Hannah Kate

poet, short story writer and editor based in Manchester

January 16, 2018

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 16 January, 12-2pm

Tune in to North Manchester FM on Tuesday at 12 for another Helping of History. This week, I’m going to be talking about the strange case of the century-long feud that was eventually solved by a magician! I’ll be talking about Theale Moor, an area of land on the borders of Moston, Middleton, Chadderton and Hollinwood… and about the violent dispute that once raged over it (and the intervention of a very colourful character from Manchester’s history).

As always, I’ll be taking a look at Yesterday’s Papers. And you can pit your wits against the Who Am I? quiz – just how well do you know North Manchester’s iconic buildings?

Catch the show on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

January 14, 2018

Frankenstein and Friends: A Selection of Books From 1818

The 1st January 2018 saw the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. For my first Hannah’s Bookshelf (on North Manchester FM) of the year, I thought it would be good to mark this anniversary by looking at some of the other books that were also published in 1818. What did the literary world look like when Frankenstein burst onto the scene? You can listen to the show on the player at the end of this post, but (as promised) here are the details of the books I talked about…

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Obviously, the first book I talked about on the show was Frankenstein. Shelley’s first novel was published anonymously in January 1818 by Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor and Jones, in 3 volumes. However, many people who have read a modern paperback edition of Frankenstein will not actually have read the originally published version. Shelley revised the novel in 1831 for a ‘popular edition’, and it is this text that is used for many of the mainstream editions available today. The 1818 version is available though, and some scholarly edition include interesting and informative comparisons between the two texts.

Given this year’s anniversary, there are lots of people talking about Frankenstein at the moment, so I don’t really feel there’s much more I can add to that conversation. What interests me today is the rest of the literary landscape of 1818. It’s widely acknowledged (nowadays, at least) that Frankenstein was a groundbreaking novel, so it’s fascinating to look at what other novels first hit the shelves that year…

Gothic Novels

The first wave of ‘Gothic’ fiction came towards the end of the eighteenth century. By 1818, it was a mainstay of ‘popular’ fiction, with some presses (like the Minerva Press) specializing in the sentimental (and sometimes supernatural) stories that readers were still lapping up. Many of the authors of ‘Gothic’ novels (though they weren’t known by this name at the time – they were more commonly called ‘romances’) were women, and it seems that many readers were too. In many ways, Frankenstein was an antidote to these Gothic fictions – it is a bold new type of ‘women’s writing’, which substitutes melodrama with philosophy and science – but that doesn’t mean the romances had gone away. 1818 saw the publication of a number of popular novels by women (though not necessarily ones that have survived the test of time), including: Selina Davenport’s An Angel’s Form and a Devil’s Heart; Ann Hatton’s Secrets in Every Mansion; Mary Meek’s The Veiled Protectress; and Louisa Stanhope’s The Bandit’s Bride and The Nun of Santa Maria di Tindaro.

But the proliferation of Gothic fiction in the preceding decades had got on a few people’s nerves. 1818 was a bumper year for critiques and satires of the Gothic. The best known of these today is undoubtedly Jane Austen’s posthumously published Northanger Abbey, but also interesting is Patrick Brontë’s (yes, the father of Charlotte, Emily and Anne!) moralizing corrective The Maid of Killarney – a short novel that manages to combine a sentimental adventure plot with heavy-handed criticisms of Catholic emancipation, Irish Home Rule and women’s education!

Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock

As well as the raft of Gothic fictions, 1818’s literary landscape was dominated by the Romantic poets. And, of course, this dominance was also satirized. Peacock’s Nightmare Abbey mocks some of the concerns of Gothic novels, but it is a much more pointed lampooning of the Romantics and their circle. Peacock, who was friends with Percy Shelley (but not a big fan of Lord Byron’s work), wrote Nightmare Abbey as a (kind of) affectionate satire of the pretensions and posturings of the Romantic movement. The novel focuses on Christopher Glowry, a misanthrope who lives with his son Scythrop at the eponymous abbey. The plot – mostly set in motion by Scythrop’s desire to heal a broken heart – is convoluted, overblown and downright ridiculous in places, managing to work in the Illuminati, German Romantic literature and mermaids. But it’s the characters that have been of most interest to literary scholars.

