Skip to Content

Rusholme & Victoria Park Archive

The Boating Lake, always popular!!

The Smart Set!

So very smartly dressed...........postcard dated 1926

So very smartly dressed.............

Childrens Paddling Pool 1923 (below)

Childrens Paddling Pool 1923

Britain at War, May 1941.

Even during the second world war the lake, below, was very popular, young people and parents, (looking anxious), gave families a moment of escape from the heavy bombing that 6 months previously had claimed nearly 700 lives in Manchester.

May 1941

Close-up photo below, small vase, made of Grafton china and retailed in a shop, 'Lee of Rusholme'

A small commemorative vase of Grafton china.

Close-up photo above, small vase, made of Grafton china and retailed in a shop, 'Lee of Rusholme'

When those poor men laboured away through the winter of 1908-09, moving tons of earth to create the lake and the island, apparently without mechanical excavators, I wonder if they realised how popular this part of the Park would become.

1913 Postcard below, The Boathouse

1913 Postcard

The postcard view below was dated January 1912, you can see the message on the postcard on the image below. The postcard was sent to 5 year old Denzil Sparkes from his 'Affectionate Grandpa'.

Platt Lake 1912
grandpa message

To illustrate how effective the genealogical websites are, such as Ancestry and Find my Past, I searched for information about Denzil Sparkes and you can see some of the information below!
The postcard view above was sent to Denzil who lived in Woking Surrey. Both of his parents, Thomas Sparkes and mother, Flora May Higson had been born in Manchester but at the time of Denzil’s birth in 1907 they were living at the address you can see on the card. As you can see the message had been sent by John Higson, ‘Your affectionate Grandpa’ who lived nearby in Wellington Street, Moss Side and according to the 1901 Census John Higson was a solicitor’s clerk. Thomas Sparkes, Denzil’s father worked as an electrical engineer and this must have been the occupation of Denzil,who according to the 1939 war-time register was an electrical and radio engineer. Although Denzil married twice he died in 1955 without any children leaving an estate of £2,722 to his widow Nora.

The view below must have been a very windy day!

A windy day in the 1920's

There are endless pictures of the lake, so many have children playing by the waterside, some 50 boats or more could be hired for rowing around the lake, whilst two motor launches, (one named William Royle), could take the less energetic around the island.

Platt Lake 1910
The Lake 1914
Young boy fishing
Rowing skiffs in colour, undated
The Lake 1949
Boathouse 1930ish
Undated, looking in an easterly direction.
Platt Lake 1920's

Take your pick from this further selection!

Remember! Wherever you see a 'Gallery' of smaller pictures as below then click on the picture and it will expand!