Anthony Rea - About the Author
Anthony Rea reads his paper, 'The Italian Contribution to Manchester' for the Folk Life Conference at Manchester's People's History Museum, September 2012
Born and bred into an Ancoats Italian ice cream family in 1962, the stories
I heard fuelled my passion to document the history of my community.
I started helping in the family ice-cream business at the age of 10,
and at 16, rather than follow an academic route, was enlisted to work
full-time! I worked in the business in the manufacture of ice-cream and
eventually on the mobiling side. I enjoyed many happy years working alongside
my father, Loreto Rea, my uncles and my many cousins.
At the age of 7 my parents took me on my first of many Italian holidays,
where I met our relatives and saw the villages of my emmigrant grandparents.
This inspired my interest in my roots and love for local history.
The seed for the book was a school history project started when I was
13, which then grew as I got older. I researched the church records of
the Italian communis, the local libraries of Manchester, pestered my family,
and drew on my own experiences working in the family ice-cream business
Since writing the booklet, over the past 20 years I've been approached
by some very interesting people and institutions, and I have contributed
to the following projects. It has been an honour and a pleasure to tell
this fascinating story of our once-thriving community; I'm pleased to
see it has inspired others to be equally proud of their heritage, and
continue documenting it from a variety of viewpoints, so that it will
never be forgotten.
- ITV 'There's No Taste Like Home' cookery programme with Gino D'Acampo (4 Nov 2011)
- BBC local documentary 'Inside Out' North West - interviewed by Nigel
Pivaro (30 Nov 2009)
- Canadian TV documentary 'S.O.S. Arandora Star' for OMNI TV - interviewd
by Anna Chiappa (2009)
- Interviewed for Manchester TV Channel M news (2008-09)
- BBC 'What's New' arts magazine show - reviewed Godfather 3 with Eamon
- MOSI - Manchester Science & Industry Museum - contributed text and
artifacts to "Ancoats: Manchester's Little Italy" (2008-09).
Interviewed for permanent audio archive
- Manchester Central Library (1998)
- Manchester Town Hall (1985)
- Interviewed by author Dominic Pulera with regards to the Italian diaspora
in Manchester, England (2006)
- Catching Fireflies by Tony Rocca (2004) - contributor
- The Italian Factor by Dr. Terri Colpi (1992) - contributor
- Italians Forward by Dr. Terri Colpi (1991) - contributor
- 'Vimto The Story of a Soft Drink' by Sue Nichols (1994) - contributor
- Italians in Manchester by Antonio Ria (1990) - contributor
- "Ancoats: Manchester's Little Italy" (1988) - author
- Paper 'The Italian Contribution to Manchester' for The Society for Folk Life Studies Conference, Manchester's People's History Museum, September 2012
- Dan Dubowitz - 'Wastelands, the presence of absence' (2003) - contributor
of spoken material
- Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester - 'All The Ordinary Angels' by Nick
Leather (2004) - contributor
- 'Gelato In July' - Islington Wharf Apartments, ISIS - talk and exhibition (July 2011)
- 'Gelato In July' - Islington Wharf Apartments, ISIS - talk and exhibition (July 2010)
- Dante Alighieri Society Manchester, John Rylands University Library
- (MMU) Manchester Metropolitan University
- Manchester Central Library
- Lancashire Circolo Italiano
- Catholic Family History Society
- Ashton & Sale History Society
- The North Cheshire Family History Society
- Your Family Tree magazine - 'Myths and meatballs' by Angela Willoughby
(2007) - interview & contributor
- Messaggero di Sant'Antonio - Edizione Italiana per l'Estero (Sept
2000) - contributor
- Rivista Della Communita Italiana (1993) - review
- Manchester Region History Review (1988-89) - review
- Ice Cream and Frozen Confectionery Trade Magazine (1988) - excerpts
of "Ancoats Little Italy" over 5 editions
- Numerous radio interviews BBC Radio Manchester
- "Ancoats Little Italy" website - author
- Arandora Star Campaign - co-author
- BBC Legacies article 'I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice
cream!' - contributor
- Manchester Confidential - 'The Ice Cream of Manchester' - interviewed
by Sarah Roe (2009)
- National Italian News Association 'Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata'
(ANSA) - interview (2004)
- Manchester Evening News
- Lancashire Evening Post
- Preston Weekly Mail
- Louise Kane registered tourist guide - helped create "Ancoats
Little Italy" historical walk (1990)
- Manchester Italian Association - historian (formerly Vice-president
- Arandora Star Campaign - campaigner, invited to the Commemoration
of the sinking of the Arandora Star maritime ceremony, Liverpool (as
part of the Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008)
- Successfully supported Sarafino Di Felice for the re-instatement of
the plaque at St. Peter's war memorial commemorating the Italian men
who fought and died with the allies in the First World War (1990)
- Interviews for students from various universities researching the
social history of the italian community in Ancoats Manchester.
This site is based on extracts from the booklet
"Ancoats: Manchester's Little Italy", above, by Anthony Rea. For copies
please contact me.
Alternatively you can purchase online from Amazon
in the UK.
Never intended as a dry social history of Ancoats,
the book paints a picture of "Little Italy" through anecdotes of its colourful
inhabitants. It was first published in 1988, at a time when Ancoats had
become virtually forgotten.
I would like to thank my cousin Patricia Gonzalez
(nee Schiavo) for her time and help transcribing this book, and her continuous
support throughout my research. Also the many people who contributed pictures
and information, and especially the history makers of "Little Italy".
Finally may I thank the hundreds of people
who took the time to write after reading the book, talking of the happy
memories it had evoked.
review and letters