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  C.W.S. VERE STREET,SALFORD. JOINERY & SHOPFITTING.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 9 February 2009 at 12.12am
I KEEP LOOKING WITH INTEREST AT SALFORD INTERNET SITES, HOPING TO OBSERVE THE C.W.S. VERE STREET, SALFORD 5. JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING WORKSHOPS.
AS AN ECCLES LAD BORN AND BRED, I SERVED MY INDENTURED APPRENTISHIP AS A JOINER AT THE C.W.S. STARTING IN 1954 FOR 6 FULL YEARS UNTIL 1960.
THE C.W.S. WAS BY FAR AND REPUTATION THEN THE VERY BEST JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING WORKSHOP IN THE WHOLE NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND, IF NOT IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY. ITS REPUTATION FOR ITS QUALITY WORK,WENT BEFORE IT. TO BECOME A APPRENTICE AT THE C.W.S.YOU WERE VERY LUCKY.
ONE WAS VERY PRIVILEGED TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT, USUALLY THEN ONLY APPROX 6 APPRENTISHIPS WERE STARTED EACH YEAR,WITH A LONG WAITING LIST,OF POTENTIAL BUDDING YOUNG JOINERS.
I BELIEVED THAT WITH ALL THE EMPLOYEES WHO WORKED THERE OVER THE YEARS, AND AS A MAJOR LOCAL EMPLOYER IT WOULD HAVE BEEN RESERECTED WITH INTEREST ON A WEB SITE, AND I WOULD HAVE FOUND SOME HISTORIC REFERENCE.
BASED ON THE EDGE OF THE SALFORD DOCK COMPLEX, OFF ECCLES NEW ROAD,IT WAS A PLACE OF SKILLED SELF SUFFICIENCY. A HIVE OF ACTIVITY, A LARGE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. THE MAIN OFFICES CONTAINED THE MANAGEMENT TEAM AND ADMINISTATION,THE ARCHITECTS AND PLANNERS, THE ESTIMATORS AND DRAUGHTSMAN. ALL THESE PEOPLE WERE HOUSED IN THE RELATIVELY MODERN 2 STOREY OFFICE BLOCK, THIS WAS ADJACANT TO THE SITE ENTRANCE GATE,AT THE BOTTOM OF WEST ASHTON STREET, OFF ECCLES NEW ROAD.
ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE GATE WAS,THE GENERAL BUILDING YARD,THE PLUMBERS AND BUILDERS MAINTENANCE WORKSHOPS. ALL THE ENTRANCES WERE ON MOUNTFORD STREET, WITH A BIG PAIR OF GATES AT THE WEST END OF THE STREET, THIS WAS THE VERE STREET GATE ENTRANCE ONTO THE SALFORD DOCKS COMPLEX,AT THE BOTTOM OF VERE STREET.
ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE OFFICES WAS THE JOINERY WORKSHOPS. THIS COMPRISED THE BOTTOM SHOP AND THE REAR TOP UPSTAIRS WORKSHOP ON THE FIRST FLOOR.
APPROX 250 STAFF WORKED HERE IN THE SHOPFITTING DEPARTMENT. THESE COMPRISED JOINERS, SETTER’S OUT’S. MARKERS IN, MACHINISTS, FRENCH POLISHERS,
PAINTERS, TIMBER CARRIERS AND ENGINEERS.
APPROX 100 JOINERS WORKED DOWNSTAIRS, AND APPROX 50 UPSTAIRS,ALL WORKING AT LINES OF 12 FOOT LONG WOODEN JOINERS BENCHES. ALL THE WORK WAS BESPOKE, PURPOSE MADE FOR THE EXTENSIVE MASSIVE C.W.S. NATIONAL ORGANISATION.
ALL WORK WAS THEN ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY IN HARDWOOD, APPROX 5% OF ITEMS WERE MADE IN SOFTWOOD.
SPECIALIST, RARE, EXPENSIVE IMPORTED HARDWOOD TIMBERS, TEAK,OAK, MAHOGANY,IROKO, WALNUT ALL ARRIVING EITHER BY ROAD OR IN RAILWAY WAGONS SHUNTED ONTO THE SITE ON THE INTERNAL RAILWAY SYSTEM WHICH EXTENDED OUT ON TO THE DOCK COMPLEX,BEYOND THE REAR FENCE. DELIVERED BY STEAM TRAIN OFTEN STRAIGHT FROM THE INCOMING SHIPS ON THE DOCK BERTHS.
ENGLISH HARDWOODS ENGLISH OAK, BEECH AND SYCAMORE.
SOLID TIMBER NOW SELDOM SEEN, THE MORAL OF THE C.W.S. WAS QUALITY BEFORE QUANTITY, EVERYTHING WAS DESIGNED AND PURPOSE MADE.
THE C.W.S. WAS ONE OF THE LARGEST RETAIL SHOPPING ORGANISATIONS EXTENDING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ON A NATIONAL BASIS.IT HAD SHOPS IN EVERY TOWN, IT HAD LOCAL OFFICES, AND MANY SPECIALIST FACTORY PREMISES.
WE PROVIDED ALL THE SHOPFRONTS AND INTERIORS FOR EVERY TYPE OF SHOP. GROCERS, BUTCHERS, COBBLERS, FURNITURE SHOPS, DRY CLEANERS,ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPE OF SHOPS YOU USED TO FIND ON THE HIGH STREET IN EVERY TOWN, ALL WERE OWNED BY THE LOCAL C.W.S. SOCIETY.
EVERY TYPE OF FACTORY PREMISES AND OFFICES WERE INCLUDED ON THE C.W.S. ESTATE. THEY HAD THEIR OWN DAIRY,
THEY MANUFACTURED BUTTER AND MARGARINE, SOAP, SHOES, FURNITURE, IN FACT EVERY PRODUCT YOU CAN NAME.
THEY HAD FACTORIES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TO MAKE ALL AND EVERY PRODUCT NEEDED, EVEN MAKING COFFINS, BICYCLES, BEDS, KIDDIES PRAMS AND T.V.,S.
EVERY DAY WAS DIFFERENT,EVERY JOB WAS DIFFERENT,ALL THE ITEMS HAD TO BE DESIGNED, MADE,CONSTRUCTED AND FINISHED, OFTEN LARGE ITEMS WHICH HAD TO BE PREFABRICATED,THEN DISMANTLED AGAIN, FOR HANDLING, ACCESS AND TRANSPORTATION, AND DELIVERY.
SENT OUT ON C.W.S. TRANSPORT ACCOMPANIED BY SPECIALIST TEAMS OF SHOPFITTERS WHO REGULARLY TRAVELLED TO ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY ONLY RETURNING WHEN THE JOB WAS COMPLETED OFTEN ON A SCHEDULED SHOP OPENING DATE.
TO DATE I HAVE BEEN DISAPPOINTED NOT TO FIND ANY PRESERVED PICTURES,TO BRING BACK MEMORIES,OR FIND A LIST OF EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE SURVIVED.
I KNOW I AM NOT QUITE MYSELF THE LAST SURVIVOR AS I KNOW OF AT LEAST 6 OTHER EMPLOYEES WHO ARE STILL ABOUT IN MANCHESTER AND SALFORD.
KEITH INGHAM. KEN COLTAS. ARTHUR ROGERS,ROY PROCTOR. JOHN EVANS. ARTHUR WALKER, DENNIS BEAN. ALL NOW AT LEAST 70 YEARS YOUNG OR OVER.
HOW MANY OTHERS ARE STILL OUT THEIR?
bargainhunterroy@aol.com
ALL THE LADS I NAMED ABOVE WERE THE LADS I ORIGINALLY WORKED WITH DURING THE PERIOD 1954-1960,AS A RESULT OF THESE WRITINGS, I HAVE RECEIVED COMMUNICATIONS, WHICH HAVE LISTED OTHER NAMES, FOR THE CHAPS WHO FOLLOWED IN MY FOOTSTEPS, UNTILL THE DEMISE OF VERE STREET IN 1986.

> This message was edited at 12:56 on 13 December 2011 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 9 February 2009 at 9.51am
WHEN I STARTED WORK,I CAN RECALL BEING SHOWN AT THAT TIME THE PRESERVED JIGS,MADE AS THE WORKSHOP CONTRIBUTION TO THE SECOND WORLD WAR EFFORT.
APPARENTLY THE WORKSHOP WAS INSTRUCTED TO ASSIST THE WAR EFFORT AND MANUFACTURE THE PLYWOOD WINGS OF GLIDERS TO BE USED IN THE ALLIED INVASION OF EUROPE IN A BID TO END W.W.2. THE OLD JOINERY HANDS HAD PRESERVED THE JIGS TO SHOW OFF THEIR SKILLS.
THE WORKSHOP HAD ITS OWN TIMBER DRYING SHEDS, LARGE STRUCTURES WITH SLATTED OPEN TIMBER SIDES. THE LARGE BAULKS OF TIMBER WERE CAREFULLY LAID IN PILES,SEPERATED BY STICKS.THE PILES OF TIMBER PERMITTING AIR CIRCULATION AROUND AND THROUGH THE PILES FOR NATURAL AIR VENTILATION AND DRYING OUT. THIS WAS THE PROCESS OF NATURAL SEASONING AS DISTINCT TO FORCE KILN DRYING TIMBER IN A KILN. WHEN TIMBER WAS REQUIRED THE TIMBER CARRIERS USED TO SELECT THE TIMBER FROM THE DRYING SHEDS AND MANUALLY SHOULDER CARRY THE LARGE TIMBER BAULKS INTO THE INITIAL REAR MACHINE SHOP FOR CONVERSION FROM LARGE LOGS INTO HANDLEABLE SIZES OF TIMBER.THE TIMBER WAS CUT INTO SECTIONS OFF THE ROUGH SAW,THIS WAS KNOWN AS THE TIMBER CONVERTING SHOP. EACH PIECE WAS THEN PLANED ,EDGED AND THICKNESSED IN THE BACK MACHINE WORKSHOP, EACH MACHINE HAVING A DIFFERENT ROLE AND EACH OPERATED BY A DIFFERENT MACHINE OPERATIVE.
FINALLY TIMBERS WERE THEN CUT, PLANED, REBATED, MOULDED,IN THE INNER FINISHING MACHINE WORKSHOP,THEN SHAPED, DOVETAILED TENONED AND COMBED JOINTS WERE PRODUCED,TO MAKE UP INTO ALL THE DIFFERENT ASSEMBLIES.
ALL JOBS WERE PLANNED AND DRAWN UP BY SETTER’S OUT,THESE MEN PREPARED FULL SIZE SECTIONAL PLANS ON WHITE PAINTED WOODEN STAFFS, OR LONG ROLLS OF PAPER 3 FOOT WIDE.
THE INFORMATION ON THE DRAWINGS WAS CONVERTED INTO TIMBER CUTTING LISTS,FOR THE MACHINISTS USE.
WHEN THE WOOD WAS PLANED UP, IT WAS PASSED TO THE SETTERS OUT,WHO MARKED ALL THE PIECES OF TIMBER,THAT NEEDED TO BE MACHINED AND FINISHED.
YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT AT THIS TIME WE DID NOT HAVE COMPUTERS AND ALL WORK HAD TO BE DONE MANUALLY,NO CAD COMUTER SYSTEMS TO DRAW UP THE DETAILS OR CALCULATE THE SIZES,OR REPRODUCE COMPLEX ANGLES OR BEVELS.
WHEN ALL OF THE MACHINING POSSIBLE HAD BEEN ACHIEVED, THE MATERIALS WERE STACKED AROUND THE WORKSHOP TO AWAIT THE JOINERS ATTENTION FOR ASSEMBLY.
EACH JOB WAS DIFFERENT,COUNTERS, DISPLAY CASES, SCREENS, DISPLAY STANDS, DOORS, WINDOWS, STAIRCASES, SHOPFRONTS, NO 2 ITEMS WERE THE SAME.
THE SKILL OF THOSE OLD CRAFTSMEN HAD TO BE SEEN TO BE APPRECIATED. OLD HANDS, MANY NEARLY RETIREMENT AGE, MANY AGED 60 AND OVER, SOME EVEN 70.
THESE MEN HAD WORKED AT VERE STREET FOR THE C.W.S. AS MAN AND BOY OFTEN FOR OVER 30 YEARS.
WE USED TO SAY THAT THESE OLD HANDS HAD C.W.S. CHARLEY,WILLIAM, STEWART STAMPED ON THEIR BACKSIDES.
OFTEN SOME HAD NEVER WORKED ELSE WHERE WHICH WAS QUITE COMMON AT THAT TIME, OFTEN FAMILIES,FATHER AND SONS BEING EMPLOYED TOGETHER.
DAILY THEY USED TO COMPARE THE MORE FAVOURABLE WORKING RATES OF OTHER JOINERS WORKING DOWN THE ROAD AT FEARNLEYS,THEY ARE ON A PENNY PER HOUR MORE PAY, OR THEY WERE WORKING 3 HOURS EVENING OVERTIME, OR PERHAPS WORKING SAT MORNING.
THEY COMPLAINED, GRUMBLED, BUT NEVER LEFT THE SECURITY OF THE C.W.S. SYSTEM.THE GRASS ALWAYS SEEMS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE,UNTIL YOU JUMP OVER IT.

WHEN I INITIATED THESE NOTES AS AN ENQUIRY FOR VERE STREET, SALFORD, I HAD NO PLANNED INTENTION OF ELABORATING ON THEM FURTHER, OR TO DEVELOP THEM INTO A STORY. WHAT STARTED AS CURIOSITY IS NOW APPARENTLY PROVIDING INTERESTING READING FOR THE CURIOUS.

I SINCERELY HOPE THAT YOU FIND THE EXCURSION INTO MY PAST, REWARDING ENOUGH TO READ, PROVIDING YOU WITH INTEREST AND SATISFACTION.

ANY RELEVANT VALUED COMMENTS OR INFORMATION MOST WELCOME.

> This message was edited at 17:37 on 8 June 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: Julie on 9 February 2009 at 11.41am
Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to write about your experiences there. Have you thought of writing it all up as a booklet? Perhaps Salford Library could help to get it printed. I’m sure people would be interested to hear more.

There are a couple of aerial shots of your works on Vere St on the M/c images site in case you are interested:

http://www.images.manchester.gov.uk/

Scroll down towards the bottom of the page and just type in CWS in the search box. I think they are on the next to the last page of photos that come up.

