Jelly d’Aranyi

 A couple of weeks ago, I sat down at the North West Film Archive pods looking for some inspiration. The first thing I watched was a clip, about a minute and a half long, of a woman called Jelly d’Aranyi playing with a little girl outside Holly Royde House in Withington. This is what I made of it.

Jelly d’Aranyi

Nine and a half.
The film is silent.

November 1928.

Well it’s like I’ve always said you just can’t trust not one of

This child at the window was only visible once they watched the film back, in a stiff white coat and white hood with binoculars covering her eyes.

never would have guessed if she hadn’t said that big house

Jelly d’Aranyi descends the steps with a girl; that fur cape slaps her sides and swallows her hand; a maid runs down the steps behind her and flees past the edge of the frame

 – and that big house as well –

They shouldn’t be out in this weather.



Nine and a half.

The film is silent.

The thing is about those shows is they don’t show you real life do they, hadn’t seen her for 53 years and I could have gone without because you know what she’s a right bitch.

Standing close by she snatches herself away from the child, she waves and she runs a bit, she looks at the camera and I don’t think she knows how to

get rid of you all over again.”

play with a child

Should have had me on.

is this what you want?

I abandoned her for a reason.

If it gets too much, finally, you can always go inside.

You know that, don’t you?

Don’t you?

Nine and a half.
The film is silent.

Bryony Bates is the winner of the Young Enigma Allan Horsfall Prize for LGBT+ Young Writers in Greater Manchester. This is a piece she has written for us.

How to survive a zombie apocalypse

The spread of viruses, microbiology, local history, archives and zombies… Just another day in Archives+. On Wednesday Professor Joanna Verran and Matthew Crossley from Manchester Metropolitan University presented an interactive lecture incorporating all of these themes to a group of students and zombie aficionados.

Zombies in the Archives 22/10/2014

To add to the atmosphere make up artists from Stockport college transformed a group of volunteers (some more willing than others) into victims of unfortunate diseases.

Zombies in the Archives 22/10/2014 Zombies in the Archives 22/10/2014

You might wonder how this ties in with archives…. Well, Victorian Manchester, or Cottonopolis as it was known at the time, was overcrowded with poor sanitation and we have plenty of archives to show how the spread of disease was rife in the city, including sanitation reports, cholera maps and much more. Some of these are included in our exhibition and others were on display for the day.

Sketch of back to back houses (GB124.M126/5/1/17)

Professor Verran also talked about how to prevent the spread of infection, including innoculisation and quarantine. The principles of quarantining people who have or are suspected of having infectious diseases are similar to how we protect our archives from the spread of mould and insect infestations.

More pictures of the event are available on our Flickr page. If you’d like to know more about Professor Verran visit her MMU web page.

If you’re interested in the science of archives, our Conservation Officer will be holding a drop in session on Wednesday the 29th of October as part of our Manchester Science Festival Event Science@Central.

Our trip to Manchester Central Library


Thanks to Crumpsall Lane for this blog post about their visit. We love the photos of everyone enjoying the Archives+ exhibition.

Originally posted on CLPS 2MD:

Last week we had so much fun visiting Manchester Central Library! We really enjoyed listening to a story by Roald Dahl called ‘The Twits’ in the lovely children’s library. We then had fun making our own disgusting beards, just like Mr Twits! Next, we were given a grand tour of the magnificent library and were really impressed with all the wonderful things to see and do there. Finally we explored the interactive section of the library and even made our very own book marks! We love reading in year 2 and I am sure that lots of us will be visiting the library again with our friends and families!


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Lancashire World War One Football

When looking through photographs which featured football clubs, matches and players from the early Twentieth Century there was one picture curiously out-of-place next to images of Manchester City, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and other sides from around the North West.

Lancashire Army Football Team

Back row (left to right) Broad, Eccleston, Lees, Sutcliffe, Kellock, Cook, Bullen, Kelly, Swarbrick. Front row (left to right) Barnes, Boyle, Speak, Shepherd, Latheron, Walmsley, Toothill.

The image of soldiers in uniform, stood in front of a stand at a football ground, was a marked change from the action shots and squad photos that surrounded it.  The soldiers pictured were members of the Lancashire army football side, players from regiments in the area who came together to form a team to play in an inter-county match against a Yorkshire side in 1916.

The team featured some of the finest players of the period, one of which was winger Eddie Latheron.  A Blackburn Rovers player and England international, Latheron was lauded at the time as one of, if not the best winger in the English game.  Originally from Middlesbrough, he moved down to Blackburn a few years before the First World War broke out and had established himself as one of the stars of the game in his spell at Rovers, collecting two League titles and two England caps before 1914.  Following the start of the conflict, and the postponement of League football, Latheron joined the Royal Field Artillery.  He unfortunately died during the war on October 14th 1917, aged 28, at the Battle of Passchendale where after pulling a comrade out of the line of fire he was hit with an artillery shot and suffered fatal wounds.

