We Built This City From Depression

  • 2 Hours
  • Max guests: 20
  • Monday, Wednesday, 5.30pm or Saturday and Sunday at 12pm

Tour Highlights

This tour transports you back to a time where Manchester looked very different. We Built This City From Depression uncovers the tombstones that the Northern city’s roots have grown over. With each step that Stephen takes, the city’s past starts to live and breathe again, unveiling the cobbled streets and working people that made Manchester what it is today.


Ever wondered why Manchester is proudly associated with the symbol of the bee? From the Great Depression, to the artistic work of Lowry. From the industrial revolution, to the IRA bombing that led to the regeneration of our city. This tour captures the hurdles Manchester has overcome. By sharing the darkness and shadows of Manchester’s past, Stephen’s stories show that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.


His tour takes you on an extraordinary journey of other young people from Manchester’s past that have also suffered. We Built This City From Depression is an insight to the issues surrounding class and social deprivation from the 18th century to modern day. Stephen connects the tour together by sharing his own memories of homelessness and poverty. 


Stephen will collect you from Victoria Train Station and lead you to start of the tour at the C.S.W Tobacco Factory, directly northeast of the city centre. You will be welcomed by Stephen and his big smile (he’ll also be wearing a green hoodie!)


During the 1 and a half hour walk you’ll visit places including:

  • C.S.W Tobacco Factory – A building that resides in the heart of the city, is key to our history, but has been forgotten about… until now.
  • Angel Meadows – “The depot for the dead”. Ste will lead you into the Victorian underworld of one of the most dangerous slums of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Victoria Train Station – Unveiling the spirits of Manchester, the stories from this stop will stay with you long after the tour has finished.
  • Corn Exchange – This stunning building will captivate your imagination as you’re transported back in time to the old markets that used to exist here.


We’ve kept a few stops secret, so you’ll have to come on the tour to find out more!


The tour ends on Chorlton Street, a stone’s throw away from Canal Street, with easy walkable access to major tram routes and Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria Train Stations.


Meet your guide

Stephen came to Manchester as a young boy, and became homeless as a teenager. Stephen connects the tour together by sharing his own memories of homelessness and poverty. From sleeping on the streets at a young age, Stephen shares his first-hand experience of how Manchester has radically changed.

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Tour revenue will be invested in providing support for our tour guides, who have all been affected by homelessness. If you can donate, any extra amount will be greatly appreciated and very helpful.