Centenary celebrations: We want to hear your memories of The Royal Exchange Manchester

Nothing signifies brighter times ahead quite like a burst of flower power; which makes it rather apt that The Manchester Flower Show is the city’s first major event post-lockdown.  Taking place between 29th May and 6th June 2021,  the city-wide celebration will include a trail of floral displays and green installations, with shops, buildings, and public areas being adorned with colourful displays.

The Royal Exchange Manchester will be participating in The Manchester Flower Show, with a stunning display around the Arcade entrances. The display will in fact be a double celebration, and will include an extra special message…in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the building being opened in its current format.


The first Exchange was actually built on site in 1809 and was a cotton and textiles commodities exchange, granted the title The Manchester Royal Exchange by Queen Victoria in 1851. Larger premises were soon required, and the original building was demolished and replaced. At its peak, The Manchester Royal Exchange had a membership of 11,000 cotton merchants, earning the city the nickname Cottonopolis.


In 1914, a seven-year extension and modification of the building began, which included the stunning Edwardian exterior we see today.  The new building was officially opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1921 – 100 years ago!


The Royal Exchange Manchester is now home to a wonderful collection of independent boutique shops, premium brands, health and beauty outlets, and sumptuous eateries; the perfect places to enjoy a drink or snack as you relax and people watch. At the end of May, it will boast a luxury members-only gym, GSquared Health, providing innovative fitness space of the highest standards.


The building is also home to the much-loved Royal Exchange Theatre, a beautiful unique venue that has welcomed so many esteemed actors over the years, and which we look forward to see open for performances again soon.


Over the years The Royal Exchange has seen many changes in and around the building. Lots of you may remember the antique style shopping centre in the basement, or Brannigans nightclub; also in the basement. You may have worked in one of the shops, or had your favourite go-to stall, shop or café.  Maybe you have a long-standing favourite salon, jewellers, shop, or eatery that you still go to.


The Royal Exchange Manchester would love to hear your stories and memories from the past. They are asking people to share their stories and old photos on social media with the hashtag #ExchangeMemories


If you do have any photos or stories to share make sure you tag in @royalexchangemanchester on Facebook and Instagram,  or @TheRoyalExMcr on Twitter.  We won’t see them if you don’t tag them – and we want to see them!


If you’re in the city centre for The Manchester Flower Show, please do come and visit The Royal Exchange Manchester’s stunning floral arches and beautiful 1920’s themed floral installation along the Arcade.  The installation was created by Royal Exchange Flowers, more details of which will follow shortly.  Please do tag The Royal Exchange Manchester (as above) and The Manchester Flower Show (@themanchesterflowershow) into your social media photographs of the installation and floral arches.


We’re looking forward to seeing you – and your memories!

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