85th Field Battery Beret Badge

Badge of the Royal Field Artillery, image courtesy of

The First World War was punctuated by tragic stories such as that of Eddie Latheron.  Another member of the side, Teddy Bullen, suffered a similar fate to his team-mate.  Bullen was a Bury F.C. player, a fine half back according to those who saw him play and, like Eddie Latheron, he joined up following the temporary end to the Football League programme.  Initially a member of the Royal Horse Artillery and then the Royal Field Artillery Bullen on August 11th 1917, in the commune of Vaulx-Vraucourt in the north of France.  He was the only Bury player to die during the First World War and a number of years ago the club honoured their fallen player with a memorial in the club’s boardroom.

Eddie Latheron

Eddie Latheron, picture from @stevew_chorley on Twitter.

Stories like those of Teddy Bullen and Eddie Latheron were an all too common feature of the First World War.  Young men who were taken in the prime of their lives fighting for the greater good. There were survivors from this team though and its a sad fact that some survivors failed to get the support they deserved following the end of the war.

Thomas Boyle began his footballing career at Barnsley before moving to Burnley.  He was one of the more colourful characters of early 20th century football.  He was suspended by Burnley in 1912 for “breaching training regulations and disobeying doctors orders”, however he put that behind him and went on to captain the side.  He remains, to this day, the only Burnley captain to have lifted the FA Cup following their success in 1914.  At the same time, he became the first captain ever to receive the trophy from a reigning monarch.

Tommy Boyle and his wife Annie


Tommy and his wife Annie. Image courtesy of Mike Smith

Boyle was wounded during his time on the battlefield and told he would struggle to play again, yet he did not let that curtail his footballing career.  He returned to captain Burnley post-war and was captain of Burnley’s first ever league title-winning team in 1921.  Despite his on pitch successes, he was never given the recognition many felt he had earned, achieving just one solitary England cap and three appearances for the Football League representative side.

Tommy Boyle memorial

Headstone erected for Tommy Boyle in 2010, image from

Unfortunately after his playing career had ended, following a brief spell coaching, Boyle succumbed to alcoholism and a gambling addiction which resulted in him losing his house and family.  A Burnley and Barnsley footballing legend and World War One survivor, he spent his final years at Whittingham Mental Hospital where he died on January 2nd 1940, aged 53, his cause of death given as ‘the general paralysis of the insane.’

The Main Entrance, Whittingham Hospital.

Whittingham Mental Hospital, image from Preston Digital Archive

All the young men pictured in the team photograph will have had their own stories and all played their role in the war effort.  We should never forget the sacrifices that an entire generation made to ensure our freedom.  These stories are a tiny fraction of those of so many young men in the First World War, all tragically similar and all should never be forgotten.

This blog post was written for Archives+ by one of our volunteers as part of our Heritage Lottery Funded project.

Many thanks to Mike Smith for use of images.  Mike has written well received books about Tommy Boyle and Burnley’s 1914 FA Cup success if you are interested in reading more on the subject.

A year with Archives+

About this time a year ago, while looking for something to do following graduating from university, I happened upon an opportunity to volunteer with Archives+. Having an interest in history, writing and Manchester in general, I decided to give it a go, a little unsure as to what I had let myself in for.

Heading to the old County Record Office, not the most welcoming of buildings to put it politely, it came as a pleasant surprise to find such a friendly and enjoyable place to work. Over the next few months I was able to get my hands on all manner of interesting items and write-up blogs about them, which have hopefully been of some interest!

City South Housing Trust visit to GMCRO

From freedom of the city declarations to the correspondences of retired footballers, scripts for short-lived 1980’s game shows to handwritten notes by Manchester institution Tony Wilson.  The finds have been brilliant, if a little frustrating when you expect to find a gold mine of intriguing stuff only to come up with a mass of thank you notes!

City South Housing Trust visit to GMCRO

At the end of last year my time volunteering came temporarily to an end as the County Record Office closed and preparations were made to move into the newly renovated Central Library. Come springtime, after being privileged to a sneak preview of the Library, complete with a West-Wingesque walk through the corridors underneath the building, I was able to get back to volunteering. The new library was a vast change from the old County Record Office, unfortunately though, some of the most unreliable PCs I have ever come across made it to the new building too!

The past year I have spent with Archives+ has been fantastic. It has given me new skills, the chance to handle brilliant archive materials and it is something I heartily recommend to anyone with an interest in local history.

Yuri Gagarin – A Spaceman Came Travelling … to Manchester

On April 12th 1961 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin completed a 108-minute orbit of the Earth to become the first human in space and internationally famous. The Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers realised Gagarin had been a foundryman before training as a pilot and it made an audacious invitation for him to receive honorary membership of the Union at their headquarters in Manchester.

