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Office closure over Christmas

19th December, 2019

Please note, the Lit & Phil office is closed from 5pm on Thursday 19th December until 9am on Monday 6th January.  Here's wishing you a very merry Christmas!

It is with sadness we announce the recent death of Michael Oglesby CBE, a member (with his wife Jean) of the Lit & Phil from 2008 to 2018 – when he retired due to ill health.  During that time his Oglesby Charitable Trust most generously sponsored the production of our ‘John Dalton Selected Papers’.  125 copies of some of the papers which John Dalton presented to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society between 1794 and 1805 are in this hard-backed book, and we present them to some of our speakers when they talk on relevant subjects.

Michael Oglesby was a Manchester-based property entrepreneur, with an amazing philanthropic spirit, with much involvement in the life of the city and region.  His company Bruntwood apparently owns about 20% of the office space in Manchester, as well as being involved in similar activity in other Northern cities.  He started from scratch and became adept at using many of the old industrial buildings already in the area from the time of the industrial revolution.

He was also heavily involved in the civic life of Greater Manchester, including roles in the universities and local government.  The family’s Charitable Trust was set up in 1993, supporting a very wide range of charities all over the North West – 10% of the company’s profits still go into this Trust.  He also played a leading role at the Royal Northern College of Music, at Chetham’s School of Music, and at the Royal Exchange Theatre.  His family have now taken up the reins of his business and philanthropic commitments, continuing in Michael’s commitments to both commerce and community involvement. We send them our great sympathy for their loss.


Members who attended the lecture by Sir Tom Devine, ‘The Scottish political earthquake and the future of the union’ on 20th October 2015 may remember the items which member Heather Turner brought to the meeting and displayed on the table.  The plaid was worn at the Battle of Culloden by an ancestor, John Moir and the carved oak pew panel dated 1696 came from a church in Logie Coldstone in Aberdeenshire. 

Heather showed the artefacts to Tom who said they were of national importance and suggested the National Museum of Scotland as a suitable home for them. As a result of a meeting at the National Museum of Scotland on 8th October 2019 Heather donated the plaid and panel to the museum so that they will be preserved for future generations. They will be available to view in the archives and eventually go on display in a gallery.



Autumn 2019 progamme launch

6th September, 2019


On this day in 1766 John Dalton was born and on this auspicious occasion we launch our 238th season. Booking is now open for all Autumn events to Members.

The complete list of Autumn events is accessible here and an interactive version of the brochure can be found here.



Here are some pictures from a very interesting and informative trip on 5 August 2019 around the new RHS Bridgewater Gardens, being created in Salford (as you can see there is still a lot of work to do!).

We thank them very much for allowing us to go on a pre-opening tour (19 members of Lit & Phil attended) and look forward to them being open to the public in 2020, and for allowing us to publish these photos.

We especially liked the 6 pigs who were busily clearing some of the ground!