Manchester Histories Festival returns this weekend for a 10-day celebration (Fri 21  – Sun 30 Mar) of the city’s gripping history. Featuring 160 events, put away the history books and instead take in Manchester’s heritage through music, film screening, tours, exhibitions and talks . Here’s our round-up of those events not to be missed…

Belle Vue Roadshow
Once home to zoological gardens with a fair, zoo, ballrooms and dog racing, revisit Gorton’s Belle Vue days with this exclusive roadshow packed full of memorabilia and entertainment. Spanning the whole day, talk to experts and local historians, preserve your own memories in the digital map, join the Belle Vue Walking Tour, or take part in a specially created interactive game by The Larks. There will also be a free return bus into Manchester to see the Belle Vue: Showground of the World exhibition – a collection of items remembering Belle Vue’s glory days, featuring concrete hand prints of Gracie Fields and a life-sized sculpture of Omi, the tattooed man.
Sun 23 Mar, Gorton Monastery, Gorton Lane, M12 5WF, Tel: 0161 306 1982, 11am – 7pm, FREE,

Celebration Day 2014
If you don’t have time to make it to all of the individual events you want to, the festival’s Celebration Day is a one-stop destination for your history fix. Taking place in Manchester Town Hall, the event brings together a wide range of activities, with over 90 exhibitors, including John Rylands Library and English Heritage. Across the day, take in film screenings from North West Film Archive, see a heritage bus from the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport, watch as Albert Square is lit up for the finale of the Big Digital Project, and a whole lot more.
Sat 29 Mar, Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester, M2 5DB, Tel: 0161 306 1982, 11am – 4pm, FREE,

Godlee Observatory tour
One of Manchester’s hidden gems; take a step back in time to Godlee Observatory, perched on the roof of the University of Manchester’s Sackville Street Building. In this exclusive tour for the festival, make your way up the spiral iron staircase to the dome area, home to spectacular views over the city. Here you will be given a tour of the telescopes and a talk on the role the Observatory has played for the Manchester Astronomical Society, who have used the Godlee since 1903. Duration of the tour is approximately 90 minutes.
Thu 27 Mar, Godlee Observatory, Sackville Street Building, Sackville Street, M1 3BU, Tel: 0161 306 4977, 2pm or 4pm, £5,

Manchester Histories Festival, Fri 21  – Sun 30 Mar, Various venues and prices – see

Fri 21 Mar - Sun 30 Mar
Hannah Phillips
Published on:
Sun 23 Mar 2014