The invitation was accepted on May 23rd but the timing of the visit remained uncertain until July 7th when the Russians announced Gagarin would attend the Soviet Trade Fair at Earl’s Court on July 11th and stay a few days. No corresponding official invitation had been made by the UK Government but visits were hastily arranged with dignitaries including Harold Macmillan, then Prime Minister, culminating in lunch with the Queen. The AUFW trip was only confirmed to Manchester’s Lord Mayor by the Soviet Embassy the night before.

On July 12th Gagarin arrived at Ringway Airport at 10am in pouring rain. He was accompanied by AUFW President Fred Hollingsworth who had travelled to London for that purpose. Seeing the waiting crowds Gagarin insisted his car should be driven with the top down and stood without an umbrella so they could see the man for whom they had braved the elements. By the time he reached his first destination his Major’s uniform was soaked through.

Yuri Gagarin waving from an open top car

This 1961 picture from the Manchester Local Images collection shows the AUFW headquarters at 164 Chorlton Road, now the Brook’s Bar Medical Centre. Over a hundred people including Gagarin’s entourage, union officials, a local MP and the office cleaner packed into the first floor boardroom intended for half that number. Hollingsworth presented Gagarin with honorary membership and a specially commissioned gold medal bearing the AUFW’s new logo and the slogan ‘Together moulding a better world’. Recently elected General Secretary David Lambert also gave Gagarin copies of two of his novels. From the balcony Gagarin waved to the crowd which had earlier brought road traffic to a halt.

Friendly Society of Ironfounders, Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers

His convoy then made for the Associated Electrical Industries foundry at Trafford Park. The crowds en route reportedly included Manchester United players breaking their morning’s training. At AEI’s Metropolitan-Vickers works Gagarin went on a factory tour and spent so much time receiving congratulations from the workers he saw little of the foundry, although he recalled his foundry training when admonishing one press photographer for standing on a half-finished cast.

Thousands gathered in the car park to hear Gagarin’s speech via his translator, Boris Belitzky. These included local women with children and workers from nearby factories sacrificing their lunch break. The young girls thought him handsome and onlookers were struck by his easy-going personality, but many were surprised by the space hero’s slight stature: “He’s only a bit of a lad.” He talked about the teamwork from thousands of workers that made his flight possible and hopes for peaceful cooperation in space exploration one day. “It’d be better having a pint with the lad,” more restless listeners told the Guardian. “I bet his hands are bloody sore with all that shaking,” another speculated.

This picture from shows Gagarin during the tour. The AUFW medal can be seen on his left lapel. The other lapel bears his Hero of the Soviet Union medal.

Yuri Gagarin visits the A.E.I., Trafford Park, Jul 1961

Despite the very short notice a civic reception at the Town Hall had been arranged and that was to be Gagarin’s next stop after a brief visit to the cenotaph on St Peter’s Square to lay a wreath. At about 1pm he was greeted on Albert Square by thousands of well-wishers, a brass band playing the Russian anthem and the sight of a Soviet flag draping the Town Hall. Lord Mayor Biggs was Gagarin’s host and he was joined for a five-course lunch by the Soviet ambassador and other dignitaries.

One guest was Sir Bernard Lovell, director of Jodrell Bank. This was well known to the Soviets after its radio telescope had successfully tracked the flight of Russian vessels such as Sputnik and had helped them with transmission of the first pictures of the far side of the Moon from their Luna 3 mission in 1959. Lovell invited Gagarin to visit Jodrell Bank. It is believed the cosmonaut was keen to go but his schedule would not allow it.

Granada TV was also thwarted by Gagarin’s tight schedule. Our archives show it had hoped Gagarin could be interviewed at their studios by Prof Jim Ring of the Royal Astronomical Society. Records include a draft script and a thank you note from Barrie Heads, Head of Outside Broadcasting, to David Lambert who was the only person available in the end. The collection also includes transcripts of Gagarin’s interview with the international press at Earl’s Court the day before.

Gagarin returned to the airport around 4:30pm and on to London where he stayed for the remainder of his visit. In a radio message to the AUFW in 1962 he recalled the warm welcome he had received from the people of Manchester, in particular the Metrovicks visit where “… the firm handshakes of my fellow workers in the moulding shop were dearer to me than many awards.”

The AUFW had been the principal sponsor of the visit had considered it a huge publicity success. “This has proved to be the greatest day in the history of our Union,” said Hollingsworth. The Daily Telegraph reported in December that the AUFW paid £500 for the visit but that Lambert thought it “… was well worth the cost.”

