-enemy, his real-life Moriarty,… Continue reading The Real Sherlock

Heaven on Earth

Before Angel Meadow became Victorian Britain's 'Hell on Earth', it was a picture of heaven. For hundreds of years, nothing but farmers' fields covered the hillside that formed the slope of Angel Street. Before the clanking of mill machinery filled the air with thunder, the only sound that could be heard was the melody of… Continue reading Heaven on Earth

Going underground

Walk through any car park in Manchester city centre and you are stepping on a thin crust of concrete that separates you from a lost underworld. Down there beneath your feet lie the carcasses of Victorian houses that were demolished in slum clearances 70 years ago. Only the foundations and the cellars remain. They were… Continue reading Going underground

The journey begins

Welcome to the blog that accompanies my book Angel Meadow: Victorian Britain's Most Savage Slum. I became fascinated by Angel Meadow when I discovered that my Victorian forefather had been among the 30,000 impoverished souls who lived there. He was a farm labourer called William Kirby who fled the rugged west coast of Ireland following… Continue reading The journey begins