There’s something magical about snow.

Heaton Park

Above: Heaton Park in the snow, 1930 (source)

Especially at night.

Piccadilly Gardens

Above: Piccadilly Gardens covered in snow, 1947 (source)

Indeed, Manchester is no stranger to snowy weather.
Oxford Road

Above: Traffic in the snow on Oxford Road, 1958 (source)

Below: Ardwick Green Winter Cab Stand, 1900 (source)

For many of us, snow means travel disruption, slippery roads and high heating bills.


Above: Slippery pavements, 1960s (source)

However, it’s also a chance for fun and games, and there is plenty of evidence of this in the Documentary Photographic Archive and the Local Images Collection, both held at the Greater Manchester County Record Office.


Boys play soldiers in the snow (above and below).



Above: Mrs Blackshaw gamely holds a snowball (source)

Below: Sledging in Heaton Park, 1970s (source)


There are also some more unusual snow references.


Above: Chef Kurt Loeb on a rare snowy day in Jerusalem, 1942 (source)

Each image comes with its own story attached. The boys playing soldiers in the snow, were found in a collection of old glass slides – their identities, dates and locations unknown. Mrs Blackshaw worked in the Savoy Cinema in Darwen as a cashier, where her husband was a projectionist – I wonder what happened to the snowball?! Kurt Loeb was a chef at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, whilst his German-born cousin (the donor) came to Manchester in 1935, aged 16, where he worked in Hyde as a technological production engineer.

The images in the Documentary Photographic Archive and the Local Images Collection depict many cold white winters, but also mischief, frustration and a grim determination to carry on as usual.

I wonder how much snow we’ll see this winter?


Above: Mosley Street, 1900 (source)