At a glance: Meetings for the 2018-19 Season

Belle Vue

Crowd scene at fairground rides at Belle Vue Gardens, Manchester, 1968

(Photo: Marshall Collection / Chetham's Library online archive)

17th September: Michael Ogden -  ‘Hotels in the Sky - History of Zeppelins’

15th October: Julie Bagnall - ‘What to do with 323 Postcards’ 

19th November: Judith Atkinson - ‘A 1920s Bleaching, Dyeing and Weaving Mill’

10th December: Brian Selby -  ‘Belle Vue’

21st January:  Robert Humphrey-Taylor - ‘A STORM over Mellor

18th February: Anne Woods -  ‘Adlington Hall’

18th March: Ann Hearle - ‘Early Water Power in Mellor & Ludworth’

15th April: Diana Leitch -  ‘The Towers Estate’

Oct. '18: Julie Bagnall - ‘What to do with 323 postcards’

Cissie and Bella coverCissie and Bella, two working-class girls from northern England, left a legacy in the form of a collection of post cards.

As workers in the two major fields of female employment – domestic servant and mill girl – they tell of work and time off, of family life, of love and romance and every-day experiences. Their words range from girly chit-chat to heartfelt despair. They show that over time some things change and others remain the same.

That Cissie and Bella’s post cards survived is one thing. That they have enabled two ‘ordinary’ women to be brought out from under the cloak of invisibility which so often shields previous generations of working-class people, is quite another.
Marple features towards the end of the story when, during the 1920s, Cissie was employed at two homes as a domestic servant.

Julie will tell the background story of how the post card collection was acquired on which the book is based.

A slice of social history to enjoy on the evening of Monday, October 15th.

Sept. '18 : Michael Ogden - 'Hotels in the Sky'

‘Hotels in the Sky - History of Zeppelins’ with Mike Ogden

Zepp PhotoIn the opening presentation of the season, using both photographs and film of the period, Michael Ogden told us of the fascinating story of a lost technology, and a long forgotten way to travel the world

During the early years post the First World War,  very few thought the aeroplanes would ever develop into a safe, efficient and affordable way to travel long-distances. The first airliners had only a short range – 500 miles at most – though that was probably plenty for the passengers because they were uncomfortable, cold, noisy, far from reliable -- and not very safe either.

What a contrast with airships, especially Zeppelins! They could cruise for thousands of miles, carrying more passengers in far greater comfort than aeroplanes. They had kitchens and toilets and, on trans-ocean flights, cabins and showers as well. They were a little slower than airliners but, more importantly, they were two or three times faster than the ocean liners they were competing against.

Read more: Sept. '18 : Michael Ogden - 'Hotels in the Sky'