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Culture in ManchesterInstitutions and urban change since 1850$
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Janet Wolff and Mike Savage

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090387

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090387.001.0001

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Counting the coppers: John Jennison and the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens

Counting the coppers: John Jennison and the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens

(p.33) Counting the coppers: John Jennison and the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens
Culture in Manchester

Michael Powell

Terry Wyke

Manchester University Press

This essay is an original study of the origins and early years of the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens in Manchester, based on the business archives of the Jennison family housed at Chetham’s Library. The authors relate the story of the founding of Belle Vue by John Jennison in 1836, and explore its operations until 1925, when the business was sold. They demonstrate that the keynote throughout was money – that Belle Vue was primarily an entertainment business in a world of increasingly commercialised leisure.Reviewing the rise of pleasure gardens in Manchester from the eighteenth century, Michael Powell and Terry Wyke situate Belle Vue in the context of its time, and follow its successes, crises, and eventual decline.

Keywords:   Popular culture, Belle Vue, Manchester, Pleasure gardens, Commercial culture

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