A PhD student has curated an eye-opening exhibition at Manchester Central Library, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Philip’s Park Cemetery.
Michala Hulme, who is also a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, curated a bone-chilling display which captures some of Manchester’s most horrific murders. 
Michala said she was very proud of the exhibition: 
“When I did the exhibition, I felt like it was something that people needed to know about.
“I hope people will visit and look at how much Manchester has developed from the Victorian period onwards.
“It’s important to teach the people of Manchester about their heritage. When it’s gone, it’s gone.” 

Hulme first became interested in history 12 years ago.
Reminiscing, she shared that whilst her friends were out clubbing, she was researching her family tree. 
“When I was younger, I did quite a bit of modelling.
“After retiring, I went back to university to study at Undergraduate level.
Subsequently, I decided to do a PhD, and now I’m part of the Manchester Centre for regional history. It’s my job to promote things like the Philip’s Park Cemetery exhibition.” 
Throughout her studies Michala has collaborated a series of tales about the “Hidden Horrible Histories of Manchester”.
She has also written two books that focus on how the Victorians dealt with death.
She said her favourite story was about a mysterious lady from Ancoats who laced a cake with arsenic. 
“A lady called Mrs McCann approached some school children with a cake she had baked, asking them to deliver it to a local flour seller. The flour seller’s wife claimed that it wasn’t for them, so the young boy who had possession of the cake took it home to his mother. 
“His mother then began handing out the cake to all of the children who lived in the street, not realising that the cake was actually laced with arsenic. Luckily some of the children were sick, meaning that they hadn’t fully digested the poison. However, one child sadly died.” 

Michala felt it was important to tell the story of Manchester’s first municipal cemetery, as many out – of – work cotton traders built the cemetery during The Lancashire Cotton Famine between 1861-1865. During her research, Hulme also discovered that many of her own ancestors were buried in Phillips Park Cemetery.
Admittance to the Philip’s Park Cemetery exhibition is free and will be open at Manchester Central Library until December 31. For further information, Tel: 0161 234 1983.

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