MANCHESTER MUSIC [strutture: present simple, past continuous, simple past ]British music is famous and London is a world famous music centre. However, London is not the home of British music.The ‘Mersey Sound’ (the most popular exponents were the Beatles) was born in Liverpool, and Ireland has produced several world class music acts. During the 1980s Manchester became a music centre of the world. Teenagers all over the world copied Manchester fashions and re-named Manchester ‘Madchester’. They developed a Manchester look (baggy jeans, tennis shoes and hooded tops). They wore t-shirts that said ‘Jesus was a Mancunian’ and started going to nightclubs. The climax of the Manchester movement was the ‘Second Summer of Love’ in 1989. Manchester young people said they were re-creating the spirit of the hippies of San Francisco in 1967. People started travelling from London to Manchester every weekend to participate in the Manchester club scene.The most famous of these clubs was The Haçienda. When Manchester became fashionable record companies started searching for Manchester bands. Groups longing to become famous claimed to be from Manchester, even if they were from other parts of Britain. Many famous English bands came out of Manchester during the nineties. ‘Take That’, one of the most commercially successful bands of the 1990s, are a Manchester band. Manchester has also produced Joy Division, The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets and Mock Turtles. Probably the most famous of the Manchester bands was ‘Oasis’. Oasis claim to be the new Beatles and make much of their Manchester roots but Noel Gallagher, the group’s creative energy, moved to London and wrote his songs there.
MANCHESTER INDUSTRY [strutture: present simple, simple past ]Manchester was the home of the Industrial revolution. A group of inventors thought of ingenious machines to spin cotton. Clever businessmen built factories to exploit the inventions. People moved to Manchester to work in the factories and a huge city was born. Numerous inventions developed during the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 1948, the world’s first computer, Baby, was built in Manchester. In 1998, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the computer the Computer Conservation Society made a copy of the original computer. Maurizio, who loves computers more than women, wanted to go to see the model of Baby before leaving Manchester.
An eccentric Victorian genius, the mathematic Charles Babbet, designed this computer in the 19th century. Few people believed a ’calculating engine’ was possible and electronic engineering could not produce a machine to realise Babbet’s theories. Babbet’s mathematical formulas were the same as those used for modern computers and could be used only when electronic engineering advanced.
Baby was different from the other computing machines developed during the Second World War. Baby could store and run programmes. Baby was the predecessor of modern computers. Tom Kilburn and Freddie Williams built it fifty years ago. Freddie Williams wrote and ran Baby’s first programme. Professor Williams helped the Computer Conservation Society reconstruct the copy of Baby. Baby’s double is over 2 metres tall and more than 5 metres long. It is in the Manchester Scientific and Industrial Museum. Building the giant machine was difficult. Professor Williams was still alive and had detailed notes of how he built Bab, but some of the original materials are not available today. The Computer Conservation Society said that the computer pioneers, like Kilburn and Williams, are heroes. Their achievements changed the lives of everyone, but the two inventors are not recognised. Most people have heard of Bill Gates but who knows the names of Kilburn or Williams that made the computer revolution possible? That is why the Society decided to honour them and to reconstruct Baby.