Julie
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 11 February 2009 at 12.32am
JULIE, MAY I EXPRESS MY SINCERE THANKS FOR YOUR RESPONSIVE AND CARING INTEREST TO MY TOPIC ON C.W.S. JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING DEPARTMENT, VERE STREET, SALFORD. 5.
I HAVE TAKEN YOUR ADVICE AND HAD A LOOK ON THE WEB SITE ,TO WHICH YOU REFER, IMAGES.MANCHESTER.
AS YOU STATE THE MANCHESTER LOCAL IMAGES COLLECTION,ACCESSED WITH C.W.S AS THE SEARCH,REVEALS 43 PHOTOGRAPHS OF C.W.S. SHOP,OFFICES AND PARTICULARLY FACTORY PREMISES IN THE MANCHESTER AREA.
THE C.W.S. PICTURES ARE SHOWN ON 3 PAGES,ON PAGE TWO,THE PICTURES No.s 31 and 32 ARE AERIAL SHOTS OF THE ORIGINAL VERE STREET PREMISES.
THE AERIAL SHOTS HAVE ORIGINALLY BEEN TAKEN BY,IMPERIAL AERIAL PHOTO Co.
PHOTO 31.IS TITLED, "AERIAL VIEWS,SALFORD,LANC’S, C.W.S. PACKING AND UNDERBODY AND WHEELRIGHTS DEPARTMENTS,VERE STREET." THIS SHOT IS DATED 1925. AND BEARS A REFERENCE M67964.
THIS SHOT IS LOOKING TOWARDS CROSS LANE,AT THE TOP OF THE PICTURE,THE ROADWAY ACROSS THE BOTTOM LEFT TO RIGHT IS THE EXTENSION OF VERE STREET THE DOCK GATES WERE IN THE LEFT HAND CORNER.
A SIGN CAN BE OBSERVED WHICH READS "LANGWORTHY SAWMILLS. HORSE DRAWN CARTS ARE USING THIS ROADWAY.
THE ROAD ON THE LEFT, RUNNING TOP TO BOTTOM IS MONTFORD STREET.WHICH STILL EXISTS.THEN BORDERED BY ROWS OF VICTORIAN TERRACED HOUSES BETWEEN ECCLES NEW ROAD AND MONTFORD ST.
THE VACANT PLOT OF LAND AT THE TOP OF THE PICTURE BECAME THE SITE OF ROBINSONS THURLOW SAWMILLS.THIS COMPANY WAS ALWAYS THE NEXT DOOR PREMISES TO VERE STREET, ITS CORRECT NAME WAS G.E.ROBINSON & CO LTD.THURLOW MILLS,SALFORD 5. TELEPHONE TRAFFORD PARK 0435. IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY THURLOW WAS THE NAME OF THE ADJACANT COBBLED TERRACE STREET. THIS COMPANY EXISTED WHEN I STARTED IN 1954, AND STILL EXISTS TRADING TODAY.THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THIS SITE AT A LOWER LEVEL WAS EVENTUALLY ACCESSED OFF BROADWAY, AND FOR MANY YEARS WAS THE WINTER QUARTERS OF THE FAIRGROUND TRAVELLERS SITE,AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TIMBER AND SAWDUST TIP.
THE SELF SUFFICIENCY OF THE SITE CAN BE SHOWN BY THE LARGE CHIMNEY TO THE BOILER HOUSE,WHICH PROVIDED THE HEATING FOR THE WORKSHOPS AND DROVE THE MACHINERY IN THE ENGINEERS WORKSHOP.FROM MEMORY ALL THE ENGINEERS MACHINERY WAS SHAFT AND BELT DRIVEN,DRIVEN BY AN ENGINE LINKED TO THE STEAM PLANT BOILER.
THE RAILWAY ENTRANCE TO THE SITE AT THE BOTTOM,EXTENDS LIKE A SPIDERS WEB IN AND AROUND THE SITE PROVIDING ACCESS FOR THE STEAM TRAINS DELIVERING THE WAGONS,AND LOADS OF TIMBER.THESE RAILS EXTENDED OUT ONTO THE DOCK COMPLEX, AND EVENTUALLY ACCESSED THE RAILWAY MAIN LINE AT WEASTE.

PHOTO.No.32. IS AN AERIAL VIEW,SALFORD,LANCASHIRE.MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL AND DOCKS,SALFORD DOCKS TIMBER WHARF AND C.W.S. TIMBER,WHEEL WRIGHTS AND BODY BUILDERS WORKS. THIS PICTURE IS DATED 1926. AND HAS A REFERENCE M67968.
THIS IS A VERY SIMILAR VIEW,TAKEN FROM THE BOTTOM CORNER OF THE SITE, AT THE INTERSECTION OF MONTFORD STREET AND SOUTH LANGWORTHY ROAD.
THE SITE PICTURE HAS BEEN REVOLVED,AS THE PLANE HAS CIRCLED THE SITE,TAKING THE PICTURES.THESE PICTURES MUST HAVE BEEN TAKEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER EACH OTHER, AS CAN BE SEEN BY THE POSITIONS OF THE HORSE AND CARTS ON THE DOCK ROAD.
WHILST THESE FINE PICTURES WERE TAKEN CIRCA,1925/1926. THIS WAS SOME 30 YEARS PREVIOUS TO ME STARTING WORK ON THE SITE IN 1954.
I KNOW THAT BUILDING ADAPTATIONS TOOK PLACE DURING THIS PERIOD,AS IN 1954 WHEN I STARTED,THE PICTURE VIEWED WAS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT,NEW BUILDINGS EXISTED ON SITE THESE WERE 2 MODERN TWO STOREY BUILDINGS ON THE MONTFORD STREET FRONTAGE,THESE COMPRISED OFF THE ADMINISTRATION OFFICES,AT THE RIGHT OF THE MAIN SITE ENTRANCE GATE, AND THE CANTEEN BLOCK AT THE OTHER END OF THE FRONTAGE AT THE LEFT OF THE VERE STREET ENTRANCE GATE.

BOTH PICTURES ARE TITLED,UNDERBODY,WHEELWRIGHTS AND BODY BUILDERS WORKS? THIS CLEARLY LEFT ME A LITTLE PUZZLED.
I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THIS TYPE OF SERVICE WHEELWRIGHTS AND BODY BUILDERS, AT THE VERE STREET SITE.IT DID NOT EXIST IN 1954, AND I CANNOT RECALL THE WORK OF THIS DESCRIPTION BEING REFERED TO OR DISCUSSED.
IN 1954 THE SITE WAS THE BUILDING,JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING DEPARTMENTS OF THE C.W.S. MOVEMENT.FROM LATER RESEARCH IT IS NOW EVIDENT THAT THE JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING DEPARTMENT TRANSFERED TO VERE STREET,FROM BROUGHTON LANE IN 1931.
I MUST HOWEVER PUT THE DETAILS STRAIGHT AS A LARGE SECTION OF THE FACTORY WAS OCCUPIED BY THE C.W.S. PACKING CASE MANUFACTURING UNIT,WHICH WAS RUN AS A COMPLETELY SEPERATE ENTITY,PRODUCING WOOD AND METAL CRATES,MILK CRATES,BOXES AND PACKING CASES FOR ALL THE OTHER NATIONAL C.W.S. FACTORIES
THINKING BACK TO THE 1925 /26 PERIOD, NOT LONG AFTER THE W.W.1 TRANSPORT AT THIS TIME WAS MAINLY BY HORSE AND CART, SO ONE CAN ONLY PRESUME THAT AT THIS TIME ,VERE STREET POSSIBLY PROVIDED ALL THE OTHER C.W.S. PRODUCTION FACTORIES AND RETAIL SHOPS WITH HORSE DRAWN CARTS FOR THEIR DELIVERY SERVICES.THIS MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE ORIGINAL ORIGIN OF THIS LARGE FACTORY, WHICH AS THIS TYPE OF TRANSPORT DECLINED THE ASSOCIATED TIMBER SERVICES WERE CHANNELED INTO A NEW ERA OF PRODUCTION,JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING.
I CAN SAY THIS WITH ASSURANCE AND CONVICTION RECALLING MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. MY FATHER WORKED FOR THE FIRST 34 YEARS OF HIS WORKING LIFE FOR THE C,W,S. ECCLES COOP ,RETAIL SOCIETY, STARTING ON THE DELIVERY ROUNDS OF MILK AND BREAD,WHICH WERE HORSE DRAWN VEHICLES, HE GRADUATED TO WORK IN THE GROCERS AS A SHOP HAND,FINISHING UP AS A SHOP MANAGER.
AS A KIDDY I USED TO GO OUT ON A WED AFTERNOON ON THE DELIVERY CART FROM MY FATHERS SHOP. THIS WAS A TARPAULIN COVERED WAGON DRAWN BY A SHIRE HORSE.THEN THIS WAS A STILL VERY COMMON MODE OF TRANSPORT.
FOLLOWING THIS KNOWLEDGE I CAN ONLY DEDUCE THAT WAY BACK IN 1925/1926 THIS WAS THE SPECIALIST SERVICE PROVIDED OF MAKING WOODEN WHEELS AND CARTS.
REMEMBER MOTOR TRANSPORT HAD NOT QUITE TAKEN OFF. SO PERHAPS UN KNOWN TO ME ,IT IS POSSIBLE THAT PRIOR TO ME COMMENCING WORK,IN 1954 WHEN IT WAS AN ESTABLISHED JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING WORKSHOP, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT IN AN EARLIER GUISE THAT THE WORKSHOP HAD BEEN PHASED OUT, AND THAT IT WAS PREVIOUSLY A SPECIALIST WORKSHOP PROVIDING HORSE DRAWN CARTS AND VEHICLES.
JULIE,IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IDEAL IF THE 2 PICTURES COULD HAVE BEEN REPRODUCED HERE FOR VIEWERS TO RELATE TO THE TEXT, REGRETFULLY I HAVE NOT GOT THE EXPERTISE TO EFFECT THE TRANSFER.

> This message was edited at 22:41 on 7 November 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: Julie on 11 February 2009 at 12.22pm
Hi again,

Thanks for taking the time for all the additional information. I’m sure the Salford Library at Peel Park would welcome your memories! Perhaps you could print off the details you have already written here to save you rewriting them?

As for the photos on the M/c site, unfortunately as they are copyrighted to M/c Library, I don’t think that they could be imported to this site. So it’s probably better for people to view them on the images site and use your description alongside I would think.

Regards
Julie
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 12 February 2009 at 1.52pm
GOD WILLING THIS YEAR I SHOULD REACH THE RIPE AGE OF 70 YEARS YOUNG. IN FACT THIS IS QUICKLY GROWING MUCH NEARER AS MY BIRTHDAY IS ON THE SECOND OF JULY,2009. AN ECCLES,MANCHESTER, LANCASHIRE LAD BORN AND BRED,AND PROUD OF IT,FOR THOSE THAT DONT REMEMBER ECCLES BEING PART OF LANCASHIRE,THAT WAS BEFORE GOVERNMENT RE-ORGANISATION AND BEFORE IT WAS ABSORBED INTO SALFORD,THE GOOD OLD DAYS,THAT MOST MODERN PERSONS WILL HAVE SADLY FORGOTTEN.
BORN INTO THIS BIG WIDE WORLD IN JULY 1939,I RESIDED IN PEEL GREEN,ECCLES.MY MOTHER GLADYS AND FATHER RODNEY WERE A TYPICAL WORKING CLASS FAMILY.
WE LIVED IN SCOTTA ROAD,OFF ALEXANDRA ROAD.OUR HOUSE WAS A VERY TYPICAL RENTED TERRACED PROPERTY,3 UP AND 2 DOWN.
THE ELDEST OF TWO SONS, I LIVED AS A FAMILY WITH MY PARENTS AND BROTHER MICHAEL AT No. 10 SCOTTA ROAD FOR A PERIOD OF 24 YEARS.
I THEN MOVED ACROSS THE ROAD,WHEN I GOT MARRIED AND MOVED INTO No. 9 SCOTTA ROAD, ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ROAD.I LIVED IN THIS ROAD FOR A TOTAL OF 34/35 YEARS UNTIL I MOVED OUT OF THE DISTRICT.
BORN IN 1939 THIS WAS AN ERA OF STEAM,SMOKE,SMOG AND INDUSTRY,AGAIN STRANGE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS UNKNOWN AND NOT EXPERIENCED NOW BY THE YOUNGER PERSON.
FATHER WAS A COUNTER RETAIL SALES HAND, EMPLOYED BY THE ECCLES C.W.S. THE COOPERATIVE WHOLSALE SOCIETY,HE WORKED AT THE LOCAL GROCERY SHOP AT THORPE STREET,PEEL GREEN.
FATHER WOULD NEVER HEAR ANYTHING BAD SAID AGAINST THE C.W.S. IT WAS HIS SALVATION, IT TOOK 34 YEARS OF HIS DEDICATED WORKING CAREER,EVENUALLY GRADUATING TO BECOME A GROCERY BRANCH MANAGER,BEFORE HE REALISED HE WAS IN A DEAD END JOB,WHEN HE RESIGNED AND WENT TO WORK AT GARDNERS THE LOCAL DIESEL ENGINE MAKERS,IN HARDY STREET WHERE HE WAS EMPLOYED UNTILL HE RETIRED AT 65 AS A COSTING CLERK.

