Family memoirs

Oral history

Stella reads from her Aunt's memoirs

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Dear Mrs Banks

There must be many people who remember Belle Vue with fondest memories and regret that this fine place of entertainment no longer exists.  I was born in Crossley Street, Gorton in 1920 and lived in a Belle Vue house until I was fourteen years old.

My dad was head gardener at Belle Vue until 1932, that is why we lived in a house owned by the company.

I had a fantastic childhood because we had free pass to the gardens and practically lived there.  My sister, brother, myself went to Belle Vue almost every day after school and during holidays.  We knew lots of workers there and often went behind the scenes to watch the animals being fed.

I remember the lovely Ballroom, the outside dancing, the Brass Band Contest and the firework displays and the railway queen carnivals, what a lovely period.  When my brother grew up he use to work their part-time, all kinds of jobs at the circus, on the amusements and later on at the speedway.  He loved Belle Vue and worked there until it’s closure.

We had a very happy childhood and Belle Vue played a very large part in it.  I remember dad lifting me up to touch the beautiful flowers, I am really sorry I haven’t any snaps but photographs weren’t done in those days.  Poor people didn’t own cameras.

I hope my memories will help you with the nostalgic look back.

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