Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

Ardwick Green Histories Project

GMCVO has received a Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage grant to run a project exploring the histories of Ardwick Green through the memories of local people.

Ardwick Green is a fascinating area, yet overlooked by most histories of Manchester and under-represented in the public record. It can lay claim to being the world’s first suburb and its trajectory echoes that of industry in the UK.

During the Industrial Revolution, it experienced a boom time and mill owners made their home in what became a fashionable area.

In the early twentieth century it thrived again as a glamorous entertainment district with theatres, dancehalls and cinemas. The area was bombed during the blitz, and more recently it has experienced post-war decline and subsequent redevelopment.

The Green itself has been at the heart of the neighbourhood for many years and has played host to Suffragette demonstrations, Manchester’s Sherlock Holmes encountering anarchists and many public celebrations. It is home to a war memorial and glacial erratic and is adjacent now to ‘voluntary sector row’ where many charities are based, echoing another local history of philanthropy and mutual aid.

Surrounding streets have boasted flag-makers, exotic fizzy pop purveyors, ornamental dolphins, world famous photographers and countless untold stories.

Working with volunteers trained by Manchester’s Centre for Regional History, the project collected stories, memories and photographs during a series of heritage tea parties in 2015.
This culminated in an exhibition and the production of a film – Celebrating Ardwick 1930s-1960s.

For more information, please contact Alison Crush, 0161 277 1022,

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