It is quite clear that Scythrop is a satirical portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Of the visitors to Nightmare Abbey, Mr Flosky is based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Mr Cypress is Lord Byron. However, it is a little trickier to pin down the inspirations for the female characters (partly due to the complicated web of relationships enjoyed by the Romantic poets, and partly due to the fact that not all the details of early-nineteenth-century ‘celebrity’ relationships are well-known now). It is possible that Marionetta, one of Scythrop’s love interests, is based on Harriet Westbrook. Does this mean that the earnest and intense Stella is a portrait of Mary Shelley? Or could Peacock have had another woman in mind when he wrote this character?

The Heart of Midlothian by Walter Scott

The Heart of Midlothian is the seventh of Scott’s Waverley novels, and it was originally published in four volume as Tales of my Landlord. The author/editor, as with most of the Waverley novels, was given as ‘Jedediah Cleishbotham, Schoolmaster and Parish-Clerk of Gandercleugh’. The Waverley novels aren’t a series as such, but, as the author was anonymous/pseudonymous, they acquired the overarching name of the first novel due to the fact that subsequent novels were ‘by the author of Waverley‘.

The Heart of Midlothian tells the story of Jeanie Deans, a young woman who travels from Edinburgh to London on foot, seeking an audience with the queen to get a pardon for her sister Effie. As with many of the Waverley novels, there is a historical background to the fiction. In this case, it is the 1736 Porteous riots, which took place after the execution of two smugglers at the Old Tolbooth prison (from which the novel takes its name). Scott claimed to have based the character of Jeanie Deans on a real woman, who made the long journey to save her sister’s life.

The History of the Fairchild Family by Mary Martha Sherwood

The first volume of Sherwood’s Fairchild Family children’s fiction was published in 1818, with  subsequent volumes appearing in 1842 and 1847. The book follows the moral education of the Fairchild children – Emily, Lucy and Henry – by their parents. But be warned: this is not children’s literature as we’ve come to know it! The children learn about their ‘moral depravity’ (due to Original Sin) and about earthly morality through a series of lesson-like stories, including the deaths of two of their neighbours. When Charles Trueman and Augusta Noble die, the children learn about the need to prepare themselves for salvation – Charles is saved, but Augusta horrifically (and literally) burns. Also of note is a story in which the children are taken to see a rotting corpse on a gibbet in order to learn about the perils of sibling rivalry.

Sherwood’s book has little of the innocence of childhood so worshipped by the Victorians. Instead, the books are Evangelical Christianity taught through domestic tales, rather than preached through allegory. Later editions of the book would revise this approach, replacing ‘moral depravity’ with ‘naughtiness’. Sherwood’s own approach also softened somewhat in the later volumes, with the lessons of the 1842 and 1847 volumes featuring notably fewer rotting and burning bodies!

Dictionnaire Infernal by Collin de Plancy

And finally for today’s list, a work of ostensibly non-fiction… Collin de Plancy was a French occultist and demonologist whose Infernal Dictionary describes and categorizes demons and their hierarchies. de Plancy intended his work to take an encyclopedic approach, rather than offering a poetic description of Hell and its torments. He attempted to imbue his subject with rationalism, but traces of religious faith and superstition can be discerned.

The Dictionnaire Infernal doesn’t offer anything controversial (or, indeed, original) to the field of demonology. Many of the 65 categories/names of demons listed by de Plancy will be familiar: Belzebuth, Mammon, Lamia, Lucifer, Behemoth, Astaroth… and Leonard. While the book was first published in 1818, it is perhaps the 1863 edition that was most influential, as it included illustrations that became well-known and reproduced.

de Plancy’s claim that he wanted to leave the descriptions of Hell to the poets undoubtedly reminds us of the most famous of these poetic descriptions: John Milton’s Paradise Lost. And, given the repeated references and echoes of Milton’s work in Shelley’s novel, that brings us full circle back to Frankenstein!

To find out more about these books, and about my reasons for choosing them, you can listen to the show here:

January 9, 2018

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 9 January, 12-2pm

Tune in on Tuesday at 12 for another Helping of History on North Manchester FM.

On this week’s show, I’ll be talking about another North Manchester luminary – and an unexpected (and topical) literary connection. What links gas-lights, Cheetham Hill and Frankenstein? You’ll have to tune in to find out!

