Nowadays we’re used to fighting our way through the bustling Christmas Markets but how did Christmas look in Manchester in years gone by?

Many things have changed over the decades but Manchester’s Christmas spirit has always remained the same.  Arguably the biggest difference has been seen this year with the relocation of Santa aka Zippy from Manchester Town Hall to Trafford Park as the town hall undergoes full restoration.

Manchester Town Hall 1932










Lewis’s Department Store (Now Primark) 1949


Carol Concert at Piccadilly Gardens 1958


Market Street 1962


Albert Square 1970


Piccadilly Gardens 1984


Town Hall Clock 1986


Arndale Centre 1987


Christmas lights at the Town Hall 1991


Albert Square 1992


Christmas lights at the Town Hall 2004


Manchester Town Hall 2018


Santa’s relocation to Kellogg’s, Trafford Park 2019


St Peter’s Square 2019



(Images: Manchester Local Image Archive (