Memories of Belle Vue

Memories of Belle Vue

A local group brought together the memories of Gorton residents to create a book called Memories of Belle Vue.


A local group connected to Gorton Visual Arts group have been collecting the memories of people who visited Belle Vue in Gorton since 2006. By 2020 they had collected close to 100 amazing stories about a site which for so many was a source of joy and pride, but sadly lives on only in their memories.

The project's aim was to support the group to develop the stories and have them published into a book, then have the book printed to help raise funds for charity. The group wanted to share these accounts to remind local people of happy memories of their past, and encourage more people to share their own memories of the iconic Belle Vue Zoological Gardens and Stadium.



Benefit of Reminiscing/memory groups

Talking about the past often rekindles happy memories and positive feelings which can have an immediate effect on an individual’s mood. Reminiscence helps older people have an increased sense of self-worth, personal identity and empowerment. It encourages sociability and communication which can lead to a better understanding of the individual, friendships or stronger family ties.


The main barriers to the project involved finding funding to develop and produce the publication. buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service helped to connect the group with a local funder, Arcon Housing, who kindly offered to help. buzz Manchester also supported the group to apply for funding through the Manchester Wellbeing Fund, in addition to this buzz also contributed towards the production costs of the book.

The book includes an open invitation to all to share their own memories of visiting Belle Vue, these will be shared on the Gorton Visual Arts website.

The group, alongside buzz and Arcon Housing, are continuing the project by inviting children from local schools to create artwork inspired by the stories. This artwork will also be printed to help connect local children to the history of their local area.

The book is currently available for purchase with the proceeds being donated to local charities.

Project Team

Memories of Belle Vue Residents’ Group

buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service

Arcon Housing

Gorton Visual Arts

Len Grant Photography

Strategic links to local/national policies



Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Supporting older people and creating an age friendly city

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Population Health Plan

Greater Manchester Age Friendly Strategy

Research/evidence base

Melunsky, N., Crellin, N., Dudzinski, E., Orrell, M., Wenborn, J., Poland, F., Woods, B., Charlesworth, G. (2015). The experience of family carers attending a joint reminiscence group with people with dementia: A thematic analysis. Dementia, 14(6), 842–859.

Reminiscence Network Northern Ireland - Best Practice Manual: Creative Reminiscence and Life Story Work

Social Care Institute for Excellence - Reminiscence for people with dementia

Woods, B., O'Philbin, L., Farrell, E. M., Spector, A. E., Orrell, M. (2018) Reminiscence therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001120.


Noah Mellor - Neighbourhood Health Worker

Tel. 0161 271 0501

Mob. 07484 546326

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"Working in partnership with buzz has greatly enhanced the positive impact we have on our community".

Rob Willis, Centre Partnership & Development Manager, Fallowfield Library & Community Resource Centre (The Place at Platt Lane)

Rob Willis, Centre Partnership & Development Manager, Fallowfield Library & Community Resource Centre (The Place at Platt Lane) photo