Manchester Histories Festival

Hidden Histories, Hidden Historians: History starts to take shape

Monday 5 June 2017

In our second blog on our Hidden Histories, Hidden Historians project, professional archivist, Heather Emily Roberts tells us more about the five community groups we're working with, and gives a taster of what you can expect from their exhibition at the fabulous Archives+ opening later in the year.  

Manchester People First

Starting in 1992, this charity is run by and supports learning disabled adults who campaign for disability rights. Their archive is a huge visual resource of photographs and newsletters which tell its story from the very first day to happenings of the last month. They are designing an exhibition about the charity’s fantastic journey and development and what it has come to mean for those involved. I’m really excited about the content, it’s going to be a great exhibition!

M13 Youth Project

Just the simple act of talking to young people on the streets of Ardwick and Longsight led to M13 Youth Project being founded back in 1995. The project has since supported countless of individuals and it is their ethos of “love, think, create, reflect, enjoy, achieve and make a positive difference in their world” that they wish to share via their archive material in the exhibition. This digital display will be interesting not just for its story, but how it’s told. Much of their real work is conversation and much of their real presence is the atmosphere they create. It could make for a very interesting and mixed display.

Inspire Centre

This famous hub of Levenshulme life is set in a beautifully renovated United Reformed Church smack bang in the middle of the town’s busiest street. When you walk into the café you can see how diverse and community-driven the local area is. This is the story that Inspire wish tell with their exhibition: the story of Levenshulme as told from inside the walls of this building. From church community to transformation to the current diverse populous, it all happens in these old stone walls.

Oldham Youth Council

These young people act as a representative for their Hidden Histories, Oldham Youth Council generation within Oldham Council. They campaign for health, wellbeing and so much more. They are an extremely diverse group of people and they are using the exhibition to explore their own personal family histories, using them to showcase how their different backgrounds come together to make their organisation even stronger, full of understanding and acceptance. There are fascinating stories lined up to share with you in November.

FC United of Manchester

In 2005, fans of Manchester United protested the corporate take-over of the famous club and formed their own community football club. Its Sporting Memories Group members recall playing with the famous Nobby Stiles in the streets of Manchester. They are very proud of North Manchester and its innovations in industry and sport. Their premises are smack bang in the middle of a geographical treasure map of local history with memories and ghosts of landmarks in spitting distance from their grounds. Their exhibition is hoping to highlight some of these forgotten legacies of their area. I’m looking forward to learning a lot!

Next steps

We are at the second stage of our “collect, curate, create” process and are guiding the groups in putting the stories together within their own exhibition parameters. We’re certainly not short of content! Exhibitions should be ready by the end of summer to be showcased and launched in November.

About me

Heather Emily Roberts, professional archivist and owner of HerArchivist: Archive and Heritage Consultancy.


Twitter: @herArchivist

Tagged inHidden Histories, Hidden Historians

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