This fascinating collection of over 200 old photographs of Gorton traces the town's development from a small village on the banks of the Gore Brook to a busy industrial community. The area included extends from Debale Park in the east to West Gorton and encloses Belle Vue, Abbey Hey and Aspinall Smithy. Cotton mills brought the first industry to this hitherto farming community and engineering followed. Gorton Tank, Beyer Peacock, Crossley Brothers, Armstrong Whitworth and Vaughan Crane all brought massive employment to the area and a subsequent growth in housing, shops, pubs, and public buildings. As Gorton grew so did the range of leisure facilities for its new population: cinemas opened, sporting clubs blossomed and the Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded. The area's best known leisure facility, however, remains the Belle Vue Pleasure Gardens which, in their heyday, attracted tens of thousands of visitors a year from all over England. Also included is Gorton Monastery, now derelict but on a world-wide heritage priority list.
The majority of the photographs in this book originate from the collection of the late Stan Horritt who, with his colleague Allan Crockford, painstakingly recorded the changes taking place in Gorton and preserved old photographs and memorabilia that would illustrate the history of this area.