2015 Conference: Our Manchester

When the members of the Economics Department don’t write any papers, prepare lectures or sit on committees they also have a normal life. Here they present their own personal highlights of life in Manchester:

Members of the Department have also created a list of places to eat and drink, all located in walking distance to the conference venue, the hotels and the venues of the social events. We have linked these places on this map.


An Oasis in the centre of town

When I am in town I tend to get twitchy when I see too many shoppers chasing that elusive best deal. My escape is to spend some time inside the Royal Exchange Theatre.

This spectacular old building used to be an exchange (as witnessed by the old trading board left showing the final prices) and at one stage, so they say, was the largest enclosed space. These days this space is used as a theatre, but no ordinary one. When you enter the Theatre you will be hit by the sight of a spaceship like structure. It is hidden in this structure that you can find a spectacular round stage.

But what I do is to just sit down have a coffee, enjoy the silence, and let shoppers be shoppers.

This recommendation comes from Ralf Becker, Time-Series Econometrician, who, before joining Manchester in 2005, studied and worked in Brisbane, Australia. He is also a member of the RES2014 Local Organising Committee.


Sample the Manchester of Lowry’s Times

The Britons Protection doesn't sound like the most welcoming of names for a pub – especially if you are travelling from overseas. But then again, I don't think when they named this pub 200 years ago the owner would have foreseen the thriving cosmopolitan city that Manchester has now become.

Standing outside the pub one only has to look towards the glass-clad Hilton tower to see how much Manchester has changed from its industrial past.

But when you enter the Britons Protection you feel as if you are taken back in time. The décor harks back to when Manchester was a smog-filled Lowry painting.

What I like most about this pub is its sincerity. There are no beer and burger deals, no “2 for 1” cocktails and, most importantly, no music. Just real ale and the choice of over 300 whiskys.

If you are whisky fan like myself, ask to see the extensive catalogue as there are some very rare whiskys at extremely reasonably prices. There is also a very helpful graph (which all economists should appreciate) comparing the peatiness and floral nature of the whiskys on show. I usually just ask the friendly bar staff for what they recommend.

It seems the Britons Protection is perhaps an apt name after all. Not protecting the Britons' way of life as such, but rather protecting the traditional British pub from the Britons themselves!

This recommendation comes from David Chivers, who completed his PhD in Macroeconomics from Manchester in 2014. David is currently at Exeter College (University of Oxford).


Walk in the Peak District

I love to walk in the Peak District. You can take the train from Piccadilly Station to Edale (train times). From Edale you can walk along the Great Ridge to the Iron Age fort at Mam Tor (see photo). Or climb Kinder Scout, the location of the mass trespass that lead to the liberal right to roam laws in the UK (see routes, also at other websites). Enjoy a pint and lunch in one of the local pubs when you've finished your walk.

This recommendation is from Rachel Griffith; she is an applied economist who moved to Manchester from London in 2010. She is also the Managing Editor of  the RES journal, The Economic Journal.


Walk Manchester’s most famous street

20 million people can’t be wrong!

Coronation Street has epitomised Manchester culture for over 50 years. ITV relocated to Media City in Salford Quays in 2013 and from the 5th April the old ITV studio opens its doors to the public for a limited period. This will be a fantastic opportunity to visit the iconic Manchester based soap opera set. Take a walk along the cobbled street, visit the Rovers Return and have your picture taken for that true Manchester experience!

Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/coronationstreet

This recommendation comes from Will Whittaker, Health Economist. Manchester born and bred, Will has studied and worked at the University of Manchester since 2000. He is also a member of the RES2014 Local Organising Committee.


Experience the Industrial Revolution

Just south of Manchester, in close proximity to the Airport, you find Quarry Bank Mill. Located in the idyllic valley of the River Bollin, it used to be a huge Cotton Mill and to this day has Europe’s most powerful working waterwheel. It is still used to illustrate the power of water by fuelling an awesome array of cotton spinning and weaving machines.

Adjacent to the Mill you can also take a walk along the river through beautiful ancient woods or in the Mill’s restored Garden. To finish it off enjoy a cream tea in the original Weaving Shed.

To get to the Mill take the 200 Bus from Manchester Airport Bus Station or from Wilmslow Train Station (10 minutes from either direction). Both the Airport and Wilmslow are connected with frequent trains from Manchester Piccadilly Train Station. A cab ride from the conference venue will take about 30 minutes and will cost about £25.

This suggestion has been provided by Ada Wossink, an environmental economist who has previously worked at North Carolina State University and at Wageningen University. Did I mention the cream tea?


Manchester Town Hall

The recommended walking route to the reception at the National Football Museum takes you past the Manchester Town Hall, which was certainly built to impress.

Although the outside is imposing, the interior has a real 'wow' factor. If you get the chance, go upstairs to the Great Hall and see the twelve huge Victorian murals on the history of Manchester that line the walls, painted by Ford Maddox Brown between 1879 and 1893.

A little-known coffee shop, open to the public, can be found in the Sculpture Gallery on the ground floor. Stop there to soak in the atmosphere of this great building, which was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and completed in 1877.

This recommendation comes from Denise Osborn, a time series econometrician who lived in Manchester for more than thirty years before venturing into the Town Hall!

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