Roll up! Roll up! Open the memory box and explore Manchester’s pleasure ground Belle Vue.

Circus, speedway, boxing, rollercoasters, fireworks, zoo – from 1848 Belle Vue attracted visitors from all over the north with its unique combination of leisure activities.

Belle Vue Zoological Gardens were originally meant to be an enjoyable pastime for the middle classes, however they very quickly became one of the North West's biggest attractions.  At the height of Belle Vue's popularity it was host to around 2 million visitors a year.  The site eventually became home to exotic animals, live music, dancing, speedway, boxing and wrestling, greyhound racing, football, rugby league and a myriad of other entertainments.

Just about anyone who spent time in Manchester, prior to Belle Vue finally closing it's doors in 1987, has a story to tell about it.  Did your parents meet on the dancefloor?  Was your grandfather frightened by the lions?  Join us on Facebook or Twitter and tell your Belle Vue stories.

Ticket to Avro Institute Grand Dance, 18 Nov 1938 GB127.M491
J. McCoy, wrestler, Belle Vue

Belle Vue Zoo (1948)