As always, I’ll also be reading Yesterday’s Papers. And you can pit your wits against the Who Am I? quiz – just how well do you know North Manchester’s landmark buildings?

Catch the show on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

December 27, 2017

Hannah’s Bookshelf: Round-Up of 2017

2017 has been a really fun year for Hannah’s Bookshelf, with loads of fantastic interview guests. I’ve welcomed both fiction and non-fiction writers, from North Manchester and (far) beyond. I’ve also played some fabulous original fiction, and been completely creeped out presenting a Halloween Special in a pitch-black studio! Big thanks to North Manchester FM for continuing to let me haunt the airwaves and to my lovely husband Rob Shedwick (aka Digital Front) for being my unofficial producer on the show.

Here’s a reminder of all the brilliant people I got to speak to this year…

January kicked off with me welcoming the winner of 2016’s 3 Minute ScaresIan Peek – to the show to talk about his work and his winning short story. Later in the month, I also spoke to Benjamin Cassidy, one of the 3 Minute Scares runners-up. As well as this, I interviewed Joel Cornah – creator of the Miliverse Twitter account – and the lovely Alrene Hughes.

As well as my regular shows, I was one of the presenters on North Manchester FM’s first outside broadcast of the year. On 20th January, we broadcast live from the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival, where I got to do some really interesting interviews. You can hear my highlights of the festival here.

In February, I welcomed Jamie Ryder to the show, and did my first transatlantic interview of the year – talking to Brian C. Baer about He-Man. I also interviewed the fab Lee Harrison, and invited Andrew Simpson and Peter Topping (who I’d interviewed briefly at the Beer and Cider Festival in January) to come and do a full show.

March began with a really exciting interview – I got to chat to the wonderful Hugh Fraser about his novels, Poirot and writing the Rainbow theme tune. And the month carried on in a similarly exciting vein… I talked stand-up comedy and sketch shows with Kiri Pritchard-McLean, and off-beat fiction (from both sides of the Atlantic) with Jan Flynn and Andrew Hook.

On 8th March, presenters from North Manchester FM teamed up with our sister station ALL FM for an International Women’s Day broadcast live from Manchester town hall. We had excellent guests and music throughout the day – you can hear a selection of my interviews here.

In April, I spoke to medievalist Grace Timperley and then fiction writer Joyce Chng (my first Singapore interview!). And I attempted to avoid being a complete fangirl when I spoke to Peter May. Later in the month, I spoke to local writers Alisha Loco, a very talented young poet, raising awareness of mental health issues through her work, and Gareth Sully and Krystian Kowalczuk, creators of the Boggarts of Boggart Hole Clough children’s books.

This month, I had two UK interviews – with Gareth Powell and Jo Thomas – and one transatlantic chat – with the lovely J.M. Sullivan. I wrapped up the month with the first Special Edition of 2017, a show devoted to my favourite books of 1991 (why 1991? well, you’d have to listen to the show to find that out!). You can find out more about the books I chose in this blog post.

I began June with another special edition – this time all about my favourite castles in literature. You can read which books I chose for the show in this blog post. Next up was an interview with Paul Morris, followed by one with Keith Hoare. I wrapped up the month welcoming Sara Read back to the show (Sara was first on back in April 2016). This time, Sara and I were joined via phone by Jennifer Evans to talk about early modern medicine.

My next interview was with the fab A.K. McAllister (aka Al Keogh), whose book Colourquest was just about to be staged as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe. Then I had a couple more Special Editions. I talked about my favourite fictional schools on the 8th (and you can see which ones I chose in this blog post), and then a selection of books set in parks (check out this blog post for the list) on the 22nd. I ended the month with an interview with Karen Woods, who was in the middle of rehearsals as she prepared to get her book Black Tears ready for the stage.

August began with a rare repeat show (my interview with Hugh Fraser from March). The first live show of the month was a Special Edition all about my favourite fictional sports (in honour of the North Manchester Games). You can see which books made my list in this blog post. The second half of the month saw interviews with two wonderful fiction writers: R.J. Barker and Lucy Hounsom.

And there were yet more fabulous guests in September! I talked ghost stories with Dara Downey, musicology with Irene Soldatos, and philosophy of language with Sara Uckelman. I also dipped into a retelling of an Icelandic saga with Tony Williams, and contemporary folktales with Adrian Farrel.

