A man looking at leaflets

The Salford histories festival returned to Swinton on Saturday for the 12th year running. 

On Saturday October 28, local history stalls and speakers joined the Histories festival at Fletcher Hall in St Peters church. The event was well attended with people from all across Salford coming to learn about the city’s old history.

The previous two years were also hugely successful with people coming from Essex and Yorkshire in 2021.

The festival was done in aid of keeping Salford’s history alive for further generations to come. Organiser Paul Kelly and member of Salford local history forum said he started this festival because Salford City Council used to dedicate one day during heritage month in September to learn about history but discontinued it due to financial reasons.

Visitors from salford browsing stalls
Photo credit: Afeefa Raza

Paul added: “People aren’t interested in history anymore which I found pretty bizarre, so we got our act together and decided to hold it ourselves voluntarily.” Paul went on to say the cost of running things was done by donation from Salford’s locals and is now thriving.

Arts and Heritage Co-Ordinator Suzanne Hindle from Hamilton Davies trust holds a heritage hub at Irlam station every week to talk about the history and culture of Salford. Her stall’s aim was to “encourage people to do tours with (her) social group and for people to know about local history.”

Suzanne also mentioned why history is important for the future. She added: “You lose any history that you had if you don’t talk about it, if you don’t discuss it.”

Visitors looking at stalls
Photo credit: Afeefa Raza

Councilor Gina Reynolds of Swinton and Wardley, who also attended at Fletcher hall, admitted she comes every year and mentions why it is important to look back on previous eras.

Cllr Reynolds added: “I think its important to reflect on the past, what the social conditions were and to look at how far we’ve come and how we have progressed as a city”.

People who have visited this festival in previous years have come back with high hopes that the event will bring back its historic energy this year. Sue Stubbs from Swinton said: “I’m absolutely fascinated. Its amazing how many people you know in the area but you didn’t quite know [the activities] they were involved in. We’ve got a wonderful history in the area”

Salford Histories festival takes place annually on the last day of October in Swinton. People from across Greater Manchester are encouraged to come and learn about the city’s heritage to pass something on to future generations so history is not lost in time.




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