By chrisf

Mechanics Institute

Woke up to a snowy world - I still feel a childlike thrill at the sight of a familiar world transformed. Travelling to work it was great seeing excitable kids on their way to school with their Mums, collecting snow for snowballs. It’s such a rare phenomenon here. And the Civic looked very pretty in white (extra).

This afternoon to a workshop at the Mechanics Institute in Manchester. It has three claims to fame. The British Trades Union Congress (TUC) met here for the first time in 1868. And the Cooperative Insurance Society (CIS) and Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) were founded here too. Not bad for a building which a lot of people probably pass without a moments thought.

On the second floor there are lots of stained glass windows celebrating different trade unions, dating from 1988 when the building celebrated the TUC’s 120th anniversary. Many of these unions no longer exist but have had to amalgamate to survive. I liked this window - the building is currently scaffolded, which related well to the design of the window

FTAT = Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union
SOGAT = Society of Graphical and Allied Trades

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