> This message was edited at 17:47 on 8 June 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 12 February 2009 at 10.20pm
MY BABY YEARS WERE VIVIDLY INTERRUPTED BY THE SECOND WORLD WAR WHICH STARTED IN 1939.LIKE MOST MEN MY FATHER WAS CALLED UP INTO THE ARMED FORCES.
FATHER WENT AWAY IN 1939 AND NEVER RETURNED UNTIL SOME 5 YEARS LATER,SO I NEVER SAW HIM OR NEW HIM UNTIL HE RETURNED.
IN THE ARMY,THE KINGS OWN REGIMENT, HE PURSUED INITIAL TRAINING AT ULVERSTON,NEAR BARROW IN FURNESS,LANC,S.
HE WAS PERHAPS MORE LUCKY THAN MOST MEN,WHO WERE SENT TO FIGHT IN EUROPE, HE EMBARKED FOR INDIA WHERE HE SPENT ALL HIS ENLISTED ARMY CAREER. INDIA BEING A LONG WAY AWAY,I NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN UNTIL I WAS NEARLY 5 YEARS OLD,WHEN THIS STRANGE ARMY FIGURE APPEARED IN HIS BUSH HAT,AND CAME HOME.
WE AS A FAMILY WERE VERY LUCKY,MANY FATHERS NEVER RETURNED.
IN THE WAR YEARS LIFE HAD TO GO ON, MOUTHS HAD TO BE FED,THE GAPS LEFT BY ALL THE MISSING MALES AWAY AT WAR, MEANT LOTS OF VACANT POSITIONS HAD TO BE FILLED BY GIRLS,LADIES AND MOTHERS.
MY MOTHER WAS NO EXCEPTION, SHE REPLACED MY FATHER BEHIND THE COUNTER AT THE C.W.S. THORPE STREET SHOP,WHERE SHE WORKED UNTIL HE RETURNED.
LIFE HAD TO GO ON, I WAS LUCKY I WAS BROUGHT UP IN THE WAR YEARS AT No. 8 STANLEY ROAD, THREE STREETS AWAY.
THE HOUSE WAS THE HOME OF MY FATHERS PARENTS JACK AND ANNIE, MY GRANDFATHER AND GRANDMOTHER.
THE HOUSE WAS SHARED WITH LILY GRAND MOTHERS SISTER, WHO WAS MARRIED TO HARRY, MY FATHERS AUNTIE AND UNCLE.
THEY HAD ONE DAUGHTER MURIEL APPROX 6/7 YEARS OLDER THAN ME,BUT WITH WHOM I WAS BROUGHT UP.
GRANDMOTHERS/AUNTIES HOUSE WAS PROPER POSH COMPARED TO OURS. AT SCOTTA ROAD WE HAD AS I SAID 3 BEDROOMS AND 2 ROOMS DOWNSTAIRS,THE FRONT ROOM,AND THE BACK KITCHEN, AS WAS THEN COMMON WE HAD NO BATHROOM,OR INSIDE TOILET.
WE WERE ON A SHORT TERRACED COBBLED STREET, BEFORE SMOOTH LEVEL TARMACADAM ROADS, WITH STONE SETS SET IN TAR,LATER IN LIFE TO CAUSE MANY PROBLEMS WHEN ON VERY HOT SUMMER DAYS,AS MOST CHILDREN DID WE SAT ON THE EDGE OF THE CURB PLAYING WITH THE MOULTON TAR BUBBLES RISING FROM BETWEEN THE SETS. IT WAS A WICKED PASTIME FOR KIDS,UNTIL THEY WENT HOME,WHEN THEY WERE SEVERELY SCALDED BY MOTHER. TAR WAS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO REMOVE FROM THE CLOTHES, DIFFICULT TO CLEAN FROM HANDS, AND ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO EXTRACT FROM ONES HAIR WITHOUT CUTTING IT OUT. TROUBLE,TROUBLE.
OUR HOUSE HAD A VERY SMALL GARDEN AT THE FRONT ABOUT 15 FOOT X 12 FOOT.THE FRONT DOOR OPENED DIRECTLY INTO THE FRONT ROOM. THE STAIRS WERE LOCATED BETWEEN THE TWO DOWNSTAIRS ROOMS.WITH A SPACE UNDER THE STAIRS,WITH TWO CONCRETE STEPS DOWN ONTO A CONCRETE FLOOR,WHICH WAS THE COLD LARDER OR THE PANTRY.
THE BACK KITCHEN WAS SMALL AND SPARSE, IN THE CORNER NEXT TO THE BLACK YORSHIRE RANGE FIREPLACE,WITH OVEN.WE HAD A BRICK STRUCTURE,IN WHICH WAS A COPPER BOILER,THIS WAS HEATED FROM UNDERNEATH BY LIGHTING A FIRE TO BOIL THE WATER.
WE HAD A SHALLOW BROWN STONE SINK,MOUNTED ON TWO BRICK PIERS. AND A GAS STOVE.
WE HAD NO HOT WATER, ONE COLD TAP. NO BATH.THE LARGE TIN GALVANISED FINISHED BATH,HUNG ON A NAIL ON THE BACK YARD WALL.
BATHNIGHT WAS QUITE A RITUAL, PULLING THE BATH INTO THE HOUSE, POSITIONING IT EMPTY IN FRONT OF A COAL FIRE, WHILST THE WATER WAS HEATED UP IN THE CORNER COPPER BOILER, OR IN A GALVANISED LARGE CIRCULAR BOILER SAT ON THE GAS COOKER,THIS HAD A LID ON TO HELP THE WATER TO HEAT UP.
EVERYBODY TOOK IT IN TURNS TO HAVE A BATH,THE WATER WAS RETAINED FOR ALL TO USE, HEATED UP BY ANOTHER BOILER FULL.LAST IN FOR A BATH,WAS NOT IN THE MOST CLEAR WATER.WHEN EVERYBODY HAD BATHED THE BATH WAS DRAGGED TO THE BACK YARD DOOR AND EMPTIED DOWN THE STEPS INTO THE BACK YARD. JUST LIKE WHEN WE LAST HAD THE LAST DRAUGHT,WE WERE ASKED TO BATH WITH A FRIEND, NOTHING NEW....
THIS WAS IN 1940 THE VERY COMMON LAVISH FACILITIES ENJOYED BY THE WORKING CLASS.
IN ALL THE ROOMS WE STILL HAD THE BRASS ARM GAS WALL FITTINGS,WHICH HAD PREVIOUSLY BORE THE GAS MANTLES IN ALL THE HOUSES BEFORE THE LUXURY OF ELECTRICITY APPEARED,TO LIGHT UP THE ROOMS.
I SUPPOSE THAT WE WERE LUCKY WE HAD THIS NEW FANGLED ELECTRICITY CAREFULLY INSTALLED WITH ALL SURFACE WIRING ON ALL THE WALLS,WHICH WAS THEN QUITE THE NORM AND ACCEPTABLE FINISH FOR THIS MODERN ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION,
WHEN I GOT MARRIED AND BOUGHT MY OWN HOUSE AT No. 9 SOME 23/24 YEARS LATER, THE HOUSE I BOUGHT THEN HAD NO ELECTRICITY, ONLY GAS INCLUDING A GAS LAMP IN THE CENTRE OF THE CEILING WITH 2 CHAINS TO PULL TO LIGHT THE GAS LAMP, NO HOT WATER, ONLY ONE COLD TAP, IT STILL HAD THE SAME OLD GRATE AND COPPER BOILER,BUT BY THEN BEING A PRACTICAL YOUNG CHAP, IT GAVE ME A BLANK CANVAS TO DO ALL THE WORK FROM SCRATCH,IN AN EMPTY HOUSE,BEFORE I MOVED IN.
I BOUGHT THE HOUSE OFF A NEIGHBOUR FOR THE GRAND SUM OF 425-00. I HAD NO MORTGAGE FOR THE 11 YEARS I LIVED THERE, MORTGAGE FREE,RENT FREE. WHEN I SOLD IT IN 1974 AND MOVED I RECEIVED THE GRAND SUM OF 5500 THE MOST FOR ANY SUCH SIMILAR HOUSE IN THE STREET.HOW PRICES HAVE ESCALATED.
AT THE BACK OF THE HOUSE, AGAIN WE WERE LUCKY WE HAD A LONG NARROW GARDEN BACKING ON TO THE BACK ENTRY.
THE BACKS OF THE HOUSES VIEWED FROM THE KITCHEN WINDOW WERE IN GREEN STREET,ALL THESE HOUSES STILL STAND TODAY.
THE LONG NARROW GARDEN CONTAINED A SMALL GLAZED WOODEN GREENHOUSE GRANDAD ERECTED, IN WHICH DURING THE WAR YEARS AND AFTER HE GREW TOMATOES IN THE SUMMER AND CRYSANTS IN THE WINTER.
PART OF THE GARDEN WAS OCCUPIED BY A SMALL CORREGATED METAL ANDERSON SHELTER,WHICH WAS LET INTO THE GROUND,COVERED IN SOIL AND SANDBAGS.THIS WAS OUR AIR RAID SHELTER FOR THE EMERGENCIES OF THE WAR WHEN THE BOMBING RAIDS WERE IN PROGRESS.AS IT WAS DUG INTO THE GROUND,INSIDE THE FLOOR AREA WAS ALWAYS UNDER WATER,AS THE RAIN SIMPLY RAN IN.
AT THE TOP OF THE BACK GARDEN,OUTSIDE THE BACK DOOR WE HAD A SMALL ENCLOSED BACK YARD,IN THE CORNER WAS THE OUTSIDE W,C, WITH AN OLD WOODEN ILL FITTING T.& G. DOOR,NOT THE WARMEST OF PLACES TO VISIT BY NECCESITY ON A COLD WINTERS NIGHT.
NEXT TO THE W.C. WAS THE SLAB COAL SHED WHERE THE VALUABLE SUPPLIES OF COAL WERE STORED WHEN YOU COULD GET IT. IN ONE CORNER OF THE YARD STOOD THE CAST IRON MANGLE WITH TWO WOODEN ROLLERS,TO WRING OUT THE WASHING ON WASHING DAY,WHICH WAS ALWAYS MONDAY.
SO JUST TO RECALL,NO CENTAL HEATING, NO DOUBLE GLAZING,NO HOT WATER, ONLY ONE COLD TAP.NO WASHER,NO SPINNER,NO BATH.
I HEAR YOU SAYING IT MUST HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTE LUXURY...
BUT IT WAS QUITE THE NORM.
GRANDMOTHERS HOUSE I SAID WAS POSH.
IT WAS SLIGHTLY LARGER, IT HAD 3 ROOMS DOWNSTAIRS, PLUS A LOBBY AREA AND SMALL KITCHEN. UPSTAIRS IT HAD 3 BEDROOMS AND THE LUXURY OF A BATH ROOM WITH HOT WATER, FED FROM THE BACK BOILER AT THE BACK OF YORKSHIRE CAST IRON FIRE GRATE.BUT NO INSIDE TOILET.
THEY DID NOT HAVE A BACK GARDEN, BUT A ENCLOSED YARD,WHICH OPENED OUT ONTO THE BACK ENTRY.
HERE GRANDAD HAD MANAGED TO BUILD A LEAN TO GREENHOUSE, AND HE WAS THE ONE WITH GREEN FINGERS WHO TRIED TO GROW TOMATOES FOR THE FAMILY.
THE BEST ABOUT THIS HOUSE WHICH WAS THE OUTLOOK ON STANLEY ROAD AT THE FRONT,WHICH LOOKED STRAIGHT OUT ACROSS THE ROAD ONTO PATRICROFT RECREATION GROUND.
PATTY REC AS WE ALL BECAME TO KNOW IT.
ORIGINALLY THE AREA WAS FENCED ALL AROUND THE PERIMETER. THEN NO FENCES WERE TO BE SEEN AS THE METAL FENCES HAD ALL BEEN REMOVED AND SMELTED DOWN FOR THE WAR EFFORT AS HAD THE BAND STAND THAT HAD ALWAYS STOOD IN THE CENTRE.
THIS WAS TO BECOME MY LOCAL SAFE PLAY AREA FOR MANY YOUTHFULL YEARS.
8 STANLEY ROAD WAS IN THE CENTRE OF A ROW OF TERRACED HOUSES, FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD WERE A SMALL NUMBER OF MORE MODERN DETACHED HOUSES WHICH HAD BEEN BUILT BY GRAYSON’S THE BUILDERS, WHO LIVED AT THE FIRST 2 HOUSES, I USED TO PLAY WITH ALAN THEIR SON.
YOU GOT TO NO ALL THE NEIGHBOURS, YOU NEW ALL THE FAMILIES. THE END HOUSE WAS THE SHIRT’S. THEN THE TROTT’S. THE STEPHENS. THEN GRAND MOTHERS, NEXT DOOR THE COLLINS, OTHER FAMILIES INCLUDED THE TAYLOR’S. THE TITHERS.THE WILLIAMS.MR WILLIAMS A TYPICAL WELSH WILLIAMS, WAS A RAILWAY ENGINE DRIVER WITH UNCLE HARRY, AT PATRICROFT SHEDS.
BRITAIN HAS RECENTLY SUFFERED WITH THE ADVERSE SNOWY WEATHER THAT HAS BEEN THE WORST MANY PEOPLE CAN RECALL FOR MANY YEARS. I PERSONALLY HAVE ALWAYS ADVOCATED THAT HERE IN MANCHESTER THAT WE NEVER SUFFER THE EXTREME BAD AND ADVERSE WEATHER THAT SOME AREAS OF THE COUNTRY EXPERIENCE.
I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT OUR SALVATION IS THE PENNINE RANGE OF HILLS ALL AROUND WHICH SHELTER US.IT IS DIFFICULT TO RECALL DEEP SNOW IN MANCHESTER,AND WHILST SOMETIMES MANCHESTER HAS BEEN REFERED TO AS THE RAINY CITY,IT IS AGAIN DIFFICULT TO RECALL FLOODING,EXCEPT SOME MIGHT REMIND ME OFF THE IRWELL OVER FLOWING IN BROUGHTON AND THE MERSEY IN SALE BEFORE THEY IMPROVED THE RIVER EMBANKMENTS.
THE RECENT SNOWS BROUGHT THE COUNTRY TO A STANDSTILL, BUT THEN MOST THINGS USED TO PLOD ON REGARDLESS.
I CAN RECALL THE WINTER OF 1947, I WOULD HAVE BEEN 7/8 I CAN REMEMBER THE VERY DEEP SNOW OF THAT YEAR, WHEN AS KIDS ON THE REC WE WERE ABLE TO ROLL SNOWBALLS 3/4 FOOT DIAMETER,TAKING A GANG OF MATES TO ROLL THE BALLS.
AT THE SIDE OF THE REC WAS ERMAN ROAD,GODFREY ERMANS JUNIOR AND INFANTS SCHOOL WAS ON ERMAN ROAD TWO FINE BUILDINGS SEGREGATED IN THER OWN GROUNDS.
GODFREY ERMANS WAS MY FIRST SCHOOL IT WAS ON MY GRANDMOTHERS DOORSTEP I CAN REMEMBER THE HEADMASTER WAS MR STEPHENSON, I REMEMBER MISS TILLOTSON, MR TARR, I STILL HAVE SCHOOL CLASS PICTURES I WILL HAVE TO INCLUDE THEM ON THE PICTURES NETWORK.
I WENT TO THIS SCHOOL UNTIL I WAS 13 THEN I WENT ON TO TECHNICAL COLLEGE.
AS A BABY I DO NOT HAVE MANY RECOLLECTIONS OF THE WAR YEARS, LIVING AT PEEL GREEN,WE WERE ON THE EDGE OF ONE OF THE LARGEST INDUSTRIAL ESTATES IN THE COUNTRY, TRAFFORD PARK WAS AN OBVIOUS TARGET FOR THE GERMAN BOMBERS AS WAS THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL AND THE SALFORD DOCKS.
I CAN REMEMBER THE AIR RAID SIRENS, THE BLACKOUT ROLLER BLINDS TO THE WINDOWS,SAT IN THE CANDLE LIGHT CROUCHED UNDER THE HEAVY WOODEN FOUR LEGGED PINE KITCHEN TABLE IN THE KITCHEN,OR CROUCHED UNDER THE STAIRS WITH MY MOTHER. I DONT REMEMBER ACTUALLY USING THE GARDEN ANDERSON SHELTER OUT IN THE COLD GARDEN,I THINK MOTHERS ATTITUDE WAS ,IF YOUR TIMES UP AND ITS TIME TO GO, YOU MIGHT AS WELL STAY WARM IN THE HOUSE.
DOWN THE ENTRY THEY ERECTED A LARGER COMMUNIAL BRICK SHELTER WITH A CONCRETE ROOF, THIS WAS FOR ALL THE LOCAL RESIDENTS COMMUNIAL USE, BUT I CAN ONLY REMEMBER USING THESE ON A COUPLE OF OCCASSIONS WHEN THE BOMBING WAS HEAVIER.
I CAN RECALL PUTTING BOTH THE SHELTERS TO A BETTER USE AS A KIDS ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND AFTER THE WAR HAD FINISHED WHEN WE WERE ALL OUT PLAYING.
WHEN WE WENT OUT FOR A SUNDAY WALK, ONE CAN REMEMBER THE BARRAGE BALLOONS AT THE BACK OF THE PEELGREEN CEMETRY,NEXT TO BARTON AIRPORT.
AS A VERY YOUNG CHILD, FATHER AWAY AT WAR,WE WERE UP EARLY EVERY MORNING,TAKEN TO GRANDMOTHERS,MOTHER THEN AWAY AT WORK ALL DAY TILL 6-30PM. COLLECTED TAKEN BACK HOME FOR BED, THEN WE STARTED AGAIN IN THE MORNING ,I WAS BROUGHT UP BY BY MY EXTENDED FAMILY.
BASICALLY I SAW VERY LITTLE OF MY FATHER AND MOTHER FOR THE FIRST 5 YEARS UNTIL AFTER THE WAR.BUT I HAD A GOOD FAMILY UP BRINGING, AND DID NOT SUFFER.
MOTHER WORKED IN THE GROCERS,VERY DIFFERENT FROM NOW. MOST OF THE PRODUCTS WERE DISPENSED LOOSE,BUT OF COURSE IN ALL THE WAR YEARS ALL FOOD WAS ON RATIONING WITH RATION BOOK TOKENS FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER, THIS ALSO APPLIED TO OTHER NEEDY COMMODITIES SUCH AS CLOTHING AND SHOEWARE.
CHEESE,BUTTER,MARGARINE,LARD,ALL CAME IN BARRELS TO BE CUT WITH WIRE AND SERVED IN GREASE PROOF PAPER,WHIST OTHER ITEMS LIKE TEA,SUGAR,SALT.RICE HAD TO BE WEIGHED AND SERVED UP IN BLUE PAPER BAGS WITH FOLDED TOPS.
BACON OFF COURSE HAD TO BE CUT ON THE HAND TURNED BACON SLICER MACHINE, A LETHAL WEAPON,IF YOU PUT YOU FINGERS TO NEAR IT.
BASICALLY IT WAS HEAVY WORK FOR A WOMEN AS ALL THE SUPPLIES ARRIVED MAINLY BY HORSE AND CART AND OCCASSIONAL MOTOR LORRY, BUT ALL HAD TO BE OFFLOADED BY HAND.
NOT MANY PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER THE LUXURY OF EGG POWDER IN TINS,OF AMERICAN ORIGIN AS WERE BISCUITS IN TINS THAT APPEARED OFF AMERICAN SHIPS THAT CAME INTO SALFORD DOCKS. WHEN WE WERE YOUNG KIDS,I CAN REMEMBER PLAYING ON THE CANAL BANK, TO THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL, CALLING OUT TO THE LARGE AMERICAN STEAM SHIPS ARRIVING FROM THE LIVERPOOL DIRECTION, WE USED TO SHOUT TO THE DECK HANDS THE YANKEE SAILORS "ANY GUM CHUM",THE SAILERS OFTON RESPONDING AND TROWING GUM AND FRUIT ONTO THE CANAL BANK, FOR US TO SCAMMPER AND RETRIEVE.
THE M.S.C. STEAM RAILWAY LINE RAN ALLTHE WAY ALONG THE SIDE OF THE CANAL, EMERGING FROM UNDER THE AQUIDUCT INTHE ECCLES/SALFORD DIRECTION,PULLING A LONG LINE OF LOADED WAGGONS ALONG THE SINGLE RAIL TRACK,TOWARDS BARTON LOCKS IN THE DISTANCE.



