Salford Local Histories Festival

Salford’s old pubs and mills will be put under the spotlight as part of the Salford Local Histories Festival, which celebrates the city’s industrial heritage this month.

The festival, held in Swinton, will have stalls, displays and four talks dedicated to bringing the past to life.

John Catterall, chair of the local history festival, described the annual festival as “The car-boot sale of history” and said it was important to acknowledge Salford’s history.

He said: “We can’t go out and look at the buildings like they can in Liverpool, like they can in Manchester, like they can in Birmingham. The Museum and Art Gallery is one of the few places left so that’s the reason that the history forum is important.”

Paul Kelly, a member of the Salford Local History Forum, added: “So what we do to remember Salford’s History is we have the Salford Local Histories Festival. No one would know that we still had a coal mine in Salford around 30 years ago, or steel works or docks because it’s all gone now.

“If you don’t remember your history you can’t go forward. The past we inherit; the future we build. It’s all very well learning about kings and queens but that doesn’t relate to us. Our mothers and fathers worked in coal mines and on the docks.”

“We want people to know what we’re all about so that’s what we do and that’s why we do the festival. We do it off our love of Salford. We’ve got all sorts of things; rugby, football, canals, mills. We’ve got a vintage bus, and maps of all the old streets.”


Paul Kelly of Salford Local History Forum speaks about Salford’s demolished boroughs, emphasising the importance of celebrating the city’s history. 

The event has been organised by the Salford Local History Forum and will be held on October 29 at St Peter’s Church, Swinton, and the neighbouring Fletcher Hall. Last year’s festival attracted over 500 visitors who came from far and wide.

Mr Catterall said: Come and see the history of Salford and have a day out. As soon as you walk through the door you will feel the presence of warmth because everybody talks to each other. You’ll get a cup of tea and some food as well if you come along so it’s well worth it.”

The Frank Mollineux award will be presented during the festival. Mr Kelly explained its significance: “It’s a prestigious award we give to people who we believe have produced the most creative piece of work which represents Salford’s history.

“This year Lawrence Cassidy has done a fantastic piece of work called Salford & Cheetham Hill in focus. He’s produced a brilliant book.”

Mr Cassidy, also of Salford History Forum, said: “I was honoured to be receiving the award. I just worked as a team on that. We’re all like a team and we’re all really enthusiastic about Salford’s history.”

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