Belle Vue, Manchester

Belle Vue is an area of Manchester, England, east of the city centre, bordered by the Hope Valley Line on the east and the Glossop Line on the west. It is known for the former Belle Vue Zoological Gardens and Belle Vue Stadium.

Belle Vue is part of the electoral ward of Gorton North.

Belle Vue railway station lies on the Hope Valley Line.

For many years there was a zoo and amusement park, with an annual circus. The zoo opened in 1836. It occupied a 96-acre site and at the height of its popularity attracted 2,000,000 visitors annually.[1] It was eventually closed in the 1970s due to mounting debts. The park closed in 1982.[2] Later the location was used for professional wrestling.

Belle Vue

Frontage of Belle Vue Stadium
Belle Vue is located in Greater Manchester
Belle Vue
Belle Vue
Location within Greater Manchester
OS grid referenceSJ875965
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtM18
Dialling code0161
PoliceGreater Manchester
FireGreater Manchester
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament


In 1897, the machine tool manufacturer Kendall and Gent opened the Victoria Works. The company closed down in the late 1960s.[3]


  1. ^ Belle Vue rendezvous, BBC Manchester Places
  2. ^ The Way We Were: Belle Vue - Showground of the world, Manchester Evening News
  3. ^ Grace's Guide
1974 Speedway World Pairs Championship

The 1974 Speedway World Pairs Championship was the fifth FIM Speedway World Pairs Championship. The final took place at the Hyde Road Speedway in Belle Vue, Manchester, England. The championship was won by Sweden (28 points) from Australia (23 pts) and New Zealand (21 pts). Host nation England, represented by Peter Collins and Dave Jessup, finished 4th with 21 points.Swedish rider Anders Michanek, who successfully defended his World Pairs crown at this meeting, completed the double later in 1974 when he won the Individual World Championship.

2016 British Speedway Championship

The 2016 British Speedway Championship is the 2016 edition of the British Speedway Championship. Tai Woffinden was the three-time defending champion having won the title in 2013, 2014 and 2015, however decided against competing in the 2016 event. The competition consisted of two semi-finals and a final. Seven riders qualified from each semi-final and were joined by two nominated wildcards in the decider. The final took place at the National Speedway Stadium in Belle Vue, Manchester on 13 June 2016, and was won by Danny King, his first title. He beat Craig Cook, who finished second for the third straight year, Robert Lambert and Steve Worrall in the final.

2017 British Speedway Championship

The 2017 British Speedway Championship was the 2017 edition of the British Speedway Championship. Danny King was the defending champion having won the title in 2016. The competition consisted of two semi-finals and a final, with eight riders qualifying from each semi-final. The final took place at the National Speedway Stadium in Belle Vue, Manchester on 19 June 2017 and was won by Craig Cook. It was Cook's first national title, having finished second in the three previous years. He dominated the final, scoring 14 points, before beating Steve Worrall, Ben Barker and Australian Rory Schlein in the deciding race. Schlein was competing in the event on a British racing licence.

Audrey Mossom

Elsie Audrey Mossom (3 September 1920, Preston – 1 September 2009, Hastings) was an English teen celebrity and later a professional dancer. She was crowned the 10th Railway Queen of Great Britain at the Railway Carnival and Pageant held at Belle Vue, Manchester in August 1935 when she was 15 years old. Later in 1935, she turned on the Blackpool Illuminations, an annual lights festival in Blackpool. 50 years later, she again turned on the Blackpool Illuminations.In 1936, she travelled to the Soviet Union on a peace visit and met Joseph Stalin.

Belle Vue Stadium

Belle Vue Stadium is a greyhound racing track in Belle Vue, Manchester, England, where the first race around an oval track in Britain was held on 24 July 1926. It has also been used for motorcycle speedway, as the home ground of Elite League team Belle Vue Aces from 1988 until 2015, and since 1999 stock car racing and banger racing.

