Yuri Gagarin driving through Manchester
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Manchester still remembers Gagarin - the first spaceman

The first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, visited Britain three months after his space flight, between 11-14 July 1961.

The Soviet embassy in the UK wanted to bring him to London as part of his world tour - but at first, the British government was reluctant to grant Gagarin a visa.

He was eventually allowed to come for one day, but it quickly became a state visit and was extended by two days.

This allowed Gagarin to visit Manchester, where he was invited by the Union of Foundry Workers - being a foundry worker himself, before becoming a cosmonaut.

Some of the people of Manchester who still remember that day, 50 years ago, recall what happened.

  • 08 Apr 2011
  • From the section World
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