A new exhibition will celebrate the ties between Manchester and the French town of Mézières – which reach back a hundred years having first been forged in the crucible of the devastation wrought by the First World War.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Sue Cooley will be joined by the Mayor of Charleville-Mézières Boris Ravignon at Manchester Central Library at 6pm on Monday 13 April to officially open the new exhibition. 

Mézières (which became Charleville-Mézières in 1966) was deeply affected by the First World War and was ravaged by bombs that destroyed the hospital and much of the town centre.

On 10 June 1920 Manchester officially adopted Mézières under the authority of the then Lord Mayor Tom Ford. This lead to an outpouring of generosity from the people of Manchester, who raised money to help rebuild the French town. To this day Mézières boast a Manchester district in honour of the city’s generosity.

The exhibition will provide a chance to explore the remarkable link between Charleville-Mézières and Manchester and feature images from the 1921 Lord Mayor’s Pageant (which helped raise funds), archive news cuttings and a medal that was presented to Manchester to mark the support given to Mézières.

Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Sue Cooley said “Many people may be unaware of the connection between Manchester and Mézières so I hope this exhibition will not only educate but inspire a rejuvenation of the relationship between our two cities.

“It will be an honour to open the exhibition with the Mayor of Charleville-Mézières, whose predecessor was in attendance when Central Library was originally opened back in 1934. 

“The exhibition is a fascinating reminder of the importance of cooperation and a testament to the generosity and empathy of Manchester’s residents.” 

The exhibition will be officially opened at 6pm on Monday 13 April jointly by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and the Mayor of Charleville-Mézières.

The exhibition runs from 13 April – 30 May 2015, first floor, Central Library.


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