The track is operated by the Greyhound Racing Association, who lease it from owners' the Crown Oil Pension Fund. The stadium has luxury glass-fronted grandstands, restaurants, hospitality boxes and bars. Greyhound racing takes place on Saturday evening plus the Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS) meetings usually staged on Sunday and Wednesdays.

Belle Vue Zoological Gardens

Belle Vue Zoological Gardens was a large zoo, amusement park, exhibition hall complex and speedway stadium in Belle Vue, Manchester, England, opened in 1836. The brainchild of John Jennison, the gardens were initially intended to be an entertainment for the genteel middle classes, with formal gardens and dancing on open-air platforms during the summer, but they soon became one of the most popular attractions in Northern England. Before moving to Belle Vue, Jennison, a part-time gardener, had run a small aviary at his home, the beginnings of the zoo that over the years grew to become the third-largest in the United Kingdom.

Jennison set out a small amusements area in Belle Vue during the 1870s, which was expanded in the early 20th century to become what was advertised as the "showground of the world". Popular rides included the 60 mph (97 km/h) Bobs roller coaster and the Scenic Railway. Other entertainments included grand firework displays from 1852 and an annual Christmas circus from 1922. Music and dancing were popular attractions in Belle Vue's various ballrooms. The Kings Hall, opened in 1910, housed the Hallé Orchestra for several years and hosted concerts by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash and Led Zeppelin.

Catering for visitors at Belle Vue was on an industrial scale, ranging from the late 19th century hot water rooms, which accommodated up to 3,000 diners each, providing crockery and hot water for those who brought their own picnics, to more upmarket themed restaurants. Belle Vue became a part of the caterer and hotelier Charles Forte's business empire towards the end of its life in the 1960s. Although he made some improvements to the zoo, Forte's interests lay in developing the gardens' dining and exhibition facilities. The Kings Hall was then the largest exhibition space outside London, but competition from the G-Mex exhibition and conference centre in central Manchester led directly to its closure in 1987.

At its peak Belle Vue occupied 165 acres (0.67 km2) and attracted more than two million visitors a year, up to 250,000 of whom visited over the Easter weekend. The zoo closed in September 1977 after its owners decided they could no longer afford its losses of £100,000 a year. The amusement park remained open on summer weekends until 1980. The land was sold in 1982, and the site finally cleared in 1987. All that remains of Belle Vue today is a greyhound racing stadium and a snooker hall built in the stadium's car park.

Belle Vue railway station

Belle Vue railway station serves the area of Belle Vue, Manchester, England.

Belmont Stadium

Belmont Stadium was a greyhound racing stadium in Broomside Lane, Belmont, County Durham.

BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars World Championship

The World Championship is an annual competition started in 1955 for BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars. It is the premier championship of the formula and the winner is granted the honour of racing with a gold roof and wing until the next World Final, and if desired they can race under number 1.

Brian London

Brian Sidney Harper (born 19 June 1934), known professionally as Brian London, is an English retired heavyweight boxer. He was the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion from 1958 to 1959, and twice challenged for the world heavyweight title, losing to Floyd Patterson in 1959 and Muhammad Ali in 1966, both times via knockout. He was one of a quartet of British boxers, with Henry Cooper, Joe Erskine, and Dick Richardson, who dominated the British boxing scene throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

An orthodox fighter, London was 6 feet tall and fought at about 14 stone 9 pounds (205 pounds). His nicknames in the ring were "The British Bulldog" and "The Blackpool Rock".

George Claude Lockhart

George Claude Lockhart (1885–1979) was the first ringmaster to wear the "pink" hunter tails and top hat, and was referred to in his World's Fair obituary as "The Doyen of Ringmasters". He was best known for being the ringmaster of the International Circus at Belle Vue, Manchester, England, and Blackpool Tower Circus.

Gilbert Vinter

Gilbert Vinter (4 May 1909 – 10 October 1969) was an English conductor and composer, most celebrated for his compositions for brass bands.

