Manchester Takes Ownership of Ragged University

Hi there, Just to say that there are now 124 people in Manchester Ragged University.  The idea is simple and started five years ago from the realisation that I [Alex] – and some friends [Jes, Grant and Will] – enjoyed meeting in a pub (Rochester Castle, London) and getting the chance to spraff (chat 😉 about what had grabbed our attentions.  We enjoyed sharing knowledge, and it was always an enlightening exchange… and a fun one.


The idea grew, and you see the events which have run to date.  Over time more people got involved and stuff grew.  The website came together, we got a Facebook, a Twitter, etc, because different people did different things because that was where they got their kicks.  Time passes, and people are drawn into different things. For me, life is like crossing an iceflow; opportunity is a fine thing and it is not always easy to be able to commit to the things I would like to do… I personally run the events in Edinburgh.


Something great has happened in Manchester. I [Alex Dunedin] live in Edinburgh myself and Susan organises the Manchester events mostly; when she has the time ;).  We have been doing what events we can between us by sharing the bits and pieces it takes to draw them together.  This time it is different.  We have the Avant Garde from Manchester forging ahead.


Joseph and Anne organised this event, they sorted it by talking to the pub – Gulliver’s. They are also doing the talks. This is the very spirit of where the idea of ‘the Ragged University’ came from and it makes my heart sing.  We share the knowledge we love socially.  You can scale the fluffy language up or down according to your tastes.


I have got the chance to talk with them both over coffee and find out about some of their thoughts on the talk. I am personally looking forward to coming along on the 20th of April and listening – and talking with – Joseph and Anne on the night.  So please come along and check it out. There will be some food provided, as per usual, and all are invited to bring a piece of food to put on the table to share – and help take away what they will use afterwards. Ideally we wont waste anything.


Anyways, what would really help is if you could you tell others about the event.  The more the merrier is the idea.  There is no funding, this is not an ‘official’ project.  Its just a bunch of people putting a ‘free event’ together because in my experience it is very interesting.  Anyone can do a talk, it just takes organising.  Meeting, setting up the circumstances so that a couple of people can chat for a while on what makes them chime, breaking some bread, and asking questions. The rest is gravy.


Jonny [the owner of the venue in Manchester], and the staff of the pubs we have used, have given their time and the rooms for free; they provide all sorts of equipment which has been made available for use, setting up the rooms and not asking a penny.  Another part of the bunch of people who have made this event possible. I look forward to seeing whoever on the 20th. Anyone can create an event.  It is simple and fun. Cheers, Alex