Celebrities
Celebrities at Belle Vue

 Over the years Belle Vue was visited by celebrities of every stripe from Royalty to rock stars.

Below is a selection of images from such occasions.

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Maurice Chevalier gave 4 performances at Belle Vue in November of 1930





Above:  Arriving at London Road Station with his wife (left) and the actress Fay Compton.



Above:  At the offices of the Daily Chronicle on Withy Grove - now the Printworks - with the girls from the General Printing Department.



The Manchester Evening News reported that 6000 people attended one of the evening shows and, "he sang the songs that have made him the idol of the screen, and his programme included two numbers to which Cardiff objected.  Manchester heard them without a blush."

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Matt Kelly and Joe Mack, a macaw from Belle Vue, went south to London Olympia to help Trust House Forte, the owners of Belle Vue, at a holiday exhibition.  Joe decided to hop on the head of Dickie Attenborough who at that time was thew chairman of Capital Radio.

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Michaela Denis and her husband Armand pioneered a style of animal wildlife programmes shown on the BBC in the 1950s and 60s.  Accompanied by Armand's running commentary, the two would be filmed getting as close to animals as possible. Just as strikingly, there would usually be a "trademark moment" for Michaela to apply lipstick or comb her hair. She once commented that she could not possibly get into the water with crocodiles until she had put on her eyebrow pencil.  The photograph below was taken when Michaela visited Manchester for a signing session for her book "A leopard in my Lap".  Clearly her desire top get close to the animals included wearing a royal pyyhon for a hat.  During her trip she visited Belle Vue to see a leopard called Stookie that she had raised from  a cub and donated to the zoo.



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On June 29th, 1959, a new attraction was unveiled which in itself brought famous people to the park. A "Wall of Fame" was inaugurated on that day with "Our Gracie", Gracie Fields, being the first celebrity to have her hand and foot prints cast in cement and displayed on the Wall. The photograph below is of the Brazilian footballer Pele adding his valuable feet to that display.

The image above is shown with the permission of
Chetham's Library, Manchester

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During the 1960s the Labour Party held a "Festival Day" at Belle Vue and visitors were entertained by Harold Wilson and the "Jam-Butty Miner from Knotty Ash", Ken Dodd. Clearly, the Festival Princess found Doddy's speech less than enthralling

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The image above is shown with the permission of
Chetham's Library, Manchester

The image above is shown with the permission of
Chetham's Library, Manchester



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The image above is shown with the permission of Tom Fish

The leopard Peggy arrived at Belle Vue as a cub from what was Southern Rhodesia. She was given to Sir John Barbirolli as a gift and was kept at Belle Vue. As you can see, in the mid 50s Peggy was visited by Princess Margaret Rose and her mother, who was by this time Queen Mother.

Below is the Queen Mother again on a different occasion.

The image above is shown with the permission of Tommy Kelly

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Whilst performing at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, in 1941 Miss Adelaide Hall, the American Jazz singer, and her new accompanist George Elrick were sent an invitation to visit Belle Vue Amusement Park at the request of its owners. With the invitation came the news that they were also invited to a special surprise christening to be held at the zoo. After receiving the red carpet treatment and a full guided tour of the Amusement Park the owners announced that they should like to introduce Adelaide and George to the most recent arrivals at the zoo ... a pair of new lion cubs.

The cubs parents, Peter and Ada, had reared the 3-month old cubs after they had been born in captivity and they were the pride of Belle Vue.

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My father worked at Belle Vue for a number of years in the 50s and would often come home with autographs for my sister from visiting performers who gave concerts at Belle Vue, including Bob Hope, Bing Crosbie, Andy Williams. In later years the changes in musical taste were catered for and Belle Vue hosted an early concert of the Rolling Stones, seen here arriving in what appears to be a Black Mariah.

The image above is shown with the permission of
Chetham's Library, Manchester

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Belle Vue was often used as the setting for film shoots to promote various things. Below you can see Coronation Street cast members Alan Howard, Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples, Minnie Caldwell, Bet Lynch, and Len Fairclough during a day out at Belle Vue.

The image above is shown with the permission of the TV Times






Minnie, Ena and Jack from Coronation Street

The image above is shown with the permission of Tommy Kelly

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An amused Prince Philip with a playful baby elephant

The images above are shown with the permission of Tommy Kelly




A chimp has joined into the royal visit.


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Douglas Fairbanks with Matt Kelly

The image above is shown with the permission of Tommy Kelly



Morecombe & Wise with Matt Kelly looking on

The image above is shown with the permission of Tommy Kelly



Winnifred Attwell feeding the giraffe

The image above is shown with the permission of Tommy Kelly


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