> This message was edited at 18:09 on 8 June 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 13 February 2009 at 11.03am
BABY CHILD HOOD MEMORIES ARE ALMOST VAGUE, BUT SOME THINGS CAN BE REMEMBERED WITH VIVID COLOUR.AS I GREW UP I CAN RECALL THINGS THAT STICK IN ONES MIND.
AUNTIE WAS A FANTASTIC COOK,PREPARING ALL HER HOME COOKED PASTRY AND CAKES,I WAS ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO HELP BY LICKING OUT THE CAKE BOWLS CLEAN,ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE MADE CHOCOLATE CAKE.HOT SCONES FRESH FROM THE OVEN PIPING HOT WITH JAM AND CREAM ON. AT CHRISTMAS THE PLUM PUDDING AND WHITE SAUCE ALWAYS HAD SILVER THREEPENNY BITS BURIED IN IT,THEN A TRADITION NOW WOULD NOW BE CONSIDERED A HEALTH HAZARD.AS YOU HAD TO CONSUME THE PUDDING AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU DID NOT SWALLOW THE VERY SMALL SILVER COINS.
HER DAILY LUNCH TREAT OF RICE PUDDING TOPPED WITH NUTMEG WAS DELICIOUS I WAS ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR SECONDS AND ALWAYS WANTING THE SKIN TOPPING FRESH FROM THE OVEN.
REMEMBERING THE GOOD OLD DAYS, NO T.V. NO TRANSISTERS YOU GENERALLY HAD A RADIO FOR THE NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT, SOME RADIOS WORKED OFF A DRY CELL BATTERY WHICH WAS IN A THICK SQUARE GLASS JAR WITH A CARRYING HANDLE, PERIODICALLY THIS HAD TO BE TAKEN TO THE LOCAL RADIO SHOP NEXT TO THE MAJESTIC CINEMA ON LIVERPOOL ROAD.THIS HAD TO BE LEFT,FOR CHARGING AND COLLECTION LATER THE FOLLOWING DAY. EVERY NIGHT WE USED TO SIT AROUND THE WIRELESS TO HEAR THAT EVENINGS EDITION OF"**** BARTON,SPECIAL AGENT"
SOME HOMES DID NOT HAVE RADIOS BUT HAD AN EARLIER LISTENING DEVICE KNOWN AS A CATS WHISKER, AN EARLY INSTRUMENT WITH EAR PHONES.
I RECALL THE FORE RUNNER OF THE METRO,THE OLD TRAM SERVICE WHICH TERMINATED AT PEEL GREEN, DOUBLE DECKED TRAMS,WITH SLATTED WOODEN REVERSABLE SEATS.ONE WAS ABLE TO TRAVEL TO ECCLES, SALFORD AND MANCHESTER.
OUR TREAT WAS TO VISIT THE BELLE VUE PLEASURE PARK, ON HYDE ROAD, WITH ITS PERMANENT FAIRGROUND, MINIATURE STEAM RAILWAY AROUND THE LAKE, ON SITE WAS THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS WITH ALL THE ANIMALS.
EACH NOVEMBER ON THE SAT NEAREST TO THE 5TH OF NOV. WE ALWAYS WENT TO WATCH THE GIANT FIREWORK DISPLAY ON THE ISLAND IN THE CENTRE OF THE LAKE AT BELLE VUE.
AS A KIDDY WE HAD OUR OWN LITTLE JOBS TO DO AS WE GREW UP, NOW A DAYS WE LOOK AT ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS AND RECYCLING, BUT THEN WE ALWAYS WERE ENCOURAGED TO RECYCLE ALL THE GLASS ITEMS. REMEMBER NO PLASTIC WARE. JAM ALWAYS CAME IN 1/2 LB AND 1 LB GLASS JAM JARS,WITH A GREASEPROOF PAPER TOP, HELD IN PLACE WITH AN ELASTIC BAND, GLASS WAS SCARCE SO WE COLLECTED JAM JARS AND RETURNED THEM BACK TO THE SHOP WHERE WE WERE REWARDED WITH HALF PENNIES AND PENNIES.
GLASS BOTTLES WERE ALL SOLD WITH A DEPOSIT ON THEM SO THESE WERE ALWAYS RETURNED TO THE SHOP TO COLLECT THE DEPOSIT, WHICH EVENTUALLY BECAME TO BE OUR POCKET MONEY.
WE SELDOM HAD KIDDIES BYCYCLES, KIDS THEN USED TO RAID THE LOCAL TIP ON PEEL GREEN ROAD AND RECOVER OLD PRAMS, TO AQUIRE A SET OF THE WHEELS TO MAKE BOX CARTS OR 4 WHEEL BOGEY’S.
PROPELLED BY A PAL PUSHING ON A STICK,THESE VERY CRUDE MACHINES WITH NO BRAKES,WERE THE IDEAL REGULAR KIDS ADVENTURE. EVEN FRED DIBNAH OF THE SAME AGE HAD A BOGEY, WHICH CAREERED DOWN THE HILL UNTIL IT HIT THE BUS.
BOX CARTS ON TWO WHEELS AND TWO SHAFTS CRUDILY CONSTRUCTED WERE OFTEN USED TO SEND THE KIDS TO THE SHOPS TO COLLECT THINGS. UNLIKE TODAY, DONT FORGET NOBODY HAD A CAR,I REMEMBER AS I GREW UP I HAD A JOB TO TAKE MY BOX CART AND GO TO A SHOP IN PATRICROFT,AT THE BOTTOM OF SHAKESPERE CRESCENT TO COLLECT THE COAL BRICKETTES.THE CHEAP MANS COAL.
COAL WAS SCARCE AND VERY COSTLY,THE COAL BRICKS WERE THE POOR MANS SUBSTITUTE, MADE MAINLY FROM COAL DUST BLUE GREY IN COLOUR BONDED TOGETHER WITH A CONCRETE BOND, THE COAL BRICKETTES WERE THE SIZE OF A HOUSE BRICK,WITH A BREAK LINE DOWN THE CENTRE,TO BREAK EASILY INTO TWO SECTIONS, ALL TO KEEP THE HOME FIRE BURNING.OR AT LEAST MAKE IT GLOW, AND SAVE THE VALUABLE COAL IN THE CENTRE OF THE GRATE. IT WAS A LONG HEAVY PUSH WITH LOTS OF PAUSES PUSHING THE LOADED BARROW BACK THE HALF MILE BACK TO HOME.
THE REWARD WAS YOUR WEEKLY SPENDS.

> This message was edited at 18:13 on 8 June 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 13 February 2009 at 1.24pm
DELIVERIES OF BASIC PRODUCTS TO HOUSE HOLDS WERE OFTEN CARRIED OUT BY HORSE AND CART,MILK,COAL,AND WEEKLY GROCERIES WERE ALL SUPPLIED DELIVERED TO THE HOUSE BY HORSE AND CART,FINE LOOKING BIG SHIRE HORSES WHICH WERE STABLED AND GROOMED BY THEIR DRIVERS.
AFTER THE WAR IN THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS I USED TO GO DOWN TO THE THORPE STREET COOP SHOP, AND ACCOMMPANY THE DRIVER SAT ON THE DRIVING BOX, GOING ROAD TO ROAD DELIVERING WEEKLY GROCERIES TO THE CUSTOMERS HOUSES.
AGAIN TODAY IT WOULD BE RATHER UNFASHIONABLE, BUT UNDER THE CART SWUNG A BUCKET AND SHOVEL ON A HOOK.
THESE DAYS YOU DONT USUALLY COME ACROSS A LARGE PILE OF HORSE MANURE ON THE MAIN HIGHWAY,UNLESS ITS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. DOG OWNERS NOW CAN GET PROSECUTED FOR FOULING, THEN IT WAS ALWAYS VISIBLE WHEN THE HORSES HAD PASSED. MY JOB WAS TO SHOVEL IT UP INTO THE BUCKET, UNLESS THE LOCAL RESIDENT BEAT ME TO IT, BY RUNNING OUT QUICKLY AND ENTHUSIASTICALLY TO GATHER IT UP TO PUT ON HIS GARDEN ROSES.CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT KIND OF RESPONSIBILITY BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN THIS DAY AND AGE. LOOK AT TODAYS LITTER PROBLEMS. IT REMINDS ME OF THAT OLD WEAK JOKE, I PUT HORSE MANURE ON OUR STRAWBERRIES, REPLY- WE PUT CUSTARD ON OURS.
DELIVERING THE COAL WAS A HARD AND DIRTY JOB,THE COAL BEING PYSICALLY CARRIED ON THE DELIVERY MANS BACK,THE HUNDRED WEIGHT SACK,CONTAINING EITHER NUTTY SLACK,COAL EGGS AND IF YOU WERE RICH, PROPER QUALITY COAL.
THE COAL MAN WAS HOT AND DIRTY COVERED IN SWEAT AND COALDUST,AS THOUGH HE HAD BEEN DOWN THE PIT TO MINE THE COAL. ONE BAG AT A TIME HE HAD TO PARK HIS HORSE AND CART AT THE ROADWAY AT THE CORNER OF THE ENTRY AND WALK DOWN WITH ALL HIS BAGS TO ALL THE HOUSES TO TIP AND DEPOSIT IT IN THE COAL SHEDS.ON HIS BACK HE WORE A THICK BLACK LEATHER BACK PROTECTOR COVERED IN METAL STUDS, TO PROTECT HIS BACK.IT DID NOT MAKE THE BAG ANY LIGHTER.
ANOTHER SMALLER HORSE AND CART YOU OFTEN SAW IN THE BACK ENTRY WAS THE RAG AND BONE MAN,USUALLY WITH A PONY AND TRAP.
HE CAME AROUND EACH WEEK, YOU NEW HE WAS THEIR AS HE WOULD YELL OUT BONE AND STONE,TO LET YOU KNOW HE WAS ON HIS COLLECTION ROUND.
HE COLLECTED AND TOOK AWAY, ALL YOUR OLD CLOTHES AND UNWANTED GOODS,IN PARTICULAR HE WAS LOOKING FOR VALUABLE METAL SCRAP.
HE VERY SELDOM PAID YOU IN MONEY,BUT TRADED AND IN RETURN GAVE YOU A YELLOW OR WHITE DONKEY STONE.
IN THOSE DAYS EVERY HOUSEHOLD HAD A FRONT AND BACK STEP OR STEPS, HOUSEHOLDERS THE LADIES THAT IS TO SAY, WOULD WASH AND STONE THE STEPS ON A DAILY BASIS. IT WAS A VISUAL COMPETITIVE HOUSEHOLD ACTION. IF YOU DIDNT STONE YOUR STEPS PEOPLE LOOKED DOWN ON YOU,REFLECTING THAT YOU DID NOT HAVE A CARING NATURE AND IT POSSIBLY REFLECTED ON THE POOR CLEANLINESS OF THE HOUSEHOLD. STONED AND PROUD OF IT.
SOME HOUSEHOLDS PERHAPS NOT AS FORTUNATE AS OTHERS, AQUIRED A NEW SUIT OFF THE RAG AND BONE FOR FATHER TO WEAR, AS THE ITEMS OTHERS HAD CAST OFF WERE BETTER THAN FATHER WAS WEARING.WASTE NOT WANT NOT...

