As the lockdown continues, 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 Wythenshawe. Below you will find a collection of images from Wythenshawe, 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

Hollyhedge Road, Hollyhedge Shopping Centre, Benchill, Wythenshawe 1955
Hall Lane, Baguley, Wythenshawe 1965
Minsterley Parade, Woodhouse Park, Wythenshawe 1962
Northenden Village, Wythenshawe 1967
Hollyhedge Road, Benchill, Wythenshawe 1964
Dennis Taylor talks about working for Ferranti in Wythenshawe in the 1950s developing missiles at the factory that later became the Atlas Business Centre Courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives
Timpsons Shoes Ltd, Roundthorn Industrial Estate, Southmoor Road, Baguley 1971
Civic Centre (Wythenshawe Town Centre) 1963
Civic Centre (Wythenshawe Town Centre) 1963
Co-operative, Civic Centre (Wythenshawe Town Centre) 1965
Mr. Bracegirdle was born into a family of market gardeners; he remembers when the Wythenshawe estate was built and the impact on “… hundreds of acres of farms…”.

Baguley Hall, Baguley, Front elevation 1932
Wythenshawe Hall, Wythenshawe Park 1969
Ringway, Manchester Airport 1970
Mr. Bracegirdle remarks on the building of the airport and how it affected the market gardeners. “On this top road, this road that goes t’ th’airport now, Ringway road here, it used to go right through to Altrincham Road…Wilmslow Road…used to go right through and it stopped…”
Baggage Handler, Ringway, Manchester Airport 1960
The Forum, Civic Centre (Wythenshawe Town Centre) 1972
Wythenshawe Fire Station (top right) and Wythenshawe Day Nursery 1969
Tatton Arms, Northenden, Wythenshawe 1965
Aerial Views, Benchill Estate, Wythenshawe 1937

Baguley Sanatorium, Baguley, Manchester 1916
Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, main entrance 1972
Children in Northenden, Lingard Road, Northenden 1900
Portway, Woodhouse Park, Wythenshawe 1970
Greenbrow Road, Newall Green, Wythenshawe 1949
Cotefield Road, Woodhouse Park, Wythenshawe 1958
Mrs. Mairs recollects when building started by New Hey Road and Broadoak Road and how people had to walk to the nearest bus stop “…there’s many a time when it’s been pouring with rain and I’ve called people in to shelter in my home…”

The Forum Cinema, Wythenshawe Road, Northenden, Wythenshawe 1959
Michael McGrath remembers going to the ABC Minors children’s matinees on a Saturday morning
Bowling Green and Pavillion, Wythenshawe Park 1969
Wythenshawe Library (Forum Library), Leningrad Square, Woodhouse Park 1972
Mrs. Mairs recalls a local man who opened a library in his home “…tuppence a book”.

Golden Garter, Woodhouse Park, Wythenshawe 1972
Library Theatre, The Forum, Leningrad Square, Wythenshawe 1972
Wythenshawe Swimming Baths (Sharston Baths), Sharston, Wythenshawe 1966
Wythenshawe Swimming Baths (Sharston Baths), Sharston, Wythenshawe 1960
Bowling Alley (to right of image) before it changed to the Golden Garter, Wythenshawe 1966
Paddling Pool, Wythenshawe Park, Wythenshawe 1955
Mrs. Mairs asks “Did you ever hear about the Benchill Flitch?” and explains that this was where a couple had to prove they had not had a row in 12 months! To learn more about this old custom see the Dunmow Flitch Trials.

Wythenshawe Hall, Orangery, Wythenshawe Park 1953
Wythenshawe Hall, Wythenshawe Park 1955
Statue of Oliver Cromwell facing Wythenshawe Hall (moved from Cathedral Site in 1968), Wythenshawe 1971
Civil War Re-Enactment, Wythenshawe Hall, Wythenshawe Park 1926
Sir Edward Watkin, (lived at Rose Hill, Northenden) 1898
Decorative gate at Rose Hill, home of Sir Edward Watkin, Northenden, Wythenshawe 1959

St Anthony’s R.C. Church, Portway, Woodhouse Park, Wythenshawe 1960
St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Woodhouse Park, Wythenshawe 1969
St Peter’s R.C. Church, Newall Green, Wythenshawe 1955
St Luke’s Church (Church of England), from Hollyhedge Road, Benchill, Wythenshawe 1955
Wythenshawe Unitarian Church, Brownley Road, from Benchill Hotel corner (now Manchester College) 1955
Northenden Social Club, Northenden, Wythenshawe Road, Wythenshawe 1959
Mrs. Mairs talks about the activities in the community centre from whist drives to dancing and when she won a fancy dress competition.
St Anthony’s Parish Centre, Portway, Woodhouse Park, Wythenshawe 1972
Woodhouse Park and Moss Nook Community Association, Youth Centre, Portway (now The Lifestyle Centre) 1972

We hope you have enjoyed looking back at the photographs of Wythenshawe. 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 .