Yuri Gagarin in Manchester, 1961

Gagarin continued his international promotional tour but never returned to space. In August his compatriot Gherman Titov orbited Earth 17 times over the course of 24 hours and became the first man to sleep in space. Tragically Gagarin died in 1968 during a training flight, leaving a widow and two daughters. By the end of the decade the Americans had surpassed Soviet achievements by landing men on the Moon and the world was talking of Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 instead.

In 2011 the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s historic flight saw renewed interest in these events, including the UK visit (see the website A statue of Gagarin was placed on the Mall in London and has since moved to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where it was unveiled by his daughter, Elena. Each year 12th April is commemorated as Yuri’s Night by enthusiasts holding educational events and space-themed parties – learn more at

The North West Film Archive have footage of Yuri’s visit to Manchester which can be viewed in the film pods in Archives+.  These books in Manchester Central Library cover Gagarin’s life and Manchester visit in more detail:

Yuri Gagarin in London and Manchester: A Smile that Changed the World by Gurbir Singh

Starman: The Truth behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin by Jamie Doran and Piers Brizony.

On October 4th Manchester Central Library will host an audio-visual performance called Space~Life by Radar Works which explores the theme of planetary interconnectedness using awe-inspiring space imagery. See for more information.

The Co-operative Holiday Association

After graduating from university last year, I started volunteering with Archives+ eager to get started on “public history” after three years of essays and exams. After an initial meeting, Archives+ offered me a project digitising holiday photographs c. 1920s. The combination of early travel and early consumer photography was too hard to resist and before I knew it, I was diligently working on the digitisation of over 420 photographs. The collection is wonderful and quietly charming, highlighting the sturdiness and beauty of the countryside. I hope you enjoy.


Edinburgh greets Glasgow on the summit of Ben Arthur (the Cobbler). The white of Edinburgh, the brown of Glasgow. 27 December 1927.

Against the backdrop of commercial seaside resorts in the late nineteenth century, the Rev. T A Leonard founded the Co-operative Holiday Association (CHA) in 1891 with a focus on countryside touring. Its aim was to provide organised cultural holidays for the working-classes, based on the idea that the countryside was morally and spiritually advantageous against the cities and industry.

These walking tours proved immensely popular, with over 16,000 people holidaying per year. In 1913, however, Leonard felt that the CHA had become too middle-class and amicably split to create the Holiday Fellowship (HF). The history of the CHA and HF point to the burgeoning leisure and tourism industry in the early twentieth century, how social class affected the type of holiday one might enjoy, and to the Romantic idealism of the countryside against the city.


The rocking stone, Rippon Tor, Dartmoor. July 1936.

The two organisations were not in competition, with HF offering international holidays – the first British overseas tour operator! Their first international holiday was in Kelkheim, Germany just before the outbreak of war. In 1914, guests were unable to return home and were interned in Germany for the war’s duration. The CHA, on the other hand, focussed on British leisure centres such as the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and Devon. In the late 1930s, the CHA took sightseers to Denmark and Norway – wandering through picturesque villages, visiting old palaces, lunching at glaciers, and making impressive mountain ascents. These international departures were instrumental in forming and cultivating overseas links.


The Senns at Loen, Norway. c. 1920s-30s.

On each trip, the CHA conducted photography competitions for their guests – a mix of hobbyists and professional photographers. In the archives, there are folders full of beautifully-composed landscapes, intriguing group photos from particularly strenuous hikes, and idyllic lunch spots on the moors. If they were lucky enough, holidayers would see their photographs printed in the CHA’s magazine.

Here is a very small selection of photographs and documents from the archives. You will be able to see more at the Flickr album.


Sights and Sightseers, Fountains Abbey. June 1939.


Four ladies on the stepping stones at Hebden, Wharfedale Centre. June 1939.


Steepfull Cove, Shanklin by Mr Ada G Willmott. c. 1920s-30s.


Donkeys at Clovelly, Devon. c. 1920s-30s.


Sunshine and Shadow at Clovelly, Devon. c. 1920s-1930s.


A little help at Gordale Scar, Wharfedale Centre by J P Wheaton. c. 1920s-1930s.


Dated 6 September 1938. A letter from Margaret Winlow to CHA requesting copies of the autumn and winter circular, and enclosing snapshots (not pictured) taken at Westward Ho!, Devon.

For more information on the Co-operate Holiday Association and Holiday Fellowship, we recommend…

Behind the Scenes

Digitising the CHA photographs took three stages once a week across six months. The first stage consisted of handling and identification, giving each individual photograph its own identification number. The second stage entailed scanning the photographs into the digital archive. Lastly, the third stage involved inputting each photograph (identification number as given in the first stage, subject, description, type of file e.g. black and white photograph, postcard, and date) into a spreadsheet for later export into the comprehensive image and collections system.

This blog post was written for Archives+ by one of our volunteers as part of our Heritage Lottery Funded project.