With 2020 behind us and almost 10 months spent in various levels of lockdown, this past year has certainly tested us. As we step into 2021, the roll out of Covid 19 vaccines bring us hope for the new year to combat this awful pandemic. Many of us have spent more time at home this last year, and perhaps with the new year starting we are thinking about how we can increase our fitness levels. Our latest memory box takes a look back at sporting activities in Greater Manchester over the last 100 years. We hope this collection will inspire you to try new things. The memory boxes can also be used as a starting point in discovering your family history, finding out what your family’s childhood was like, discovering their fondest childhood memories and maybe uncover some hidden gems in your family’s story. 

Since the first lockdown in March 2020, Archives+ has published 20 online memory boxes covering some of the neighbourhoods in Manchester. Below you will find a collection of sporting images to enjoy. 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

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If you are unable to share your photos and stories online, when libraries are open, bring copies of your family memories into the 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

Healthy Living: Sport

(BOLTONOH-29a) The unnamed interviewee describes the importance of sport to school life, including sports day and the playing fields. 
Courtesy of Bolton Archives and Local Studies
Strangeways Prison, Manchester, Prisoners in the exercise yard 1890 m57069
Y M C A, Gymnasium and Lounge, Manchester 1910 m69069
 Golf instruction, Manchester 1937 m07661
Northern Tennis Club, Didsbury 1953 m07751
Gymnastics 1970 m07649
(BOLTONOH-1b e01) Mr. Walsh recalls playing football in winter and cricket in summer, joining the ‘Boys Brigade’ and doing gymnastics.
Courtesy of Bolton Archives and Local Studies
Yoga at Wythenshawe Forum 1991 m07764

PASTIMES: family times

Skating 1920 m07723
Victoria Baths, Mixed Bathing, Manchester 1925 m51833
Rambling 1929 m07677
(BOLTONOH-1b e06) Mr. Walsh describes going for evening walks around the park after work.
Courtesy of Bolton Archives and Local Studies 
Swimming Club picnic 1930 m07748
Bowling Green, Alexandra Park, Manchester 1938 m57725
50 mile cycle race, Heaton Park 1950 m06913
Road running 1956 m07715

PLACE: Sports venues

Aerial View of Manchester United Football Ground and Trafford Park, 1922 m67780 Central Aerophoto Company (Railway Road is in the bottom right corner, the Ship Canal is at the very top.)
Aerial Views Manchester City Football Club’s Ground, Maine Road, Manchester 1925 m67846
Harris Stadium, Fallowfield 1950 m06896
Belle Vue Speedway Stadium, All England School Athletic Champs 1955 m06765
Old Trafford Cricket Ground, England v India 1957 m06853
Broughton Park RUFC 1959 m07706
Athletics at White City 1960 m06758
Maine Road R from Ebberstone Street to Claremont Road. Manchester City Football Club 1968 m32075
Manchester United F. C., Old Trafford’s main entrance 1973 m07027

Community: Clubs

Ardwick Lads Cycling Club 1880 m06899
Salford Harriers 1907 m07712
(BOLTONOH-3) Mr. Gledhill on how the social club at De Havilland catered to sports like football and cricket, but also the arts.
Courtesy of Bolton Archives and Local Studies 
St Edmunds Cycling Club, Miles Platting 1910 m06902
Match at North Manchester Boxing Club 1912 m06794
Leigh Harriers on Two Mile Race Track at Belle Vue 1930 m80291
Manchester City F. C., at Maine Road Manchester City v Man. United 1967 m06993
(BOLTONOH-1b e02) Mr. Walsh talks about taking part in exercise with the Boys Brigade, the various Sunday School football teams, and his opinion of contemporary footballers versus the ones he knew as a boy. 
Courtesy of Bolton Archives and Local Studies
Manchester United F. C. return from winning the European Cup Final (v Benfica) at Wembley Stadium 1968 m07023
Moss Side Amateur Boxing Club 1984 m06813

The Commonwealth Games Manchester 2002

City of Manchester Stadium 2002, Commonwealth Games, East Manchester m83655
City of Manchester Stadium 2002, Commonwealth Games, East Manchester m83654
City of Manchester Stadium 2002, Commonwealth Games, East Manchester m83637
City of Manchester Stadium 2002, Commonwealth Games, East Manchester m83645
Aquatics Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester m83590
Manchester Velodrome 1995 m07821
Manchester Velodrome 1995 m07770
Manchester Velodrome 1995 m07776

For more information about the velodrome take a look at this blog written by Archives+ volunteer Julia Wardley-Kershaw: Reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the Manchester Velodrome and its impact on cycling in Britain

We hope you have enjoyed looking back at these photographs of sport through the decades. We will return to covering a new neighbourhood next month. 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 .