The Lord Mayor of Manchester and children from Heald Place Primary School and Webster Primary School launched the second edition of the Manchester City Centre Young Person’s Peace Trail at a special event in the Central Library on Wednesday 4th July. Pictured right.
The Peace Trail project began in 2011 and it is unique in the world for having both an adults’ and a children’s version. The adults version is available at: www.discoverpeace.eu
The first edition was formally unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and the Mayor of Nagasaki.
The Trail seeks to bring alive Manchester’s rich and diverse history to promote the people, ideas and movements that have encouraged peace and social justice in the city and around the globe. It includes Manchester’s involvement in the campaign for the vote of all women and men, the abolition of slavery, the challenge to rid the world of nuclear weapons and the need for tolerance and understanding between each and every one of us.
The adult peace trail project has further developed with a booklet published in an innovative scheme with six other European cities – Paris, Berlin, Turin, The Hague, Budapest and Vienna – and a joint website www.discoverpeace.eu. Many guided peace trail walks have taken place over the past 7 years.
Following the terrible events last year at Manchester Arena, the Council has been very keen to relaunch a second edition of its Children’s Peace Trail and continue to work with schools in Manchester on the importance of peace and tolerance amongst children. In the past few years, five primary schools in Manchester – Heald Place, Webster, St Bernard’s, St Margaret Mary’s and Manley Park – have been involved in Project G, receiving gingko trees from the City of Hiroshima that derive from a tree damaged in the atomic bombing of August 6th 1945, which regrew the following spring. A sixth tree is in Manchester Children’s Hospital. They are important symbols of peace. There are plans to put additional gingko trees in the planned contemplative garden in Lincoln Square in the city centre.
Through a generous grant kindly provided by Historic England, the Council has developed an updated Children’s Peace Trail which outlines 12 places in the city centre associated in some way with peace, tolerance and the promotion of social justice. They include the importance of knowledge free for everyone in the Central Library, the campaign for the vote through the Peterloo massacre and the women’s suffrage movement, the abolition of slavery, international friendship and the need for equality and justice between communities. Historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Emmeline Pankhurst, John Bright and Robert Owen. Ideas that came out of the likes of the Co-operative movement, the multi-faith movement and the gay rights movement.
The trail also includes actions to encourage children to learn more. Our website includes teachers’ materials, games and glossaries to allow for further work back at school.
The Council are also working with the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace at the Warrington Peace Centre and with Historic England to disseminate the Trail to schools and to teachers across Manchester and Greater Manchester.
Manchester City Council is a Vice President of Mayors for Peace and the trail is part of its joint commitment with them to encourage and develop peace education and the need to promote tolerance and harmony in schools across the city.
Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor June Hitchen, said:“I am delighted the Council has cooperated with Historic England in the development of this new edition of the Children’s Peace Trail. The promotion of peace, justice and tolerance must start with our youngest generations and this excellent trail shows in many different ways how Manchester has always been a true city of peace. I look forward to meeting the children and walking the Trail. I hope many children across Manchester get the opportunity to walk the Trail and find out more about our city’s rich history and its role in promoting many progressive and important causes.”