> This message was edited at 18:15 on 8 June 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 13 February 2009 at 8.42pm
AS I SAID VERY FEW, ONLY THE WELL OFF EVER HAD A CAR,EVERYBODY TRAVELLED ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT, PEEL GREEN WAS SERVICED BY A FANTASTIC BUS SERVICE PROVIDED BY SALFORD CITY CORPORATION.
AT THE BOTTOM OF OUR STREET THE A 57 LIVERPOOL ROAD, IT HAD SO MANY LOCAL BUS SERVICES, THE Nos. 10,20,64,66.67 A BUS USED TO STOP EVERY 7 MINUTES, 5 MILES TO TOWN, MANCHESTER. WHAT A SERVICE,YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE AND CHEAPLY.
AS I WAS BORN IN THE STEAM ERA,STEAM REIGNED SUPREME, RAILWAYS,SHIPS,HOMES AND FACTORIES ALL BURNT FOSSIL FUEL,COAL. STEAM WAS THE ENERGY THAT DROVE ALL ENGINES AND MACHINERY.
MANY DAYS WHEN I STOOD ON THE CORNER OF CLIFFORD STREET, HAVING JUST BEEN TO BEN BEATTIES NEWSPAPER SHOP TO COLLECT MY NEW WEEKLY EDITION OF DANDY OR BEANO COMIC, I USED TO HEAR IN THE DISTANCE A ROARING AND HISSING NOISE GETTING NEARER, ROOTED TO THE SPOT ON THE CORNER I STOOD WAITING,THEN SUDDENLY INTO SIGHT TRUNDLED A SENTINEL STEAM WAGON, BELCHING SMOKE FROM THE CHIMNEY ON THE TOP OF THE CAB, IT LOOMS INTO VIEW, RED HOT EMBERS SPILLING OUT FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE VERTICAL STEAM BOILER.
THIS WAGON AND OTHERS DROVE THROUGH REGULARLY EACH DAY EN ROUTE FROM LIVERPOOL TO MANCHESTER. ONE I REMEMBER WAS RED IN COLOUR, WITH SUID AFRICA COMPANY PAINTED ON THE CIRCULAR CAB FRONT, THE OTHER I SEEM TO REMEMBER WAS THE CALICO COMPANY. ALL THESE VEHICLES USUALLY CARRYING LARGE ROLLS OF WOVEN CLOTH FOR EXPORT. FOR THOSE NOT FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO SEE ONE, THEY CAN STILL BE OBSERVED AT THE STEAM PRESERVATION RALLIES,NOW HELD IN THE SUMMER.
STEAM RAILWAYS PLAYED A BIG PART IN MY YOUNGER LIFE, STEAM RAILWAYS WERE A HUGE LURE AND ATTRACTION TO YOUNG BOYS.
PATRICROFT STATION WAS APPROX 1/4 MILE AWAY,AND ECCLES STATION WAS ABOUT 1 MILE DISTANT. BROUGHT UP AT STANLEY ROAD ,UNCLE HARRY WAS EMPLOYED AS A STEAM ENGINE DRIVER ON THE RAILWAYS,AND HE WORKED AT PATRICROFT RAILWAY SHEDS,LATER TO BE KNOWN AS M.P.D. (MOTIVE POWER DEPOT.).
ORIGINATING FROM THE SHREWSBURY HE ARRIVED AT PATRICROFT AS MANY OTHER MEN DID, WHO ALSO CAME TO PATRICROFT TO KEEP THE RAILWAYS WORKING.
HARRY DROVE FREIGHT AND PASSENGER TRAINS WORKING SHIFTS DAY AND NIGHT. WHEN I WAS ON SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, I USED TO ACCOMPANY HARRY DOWN TO THE SHEDS, WHEN HE WENT TO COLLECT HIS WAGES ON A THURSDAY,WHEN HE WAS WORKING NIGHT SHIFT.
THE ACCESS TO THE SHEDS WAS ON HAMPSON STREET,PATRICROFT, YOU ENTERED THE SITE THROUGH A DOOR IN THE LONG PERIMETER HIGH BRICK WALL.CLIMBING UP THE CAST IRON RAILWAY BRIDGE STAIRCASE, PASSING OVER THE RAIL LINES, WE USED TO STOP HALFWAY AND SPEAK TO THE SIGNAL MAN IN THE SIGNALBOX, THE BOX WAS AT THE SAME LEVEL AND HAD WINDOWS ON THE END, THE SIGNALMAN ALWAYS MANAGED TO PULL OPEN HIS ACCESS SLIDING WINDOW TO HAVE A BRIEF CHAT, AND PERMIT ME AS A YOUNG BOY TO VIEW THE ROWS OF GLEAMING CLEAN,PAINTED SIGNAL LEVERS USED FOR CHANGING THE RAIL POINTS.
CONTINUING ON ALONG THE BRIDGE AND DOWN THE STEPS ON THE OTHER SIDE,WE WALKED TOWARDS THE RAILWAY SHEDS BETWEEN THE ROWS OF SMOKING ,STEAMING LOCOMOTIVES WAITING ON SHED READY TO GO BACK OUT INTO SERVICE.
A KIDS DREAM OFFERED UP ONTO THE FOOTPLATE,I WAS ALLOWED TO DRIVE THE STEAM LOCOS UP AND DOWN A SHORT LENGTH OF LINE TOWARDS THE POINTS. JUST IMAGINE, AT 8/10 YEARS OF AGE DRIVING MY OWN STEAM ENGINE,WITH VIVID DREAMS OF BECOMING AN ENGINE DRIVER WHEN I GREW UP.
IT COULD NOT HAPPEN NOW..JUST THINK OF THE EXPRESSION ON THE FACE OF THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER.

> This message was edited at 10:42 on 22 February 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 14 February 2009 at 9.27am
PAY DAY WAS A RITUAL, ALL THE MEN LINED UP OUTSIDE THE PAY OFFICE WINDOW, EACH HANDING IN THEIR BRASS NUMBERED TALLY/TOKEN ONLY TO RECEIVE IN RETURN A SMALL OVAL TIN ,NUMBERED WITH A LID ON,CONTAINING NOTES COINS AND THEIR PAY SLIP.
THE WAGES VERY SMALL WERE REMOVED,THE EMPTY TIN DEPOSITED IN A LARGE WICKER BASKET,FOR NEXT WEEKS WAGES.
THEN GENERALLY THEY ALL RETIRED TO THE EVER OPEN CANTEEN FOR A CUP OF TEA, OR EVEN PERHAPS A COOKED BREAKFAST,ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE DRIVERS VISITING THE SHEDS TO REPLENISH COAL AND WATER ON THEIR LOCOS, BEFORE EMBARKING ON A RETURN SCHEDULED JOURNEY HOME.
IF I WAS LUCKY ONE OF UNCLES MATES WOULD TREAT ME TO A PRESENT OF A BRIGHT NEW PENNY.
THE SHED WAS A WONDERLAND I GOT TO KNOW OVER MY YOUTHFULL VISITS, THEN TRAIN SPOTTING WAS A DEDICATED AND FASINATING HOBBY FOR ALL THE YOUNG LADS. A PASTIME I PURSUED FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.
PATRICROFT SHEDS HAS GONE NOW, IT CEASED AS A STEAM SHED IN 1968,WHEN STEAM LOCOS WERE WITHDRAWN AND REPLACED BY DIESEL LOCOS. IT CLOSED SHORTLY AFTER WHEN THE M. 602. WAS BUILT THROUGH ECCLES.
I RECENTLY STUMBLED ACROSS A PHOTOGRAPHIC SITE ,ENTERING PATRICROFT SHED ON GOOGLE,I FOUND A SERIES OF VERY GOOD PICTURES RECORDED IN 1968, ON THE LAST DAYS OF STEAM AT PATRICROFT SHEDS. FOR THOSE WHO LIVED IN ECCLES,PEEL GREEN AND PATRICROFT IT COULD BRING BACK NOSTALGIC MEMORIES.
PATRICROFT SHEDS WAS A TRIANGULAR ISLAND SITE ENCLOSED ON THREE SIDES BY RAIL LINES,ONLY ACCESSABLE VIA THE OVERHEAD FOOTBRIDGE. THE LINES WERE THE ECCLES TO PATRICROFT LINE OR MANCHESTER / LIVERPOOL AND N,WALES. SECONDLY THE ECCLES /MONTON LINES,OR MANCHESTER TO WIGAN AND PRESTON, WHILST THE THIRD LINE WAS THE PATRICROFT TO KEARSLEY /BURY LINE, LOCALLY THIS LINE WAS KNOWN AS THE MOLYNEUX.
THIS LINE WAS BUILT IN 1859, MOST LOCAL PEOPLE NEW IT AS THE BLACK HARRY LINE, THIS WAS NAMED AFTER THE TUNNEL ON THE LINE THE BLACK HARRY TUNNEL 1,299 YARDS IN LENGTH WHICH PASSED UNDER THE EAST LANC’S ROAD,THE A 580 AT SWINTON.
A TRAGEDY OCCOURED ON THE 18th APRIL 1953, WHEN LOCAL PEOPLE IN SWINTON AND PENDLEBURY WERE HORROR STRUCK, WHEN AT 5.33 am, IN THE EARLY MORNING 3 HOUSES WERE SUCKED DOWN INTO THE GROUND INTO A CHASM, AS THE RESIDENTS SLEPT IN THEIR BEDS.
THE HOUSES INVOLVED WERE No’s 22,24,AND 26.TEMPLE DRIVE,SWINTON. OF 7 PEOPLE IN THE HOUSES ONLY 2 SURVIVED. THE CAUSE WAS ATTRIBUTEDTO THE SUDDEN COLLAPSE OF EARTH IN ONE OF THE 7 VENTILATION SHAFTS IN THE TUNNEL. THE TUNNEL WAS SEALED AND THE LINE UPLIFTED. THE FORMER RAILWAY TRACKBEAD IS NOW A LOCAL FOOT PATH.
NEAR THE WORSLEY GOLF CLUB.
PATRICROFT SHEDS COMPRISED 2 BUILDINGS,THE ORIGINAL OLD SHED BUILT IN 1884, OPENING ON 1st JAN, 1885.IT WAS CAPABLE OF HOUSING 32 LOCOS ON EIGHT ROADWAYS.
THE NEW SHED ATTACHED WAS BUILT IN 1905,WITH 10 ROADWAYS AND HOME TO 120 LOCOS.
PATRICROFT SHED WAS A MAJOR EMPLOYER, IN AND AROUND ECCLES THERE WERE MANY OTHER NOTABLE EMPLOYERS, GARDNERS IN HARDY STREET, BAILEY’S ON THE BRIDGEWATER CANAL BANK, MITCHELL AND SHACKLETON’S, THE R.O.F. IN GREEN LANE, GENERALLY ENGINEERING COMPANIES, AND FURTHER A FIELD IN TRAFFORD PARK,TAYLORS STEEL, METROVICKS,GLOVERS CABLES,TURNERS ASBESTOS AND MANY MORE.
WHEN I LIVED AT SCOTTA ROAD, LOTS OF LOCAL MEN WORKED AT GARDNERS, OFTEN BROTHERS ,WIVES AND CHILDREN ALL WORKED THEIR AS WELL,GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES WHO PASSED OUR HOUSE EVERY DAY EARLY IN A MORNING
WALKING SWIFTLY TO GET TO WORK TO CLOCK ON, THE SAME FACES RETURNING HOME TO THERE LOCAL HOUSES FOR A QUICK LUNCH BEFORE RUSHING BACK AGAIN FOR THE AFTERNOON SHIFT, FINALLY RETURNING IN THE LATE AFTERNOON WALKING PAST READING THEIR EVENING CHRONICLE BOUGHT FROM THE LOCAL PAPER SHOP.
MOTHER HAD TWO BROTHERS WHO WORKED AS SKILLED MEN IN THE FOUNDRY,CASTING THE THE BEST ENGINES EVER PRODUCED ,RECOGNISED ALL OVER THE WORLD AS THE BEST.
THESE TWO BROTHERS THEN RAN THE ILLEGAL BOOKIES UNOFFICIAL UNLICENCED BUSINESSES, THEY OPERATED IN WORK, TAKING BETS AT GARDNERS FROM THE MANY MEN WORKING THEIR WHO WANTED TO BET ON THE HORSES.
THEY ALSO USED TO TAKE BETS AT HOME IN THE BACK KITCHEN,PEOPLE CREEPING UP THE BACK ENTRIES AND KNOCKING ON THE BACK DOOR TO PLACE A BET.
EACH BOOKIE USED TO HAVE A PERSONAL LOOK OUT ON THE CORNER OF THE ENTRY, WATCHING FOR THE POLICE RAID TRYING TO STOP ILLEGAL GAMBLING.
NORMAN AND CLARENCE,MY MOTHERS BROTHERS WERE THE FIRST PERSONS TO OPEN OFFICIAL BOOKIES SHOPS IN ECCLES, I REMEMBER AS A APPRENTICE FITTING OUT THE FIRST SHOP ON LIVERPOOL ROAD, ALMOST OPPOSITE CLIFFORD STREET.
REMEMBER THAT IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS WE HAD NO TELEVISION,YOU MADE YOUR OWN ENTERTAINMENT, BUT IN ECCLES WE WERE SERVED VERY WELL WITH THE LOCAL PICTURE HOUSES,IN ECCLES I CAN REMEMBER THAT WE HAD A TOTAL OF 6 CINEMAS.
THE NEAREST WAS OUR LOCAL, THE MAJESTIC ON PATRICROFT BRIDGE, THIS WAS LATER KNOWN TO MANY WHEN OPENED AND RUN BY THE NOTABLE JOE PULLEN ,AS THE TALK OF THE NORTH NIGHT CLUB. HE ALSO RAN THE WENDOVER HOTEL HE OPENED AT MONTON GREEN.
OVER PATRICROFT BRIDGE, ON THE RIGHT OF LIVERPOOL ROAD.JUST PASSED GREEN LANE, ON THE CORNER OF LEWIS STREET WAS THE SECOND PICTURE HOUSE, THE PALLADIUM, THIS BUILDING SURVIVES ADAPTED AS A BINGO HALL OF ENTERTAINMENT.
ONE OF THE OLDEST AND DISTINCTIVE BUILDINGS TO SURVIVE, ALTHOUGH NOW SADLY NEGLECTED IS THE CROWN CINEMA, WHICH ORIGINALLY STARTED LIFE AS A THEATRE.
THIS BUILDING BOARDED UP IS ON THE LEFT,ON LIVERPOOL ROAD, JUST BEFORE THE ECCLES CENTRE.
THE BROADWAY WAS THE CINEMA ON ECCLES CROSS IN THE CENTRE OF ECCLES.THIS WAS A GEM OF A CINEMA,ORIGINALLY HAVING A RISE AND FALL THEATRE WURLITZER ORGAN AT THE FRONT OF THE THEATRE IN THE ORCHESTRA PITS. AFTER CLOSURE THIS BUILDING SUFFERED THE HUMILITY OF BEING ADAPTED INTO A QUICK SAVE RETAIL SUPER MARKET.
LOCATED ON THE CIRCLE IN THE CENTRE OF ECCLES, NEXT TO THE POPULAR MARKET AREA, THIS IS NOW THE SITE OF THE NEW MORRISONS SUPER MARKET.
THE BUILDING WHICH WAS THE REGENT CINEMA STILL SURVIVES, IT STANDS FACING THE NEW ECCLES METRO TRAM STATION.
THE HIDDEN GEM THE LAST CINEMA, WAS THE THE PRINCESS CINEMA AT MONTON, NEAR TO THE OLD PARK HOTEL.THIS WAS A NICE SMALL COMFORTABLE CINEMA.

