The history of our localities, towns and cities can shed light on the changes, movements and developments seen by society over time.

The collections held by Salford Local History Library can help you get to grips with using your locality to teach insightful history to your pupils.

These activities are designed to be used alongside a range of local history resources, such as those available through the Digital Salford website

You can also arrange a visit to Salford Local History Library, where you can access other fascinating material including census records, trade directories, books, newspaper articles and much more.

These activities provide a starting point for lesson planning, and can be adapted to suit Key Stages 1-4 as appropriate. They  can also be adapted to suit different abilities, themes and  geographical areas.


Starter Activity - Maps

  • Find a modern map of the area (e.g. using Google Maps) – this will help you when using the historical resources.
  • View downloadable maps below
  •  Find a ‘marker’ that stays the same in each one 

For example, some of the maps feature Salford Museum and/or Ordsall Hall, those buildings are good markers.

 This will help you find other things which have stayed the same, and see where the differences are. 

  • Use the modern map to help you find other landmarks such as rivers, canals and churches to help you see  where things are. 
  • Ask your pupils to do the same.
  • Give them one map at a time. They use the modern map to help them identify the area and features they recognise, such as 
  • Ordsall Hall
  • Salford Museum
  • local parks

Starter Activity - Timeline

Print  out the photographs and maps without the dates and ask the students to put them in date order, starting with the earliest. Depending on the age group you could ask them to do this:

  • With little or no help, relying on knowledge/educated guesswork
  • With access to other sources so they can base their timeline on research.
  • As individuals or as a group activity

Plenary Activity - Salford in the Past


  • All pupils are given a pack of photos or online access to them. 
  • Divide the class into groups, each to find information on a particular aspect of life in Salford in the past  – such as transport, clothes/fashion, leisure, technology, jobs. Each group has four questions to answer, one per person to answer in front of the whole class (individuals could be numbered).


  • What can we learn about this aspect of life at the time?
  • What is the evidence from the photographs to support this view?
  • Which picture was the most useful for finding out about this aspect of life?
  • What further question would you want to ask about life in the past, based on one or more of these pictures?

Follow up activities

Use some of the pupil generated questions for a further enquiry – or add a question devised by the teacher, such as ‘Was everyone poor in Salford 100 years ago?’ or ‘Could people enjoy life in Salford 100 years ago?’

Research on some of the further information needed to understand the pictures – When did the roads become busy with cars? What were ‘Whit Walks’?