Throwback Thursday: Tracing My Blog’s Birth Parent

City Jackdaw was a weekly penny magazine that ran in my home city of Manchester from 1875 until 1880. I came across a reference to it at a time when I was searching for a name for my blog. I am a sucker for history and connections, so it seemed quite apt.

I also liked the idea that it was something that some of my Mancunian ancestors may well have read.


I found the following description of it:

‘The subject matter was broad and current. Poetry, articles, sections on the theatre and “Claws of the Week” were regular features.’

That seemed quite relevant. When I started my blog, I incorporated into it a series of posts that occasionally feature on Fridays, called ‘Claws For The Weekend’.

Like I said, I’m a sucker for connections.

It was also described as ‘a humorous and satirical journal.’

I try.

One day I may get myself a copy of the 19th Century City Jackdaw, or check one out in the archives of Manchester Central Library. I think that would be kinda cool.

Like tracing a birth parent.

Birthday Bird

For twelve months now the Jackdaw has flown, no longer the fledgling that he once was. Riding the high air currents, descending low to roost, his perspective always tinged by his north west habitat. Appreciative always of those cousins who have observed his flight. Those who accidentally entered his territory, and then left. Those who consciously decided to nest in the same tree as he. The migrants and the indigenous ones. The silent trackers  and the communicative callers. The Jackdaw appreciates and acknowledges them all. In the dark of dusk he wonders what the future will hold, how he can adapt to an environment that is irrevocably changing. Come the first blaze of dawn he forgets all of this, and takes once again instinctively to the sky.