The first was for the excellently appointed Great John Street Hotel. A former city centre school now turned into an elegant hotel for the Manchester-based Eclectic Hotels.
Three women on the tour, two of them writers. The tour was a general Manchester familiarisation walk taking in St John's Gardens, Spinningfields, John Rylands Library, The Royal Exchange, Haunted Underworld for one story, Exchange Square, King Street, Albert Square and back.
"With all the squares in Manchester the city feels European, Northern European I mean, especially in Albert Square. Antwerp perhaps?" said one lady.
She was right. One of the impulses behind the Town Hall in the 1860s was to reflect Manchester's status as a great trading city. In a way it was saying, 'In the old days there was the Hanseatic League in Northern Europe, but now there's industrial Britain with Manchester at it's heart, so move over.'
Pride comes before a fall they say but you have to admire the bombast of the building. Remember at the time, Manchester, through the Royal Exchange, controlled around 80% of all the world's finished cotton trade.
When we returned to the Great John Street Hotel we noticed there was a bumper crowd of Coronation Street autograph hunters. In amongst them were several press photographers. The latter were armed with long lenses, no doubt trying to 'pap' actor Micheal Le Vell before his trial. For a journalist group it somehow seemed appropriate.
In the evening on Friday I took an office group from insurance group Caunce O'Hara on the ghost tour. They proved to be good screamers and the terror was helped by one chap who stood away from the rest of the group in the dark and kept making me jump too by suddenly appearing out of the gloom. On the Saturday tour there were more screams and a very jolly family group discovering the delights of underground Manchester.
I reckon that last tour, was tour 142 of the year.