Vinter was born in Lincoln. As a youth, he was a chorister at Lincoln Cathedral, and eventually became Head Chorister there. He later became a bassoonist. In 1930, he joined the BBC Military Band, where he did much of his early conducting. It was during that time that he also began to compose. During World War II, Vinter played in The Central Band of the RAF and later led several other RAF bands. He was the first principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, from 1952 to 1953.

In 1960, The Daily Herald newspaper and sponsors of brass band contests, commissioned Vinter to write his first major work for brass band, the result of which was Salute to Youth. Vinter wrote other works for brass band, including:

Vinter was an adjudicator at the British Open Championships at Belle Vue, Manchester, in 1969 where his 'Spectrum' was the test piece. Mid way through the contest, however, he was forced to retire from 'the box' due to his failing health. His position at the contest on the day was taken by Tom F Atkinson. Vinter's other works include three brass quartets:

Elegy and Rondo (written at the request of the GUS (Footwear) Band Quartet to play at the 1966 National Brass Quartet Championship)

Fancy's Knell (written for the 1967 Championship)

Alla Burlesca (written for the 1968 Championship).Vinter died in Tintagel, aged 60.

Glyn Jones (rugby league)

Glyn Jones was a Welsh professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He played at representative level for Wales, and at club level for Broughton Rangers and Belle Vue Rangers (as Broughton Rangers renamed following their move from Broughton, Salford to Belle Vue, Manchester). as a hooker, i.e. number 9, during the era of contested scrums.

Leicester (Aylestone Road) Greyhound Track

Leicester Aylestone Road Greyhound Track was a greyhound racing stadium on Aylestone Road, Leicester.

Shirebrook Stadium

Shirebrook Stadium was a greyhound racing stadium located on the north side of Sookholme Road and the south side of Portland Road in Shirebrook, north-east Derbyshire

St Peter's Roman Catholic High School, Manchester

Saint Peter's is a Roman Catholic High School on Kirkmanshulme Lane in Belle Vue, Manchester, England.

Tai Woffinden

Tai Woffinden (born 10 August 1990, in Scunthorpe, England) is a speedway rider. In 2013 he became World Speedway Champion and currently rides for the WTS Wrocław in the Polish Speedway Ekstraliga and Indianerna Kumla in the Swedish Elitserien. Until the end of 2014 he also rode for the Wolverhampton Wolves in the British Elite League, but announced in late 2014 that he would not be riding in Britain during 2015 in his quest to regain his World Championship.Woffinden is the current captain of the Great Britain team that finished fourth in the 2014 Speedway World Cup Final in Bydgoszcz, Poland,in 2016 the final was held at the national speedway stadium at Belle Vue, Manchester where team GB were runners up to Poland.

Tai Woffinden is the current world champion.

Tai Woffinden is the current winner of the Warsaw GP, Danish GP, German GP and Torun GP.

Vermin Club

The Vermin Club was an organisation of grassroots Conservative Party supporters in Britain in the late 1940s.

On the evening of 4 July 1948, Aneurin Bevan, the Labour Government's Minister of Health, addressed the annual Labour rally for the North of England at Belle Vue, Manchester, and described Conservatives as "lower than vermin". This was at a point when Conservative fortunes were starting to turn and Bevan's Labour Party was facing disillusionment and division. Young Tories took on the description with ironic self-deprecation and set up the Vermin Club.

Members took to wearing vermin badges (a chrome badge featuring a rat and the word VERMIN). A whole hierarchy was established, so that those who recruited ten new party members wore badges identifying them as vile vermin; those who recruited twenty five were very vile vermin. Margaret Thatcher was an early member of the group and rose through the ranks to become a "Chief Rat". In her memoirs, Thatcher described another "Chief Rat" as having lived somewhere in Twickenham. The club boasted a membership of between 105,000–120,000 at its height.

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