As the lockdown begins to ease, many of us are still feeling some isolation from our loved ones. We hope Archives+ can help you to stay in touch by publishing our popular memory boxes online which can be used as a starting point in discovering your family history, finding out what your family’s childhood was like, looking back at the area where they grew up, discovering their fondest childhood memories and maybe uncover some hidden gems in your family’s story. 

Whilst many children are off school and some 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 Didsbury. Below you will find a collection of images from Didsbury, alongside 6 worksheets. The worksheets are set around 6 themes: Industry, Place, Health and Living Conditions, Pastimes, Radical Thinking, and 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

Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester 1908
(1103/119) e01 Mr. Woodall recounts where he was born on Lapwing Lane and his father’s shoemaking business. “… it was a shoe shop and GPO office, Post Office, this part was called Albert Park.” 
Courtesy of Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
Didsbury Village, Wilmslow Road 1967
Wilmslow Road/Parrswood Road, East Didsbury 1959
Graham’s Garage, Wilmslow Road, Didsbury 1967
Healds Diary, William Street, Didsbury 1959
Didsbury Village, Wilmslow Road 1967
(1103/119) e02 Mr. Woodall talks about his family connections to Didsbury “…there’s a chemist shop in Didsbury village, corner of Oak Street…his father, my grandfather, he built them…” 
Courtesy of Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
Didsbury Village, Wilmslow Road 1967

Didsbury Railway Station and Memorial Tower, Wilmsow Road 1895
The Parsonage, House of Fletcher Moss, Didsbury 1890
Didsbury Library, Wilmslow Road 1915 (Carnegie funded library, opened Saturday 15 May 1915)
Greystoke Residential Home for female students, Mersey Road, Didsbury 1974 (Marie Louise Bagshawe lived here before her death in 1891 – see Marie Louise Gardens)
Ye Old Cock Inn, Didsbury 1900
Police Station, Didsbury Village, Wilmslow Road 1974
Tram Terminus, Palatine Road, West Didsbury 1910

Didsbury Carnival, Manchester 1926
Marie Louise Gardens, West Didsbury 1906 (gifted to the people of Manchester in 1903 by Josephine Silkenstadt in memory of her daughter Marie Louise)
The Capitol Cinema (ABC TV Studios/Manchester Polytechnic), Didsbury 1959
Parsonage Gardens, Didsbury 1925
Didsbury Library, Junior Library, Manchester 1972
Didsbury Cricket Club, Wilmslow Road, East Didsbury 1967
 Northern Tennis Club, West Didsbury, 1953 (One of the oldest lawn tennis clubs in the UK)

Victoria Avenue, Didsbury 1960
Riverside Court, West Didsbury 1966
Didsbury Park, Manchester 1965
265 Burton Road, West Didsbury 1964
Lansdowne House, Wilmslow Road, Didsbury 1959
(1103/22) Mrs. Arnold looks back at her life in domestic service; she moved from one household to Lansdowne House in Didsbury “…the cook when she got married…I took her place as cook and got a bedroom to myself for the first time in my life.”
Courtesy of Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
Clyde Road, West Didsbury 1906
Grenfell Road, junction with Grove Lane, Eversley Road and Springdale Gardens, Didsbury 1973

John Edward Taylor, editor and proprietor of the “Manchester Guardian” from 1861 till 1871 and proprietor till 1905 – owned the largest residence in Didsbury, “The Towers”
Shirley Institute, Didsbury 1900 (The first meeting to build the ship canal was held here, it was then called “The Towers”)
Daniel Adamson, purchased “The Towers” in 1874. Adamson instigated a meeting in his home at which the decision to construct the Manchester Ship Canal was taken. Main champion of the Manchester Ship Canal, chairman of the provisional committee promoting it.
In 1920 “The Towers” was purchased by the British Cotton Industry Research Association and named it the Shirley Institute after the daughter of a Stockport Member of Parliament, William Greenwood.
Lawnhurst, Wilmslow Road west side, Didsbury 1959 (Built for Henry Simon, father of Lord Simon of Wythenshawe)
Sir Ernest Darwin Simon, moved to Lawnhurst at the age of 13. Lord and Lady Simon purchased Wythenshawe Hall and park from the Tatton family and gifted it to the city of Manchester in 1926.

St James’ Church, Didsbury, Manchester 1901 (medieval origins, second oldest church in Manchester with parts dating back to 1275)
Beaver Road School, Didsbury, Manchester 1967
Synagogue on right of picture, Queenston Road, West Didsbury 1974
St Catherine of Siena, Roman Catholic Church, School Lane, Didsbury 1962
Hollies F.C.J. Grammar School, Mersey Road, Didsbury 1967 (School on Right in Fielden Park)
Albert Park Chapel, West Didsbury, Manchester 1905
Fielden Park Youth Centre, Barlow Moor Road, West Didsbury 1973
(1103/474) e01 Mr. Lancashire is asked about the Palatine Road area; he recalls doctors, the school he attended – Broomfield – and the people who lived there, including Jewish and Armenian families, as well as synagogues in the area.
Courtesy of Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre

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