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Black and Asian History at Tameside Local Studies & Archives Unit

Black and Asian communities have played an important role in the history of Robert Rachid Stanley - Stalybridge's first muslim mayorTameside.

Black and Asian History Books

We collect general books on the history of Black and Asian people in Britain and any books which relate specifically to Black and Asian history in the towns of Tameside or the Manchester area. If you know of any important title not held here, please tell us and we will consider adding it to our stock (if it is in print). These books are shelved at L301.4. We also hold creative works including video documentaries and sound which were recordings produced by Asian Community Media based in Hyde.

We have reports and newsletters from local organisations such as Tameside Council for Racial Equality and Tameside M.B.C. Equal Opportunities Unit. These are also shelved at L301.4.

Archive Material

At present we hold very little material relating to Asian organisations, families and businesses in the Tameside area and what we do hold is often subject to restrictions on use, so is not listed here.

We would be very happy to take any records of this type to improve the archive’s representation of Tameside’s communities. We can take records on permanent loan so that depositors retain ownership and public access to records can be restricted until they are, say, 30 or 100 years old.

Records held include:-

  • DD289 - documents relating to Vinod Chauhan and his campaign against deportation
  • TREC - records and printed material from Tameside Council for Racial Equality including nationally published but hard to find pamphlet literature. 

Some more general sources will provide information about Asian history:-

  • a Citizenship Lesson Plan for Key Stage 3 and 4 using the Vinod Chauhan Collection is available;
  • records of Tameside M.B.C. and previous local authorities;
  • records of the Citizens Advice Bureaux (closed for fifty years);
  • local newspapers - we have back files of the different editions of the local paper back to 1855.

Other records which may give a different perspective on Black and Asian history are the records of the Manchester Regiment which date from 1758. The Regiment and its predecessors served in served in the American War of Independence, New Zealand War of 1844, Crimean War, Boer War, both World Wars and the Korean War. In the 18th century, many ex- or escaped slaves in Britain joined the navy and army - although the archives have little information on ordinary soldiers. Photographs from the regiment can be seen at The Manchester Regiment Image Archive Link to External Website.


We hold a large photographic archive for the towns of Tameside, but most date from before the 1960s. Some are useful in showing areas before large scale Asian immigration. For example: there is a series of photographs of Penny Meadow before the concentration of Asian shops in the area. Some family photographs are also included. The photograph database can be searched online at Tameside Image Archive.

See also Tameside Oral History Project (below).

We also have small collections of more relevant material such as a series of slides taken in mills and other works in the 1960s and early 1970s showing Asian workers.

Oral History

In 2005 we ran an HLF funded project to record the memories of people who came toCover of the book 'Here to stay' Tameside from the Indian sub-continent in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The result is over 150 recorded interviews in various languages, but all transcribed in English. These are in the archive collection TOHP and can be consulted at the Local Studies and Archives Centre. Photographs were also collected and can be seen on the  - Tameside Image Archive (the keyword "minority" will bring up the whole collection, but they can also be searched using specific words and names). An exhibition (see below) and a book, Here to Stay, were also produced. They give a small flavour of the collection with extracts from a selection of the tapes and photographs. 

We have a few other tapes in our oral history collection which relate to the experiences of migrants to this area. Some were the result of the Tameside Family History Award of 1995 when we appealed for interviews and transcripts with people who had come to Tameside from other countries. The first prize was won by Stella Pavasovic and second prize was shared between Manibel Patel and June Hewis.


We collect material designed to be thrown away after a short life such as posters, leaflets and short runs of community organisations' newsletters. Relevant material of this type is stored in files at L301.4. We are keen to add to this collections - especially newsletters.

Some early references to Black & Asian people in our area:

Black people who settled in England were barred from the usual jobs and trades, so the achievement of Edward T. Nelson - a black barrister from British Guiana who successfully defended Cornelius Howard against the accusation of murdering George Harry Storrs of Gorse Hall in 1909, is a significant part of Tameside's history.

Arthur Wharton, the world's first black professional footballer, 100 yards world record holder and professional cricketer, was born in West Africa. He played for the Stalybridge Rovers from 1896-1901.

General Information

Advance booking is necessary for microfilm-readers. Please note that archives will not be produced within thirty minutes of closing time and that all archives must be returned fifteen minutes before closing time.

Important: Please include your name and postal address when you send us a message as this will help us provide a full response to your enquiry.

Revised April 2021

Contact information

Send us a message
0161 342 4242
Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
Cotton Street East
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