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Memories of Moss Side and Hulme

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[Extract courtesy of North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University]

A film recalling memories of life in Moss Side and Hulme in the sixties and seventies is helping to keep the area's rich cultural history alive.

Beyond Manchester, the image of the area is still tarnished by its associations with gun crime, drugs and the 1981 riots. However, while it's not without its problems, it remains an area with a fascinating cultural tradition.

Woman speaking in hat shop
Many people recalled the community spirit of Moss Side and Hulme

In post-war Britain, this inner city district became home to thousands of migrants, mainly from the West Indies and Asia, who brought with them the colourful sights, sounds and cuisine from 'back home.'

Since then, Moss Side and Hulme have undergone significant change with the slum clearances in the 1960s followed by the rise and fall of the notorious Hulme Crescents.

To give the younger generation a flavour of this history, the North West Film Archive has been working with the Troubadour Foundation and the Manchester Centre for Regional History using BBC footage and personal photographs to create a short film recording the area's recent history.

'Uplifting'

Karen Gabay produced and directed the film, recording people's recollections while showing them archive films from the time, including old home movies and BBC footage.

The result is: 'Moving Memories: Tales of Moss Side and Hulme', a 30-minute film that aims to show how people of all backgrounds lived, worked and played together in 1960s and 70s.

Boys on climbing frame in park
The North West Film Archive collection aims to record how communities lived, worked and enjoyed their leisure time. If you have film or video you think the NWFA may be interested in, please contact Nick Gladden on 0161 247 3097 or email:

"The response has been fantastic," she said. "So many people have come forward generously to share their knowledge, responses and own experiences."

"Watching old films whilst enjoying tea and biscuits, or chicken and dumplings, has proved to be an uplifting opportunity: a chance to exchange memories and reminisce about how life used to be when there was no central heating or when Moss Side had its own cinemas.

Adding: "For younger people, the films have proved an eye-opener on how their own local areas used to be."

Marion Hewitt from the NWFA said: "The power of the film is that it positions local people and families as the storytellers.

"They give their own interpretations and reflections of their journeys and present the story from the viewpoint of 21st century Hulme and Moss Side."

Your memories

Karen is interested in hearing from more participants for two future Moving Memories films, particularly people's memories and photographs from 1950s to the 1980s of Belle Vue, record shops and ice cream parlours in Longsight, Moss Side, Oldham Road and Ardwick.

If you worked at Howells, Dunlop's, or the breweries, please email the project researcher Asha, at asha13_2000@yahoo.com

The full 30-minute film is being screened at the WFA Media & Cultural Centre, Lucy Street, Hulme on 17 February 2010.

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