This month was very exciting – not least because of Halloween! I started off with another Special Edition, about my favourite bee-themed literature this time. You can see the books I chose in this blog post. Next up, it was an interview with Caroline England, and then I welcomed Shona Kinsella to the show. The final Hannah’s Bookshelf of October was my Halloween Special. Like last year, this show featured the winners of the 3 Minute Scares competition, with Fiona Cullen taking the title of Greater Manchester’s Spookiest Wordsmith 2017! And, as always, I dressed up appropriately for the show.

October was also exciting because I began a new show on North Manchester FM. On the 10th October, A Helping of History was launched. It’s a local history show, all about the stories, buildings and characters that have shaped the place we live. In the first show, I talked about Boggart Hole Clough and Emmeline Pankhurst. Other shows in October discussed the Delaunays and the Borelles (of Crumpsall and Blackley’s dyeworks), and the Schwabes of Crumpsall. I ended the month with a Halloween Special, telling some of the spooky stories of North Manchester.

This month, I welcomed Paul Morris back to the show (I originally interviewed him in June). This time he was joined by Macey Wareing and Emily Graham, two of the winners of this year’s Portico Library’s Sadie Massey Awards. Next, I interviewed Inés Gregori Labarta and Harriet Goodchild, before wrapping up November with Ceri Houlbrook.

On A Helping of History, I interviewed Hopwood DePree about his work to save Middleton’s Hopwood Hall. In other shows, I talked about ‘Two Gun’ Cohen (whose grave can be found in Blackley Jewish Cemetery), Crumpsall Hall, and Ashton Lever (of Alkrington Hall).

Just one interview in December, but it was great! I spoke to Chris Neilan about screenwriting, comedy and novels. The next show was a December (and snow)-themed special: I talked about my favourite ghost stories. You can see the books I featured in this blog post. My next show was a pre-Christmas Special, featuring festive flash fiction submitted for the first ever 3 Minute Santas (modelled on my 3 Minutes Scares competition, but just for fun). And then, on Christmas Eve-Eve, it was the Hannah’s Bookshelf Christmas Special. As is now tradition, I talked about a selection of my favourite festive books. You can see the books on this year’s list in this blog post.

And there were four Helpings of History this month as well. December began with a live show from Harpurhey Market, in which I talked about the history of the area and the lost village of Gotherswick. In other shows, I interviewed Martin Gittins about the Cheetham and Crumpsall Heritage Society, and talked about Failsworth’s favourite son, Ben Brierley. On Boxing Day, it was the Helping of History Christmas Special, when I shared some stories of Christmases past from North Manchester residents.

I’ve just got one show left this year, and I hope you’ll tune in…

Coming up at 2pm on New Year’s Eve-Eve, I’m doing my end-of-year show. Tune in for some of my personal highlights, including a selection of the books saved in The Library at the End of Days. As always, you can listen on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Happy New Year!

December 24, 2017

Some Festive Book Recommendations

On North Manchester FM today, it was my Hannah’s Bookshelf Christmas Special. As has now become tradition, I devoted the show to a selection of my favourite festive reads. If you missed the show, you can catch it on the player at the bottom of this post, but – as promised – here are the details of the books I talked about on air. Let me know what you think in the comments.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (1950)

I started the show with quite the classic! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first (by publication date) or second (by chronology) book in Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. It tells the story of the Pevensie children, evacuated to the country house of a professor during the Second World War. As the children explore and play games in their temporary home, the youngest Pevensie – Lucy – stumbles into a wardrobe that conceals a wonderful surprise. While the full Chronicles of Narnia are an extended exercise in (occasionally moralistic) world-building, infused with Christian theology, mythology and apocrypha, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (still most commonly the first instalment that people encounter) is loved as a Christmas story – the world beyond the wardrobe that Lucy encounters is beset by a dark magic that makes it always winter, but never Christmas. And, if we believe Lewis’s anecdote about the original idea for the book – a recurring image of a faun, standing in snow under the light of an old-fashioned lamp-post, gripping a pile of Christmas parcels – then it really does belong on this list of festive tales.

Anyone fancy some Turkish delight?

