Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look now.

This week our main picture shows Heaton Park in 1906. Its previous owner the Earl of Wilton had sold it to Manchester City Council just four years earlier in 1902.

It was obviously a popular spot at that time as the crowds show. Imagine what it must have felt like to have access to a fine house and its grounds for the first time? Visitors are obviously in their ‘Sunday best’ for the occasion.

Heaton Park, Manchester - Then Heaton Park, Manchester - Now

Seated with their back to the Hall, the crowds would have been looking towards the southern part of the park. Between 1908 and 1912 the area was developed into a boating lake. It had previously been a race track.

Whilst boating, visitors would have seen the entrance façade of their Old Town Hall! Originally situated on the corner of King Street and Cross Street, it had recently been demolished. To save something of its grandeur the front was carefully dismantled and reassembled as a ‘folly’. It can still be seen today, as our smaller image shows.