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Rusholme

From Academic Kids

Rusholme is a part of Manchester, England, about two miles south of the city centre. Most of the housing consists of low-cost terraced houses, around 70-100 years old, although some larger houses exist to the east of the main road that runs through the centre in the Victoria Park neighbourhood. Rusholme was an independent city until incorporation into Manchester in 1885.

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Cultural diversity

Rusholme is acclaimed as home of the largest number of Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) restaurants in the United Kingdom. This led Wilmslow Road to be dubbed "the curry mile". It is said that the curry mile has the largest concentration of Asian restaurants anywhere in the world outside the Indian Subcontinent; there are around 55 curry houses and kebab shops on the road. The street is an extension of Oxford Road where the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University are located. This is also the busiest bus route in Europe, with many bus stops being serviced by one bus from one of six different bus companies every 60 to 90 seconds during peak times. There are a number of purpose built student halls in the area, and a large number of students who rent privately. There is a large, mostly Islamic, immigrant community as well as a community of working class English.

Social geography

Over the Victorian era, there were several different socio-political meanings of Rusholme. Primarily, it was a township based around a general area known as Rusholme since at least the thirteenth century . A 1235 document gives the spelling of the area as ‘Russum’, a spelling which evolved with the English language over the next five hundred years . The meaning was ‘place of reeds’, indicating that it was probably largely swampland. The area grew into a township, and by the beginning of the nineteenth century, it had its own government responsible for public health, roads, policing, poor relief, and other local government tasks. That Rusholme was originally a politically autonomous entity was vital to its self-conception as a discrete area even after it lost almost all political self-control upon incorporation into Manchester. The spate of low-cost terraced housing erected between 1880 and 1930 dominates the landscape, as does a sprawling council housing estate erected in the interwar era.

Politics

The community is surrounded by Fallowfield, Moss Side, Levenshulme, and the University of Manchester. It is served in Westminster by the MP for Gorton (election results (http://politics.guardian.co.uk/hoc/constituency/0,9338,-1112,00.html)), currently the Rt Hon Gerald Kaufman, and is considered one of the strongest Labour Party constituencies in the country.

Prime Minister Herbert Asquith was married in a Rusholme church, Richard Cobden, William Royle, and Thomas Lowe were long-time residents.

Conservative Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw was for 26 years the town's representative on Manchester City Council before becoming Lord Mayor of Manchester from 1975-1976.

Culture

Rusholme is home to Platt Fields Park. It was founded in the early 20th century on the grounds of the former Platt estate.

L.S. Lowry grew up there. John Ruskin gave the lectures later published as Sesame and Lillies (1865) at the Town Hall.

Rusholme was immortalised in the song Rusholme Ruffians by Manchester band The Smiths on their 1985 album Meat is Murder.

Rusholme was the home of the first indoor ice skating rink in England, although this has been replaced by a grocery store. From 1947 to 1954 it was the home of Mancunian Film Studios, many of whose productions were filmed on local streets. In its early years the BBC's weekly music programme Top of the Pops was broadcast live from a disused church in Rusholme.

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