> This message was edited at 17:27 on 8 November 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 14 February 2009 at 1.20pm
AS A LOCAL KID WE WERE ABLE TO GO TO THE SAT CINEMA CLUBS,TO WATCH ALL THE THRILLING FILMS OF THE TIME, SUPERMAN, BAT MAN AND ROBIN,ROY ROGERS,HOP ALONG CASSIDY,THE LONE RANGER AND TONTO AND MANY OTHER CLASSICS.
AT THIS TIME ONE OF THE MOST APPEALING ITEMS OF PUBLIC INTEREST WAS BEING ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH THE PATHE NEWS, THIS WAS THE MEDIUM THAT EDUCATED EVERYBODY TO WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD.
SILCOCKS FAIR ALWAYS PUT ON A GOOD SHOW AT ECCLES, THE FAIRGROUND WAS ON A LARGE VACANT BOMB SITE AT THE SIDE OF THE CROWN CINEMA AT ECCLES.THIS IS NOW THE SITE OF THE ECCLES FLATS, ON LIVERPOOL ROAD, APPROACHING THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS,FACING St MARY’S CATHOLIC CHURCH.
AGAIN THE FAIR BROUGHT NOSTALGA, APART FROM THE AMUSEMENTS,THEY HAD THE BOXING AND WRESTLING BOOTH WHERE THE LOCAL LADS TRIED OUT THEIR SKILL IN COMBAT WITH THE TRAVELLING FAIR LADS.
THE FREAK AND HORROR SHOW, WITH ALL SORTS OF UNUSUAL ANIMALS,WHICH WOULD NOT NOW BE POPULAR, AND WOULD BE CONSIDERED IN POOR TASTE.
I CAN REMEMBER THE GIGANTIC SWINGING STEAM YACHTS, POWERED BY THE CENTRE STEAM DRIVING ENGINE. THE SWING BOATS, THE WALTZER, WITH THE 3 ABREAST GALLOPING HORSES, ALL THE SIDE STALLS,THE RIFLE RANGES, THE COCONUT SHY, THE HALL OF MIRRORS AND THE GHOST TRAIN.
IN THE DARK EVENINGS ALL THE COLOURED LIGHTS WERE POWERED BY THE MOBILE GENERATORS, ON THE BACKS OF THE LARGE SCAMMELL TOWING VEHICLES THAT PULLED THE CARAVANS AND HEAVY LOADS. WITH A FEW OF THE REMAINING LARGER STEAM SHOWMANS TRACTION ENGINES, WHICH WAS ALSO USED TO GENERATE THE POWER FOR THE LIGHTING AND THE RIDES.ALSO USED TOWING THE LOADS ON THE ROAD TO THE NEXT VENUE.

> This message was edited at 21:55 on 5 March 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 14 February 2009 at 1.42pm
LIFE IN ECCLES WAS GOOD AS A KIDDY, GOING TO GODFREY ERMANS SCHOOL, ONE HAD LOTS OF LOCAL FRIENDS FROM THE LOCAL AREA AROUND THE SCHOOL AND PARK.
HAROLD MATHEWS,RODNEY SANDOM, DAVID PARKER, KENNY,ALAN,MAUREEN DABS.GEOFF TITHERS, BARRY SHARPLES.AUBREY,ADEN,TAYLOR. GLYNN WILLIAMS,KENNY TROTT.ALAN GRAYSON.JEAN COLLIN’S TO MENTION BUT A FEW.
ONE GOT TO KNOW LOTS OF LOCAL FRIENDS, MANY LIVED CLOSE BY, IN STANLEY RD, ALEXANDRA ROAD, HIGHER CROFT.BEHIND THE ROCK HOTEL AND THE DUTTON ARMS HOTEL,
SOME OF THE SCHOOL FRIENDS CAME FURTHER A FIELD FROM THE PEEL GREEN ROAD AREA, AND ACROSS IN THORPE STREET. DENNIS AND MARGARET RICHARDSON,THEIR DAD WAS A LOCAL PLUMBER WHO DROVE A MOTORCYCLE WITH A BOX CAR SIDECAR,TO CARRY HIS TOOLS AND MATERIALS EVEN LADDERS. ERIC WHEELTON, NEIL HOLT, WHO BOTH LIVED OVER THE PARK NEAR THE FIRE STATION.MOLLY ALMOND WHO LIVED NEAR THE VICARAGE IN THE BIG HOUSE OVER THE CROFT.
I STILL HAVE RETAINED CLASS PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THESE VERY EARLY SCHOOL DAYS,AGAIN WHICH I WILL HAVE TO PUT ON THE PHOTO GALLERY TO PRESERVE THE MEMORY.
RECALLING NAMES OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD, I CAN NEARLY NAME ALL MY CLASSMATES,EDDY SMITH,BURT COTTON,VERNON BAILEY ,STAN WARD,TOM PARKER, JOHN WRIGLEY,BOB KELLY, KEN PAISEY, HAROLD OLD,GEORGE DROMGOOLE.ALAN HORSEMAN,VINCE McNORTON,REMEMBERING THE GIRLS, JUDITH CLAYTON,HER PARENTS HAD THE LUXURY SWEETS SHOP AT THE BOTTOM OF CLIFFORD STREET,ON LIVERPOOL ROAD, JOAN YOUNG HER FRIEND, THE SISTER OF BRIAN YOUNG, A VERY NICE CHINESE FAMILY,BRIAN I EVENTUALLY CROSSED MY PATH IN LATER LIFE WHEN I SAT DOWN IN THE DENTISTS CHAIR, AND FOUND BRIAN WAS THE DENTIST.
NORMA RUSHTON,SHIRLEY BANKS,ANN LEE, I KNOW I HAVE LEFT MANY OUT, BUT I WILL HAVE TO VIEW THE PICTURES TO FINE TUNE MY MEMORY RECALL, BUT THATS NOT A BAD FIRST ATTEMPT,MY MEMORY STILL WORKING REASONABLE WELL,PROVING I HAVE NOT YET GONE QUITE SENILE.
OUR FAMILY WERE METHODIST AND WHILST THEY DID NOT ATTEND CHURCH EVERY WEEK, AS CHILDREN WE ATTENDED TRINITY METHODIST CHURCH AND SUNDAY SCHOOL ON ALEXANDRA ROAD,NOT FAR FROM THE OLD PATRICROFT FIRE STATION.
IN THE SMALL SUNDAY SCHOOL I JOINED THE LIFE BOYS AND LATER THE BOYS BRIGADE, WHICH WAS THE 61st M/C BRIGADE,OUR RIVALS WERE THE 6th M/C WHICH WAS BASED AT THE PATRICROFT CONGREGATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL, ON THE CORNER OF SHAKESPEARE CRESCENT.
ANNUALLY WE WENT TO CAMP IN NORTH WALES.I CLEARLY REMEMBER,MR SIMPSON IN CHARGE AS SENIOR OFFICER, HIS SON PETER WAS ALSO A MEMBER. AND HIS MATE BARRY DAWES.
BOB DUNN,TALL JIM PLATT, WERE ALSO OFFICERS.
AT SCHOOL WE PLAYED FOOTBALL AND CRICKET, I TRIED UNSUCCESSFULLY TO PLAY FOR THE SCHOOL TEAM AND THE BOYS BRIGADE, ALAS I WAS NOT VERY GOOD. DAD NEVER FOR GAVE ME FOR HAVING 2 LEFT FEET.
FATHER HAD ALWAYS PLAYED FOOTBALL IN A BIG WAY. IN HIS EARLIER LIFE HE PLAYED AS A YOUTH FOR URMSTON BOYS CLUB, IN HIS ARMY SERVICE HE PLAYED IN HIS BATTALION SIDE.
WHEN HE RETURNED BACK INTO CIVVIES HE WENT BACK TO PLAYING FOOTBALL IN THE AMATEUR LEAGUES.

> This message was edited at 17:32 on 8 November 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 14 February 2009 at 11.13pm
FATHER WORKING IN THE COOP GROCERS WORKED 6 DAYS A WEEK,WITH WED AND SAT AFTERNONS OFF AS HALF DAY.
ON A WEDNESDAY HE PLAYED IN THE MANCHESTER AND SALFORD WEDNESDAY LEAGUE, ALL THE TEAMS IN THIS LEAGUE INCLUDED ALL THE TEAMS WHICH WORKED 24/7 ON SHIFT WORK.
OTHER TEAMS INCLUDED THE POLICE, FIRE BRIGADES,POST OFFICE,THE MARKETS, MINERS,AND ALL THE STEAM SHED FOOTBALL TEAMS INCLUDING NEWTON HEATH LOCO.
IT WAS A GREAT LEAGUE,FATHER PLAYED FOR A TEAM KNOWN AS PENDLETON WEDNESDAY.THE HOME GROUND WAS THE CLIFFE AT HIGHER BROUGHTON, FOR THOSE DEDICATED MANCHESTER UNITED SUPPORTERS WHO KNOW THE TEAM’S HISTORY,WILL RECOGNISE THE CLIFFE AS M/C UNITED’S EARLY TRAINING GROUND.
I USED TO GO WITH DAD TO MATCHES,I HAD TO GO, DAD ONLY EVER HAD 2 INTERESTS HIS CONVERSATION WAS EXTREMELY LIMITED TO THE C.W.S. AND FOOTBALL. I PERHAPS SHOULD HAVE SAID THREE SUBJECTS AS HE WAS ALSO A DEDICATED MANCHESTER UNITED FANATIC. THE OTHER REASON FOR MY NECCESSARY MATCH ATTENDANCE WAS TO GUARD THE WHITE ENAMEL WATER BUCKET ON THE TOUCH LINE FOR THE TRAINER.
MY WEEKLY ATTENDANCE TO WATCH DAD PLAY WAS ALMOST COMPULSARY, DAD WAS NOT BIG IN STATURE, IN FACT HE WAS QUITE A SMALL FIGURE WITH NIMBLE FEET. DAD PLAYED ON THE WING, HIS FOOTBALL ABILITY WENT BEFORE HIM,SOME EVEN USED TO REFER TO HIM AS THAT FAST DIRTY WINGER,AND EVERYBODY NEW RODNEY.
PENDLETON WEDNESDAY WON MANY TROPHIES, EACH AWARD PRODUCED A SILVER CUP, FATHERS MANY TROPHIES WERE EVERY WHERE IN OUR FRONT ROOM AT SCOTTA ROAD. MOST OF THE CUPS WERE APPROX 10 INCHES HIGH ON A BLACK PLASTIC PLINTHS.
I MENTION THE TROPHIES WHICH GREW IN QUANTITY, THEY WERE ON THE SIDEBOARD AND FIREPLACE IN THE FRONT ROOM.
DAD WON OVER 20 IN TOTAL, A COUPLE WERE HALLMARKED SILVER, BUT THE MAJORITY WERE GOOD QUALITY CHROME PLATED FINISH, SOME WITH HANDLES. MANY INSCRIBED WITH HIS NAME AND DETAILS OF THE AWARDS.
THE ONE THING THEY HAD IN COMMON ,WAS IN A FRONT ROOM WITH A COAL FIRE ,THEY NEEDED CLEANING REGULARLY EVERY MONTH OR ELSE THEY BECAME TARNISHED.AT THIS POINT DAD TRIED TO COAX ME TO CLEAN THEM ALL WITH DURAGLIT WITH THE PROMISE OF A SMALL FINANCIAL REWARD AS A INCENTIVE. I THINK THAT WAS THE STRAW WHICH BROKE THE CAMELS BACK AND PUT ME OFF FOOTBALL ALL TOGETHER.
DAD WAS A GOOD FOOTBALLER, HIS REPUTATION LIVED ON FOR YEARS,PEOPLE NEVER RECOGNISED ME BUT ALWAYS REMEMBERED DAD.
FATHER TALKED. PLAYED AND SLEPT FOOTBALL,AND IN HIS MORE EARLIER YOUTHFULL DAYS, ONE DAY HE WENT OFF FOR A FOOTBALL TRIAL, HE TRAVELLED TO STOKE. HE HAD A TRIAL FOR STOKE CITY, ON THE SAME DAY AT THE SAME TRIAL, ONE OTHER KEEN YOUNG FOOTBALLER ALSO TOOK HIS TRIAL, THAT PERSON WAS THE CELEBRATED SIR STANLEY MATTHEWS.
FATHER RETURNED HOME TO MANCHESTER JUBILENT TO TELL HIS FATHER JACK, MY GRANDAD, THAT HE HAD PASSED A TRIAL FOR STOKE CITY,HAD BEEN OFFERED A POSITION AND HE WAS TO EMBARK ON A NEW CAREER AS A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER.
GRANDFATHER WAS A HARD WORKING STRICT METHODIST,AT THAT POINT HE THREW FATHERS FOOTBALL BOOTS ON THE BURNING KICHEN FIRE,THAT WAS THE START AND FINISH OF HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER.
IT NEVER STOPPED HIM, HE PLAYED ON IN THE AMATUER LEAGUES FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE,FINALLY HE ALSO PLAYED FOR ECCLES COOP TEAM ON A SAT ON THE HOME GROUND AT CLEAVELEYS,WINTON.
HE PLAYED ON FOR YEARS AND YEARS, EVEN AFTER HE STOPPED PLAYING ON THE REGULAR TEAM,HE TURNED UP AS MANAGER OR TRAINER, AND IF SOMEBODY FAILED TO TURN UP, HE WOULD FILL IN AND PLAY IN WELLINGTONS AND FLANNELS.
FOOTBALL WAS IN HIS BLOOD.
WHEN HE DIED AT 84 HE WAS STILL ON THE MANCHESTER F.A. COMMITTEE, LOOKING AFTER THE INTERESTS OF UP AND COMING YOUNG FOOTBALLERS, IT WAS IN HIS BLOOD...


