A new website documenting Manchester’s former zoo and entertainment site at Belle Vue has been launched.

Virtual Belle Vue set up by Chetham’s Library has digitised thousands of photographs, newspaper cuttings, programmes and publicity material of the former site which was founded in 1836 by jobbing gardener and silk weaver John Jennison.

It became one of the North West’s principal centres of entertainment, reaching the height of its popularity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The project was backed by a generous grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund but says the Library, the opening of the website is just the beginning.

“there’s more material to add, and we would love your help online putting names to faces, dates to events, and to hear your stories and memories. You can add your comments to the site, and we welcome additional donations of memorabilia and material relating to Belle Vue.”


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