Nostalgic photos capturing May in Manchester through the decades

There’s something else about May, the month that heralds the arrival of hot summer days as the days get longer and warmer.

It’s a month when the world starts bursting with color as daffodils and bluebells bloom in fields and parks. But of course, our notoriously rainy city doesn’t always make it seem like summer.

It’s also a time people look forward to, thanks to the two public holidays. The celebration at the beginning of May is often associated with local fairs and community traditions, while the spring celebration at the end of the month marks the prelude to summer.

READ MORE: The cast of ITV Watching Now – from Hollywood fame to quitting acting

READ MORE: Rise of Eastlands – from ‘barren wasteland’ to Manchester powerhouse

As we kick off the month, we’ve taken a look through the image archives to find memorable May moments over the years that have had us looking at our cameras.

While some photos show more general views of the city, others mark important occasions such as celebrations for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, VE Day and when Pope John Paul II came to Manchester.

Take a look at our gallery of 30 photos and see which ones you remember.

Join WhatsApp Group Top Stories and Breaking News by by clicking this link

Do you love Greater Manchester’s past? Subscribe to our new nostalgia newsletter and never miss a thing.

Do these photos bring back any memories? Let us know in the comments section below.

1 of 29

Funfair at Castlefield Carnival in Manchester. May 29, 1994

(Image: Mirrorpix)

2 of 29

The Woolworths store fire in Manchester Piccadilly, 8 May 1979

(Image: Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

3 out of 29

Picturesque Piccadilly Plaza and Gardens, Manchester. May 10, 1994

(Image: Mirrorpix)

4 out of 29

A night scene in Piccadilly, Manchester. May 4, 1963

(Image: Mirrorpix)

5 out of 29

Lunchtime stroll to Allen’s Book Stall in Shudehill’s little open-air market in Manchester. May 1971

(Image: Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

6 out of 29

A carnival parade celebrating the doomed Birley Center in Hulme, Manchester. May 14, 1993

(Image: Mirrorpix)

7 out of 29

Women scrub the steps and pavement outside their homes in Walter Street, Harpurhey, Manchester, as residents prepare for a street party to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. May 28, 1953

(Image: Mirrorpix)

8 out of 29

VE Day celebrations in the back streets of Manchester n to mark the Allied victory in Europe at the end of the Second World War. The inhabitants of this street did not wait for the official day of VE, but under garlands and flags they danced in the twilight hours. May 7, 1945

(Image: Mirrorpix)

9 out of 29

Actor Harry H. Corbett, back home in Ardwick, Manchester. Although most people through his association with Steptoe and Son think of him as a cockney, Harry was born in Rangoon and lived there until the age of three. He then went to live in Ardwick, leaving when he was 24. May 15, 1969

(Image: Mirrorpix)

10 out of 29

Chris Calaz, owner of the Crown and Anchor Pub in Manchester, which sells the Manchester Evening News as well as beer. May 21, 1992

(Image: Mirrorpix)

11 of 29

Pope John Paul II waves from the Pope’s mobile as he travels through crowds on the street on his way to lead an open-air mass at Heaton Park, Manchester, on the fourth day of his six-day tour days in the UK, 31 May. 1982

(Image: Getty Images)

12 out of 29

Mass Pope John Paul II at Heaton Park, Manchester, 31 May 1982

(Image: Getty Images)

13 out of 29

View of the podium during Pope John Paul II Mass at Heaton Park, Manchester, 31 May 1982

(Image: Getty Images)

14 of 29

The 39 Steps restaurant on South King Street in Manchester city centre. May 1996

(Image: cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Anthony O’Neil –

15 out of 29

Queen Elizabeth II meets the crowd on a walk on 4th May 1982 in Albert Square, Manchester

(Image: Getty Images)

16 out of 29

Looking down King Street, Manchester, May 1983

(Image: cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Anthony O’Neil –

17 of 29

Manchester’s Piccadilly/Market Street area is packed with shoppers ahead of the FA Cup final. May 1981

(Image: Mirrorpix)

18 of 29

Orange buses on Manchester Piccadilly, May 1976

(Image: c-by-sa/2.0 – © David Dixon –

19 of 29

Residents of Shenton Estate in Wythenshawe. The area is graffiti free, litter free and there is a waiting list. May 2, 1991

(Image: Mirrorpix)

20 out of 29

Two women talking in Lavinia Street, Lower Crumpsall. May 1, 1972

(Image: Mirrorpix)

21 of 29

Oxford Street, Manchester. The picture shows the Odeon cinema on the left, which was demolished in 2017. Photo taken on May 10, 1994

(Image: Mirrorpix)

22 of 29

Ships unloading at Manchester docks seen through fog, May 1967

(Image: Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

23 of 29

Caribbean Festival, Alexandra Park, Manchester, 28 May 1973

(Image: Mirrorpix)

24 of 29

Caribbean Festival, Alexandra Park, Manchester, 29 May 1993

(Image: Mirrorpix)

25 of 29

Children playing in an abandoned car, Cheetham, Manchester. May 1992

(Image: Mirrorpix)

26 of 29

St Ann’s Passage, St Ann’s Square, Manchester. May 18, 1970

(Image: Mirrorpix)

27 of 29

A sunny day and tables and parasols bring a continental cafe touch to Manchester’s trendy St Ann’s Market. However, customers are limited to non-alcoholic drinks after police warnings that serving alcohol on the pavement would be against the law.

Picture shows: Graduate Sandy Adam, who runs Ronnie’s Cafe Bar and Horts Wine Bar in the square. May 3, 1985

(Image: Manchester Evening News Archive)

28 of 29

Classic cars parked next to railway bridges and estate in Watson Street, central Manchester. May 24, 1965

(Image: Manchester Evening News Archive)

29 of 29

TV star Mike Yarwood stops people in central Manchester and asks them to do impressions. May 2, 1972

(Image: Mirrorpix)

Related Articles

Back to top button