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Bury (pronounced "Berry") is a town and borough in Greater Manchester, in the North West of England, ten miles north of central Manchester. It grew rapidly from the 18th century as a textile town, initially for wool but later chiefly for cotton. Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was born here to a wealthy textile family, and founded the modern police force and served as British prime minister. The lot of Bury's mill workers was less fortunate, as the 19th C town became overcrowded, squalid and rife with disease. Still they made a living - until the mid 20th C when the cotton industry collapsed, and much of the town became derelict. Historically within Lancashire, in 1974 Bury became part of Greater Manchester, and is nowadays primarily a commuter town. The borough also includes the more affluent suburbs of Prestwich and Whitefield (with long-established Jewish populations), Radcliffe, and (the most scenic) Ramsbottom on the edge of the Pennines. Bury is indelibly linked to the black pudding, produced and consumed here in industrial quantities, and hurled over record-breaking distances at an annual contest in Ramsbottom.

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