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In October 1926, Manchester held its inaugural Civic Week with the aim of stimulating industrial expansion of the city by attracting attention to the city’s manufacturing and distribution facilities.

The week’s events began with a transport parade, featuring 350 vehicles parading through the city’s street. The parade is documented in the following British Pathé film.

The rest of the week’s events were spread across the entire city, with Mancunians invited to tour municipal buildings, factories and warehouses, and visit a special textile exhibition. Other events included a daily Motor Coach tours, plus a Historical Pageant (the first one held in the city) featuring 2000 actors, a choir of 100 and three bands. An official handbook was even published, costing a sixpence and containing photographs and maps, one of which was fold-out map of the docks.

In commemoration of the week, bronze medals were available, featuring the Manchester Bee at their centre. Pictured below is an example held in the collection of the Manchester Museum.

It’s unclear how many medals were made or who by, though they do pop up on ebay fairly regularly. There doesn’t appear to be a standard design, with both painted and unpainted versions appearing. I’d love to more about these items and the reason for the various designs.

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