The Night Before Christmas (aka Christmas Eve) by Nikolai Gogol (1832)

The Night Before Christmas (also translated as Christmas Eve) is a long short story/short novella published in the second part of Gogol’s Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, which brought together a collection of previously-published stories. Although Gogol is known as a Russian writer, he grew up in what is now Ukraine, and Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka includes stories inspired by Ukrainian folklore, folk history and culture, as well as memories of Gogol’s childhood and the reminiscences of his mother.

The Night Before Christmas begins with the devil flying over Dikanka, enjoying a night of freedom before returning to Hell. As a vengeful prank on the local blacksmith, Vakula, he decides to steal the moon and hide it in his pocket. What follows in a folktale-like story of thwarted love, supernatural intervention, mistaken identity, courtship challenges and slapstick comeuppances – complete with a witch, a Tsaritsa and a demonic snowstorm. Some critics have suggested that The Night Before Christmas draws as much on stock characters from the repertory of traditional Ukrainian puppet theatre as on folklore, and this give the story as ‘performance’ feel. It’s wonderfully wintery, and a great story to curl up with on a cold Christmas Eve.

NOS4A2 (aka NOS-4RA) by Joe Hill (2013)

Something a little bit different now, and a hefty dose of horror from Hill. NOS4A2 (published in the UK as NOS-4R2, which makes sense once you learn what the title refers to) is the story of Charles Manx, a monstrous, vampiric child-catcher, and of Vic McQueen, the girl who brought Manx’s mayhem to an end. Switching between 1986, 1996, 2008 and 2012, the story introduces us to Manx, an amusement-loving creature who drags children into his horrific Christmasland, where he attempts to preserve them as innocent and admiring (or, perhaps, as vampiric monsters), with the help of his Wraith (a 1938 Rolls Royce which bears the eponymous vanity licence plate). Vic is a young girl with a supernatural ability of her own, who becomes embroiled with Manx’s maniacal career, and ultimately leads to his capture. But that’s not the end of the story…

If you enjoy the Christmassy horror of NOS4A2, there’s even more festive fear in the prequel comic book, Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland, written by Hill with art by Charles Paul Wilson III.

A Christmas Party (aka Envious Casca) by Georgette Heyer (1941)

It wouldn’t really be one of my lists without a bit of Golden Age (well, late-Golden Age) detective fiction, would it? There were a few titles I thought about including here, but I finally settled on Heyer’s 1941 novel, because I love the attention to detail in the ‘country house Christmas’ parts of the book.

The story is set at Lexham Manor, home of grumpy businessman Nathaniel Herriad. Nat’s brother Joseph has pressured him into throwing a traditional Christmas party and, much not Nat’s horror, has filled the house with tinsel, baubles and trees. The guests at the party are Joseph and his wife Maud (a former chorus-girl); nephew Stephen and his fiancée Valerie Dean; niece Paula, accompanied by a young playwright Willoughby Royden; Nat’s business partner Edgar Mottisfont; and distant cousin Mathilda Clare. None of the guests seem in the mood for a festive frolic, and things take a dark turn when Nat is found murdered in his bedroom. Heyer’s novel is a locked room mystery, and while the clues might not be as neat as Agatha Christie’s or the solution as surprising, it’s chock-full of Christmas atmosphere and seething family tensions.

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by Gregory Maguire (2017)

On last year’s Christmas Special, I included E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King on my list of festive books. And as regular listeners might have spotted, Gregory Maguire is one of my favourite writers. So, it’s wonderful to be able to include Maguire’s idiosyncratic take on the Nutcracker on this year’s list, especially as it was only published this October.

In common with Maguire’s other recastings of older stories, Hiddensee isn’t actually the story of the Nutcracker, but rather of Herr Drosselmeier, the man who arrives at Christmas with magical toys for Clara/Marie and her brother Fritz. Maguire begins the story deep in the forest of Bavaria, where a boy named Dirk lives with a mysterious ‘elderly’ couple. Dirk is a foundling, and when an accident forces him out of the fairy-tale forest and into the ‘real world’, we find him negotiating the world of early nineteenth-century Germany with the usual unease of a Maguire protagonist. Dirk Drosselmeier eventually meets Clara, but this is a very different version of their relationship to the one found in Hoffman’s tale (or, indeed, in Tchaikovsky’s ballet). It’s a wandering, mesmerising story that makes you see the events of The Nutcracker in quite a different light.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)