> This message was edited at 22:07 on 5 March 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 14 February 2009 at 11.38pm
WE HAD VERY FEW HOLIDAYS,MONEY WAS TIGHT, IF WE WENT AWAY IT WAS USUALLY ON A COACH TRIP. AT THIS TIME WE HAD TWO LOCAL COACH FIRMS, WHEATLEY’S ON THE CORNER OF NEW LANE ,NOW THE SITE OF THE NEW NETTO SHOP AT PEEL GREEN, WHEATLEYS ALSO HAD A DEPOT AT URMSTON.
THE COMPETITION CAME LOCALLY FROM RIGBY’S COACHES WHICH OPERATED FROM A SITE ON THE CORNER OF LIVERPOOL ROAD, AND CAWDER STREET,PATRICROFT.THIS SITE IS NOW OCCUPIED BY THE TESCO PETROL STATION AND RETAIL STORE ON THE SIDE OF THE BRIDGEWATER CANAL.
WHEN FATHER WAS IN THE FORCES AT ULVERSTON,TRAINING HE MET UP WITH A FRIEND IN THE REGIMENT NAMED FRANK TOOZE, FRANK WAS MARRIED AND LIVED IN BARROW IN FURNESS, FOR THOSE THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN ITS ONE ROAD IN,AND ONE ROAD OUT.
MOTHER TOOK ME TO BARROW FOR A HOLIDAY AS A YOUNG BABY TO SEE AND STAY FOR A FEW DAYS WITH ADA, FRANKS WIFE. OBVIOUSLY WE WENT TO BARROW ON THE STEAM TRAIN,THE ONLY WAY TO TRAVEL. WE WENT MANY MORE TIMES IN LATER YEARS. WE STAYED IN A TERRACE HOUSE ON BARROW ISLAND JUST OFF WALNEY.
EVERYBODY IN BARROW WORKED IN THE SHIP YARDS. I HAVE PICTURES OF ME AS A YOUNG CHILD, SAT ON THE PEBBLE BEACH AT WALNEY ISLAND,WITH BARB WIRE DEFENCES ALL AROUND US AND A SPITFIRE FLYING OVERHEAD. BARROW WAS THE ONLY PLACE I HAVE SEEN THE BIG SHIPS BUILT AND LAUNCHED SIDEWAYS DOWN INTO THE RIVER. GOING BACK TO THE COACH OR WHAT THEY USED TO CALL CHARABANG TRIPS,
FOR THE WORKING CLASS THE SUMMER ADVERTISED DAY EXCURSIONS TO THE COAST AND PLACES OF INTEREST,WAS THE GREAT ESCAPE, BLACKPOOL,SOUTHPORT, NEW BRIGHTON,MORECAMBE, RHYL,PRESTATYN,CHESTER,AS A KID A COACH TRIP WAS MAGIC,BUT QUITE RARE.
AGAIN IT IS FAIR TO REMEMBER THAT THEN VERY FEW PEOPLE WENT AWAY ON HOLIDAY, FEWER STILL WENT ABROAD, FLYING WAS UNKNOWN TO THE MASSES. SPAIN HAD NOT YET BEEN DISCOVERED.
SOMETIMES OUTINGS WERE ORGANISED AS A TREAT FROM SUNDAY SCHOOL, SOUTHPORT. BOLTON ABBEY, PICKMERE LAKE OR EVEN LYMM DAM WAS A LAND FAR FAR AWAY.
AS WE GOT A LITTLE OLDER AND MORE ADVENTURE’S WE VENTURED FURTHER AFIELD, BARTON UPON IRWELL BEYOND GODFREY ERMANS SCHOOL, WAS THE SITE OF THE BARTON ROAD SWING BRIDGE AND ALONG SIDE IT THE BARTON AQUEDUCT,WHICH CARRIED THE BRIDGEWATER CANAL OVER THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL BELOW. AT THE TIME THE AQUEDUCT WAS ALWAYS ATTRIBUTED AS BEING ONE OF THE 100 ENGINEERING WONDERS OF THE WORLD.
WE DAILY IN THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS USED TO GO DOWN TO BARTON BRIDGE TO WATCH THE SHIPS PASSING THROUGH.
BARTON BRIDGE, THIS WAS THE ONLY ROAD ACCESS POINT LOCALLY TO CROSS THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL,THOUSANDS OF WORKERS DAILY USED THE BRIDGE TO GET TO THEIR PLACE OF WORK IN TRAFFORD PARK. MOST OF THEM ON BICYCLES OR BUSES WITH VERY,VERY FEW IN CARS.
FOR ANY BODY THAT WAS WISHING TO CROSS THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL FROM NORTH TO SOUTH,YOU COULD CROSS AT BARTON, TRAFFORD ROAD BRIDGE IN SALFORD, 4 MILES AWAY,AND WARBURTON TOLL BRIDGE IN THE OTHER DIRECTION,FOR THOSE IN IRLAM THEY COULD NEGATE THE PENNY FERRY AT FERRY HILL ROAD, A SMALL WOODEN ROWING BOAT SKULLED ACROSS THE CANAL TO THE FLIXTON SIDE.REMEMBER NO M 60 MOTORWAY THEN.
AT BARTON BRIDGE EARLY IN A MORNING IT WAS A GRAND SIGHT TO SEE 3/4 SHIPS LEAVING THE BARTON LOCKS IN THE FAR DISTANCE COMING TOWARDS SALFORD. OCEAN GOING SHIPS QUITE LARGE SUCH AS THE SHIPS FROM THE MANCHESTER LINERS FLEET,RETURNING FROM CANADA,BEING TUGGED ,PUSHED AND PULLED WITH THE TWO M.S.C. TUGS AFFIXED FRONT AND REAR.
BARTON BRIDGE OFTEN CLOSED AT THE WRONG TIME IN A MORNING, JUST BEFORE 8 O CLOCK.WE WERE ALWAYS TOLD THAT THE SHIPS ALL PASSED AT HIS TIME TO TIE IN WITH THE TIDES AT LIVERPOOL WHEN THEY SAILED OUT INTO THE RIVER MERSEY.
THE AQUEDUCT ALWAYS HAD TO SWING FIRST, AS IT WAS A LONG PROCESS TO CLOSE THE 4 END LOCK GATES, WHICH KEPT THE WATER IN. THE AQUEDUCT ALWAYS SWUNG FULL OF WATER IT WAS A VERY HEAVY BRIDGE TO REVOLVE, AND VERY SLOW.
THE TOWER BUILDING BETWEEN THE BRIDGE AND THE AQUEDUCT,WAS ALWAYS MANNED THE MEN IN THE VIEWING PLATFORM AT THE TOP OF THE TOWER CONTROLLED THE TURNING OF THE BRIDGE AND AQUEDUCT.
ON THE SIDE OF THE TOWER AT THE TOP,WERE TWO WICKER BASKET SEMAPHORE SIGNALS ON WIRES, WHICH WERE RAISED AND LOWERED TO INDICATE MESSAGES TO ON COMING SHIPS AND ALSO THE GATE MEN EMPLOYED ON THE ROAD BRIDGE.
THE ROAD BRIDGE ALWAYS SWUNG LAST, AS IT COULD BE OPENED MUCH FASTER AS IT WAS LIGHTER.
THE GATE MAN MR SPEARS OFF PEEL GREEN ROAD APPEARED OUT OF HIS LITTLE BRICK GATEMANS LODGE ON THE TRAFFORD PARK SIDE, FIRSTLY CLOSING ONE LEFT HAND GATE ACROSS THE ROAD AT EACH END OF THE BRIDGE. THIS WAS TO STOP THE VEHICULAR ROAD TRAFFIC, THE RIGHT HAND GATE LEFT OPEN SLIGHTLY LONGER,TO PERMIT THE CYCLISTS TO PASS THROUGH BEFORE THE BRIDGE SWUNG.
THE GATEMAN USED TO STAND ON THE BRIDGE WHEN IT REVOLVED, AS A KIDDY WITH GRANDAD I ALSO MANAGED TO STAY ON THE BRIDGE WHEN IT TURNED.
I REMEMBER THAT ONE YEAR THEY HAD AN ACCIDENT,AT BARTON BRIDGE.I DID NOT SEE THE ACCIDENT, WE READ ABOUT INTHE LOCAL JOURNAL.WE WERE ABLE TO VIEW THE DAMAGE AT THE BRIDGE THE WEEK AFTER.
THE SHIPS WERE ALL QUITE SWIFTLY SAILING DOWN IN A LINE,TOWARDS BARTON BRIDGE,THE LOCK GATE MAN FAILED TO CLOSE ONE OF THE LOCK GATES TO RETAIN THE WATER ,DUE TO DEBRI STOPPING THE GATES TO CLOSE WATERTIGHT.AND TO ENABLE THE AQUEDUCT TO TURN. AS THEY COULD NOT SWING THE AQUEDUCT IN TIME,THE BOAT APPROACHING SWIFTLY, THEY KEPT THE ROAD BRIDGE CLOSED TO PROTECT THE AQUEDUCT AND STOP THE BOAT HITTING IT,AS ANY DAMAGE MIGHT HAVE RELEASED ALL THE WATER IN THE BRIDGEWATER CANAL TO POUR OUT AND CASCADE INTO THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL BELOW,WHICH WOULD HAVE EMPTIED THE BRIDGEWATER CANAL AND LEFT ALL THE BARGES HIGH AND DRY,GROUNDED ON THE BOTTOM.
AT THE LAST MOMENT THE MASTER ON THE SHIP REALISED THAT HE HAD A PROBLEM AHEAD,HE HAD THOUGHT THAT THEY HAD JUST LEFT IT LATE TO SWING THE ROAD BRIDGE,WHICH AS I SAID COULD BE REVOLVED QUITE FAST.
AT THE LAST MINUTE REALISING THE PROBLEM HE TOOK EVASIVE ACTION DECIDING NOT TO RAM THE LARGE METAL BRIDGE,HE TURNED THE VESSEL AND GLIDED INTO THE BRICK BANK ARCHWAY ON THE TRAFFORD PARK SIDE OF THE BRIDGE.
MAJOR DAMAGE WAS AVERTED, THE SHIP HAD A DAMAGED FRONT END,THE BRIDGE WAS SAVED, AND THE MASONERY NEEDED ATTTENTION.
THE NORMAL DELAY CAUSED BY A BOAT OR BOATS PASSING ON A DAILY BASIS,CREATED A HUGE TRAFFIC JAM OF WORKERS WAITING TO CROSS. NOT THE JAM WITH CARS AS YOU WITNESS TODAY ON THE ROADS, WAITING AT THE GATES COULD BE 200/300 WORKERS ON BICYCLES, IMPAITIENTLY WAITING TO GET TO WORK,BEING MADE LATE BY THE PASSING SHIPS.
BEHIND THEM COULD BE A QUEUE OF 30 DOUBLE DECKER BUSES, RED ONES OF L.U.T. FROM LEIGH WORSLEY AND SWINTON, GREEN ONES FROM SALFORD CORPORATION,WITH ALL THE LOCAL ECCLES WORKERS. THEY ALL CAME DOWN BARTON ROAD FROM PATRICROFT BRIDGE,OR PEEL GREEN ROAD, NO DOUBLE DECK BUSES COULD COME DOWN BARTON LANE FROM ECCLES AS THEY COULD NOT PASS UNDER THE LOW BRIDGEWATER CANAL BRIDGE. ONLY SINGLE DECKED BUSES USED THIS ROUTE, EXCEPT WHEN THE DRIVER FORGOT HE WAS DRIVING A DOUBLE DECKER AND SHEARED OFF THE TOP DECK WHEN HE FORGOT AND CAME DOWN BARTON LANE.
WHEN THE SHIPS HAD PASSED THROUGH THE BRIDGE, IT REVOLVED BACK AGAIN INTO POSITION,WHIST STILL REVOLVING THE 2 GATEMAN ALIGHTED OFF THE BRIDGE AT EACH END TO RE OPEN THE GATES.THE RIGHT HAND GATES WERE ALWAYS OPENED FIRST,AS SOON AS THEY OPENED A COUPLE OF FEET,THE ANXIOUS CYCLISTS PUSHED THROUGH AND FORWARD TO GET TO WORK.
OFTEN THE BRIDGE WAS STILL MANOUVERING INTO FINAL STOPPING POSITION WHEN THE CYCLISTS RODE ONTO IT. ALL THE CYCLIST WORKERS WERE ALLOWED TO GO FIRST,PASSING ACROSS LIKE A SWARM OF LOCUST, AND HAD TO BE CLEAR OF THE BRIDGE PRIOR TO THE OTHER LEFT HAND GATES BEING OPENED TO LET THE LONG LINE OF QUEUEING BUSES THROUGH, AS THE BRIDGE IS QUITE NARROW FOR PASSING VEHICLES, AND WAS NOT SYMPATHETIC TO MANY CYCLISTS.
EMPLOYERS IN TRAFFORD PARK USED TO RING UP THE BRIDGE TO VARIFY THE SHIPS HAD MADE THE WORKERS LATE FOR WORK, AND THEY HAD NOT SIMPLY USED THE BRIDGE AS AN EXCUSE TO STAY IN BED.


> This message was edited at 23:16 on 15 March 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 15 February 2009 at 5.20pm
SHIPS ON THE CANAL CAME IN ALL SIZES AND SHAPES,TUGS,BARGES,FREIGHTERS,OIL TANKERS,SEA GOING LINERS, ALL COMING IN FROM LIVERPOOL FROM ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD BRINGING TRADE TO SALFORD DOCKS.
THE OIL TANKERS BEARTHED IN THE OIL BERTH, ON THE TRAFFORD BANK OF THE M.S.C. JUST THROUGH THE BRIDGES ON THE SALFORD SIDE.
TRAFFORD PARK HAD OIL AND PETROL STORAGE TANKS,GRANDFATHER WORKED FOR OVER 25 YEARS FOR GULF OIL. BUT SHELL, B.P. AND OTHERS HAD OIL STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION DEPOTS.
TIMBER BOATS FROM EUROPE WITH DECKS STACKED WITH TIMBER,DISCHARGED AT SALFORD TO KEEP THE REGION BUILDING AND MANUFACTURING.
WE ALWAYS VIEWED FROM THE WOODEN ACCESS BRIDGE OVER THE BRIDGEWATER CANAL,AT THE END OF THE AQUEDUCT ON THE TRAFFORD SIDE. IT WAS A SPECTACULAR VIEW POINT LOOKING DOWN ONTO THE TWO CANALS BELOW,AND THE TWO BRIDGE STRUCTURES.
THE LARGER SHIPS PASSED THROUGH ALMOST AT EYE LEVEL,PERMITTING YOU TO VIEW ALL THE UNUSUAL DECK CARGOES,SUCH AS RAILWAY LOCOMOTIVES AND TRACTORS FOR EXPORT.
SALFORD DOCKS WAS THE HEART OF THE NORTH WEST,ALWAYS BUSY AND BUSTLEING,SHIPS CRANES,DOCKERS SWARMING LIKE FLIES, UNLOADING AND DISCHARGING CARGO,TURNING THE SHIPS AROUND SWIFTLY WITH NORTH WEST EXPORTS.
WHAT A DIFFERENT SCENE NOW, HOUSES,HOTELS,CINEMAS,THEATRES, MUSEUMS AND SHOPPING CENTRES,HOW MANY YOUNG FOLK VISITING THE LOWERY OR THE WAR MUSEUM REALISE THAT THEY ARE IN SALFORD DOCKS.
IN MY LATTER YEARS I DAILY TRAVELLED DOWN TRAFFORD ROAD TO WORK IN OLD TRAFFORD, FROM THE MAIN DOCK GATE ENTRANCE (PRESERVED.)PATROLLED BY DOCK POLICEMAN THE HIGH BRICK WALL RAN ALL THE WAY DOWN TRAFFORD ROAD RIGHT UP TO THE ROAD BRIDGE RESTRICTING ANY PUBLIC ACCESS, LORRIES QUEING AT THE GATE TO DISCHARGE AND COLLECT SHIPPING LOADS.

> This message was edited at 08:53 on 13 March 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 15 February 2009 at 6.58pm
IN THIS DAY AND AGE WE NOW ONLY SEE OCCASSIONAL FAMILY PLEASURE CRAFT ON THE BRIDGEWATER CANAL, BUT WHEN WE WATCHED THE CRAFT THEY WERE LOADED BARGES.
SOME BARGES WERE NARROW BOATS,SOME WERE VERY WIDE.
SOME BOATS WERE POWERED WITH A SMALL ENGINE,SOME WERE PULLED ALONG THE TOW PATH WITH A SHIRE HORSE.
SOME BARGES CAME ALONG IN A LONG LINE TIED TOGETHER PULLED BY A SMALL TUG WITH A DIESEL ENGINE.
ALL THE BARGES WERE LOADED WITH COAL,BROUGHT FROM THE WIGAN COALFIELDS FROM THE COAL PITS AT LEIGH AND ASTLEY GREEN,HEADING FOR BARTON ELECTRICITY POWER STATION JUST OVER BARTON BRIDGE.
THE BARGES PASSING THROUGH LEIGH,ASTLEY,BOOTHSTOWN,WORSLEY,MONTON AND PATRICROFT CAME DAILY, FREQUENTLY PASSING EACH OTHER GOING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION EMPTY,RETURNING TO REPLENISH THEIR LOADS.
IF THE AQUEDUCT WAS CLOSED, THE BARGES HAD TO WAIT AND MOORE UP AT EACH END OF THE AQUEDUCT WAITING FOR THE BRIDGE SWINGING BACK TO PERMIT THEM TO CROSS THE SHIP CANAL.
THE LOADED BARGES TURNED INTO THE COALING BASINS TO THE POWER STATION,WE USED TO STAND ON THE ELEVATED TOW PATH WATCHING THE COAL BEING UNLOADED.
TRAVERSING OVERHEAD CRANES WITH HUGE ALLIGATOR JAW SCOOPS WERE LOWERED TO PICK UP THE COAL,SCOOPED FROM THE BARGES.
THE COAL WAS TIPPED INTO HUGE COAL HOPPERS PASSING ALONG CONVEYORS TO BE FED INTO THE POWER STATION BOILERS.THIS SITE WAS HUGE,IT LAY DEMOLISHED AND NEGLECTED FOR MANY YEARS TO RESURFACE AS THE NOW KNOWN B. & Q. RETAIL CENTRE AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE TRAFFORD CENTRE.

