Andrew Davies

Andy Davies is a writer and historian. He is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Liverpool, where he teaches courses on modern British social history and the history of crime. His first book, Leisure, gender and poverty (published by Open University Press, 1992), was a study of leisure and everyday life in Manchester and Salford in the early decades of the twentieth century. As far back as 1991, he turned to uncovering the hidden history of Manchester’s gangs. He has since written many articles on the subject and contributed to media debate on gangs in modern Britain. From 2008 to 2010, he worked with Manchester-based MaD Theatre Company as co-producer of a play based on The Gangs of Manchester.

Check out Andy’s contribution to media debate on the causes and consequences of gang culture in modern Britain in the Guardian newspaper and the Express.

You can contact him at:


  1. Absolutly fasinating book read it in Manchester Central libarery last week ,couldn’t put it down , well recomended
    I lived in Gorton,Openshaw beswick and most of myfamily around that time were from Ancoats ,Angel Medow and New Cross, its fasinating to see how they lived
    Sheer brilliance

  2. Wonder if they have copies of “the Gangs of Manchester”, over here in Canada? Yes, i know,’s an option. If you have a credit card. It sounds like a very interesting read, and if it is available over here, i’ll have to get me a copy!

  3. Dear Andrew

    We attended your talk at New Moston library last night, and would like to thank you for a wonderful evening. I have read your book and really enjoyed it. I did ask about how to research if my relatives were in a scuttler gang, but unfortunately did not have time to discuss properly with you because the library was closing.

    I have evidence that my family lived in Lower Broughton from the 1860’s, until the 1911 census report. The name is Roles, and it is reported that they had a piano or music shop in the Broughton area. They had sons John and Joseph Roles, aged 11 & 9 in 1871, and a younger sister Ruth (8 months). They lived at Piercy Street.

    John is not mentioned in the 1881 census for this address, but Ruth (11) and Joseph (19) were still there. I am interested to find out if they had any involvement with scuttlers, or if scuttlers were prominent in the area at that time, and how they may have influenced their lives.

    There is a William Roles in the 1891 census aged 12, so all of these children were at an age where they were at the right sort of age to be involved with scuttlers.

    Any help or suggestions you can give would be great, and thanks once again for last nights talk.

  4. About to order the Manchester book and cant wait for the Glasgow one. Both are synonymous to my family.
    Hope its announced on here when its published – just have to remember to tick the notification box at the bottom of this box to let me know !

  5. I read this book through in a few days because I could hardly put it down. I was so anxious to see what the outcomes were going to be. My friend subsequently bought it and she and her husband read it also and enjoyed it.

    It is an excellent read, at once compulsive and enjoyable.

  6. Hi there, I couldnt find a twitter feed to get in touch directly, I just wanted to let you know I mentioned you and this book in a recent post here:


  7. Hi Andrew, We really enjoyed the talk at Walkden gateway this afternoon 🙂 My husband’s great grandfather George Leek and his eldest son bought the Hope street iron foundry (Salford) in 1899, so you would think that some of the scuttlers could have still worked there 🙂

  8. […] buckle was used by the villain as a weapon. This was the practice of the Manchester scuttlers. (See Andrew Davies Gangs of Manchester) Electric lighting was used as a metonym for technological progress in the 19th century, though it […]

  9. Great read in which you mention Manchester City, formerly known as Ardwick. Prior to be Ardwick the club was st.Mark’s (west gorton) formed in 1880 as a way to get the young men away from scuttling and doing something more productive.

  10. […] Davies (the screen-writer who brought us Pride and Prejudice, not the historian who brought us Gangs of Manchester), the very first episode might have begun with the night-life of the Roaring Twenties, and panned […]

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  • Gangs of Manchester: on sale now

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