This is my third Hannah’s Bookshelf Christmas Special, but for some reason it’s the first time I’ve chosen to talk about the daddy of all Christmas books… Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

I don’t know if the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge and the spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve really needs much of an introduction. Instead, I talked about the book’s immediate popularity – it was first published on 19th December 1843 and had sold out by Christmas Eve – and its enduring legacy. Dickens wrote a number of stories and articles about Christmas, believing that its ‘traditions’ and ‘meaning’ were in need of revival. Much of what he imagined as a ‘true’ Christmas he attributed to traditions of the Middle Ages, but in fact we now more commonly associate these practices with Dickens’s Victorian world. Among the many contributions to Christmas made by Dickens’s Christmas Carol is the popularization of the greeting ‘Merry Christmas!’

As seemed fitting, I ended this year’s Christmas Special with the final words of Dickens’s novel:

And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!

To find out more about these books, and my reasons for choosing them, you can listen to the Hannah’s Bookshelf Christmas Special here:

December 10, 2017

A Helping of History – Festive Editions

Coming up on A Helping of History on North Manchester FM over the Christmas period, I’ve got a couple of new shows for you.

Boxing Day Special

On Tuesday 26th December at 12-2pm, it’s the Helping of History Christmas Memories Special. North Manchester residents will be sharing their memories of Christmases (and Hanukkahs) past in Moston, Harpurhey, Crumpsall and Blackley. I’ll also be reading Yesterday’s Papers, and as always you can pit your wits against the Who Am I? quiz – just how well do you know North Manchester’s iconic buildings?

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

New Year Special

The first Helping of History of 2018 will be on Tuesday 2nd January at 12 noon. I’ll be reading Yesterday’s Papers from 1900, to see how past-Manchester celebrated the new century. And there’ll be another mystery building to puzzle over in the Who Am I? quiz. And as if this wasn’t enough, I’m going to be talking about the Help the Poor Struggler pub in Hollinwood, and the peculiar double-life of one of its landlords.

Tune in to A Helping of History on Tuesdays at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

December 10, 2017

Hannah’s Bookshelf – Festive Editions

Coming up on North Manchester FM over the Christmas period, I’ve got two festive episodes of Hannah’s Bookshelf for you.

Christmas Special

Tune in on Saturday 23rd December, 2-4pm, for the Hannah’s Bookshelf Christmas Special. As is now tradition, I’ll be talking about a selection of my favourite festive fiction (old, new, scary, sweet…). Want to find out what books made this year’s list? Catch the show on North Manchester FM on Saturday at 2pm.

Missed the Christmas Special? You can catch it again here:

New Year Special

And then on Saturday 30th December, 2-4pm, it’s my Apocalypse Books New Year Special. I’ll be featuring some of my highlights of Hannah’s Bookshelf in 2017, including a selection of the books saved for post-apocalyptic posterity in The Library at the End of Days.

Tune in to Hannah’s Bookshelf, every Saturday at 2pm, on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the New Year Special? You can catch it again here:

December 10, 2017

Be my guest on A Helping of History in 2018

Are you involved with local history in North Manchester? Got an interesting group or project you’d like to talk about? Then I’d love to hear from you!

A Helping of History is my local history show on North Manchester FM, which goes out weekly on Tuesdays at 12. The show highlights the people, buildings and stories that have shaped the place we live. I’m interested in hearing from people who’d be up for being interviewed on the show, whether it’s volunteers, researchers, writers, curators, or anyone else involved in preserving and celebrating the history of North Manchester (and Prestwich, Broughton, Hollinwood, Failsworth, Alkrington, Middleton, Chadderton… all the neighbours!).

If you’d like to come on the show in 2018, please get in touch. You can email me via the contact form on this site, tweet me, or leave me a voicemail.

I’d love to hear from you!

December 10, 2017

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 19 December, 12-2pm

Tune in to North Manchester FM on Tuesday at 12 for another Helping of History.

On this week’s show, I’ll be reading a Christmas message from Failsworth’s favourite son – Ben Brierley. And I’ll be talking a bit about Brierley’s life and career.

I’ll also be reading Yesterday’s Papers – how was Manchester preparing for Christmas back in December 1939? And as always, you can also pit your wits against the Who Am I? quiz – just how well do you know North Manchester’s iconic buildings?

Catch A Helping of History on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here: