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Belle Vue Day | FREE Family Fun Day

The Monastery

may, 2022

sun01may11:00 am3:00 pmBelle Vue Day | FREE Family Fun Daya wonderful day of history and nostalgia looking at the fascinating story of Manchester's 'showground of the world'11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Belle Vue Day

Event Details

Belle Vue Day | FREE Family Fun Day at Manchester Monastery

Whether you love reminiscing or finding out about the fascinating history of Belle Vue for the first time, we invite you to come and enjoy a wonderful day of history and nostalgia here at Manchester’s modern-day Monastery.

Manchester History & Heritage

Home to a zoological garden, circus, fair, speedway, dancing, boxing, wrestling, fireworks, music, and dancing for over 150 years, Belle Vue was the Showground of the World.  Over the course of the day, you will discover just how monumental Belle Vue Zoo was in its heyday in this fascinating stroll through Manchester’s history & heritage.


From 11am – 3pm on Sunday 1st May 2022, The Monastery will open its doors with a range of Belle Vue related exhibitions, stalls and displays, plus fun activities for all the family.

What’s On?

In The Great Nave (throughout the day):

  • Exhibition of original archive posters, programmes, memorabilia & photo displays

Come and gaze in wonder and delight at this fabulous collection of memorabilia that celebrates the much-loved attraction that was Belle Vue.  Nothing remains of the old zoo, not even a plaque to say what once stood there – from 1836 until 1977 – so don’t miss your chance to see this wonderful exhibition.

  • Pictures from Gerald Isles archive
  • Memories table and a collection for our much-loved and missed volunteer, Frank Rhodes – author, local historian and Belle Vue expert
  • Collectors Display of Original Belle Vue Aces Speedway race jackets / leathers
  • Archive Film Footage
  • Painting Display – Belle Vue Clowns – with Pamela Armstrong
  • Book Stall

Local Choirs (in The Great Nave):

  • 12noon-12.30pm – Gorton Voice Choir
  • 12.45pm-1.15pm – Glasshouse Choir
  • 1.30pm-1.45pm and 2.00pm-2.15pm – Astley Unlimited Choir

Heritage Talk (in The Great Nave):

  • 14.30pm-15.00pm – Belle Vue: The Gardens That John Built

Produced and directed by Karen Gabay, this film tells stories of Manchester’s recent past. Combining BBC and local archive footage this award-winning short tells the history of Belle Vue Zookeeper Matt Kelly and the memories of the Manchester communities of Belle Vue.

Family Activities (in The Welcome Café):

  • Face painting (charges apply)
  • Free activity sheets


Volunteers from The Museum of Transport will be here at The Monastery, bringing two former Manchester Corporation Transport traditional red double-decker buses with them, which worked on the 53 route to Belle Vue.  These will be open for visitors to board and explore, alongside a selection of transport related memorabilia, such as ticket machines for visitors to handle, photographs, Museum information, and a stall selling Museum souvenirs.


As well as ALL that, our Welcome Café will be open from 10am-4pm, with snacks and refreshments available throughout the day.

We’ll also be hosting our daily, Silent Meditation, with an Hour of Silence in The Private Chapel from 12noon-1pm.

Admission and parking are free of charge – with donations always welcome.

There is no need to book in advance.  Just come on down and bring the family.

We hope you can join us – love from the whole Monastery team!


(Sunday) 11:00 am - 3:00 pm


The Monastery Manchester

89, Gorton Lane

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