About the project
Showground of the World is a project supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund as part of Manchester Histories Festival (MHF), 2014. The
aim of the project is to celebrate the heady days of Belle Vue Zoological
Gardens through a series of elements including:
Vue: Showground of the World exhibition
MHF and the National Fairground Archive bring you a unique
exhibition celebrating the heady days of Belle Vue Zoological Gardens.
Attracting 2 million visitors a year and larger than Disneyland,
people flocked to the Gorton site for the zoo, circus, fair, speedway, dancing,
boxing, wrestling, fireworks and music for over 140 years.
Combining items from over 6 different collections, the exhibition
aims to remember the days when Belle Vue was the country's centre of mass
entertainment. Come and see the hand prints of Gracie Fields set in concrete,
look at World speedway bikes and stand amazed at the life-size sculpture of Omi
the tattooed man.
programme runs alongside the exhibition where you can listen to live music,
share your tales during oral
histories interviews, be entertained by schools or dance to the tunes of
an original DJ.
Belle Vue Roadshow
Sunday 23rd March - 11am to 6.30pm
Bring your memories and memorabilia to Gorton Monastery for
Manchester Histories Festival's Belle Vue Roadshow to celebrate all things
Find out more from the
experts, bring down your own memorabilia for recording on our digital map, see
speedway demonstrations, join in the craft sessions, watch film screenings,
listen to talks from local and national historians, preserve your memories in a
recorded interview and then end the day with our very own Belle
Vue Tea Dance.
You can also take a free
return bus from the Monastery into Manchester to see the Belle Vue: Showground of
the World exhibition as part of your
Belle Vue walking tour
Relive the wonderful histories of Belle Vue as part of this
bespoke walking tour led by Emma Fox from Manchester Guided Tours and created
especially for Manchester Histories Festival.
Tread in the footsteps of Belle Vue's most famous and infamous
characters on the land where Belle Vue once stood. See history come alive as
local actors join you on parts of the tour to share untold stories and
fascinating tales of times gone by. Meet the characters from Belle Vue
including ringmaster George Lockhart and World Speedway Champion Peter Craven.
The script for the tour has been devised by the wonderful ‘Lip
Service' who have just won a prestigious Manchester Theatre Award.
To find out more about other Belle Vue related events
taking place during the festival, please click here.