Brainy as they come as well, asking interesting questions, getting involved. The young women on the right in the picture above - green cardigan and dark coat open - had come especially to Manchester as Elizabeth Gaskell groupies.
The pioneering nineteenth century novelist was long associated with Manchester and was one of the first from the 1840s to write about the new class of urban working poor while recording their relations with the new middle classes.
"We're big North and South fans," green cardigan had said, when I'd asked what had brought them to Manchester.
"The North/South divide," I'd said alarmed, "or the Gaskell novel?"
Turned out it was the latter.
As it happens, in the refurbished Central Library there's a first edition of Gaskell's first novel, Mary Barton, on display with hand-written notes by Elizabeth Gaskell in the margin.
After the tour the overjoyed ladies almost charged off there when I told them. I believe they went "woo-hoo".
Tourism is as diverse as individuals that enjoy it. Paranormal addicts one day, Gaskell groupies the next.
Has a first edition of Mary Barton been 'woo-hooed' before?
This is a social group with several hundred members who use the meetup.com site to get together, plan and join events.
A lot of people new to the city seem to be using it plus single people and those who generally want to explore the city and cultural, gastromic and other activities. In other words people who don't just want to sit on their arse and trawl through season three of whatever's the latest DVD hit.
Good screamers too. The stories in the dark and the occasional 'incident' made them very jumpy. Thanks to Elaine, on the right in the foreground, for organising the group.
I think the picture shows a rare photographic ability. I've managed to compose it with a large No Entry sign coming out of the group's heads.
We'd met at John Rylands Library and scooted through St John's Gardens, down past Granada and over the river at Prince's Bridge and along the banks of the Irwell on the Salford side to finish up at the Kings Arms on Bloom Street.
As we scrambled down a muddy bank I feared for some of the heels involved. They took it in good part.
Again it was a large group, mixed age, male and female, but it was mainly the women from Didsbury Diners who carried on the tour with a drink in the Kings Arms.
A lively bunch, full of laughter and wit, they skipped off to Knott Bar for food after the pub. I wish they'd told me this at the beginning because the tour finished about three quarters of mile away and I could have varied the route to give them less of walk - especially since the heaven's opened shortly after we'd arrived at the pub.
The lady third down the table on its right side in the picture above, brought something on the tour I'd never encountered before: a chihuahua in a handbag. You can see it - just - on her lap in the picture above.
She hadn't told me this at the start of the tour, so it was a surprise to look down at one point during commentary and see big brown eyes staring at me from an elegant accessory.
The uninteresting object we'd viewed at the Kings Arms is the country's worst royal coat of arms crammed uncomfortably under a gable too small to accommodate it. Look at the poor lion's face. It's in pain. It nowhere near fits as well as a chihuahua in a bag.