Alright our kid?

I’m Dean Kirby, an award-winning journalist and urban historian exploring and writing about Victorian Manchester. Welcome to my newsletter telling stories from the streets of the world’s first industrial city.

What is Once Upon a Time in Manchester?

It’s a free newsletter and a community of subscribers where we’ll talk about the history of Manchester — and particularly the districts of Angel Meadow, Ancoats and the Northern Quarter which I know best. In time, I plan to explore other parts of the city.

Why did I start this newsletter?

A few years ago archaeologists dug up my ancestor’s house in one of Manchester’s worst Victorian slums, Angel Meadow. It sparked an interest in the area that has led me to write a best-selling book and do a PhD on the history of the area. I want to share my passion for working class history and help other people with their Mancunian family history research.

Why should you subscribe?

If you subscribe, you’ll never miss an update as my free newsletter will drop straight into your email inbox every time I publish it. You’ll be joining more than 300 readers who have already joined. In each newsletter, I’ll tell you a story about the Victorian city. It could be about a person, an incident or a broader aspect of life for working people. As a subscriber, you can also join my chat group, where I help people research their Mancunian ancestors. From time to time, you’ll also hear about offers and events.

What next?

All you need to do is subscribe and start reading. You’ll receive the newsletter in your email inbox and, if you want, you can also visit the Substack website or app and join the chat group. If you don’t feel able to subscribe, then please consider making a donation via Buy Me A Coffee to help keep my newsletter sustainable. I’m currently saving up for a voice recorder so I can make a podcast.

Subscribe to Once Upon a Time in Manchester

Stories from the streets of the Victorian city by Mancunian historian and author Dean Kirby. Subscribe for free to receive my newsletter in your email inbox. You’ll never miss an edition and you’ll be helping the newsletter to grow and become sustainable.


Dean Kirby

Dr Dean Kirby is an award-winning journalist, author and urban historian with a PhD in Manchester slums. Once Upon a Time in Manchester reveals forgotten stories from the streets of the Victorian city.