We are pleased to announce the annual conference for 2012. It will take place from 13-16 September 2012. The themes will be the city: its industry, its ethnic groups and its culture.

Every city is unique, and our 2012 conference is intended to explore Manchester’s uniqueness.

Its rise and wealth in the Victorian period was largely based on cotton. It is still possible to see some of the late eighteenth century mills on which Manchester’s commercial richness was based. However, cotton manufacturing was soon decanted to the more suitable towns and villages of south Lancashire. Manchester was to become the trading centre for the industry, ‘Cottonopolis’. One day of the conference will be given over to an exploration of this industry and will include a visit to Styal Mill, Cheshire, now owned by the National Trust.

The cultural richness of any city is enhanced by contributions made by incomers. This is certainly true of Manchester where life has been enriched by the involvement of communities from Germany; from the Ashkenazi Jews of central Europe and the Sephardic Jews of the south; by the Irish; the Italians; and by the Eastern European immigrants from countries such as Poland and the Ukraine who settled here in the years up to and including the Second World War. The period after the war brought commonwealth immigrants from the Caribbean and the Asian communities from both the Indian sub-continent and some parts of Africa. This period also saw the enlargement of the Chinese communities who had begun to settle here earlier in the century. The first full day of the conference will consist of a study of some of these communities.

Our conference venue will be the recently-refurbished People’s History Museum. There will be the usual excursion, a tour of the city and some local entertainment at the conference dinner on the Saturday evening. We are sure that delegates will come away from the conference with an enriched understanding of what made – and continues to make Manchester the city it is.

Further details are available through the Conference programme 2012.