During these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to stay connected with your loved ones, whilst observing the government led social distancing guidelines. We hope Archives+ can help you to do this by publishing our popular memory boxes online which can be used as a starting point in discovering your family history, find out what their childhood was like, look back at the area where they grew up, discover their fondest childhood memories and maybe uncover some hidden gems in your family’s story. 

Whilst children are off school and many adults are at home, why not take this opportunity to find out about those important stories thus ensuring this history is passed on to the next generation which can often get lost or put off for another day as we lead our busy lives. Sharing memories of days gone by can bring families closer together, listening to elderly relatives can be a comfort for families as they gain an insight into their life stories.  

Each week Archives+ will publish a memory box for an area in Manchester, this week our archive collections cover the Gorton area. Below you will find a collection of images from Gorton, alongside 6 worksheets. The worksheets are set around 6 themes: Industry, Place, Health and Living Conditions, Pastimes, Notable Gorton, Communities. Using the worksheets as prompts to start up a conversation, write down your findings on a piece of paper, or if you prefer type into a tablet or PC. 

In addition to this blog, the online memory box will be published on the Archives+ Facebook page. Dig out your old photos too, these can also be a brilliant resource to trigger fond memories of family times. We encourage you to share your findings on social media, either as comments on our Facebook page or on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #ArchivesPlusMemorybox

Instagram manclib_archives

Twitter @archivesplus

Facebook @archivesplus

If you are unable to share your photos and stories online, when the libraries reopen bring copies of your family memories into your local library.  In the coming year we will produce an exhibition in your local library of selected submissions, shared both online and in person.  

Please make sure that if you share any information with us that the person you have spoken to is happy for you to share it with Archives+. When sharing your findings try to avoid sharing too much personal information such as surnames and date of birth as these details can identify your loved ones.


Unlocking Your Sound Archive have produced a blog about conducting oral history interviews with family members. The audio clips included in this online memory box have been kindly supplied by Unlocking Your Sound Archive.

Manchester Local Image Collection

Archives+ Flickr

NSPCC Staying safe online guide for children.

Age UK Staying safe online guide for older people.

Reddish Lane Gorton 1960
Wellington Street Gorton 1965
Clowes Street, Gorton 1968
Gortoncross Street, Gorton 1967
Clowes Street West Gorton-Ardwick Area 1963. Property in Redevelopment Area

Varna Street School (Primary), interior of school showing large hall and classroom in corner 1963
Gorton and Openshaw Station from Constable Street, Varna Street School in background, Manchester 1964
Billiard Hall before it became Woolworths, Hyde Road South Side, Gorton 1959
Gorton Town Hall, Hyde Road South Side, Gorton 1959
Aerial Views, Gorton, Belle Vue Gardens 1926

Wellington Street, Gorton 1965
Broughton Street, Gorton 1970
Broughton Street, Gorton 1970
Brough Street, West Gorton 1969
Braun Street Gorton 1969
Thomas Street Gorton 1965
Mrs. Webb recalls living in lodgings in Gorton before moving to a new house in Openshaw.

Zoological Gardens, West Gorton, Hyde Road South Side
Mrs. Bannister shares a funny story about feeding the monkeys on a family visit to Belle Vue zoo
Hyde Road, Gorton 1968, Belle Vue
Mr. Kelly is interviewed for the “Getting to Know You” radio programme about his job as zookeeper at Belle Vue. Mr. Kelly gives some facts and figures about Belle Vue zoo.
Mr. Kelly talks about animal conservation and breeding programmes
Mr. Kelly recounts the day he introduced his elephants to the Queen Mother.
Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, Elephant Ride 1900
Debdale Park Bowling Green 1964
Debdale Park, Gorton 1965
Gorton Baths, Hyde Road 1958

Beyer Peacock and Co Ltd Works, Open Day, Gorton 1930
Gorton Lane side of Beyer Peacock and Co Ltd Works 1965
Beyer Peacock and Co Ltd, Built Locomotive, Manchester Docks 1929
Open day at Beyer Peacock and Co Ltd’s Works 1930
Steam Hammer, made for first Beyer Peacock and Co Ltd 1858
St Marks Church 1964
Manchester City Football Club 1903
Dame Elizabeth Yarwood talks about her political life after WWI; including standing for seats in Gorton.

Gorton Monastery 1915
Brookfield Unitarian Church 1959
Brookfield Unitarian Church, Hyde Road, Gorton 1960.
St Francis Church 1965
St James Church 1880

We hope you have enjoyed looking back at the photographs of Gorton. More areas will be covered each week and if you would like to see more images, don’t forget to check out the photograph albums on Flickr and the Manchester Local Image Collection .