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 Beswick and the surrounding areas. Below you will find a collection of images from Beswick, alongside 6 worksheets. The worksheets are set around 6 themes: Industry, Place, Health and Living Conditions, Pastimes, Radical Thinking, 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

Grey Mare Lane Market 1991
Grey Mare Lane/Ashton Old Road 1960
Viaduct Street Beswick 1962
Bradford Colliery 1910
Mr. Holding tells how he started working at the pit when he was 14 years old.
Mr. Holding remembers his father being ill from working down the pit and shares how
the family coped.
CWS Bakery Beswick 1962

Nansen Street School, Beswick 1928
Beswick Police Station 1963
Bradford Road Gasworks 1968
Mrs. Williams describes buying coke from the Gas works in a wagon to make the coal
fires last longer.
Etihad Stadium (City of Manchester Stadium), Manchester Commonwealth Games 2002
Etihad Stadium (City of Manchester Stadium), Manchester Commonwealth Games 2002 “Drummer kids”
Mrs. Mairs recalls the streets her family lived in around the Beswick area.

Orme Street, Beswick 1964
Devon Street, Beswick 1965
Prince Street, Beswick 1964
Purslow Street, Beswick 1964
Colliery Street, Beswick 1971
Mrs. Heywood describes how her address in Victoria Street, Bradford changed overnight!

Whit Walks, Onward Hall, Rose Queen, Taken in Orme Street, Beswick 1928
Philips Park 1965
Children in the Beswick area 1951
Barmouth Street Baths and Washhouse, Barmouth Street, Beswick 1964
Girl Guides, Beswick 1928
The Domino Club, Barmouth Street, Beswick 1964
Mrs. Williams recounts the area close to the Gas works that she played in and her
childhood games.

Philips Park 1930
Philips Park – A Sunday afternoon in 1914
Philips Park 1900
Philips Park 1994

St Marys Church, Beswick 1965
Vacant land adjoining River Medlock, Beswick – St Marys Church in background 1911
St Marys Interior, Beswick 1965
Beswick Redevelopment, Barmouth Street/Grey Mare Lane 1964
Beswick Methodist Church, Charlesworth Street, Beswick 1963
Christ Church, Cowper Street/Church Street 1963

We hope you have enjoyed looking back at the photographs of Beswick and the surrounding areas. 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 .