North West Film Archive
Manchester Time Machine
Manchester Time Machine App

Policeman, Market Street 1914

Paper Seller, Piccadilly 1974
Announcing 'Manchester Time Machine': the first ever app for the iPhone which merges archive film with GPS to create a street level tour of Manchester’s streets and people over the last 100 years.

Manchester has changed a lot, and hardly at all. Manchester Time Machine uses rare historical film from the North West Film Archive to take you back to exactly the same location to experience the scene from the same viewpoint. See for yourself how much the city has changed through these fascinating glimpses into the 20th century.

There are 80 highlights from films shot in the city centre, from the early days of film in 1911 (a Whit walk in Market Street) through every decade of the last century until the 1970s (as a student demonstration scatters in Oxford Street).

In between, these enchanting films include historically significant events – VE Day in Piccadilly and Albert Square, and moving documents – such as the victorious Manchester City team bringing home the FA cup in Piccadilly in 1934, alongside powerful everyday views of a life long gone – Piccadilly Gardens in the sunshine in 1961, and in 1914 a mounted policeman barging a cart off the tram tracks on London Road.

Each is presented with a GPS locator and virtual compass so you can find exactly the same scene in the present day, even when many of the buildings may have disappeared. Manchester Time Machine offers smartphone users a true multimedia experience, a moving window through time.

Available on iPhone, with Android and iPad versions to follow.

Key features

• 80 unique film clips from the North West Film Archive’s collection of over 35,000 items, which reflect people’s lives through work and leisure, places and events, culture and tradition – a regional identity.

• Includes films that depict momentous times that still resonate, such as the bombings and destruction in 1940, and VE Day across the city, alongside almost forgotten events – Paulden’s Department store collapsing in a terrible fire in 1957.

• Films that show everyday life, the buildings, the people and the transport of a bygone age. Policemen marching in front of the Town Hall in 1914, trams making their way down London Road in 1948.

• The films are grouped by decade from the 1910s, but you can also select a location from the interactive Manchester map to see the same place at different times, or use your GPS to locate a film near you.

• Includes background information on each film clip, plus a virtual compass to orient yourself in the same direction, or just tap the screen to see the original film.

• Create your own Manchester tour and see the city spring to life as it was in the past, or simply watch your favourite films wherever you are and whenever you want them.

How do I get it?

Manchester Time Machine is available for download world-wide.

From the iTunes App Store for iPhone - FREE. Just click here or search for "Manchester Time Machine".

Android and iPad versions to follow


Created by Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University