> This message was edited at 13:50 on 22 February 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 15 February 2009 at 8.02pm
AT THE CORNER OF OUR STREET AT SCOTTA ROAD, WE HAD A HOUSE OCCUPIED BY THE HORSEFALL FAMILY. THE FRONT DOOR WAS IN ALEXANDRA ROAD,ON THE CORNER OF SCOTTA ROAD.
THE SIDE ENTRANCE DOOR AND REAR ENCLOSED WALLED YARD WAS IN OUR STREET,APPROX 50 YARDS FROM OUR FRONT DOOR AT No. 10.
APART FROM IT BEING A HOME IT WAS ALSO A BUSINESS PREMISES FOR THE FAMILY HORSEFALLS DAIRY. ENTERING THE BACK YARD,IT OPENED OUT INTO A COVERED AREA WHICH CONTAINED LARGE WALK IN FRIDGE FREEZERS,TO STORE AND PRESERVE THE MILK.
THE NEXT SURPRISE WAS THE LARGE ENCLOSED AREA WITH A CHICKEN WIRED FRONT WHICH WAS MR HORSEFALLS AVIARY IN WHICH HE KEPT AND BRED BUDGIES AND CANARIES.
EVERY DAY WE MADE AN EXCUSE TO GO IN TO SEE THE MANY BIRDS FLYING TO AND FRO OR SAT ON THEIR PERCHES.
WHIST AT THIS TIME WE RECEIVED THE COOP MILK BY HORSE AND CART, HORSEFALLS HAD GRADUATED TO A LITTLE 5. CWT. FORDSON VAN,WITH THE BACK DOORS REMOVED AND FITTED WITH A FULL WIDTH STEP.
MILK WAS NOT DELIVERED HOUSE TO HOUSE IN BOTTLES,BUT WAS DISPENSED FROM THE SHINING GALVANISED METAL MILK CHURNS.
I USED TO GO OUT ON THE MILK VAN, UP THE LOCAL BACK ENTRYS, RESIDENTS USED TO LEAVE A POT MILK JUG ON THE BACK WINDOW LEDGES. I USED TO OPEN THE BACK GATES, RETRIEVE THE JUG AND RUN BACK TO LADLE OUT THE MILK AND FILL THE JUG.THIS WAS A DAILY ROUTINE.
WHEN YOU REPLACED THE JUG ON THE WINDOW LEDGE GENERALLY YOU REPLACED THE FINE MUSLIN CLOTH JUG COVER,WHICH HAD GLASS BEADS ATTACHED TO IT ALL ROUND THE EDGE,THE COVER WAS TO KEEP THE FLIES OUT OF THE MILK.
LATER IN THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS I WENT OUT AT 5. O CLOCK IN THE MORNING,COLLECTED BY ADRIAN HORSEFALL THE SON IN A LARGE FORD FLAT BACK LORRY WITH WOODEN HINGED SIDE BOARDS.
THE LORRY WAS FILLED WITH ABOUT 35 EMPTY SHINY MILK CHURNS, WE USED TO GO OUT INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE OF CHESHIRE TO COLLECT THE MILK FROM THE FARMERS.
PULLING UP IN A NARROW COUNTRY LANE THE FARMER WOULD HAVE ALREADY LEFT HIS FRESH MILK TAKEN THAT MORNING ON THE EARLY MORNING MILKING SESSION AND RETURNED THE COWS BACK TO PASTURE.
THE FULL CHURNS WERE LEFT ON ELEVATED WOODEN PLATFORMS IN THE HEDGEROWS THE SAME HEIGHT AS THE BACK OF THE LORRY FOR EASE OF TRANSFER.
ADRIAN HANDLED THE FULL CONTAINERS THEY WERE TO HEAVY FOR ME TO HANDLE, I USED TO EXCHANGE AND LEAVE THE SAME NUMBER OF EMPTY URNS FOR THE FARMER TO FILL THE NEXT DAY.
ON OUR RETURN DOWN THE MILE END ROAD AT PARTINGTON AND OVER BARTON BRIDGE WE TURNED DOWN BARTON LANE INTO TRAFFORD ROAD TO DISCHARGE OUR LOAD OF MILK AT THE TOGA MILL,WHICH WAS THE COOP DAIRY,WE LEFT THE FULL CONTAINERS FOR PROCESSING AND COLLECTED AN EMPTY SUPPLY OF WASHED URNS FOR THE FOLLOWING DAYS RUN.

> This message was edited at 13:53 on 22 February 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 15 February 2009 at 8.40pm
I ENJOYED MY SCHOOL DAYS AT GODFREY ERMANS, I SUPPOSE WE HAD A CLASS OF ABOUT 40, IT WAS A MIXED SCHOOL BOYS AND GIRLS IN THE SAME CLASS.
AT THAT TIME THE SCHOOL SYSTEM ENCOURAGED THE 11 PLUS EXAMINATION SYSTEM, WITH GRAMMAR SCHOOL EDUCATION.
AT THE AGE OF 11 BRIGHT PUPILS WERE ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION FOR ALL THE LOCAL GRAMMAR SCHOOLS,INCLUDING ECCLES,SALFORD, STRETFORD AND BOLTON GRAMMAR SCHOOLS.
THESE EXAMS USUALLY HELPED TO SELECT THE CREAM OF THE CLASSES,THE HIGH FLYING CANDIDATES THAT USUALLY WOULD GRADUATE FROM GRAMMAR SCHOOL TO UNIVERSITIES TO OBTAIN PROFFESSIONAL POSITONS IN LIFE AS DOCTORS,TEACHERS AND OTHER LEADING ACADEMIC OCCUPATIONS.
WHEN THE CANDIDATES LEFT AT THE AGE OF 11, IT LEFT A SMALLER CLASS OF PUPILS WHO WERE PERHAPS NOT QUITE AS CLEVER.
AT THE AGE OF 13 PUPILS WERE AGAIN CANVASSED TO TAKE ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS FOR THE LOCAL TECHNICAL COLLEGES. I TOOK THESE EXAMS AND WON A PLACE AT WORSLEY JUNIOR TECHNICAL COLLEGE, AT WORSLEY,WALKDEN.
TOGETHER WITH SOME OF MY FRIENDS WE MOVED ON TO WORSLY TECH. 1952-1954, THE BUILDING WAS NEXT TO THE OLD WORSLEY TOWN HALL BUILDING,THE HEAD MASTER WAS W.DIXON,AND TEACHERS INCLUDED TURNBULL.,JONNY MARSHALL,SEACOMBE, RICHARDSON AND MANY OTHERS.SOME COLLEAGUES NAMES INCLUDED HIGGINS,POMFRET, JONES, PAISEY,EDGE,SELBY TWO BROTHERS FROM BARTON NAMED RAY AND BERNARD, RAY WENT AWAY TO THE NAVAL TRAINING SCHOOL AT H.M.S.GANGES, LAST HEARD OFF IN BROUGHTON.IAN FURNESS,FLETCHER,AND MANY MORE.
WORSLEY TECH TAUGHT TECHNICAL SUBJECTS EITHER WITH A BUILDING OR ENGINEERING BASIS.
I WAS TAUGHT IN THE BUILDING SECTION,GEOMETRICAL DWG,BLDG DWG,JOINERY AND CARPENTRY, PLUMBING, BRICKLAYING,ALL PRACTICAL HANDS ON SUBJECTS IN SPECIAL WORKSHOPS. IT WAS A GOOD EDUCATION I ENJOYED.
I DID WELL IN THE JOINERY WORKSHOP TAUGHT BY SEACOMBE,I ADAPTED TO IT DID WELL,WITH GOOD ANNUAL RESULTS.
ONE ATTENDED TECH COLLEGE FOR 2/3 YEARS,YOU LEFT AT EITHER 15/16 YEARS OF AGE.
AS I NEW MY PARENTS SUFFERED FINANCIALLY THEY WERE NEVER RICH,WE MANAGED,BUT WE WERE NEVER FLUSH, I OPTED TO LEAVE AT THE END OF THE SECOND YEAR, WHEN I WAS 15. I WANTED TO START WORK,HELP THE FAMILY,EARN MY KEEP AND CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING BACK INTO THE HOUSEHOLD.
IT WAS A POOR DECISION BASED ON IGNORANCE, I AND MY PARENTS DID NOT QUITE FULLY UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM. I SHOULD HAVE STAYED ON UNTIL MY FINAL YEAR AT 16 AND I SHOULD HAVE FINISHED TAKING MY "O" LEVEL EXAMS, A MISTAKE WHICH I LATER REGRETTED.
LEAVING SCHOOL AT 15 I NEEDED A JOB,I DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WISHED TO DO.I WAS LED, HELPED BY MY PARENTS WISHING TO ENCOURAGE ME,THEY THOUGHT THAT I HAD DONE WELL AT LEARNING JOINERY,AND DECIDED THAT IT WOULD BE A GOOD OCCUPATION.
GETTING A JOB WAS STILL DIFFICULT,BUT APPARENTLY WE HAD A VERY DISTANT FAMILY MEMBER NAMED TOMMY DUCK,WHO JUST HAPPENED TO BE HOLDING THE POSITION OF FACTORY MANAGER,AT A SALFORD JOINERY WORKSHOP,HENCE MY INTRODUCTION TO A PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN TITLE OF THE....C.W.S.JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING DEPARTMENT,VERE STREET,SALFORD 5. MY NEW FOUND VOCATION AND HOME FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS 1954 TO1960.

> This message was edited at 09:08 on 13 March 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 15 February 2009 at 9.27pm
THE JOB I WAS OFFERED AND ACCEPTED WAS THAT OF AN APPRENTICE JOINER, APPRENTISHIPS WERE A CHERISHED OCCUPATION.
AN APPRENTISHIP THEN WAS KNOWN AS INDENTURED APPRENTISHIP OF 6 YEARS. ON STARTING YOU ,YOUR EMPLOYER,YOUR PARENTS AND THE NATIONAL BUILDING COUNCIL ALL HAD TO SIGN THE INDENTURES,WHICH WERE CONSIDERED TO BE A BINDING AND LEGAL CONTRACT.
I NEVER EVER DID CHALLENGE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE PAPERS,YOU NEVER DID CHALLENGE AUTHORITY AT THAT TIME.
I STARTED WORK,SAW THE WORKSHOPS GOT TO KNOW THE OLD JOINERS,REALISED THAT THEY HAD WORKED AT THE C.W.S. IN SOME CASES NEARLY ALL THEIR WORKING LIVES, AND I COULD NOT VISULISE ME BEING IN THE SAME POSITION WHEN I WAS AGED 65, IN A WAY I REGRETTED INITIALLY TAKING THE JOB AND SIGNING AWAY THE NEXT 6 YEARS.
I TOOK THE DECISION THAT AS I WAS THEIR I WOULD KNUCKLE DOWN, TAKE MY PUNISHMENT AND MAKE THE BEST OF IT. A DECISION I NEVER REGRETED. AND IT STOOD ME IN GOOD STEAD FOR A CAREER OF 50 YEARS CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT, IN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE BUILDING INDUSTRY,ALWAYS IN EMPLOYMENT,WITH AN INTERESTING CAREER,VARIED EXPERIENCES, WHICH NEVER STOPPED DEVELOPING.

> This message was edited at 23:30 on 15 March 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 15 February 2009 at 10pm
WHEN I STARTED AT VERE STREET, TOMMY DUCK WAS THE GENERAL WORKS MANAGER IN THE ELEVATED OFFICE ON THE GROUND FLOOR LOOKING OUT OVER THE LINES OF JOINERS BENCHES IN THE GROUND FLOOR JOINERS SHOP. HE WAS ASSISTED BY ARTHUR METCALFE HIS ABLE ASSISTANT,THE BACK MACHINE SHOP WAS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF STAN WATKINS AND HIS FOREMAN TOMMY HUNTER FROM PATRICROFT.UPSTAIRS IN THE TOP WORKSHOP THIS WAS RUN BY BILL KETTLE FROM URMSTON, AND ARTHUR LLOYD HIS FOREMAN AGAIN A LOCAL CHAP FROM PATRICROFT.
THE TWO EDWARDS BROTHERS RAN AND SUPERVISED THE TWO POLISHING SHOPS, THE ONE DOWNSTAIRS WAS RUN BY NORMAN, WHILST TOM LOOKED AFTER OUR UPSTAIRS POLISHING SHOP.
WHEN I STARTED WE HAD OTHER APPRENTICES, JONNY SULLIVAN, LANGDALE HSE, REGENT RD. ROY CARTER, NORMEN OVEREND, FROM MIDDLETON, AND FRANK HALL WAS THE POLISHERS APPRENTICE.
OTHER OLDER LADS REIGNED SUPREME AS THE OLDER ESTABLISHED APPRENTICES, ARNOLD,TERRY,ARTHUR ROGERS KEITH INGRAM,ROY PROCTER.
IT WAS THE TEDDY BOY ERA, HAIR STYLES PREVAILED, THE D.A. THE ELEPHANTS TRUNK, RATHER UNUSUAL STYLE DRESS, SOME OF THE LADS LOOKED AS THOUGH THEY HAD JUST FELL OFF THE FILM SET OF THE BILL HALEY FILM THEN SHOWING, ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK.
WHILST THE SECOND WORLD WAR HAD FINISHED SOME 9 YEARS PREVIOUSLY, ENLISTED CONSCRIPTION STILL EXISTED FOR ALL MALES AT THE AGE OF 18 TO JOIN UP IN THE FORCES TO COMPLETE THE MANDANTORY PERIOD OF 2 YEARS NATIONAL SERVICE.
IF YOU WERE EMPLOYED IN A RESERVED OCCUPATION YOU COULD APPLY FOR DEFERMENT FOR 3 YEARS UNTIL THE AGE OF 21 WHEN YOU WERE OBLIGED TO GO AND COMPLETE YOUR MANDATORY MILITARY SERVICE.THERE WERE EXCEPTIONS AT THIS TIME, IF YOU WERE INDENTURED AND FOLLOWING A RECOGNISED EDUCATIONAL STUDY TO SUPPORT YOUR CAREER,AGAIN YOU COULD OBTAIN DEFERMENT ON AN ANNUAL BASIS SUBJECT TO REGULAR COLLEGE ATTENDANCE AND SATISFACTORY EXAM RESULTS.
I NEVER DID HAVE ANY BURNING DESIRES TO GO AND DO TWO YEARS IN THE ARMY. IF I HAD BEEN COMPELLED TO GO THEN I WOULD HAVE MADE THE BEST OF IT. "IT MAKE ETH THE MAN"
A LOT OF MY PALS THAT DID GO CONSIDERED IT TO BE THEN A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME, SO I DECIDED TO KNUCKLE DOWN, BITE THE BULLET AND START MY APPRENTISHIP AND STUDIES TO QUALIFY FOR MY TEMPORARY EXEMPTION.
IT WORKED OUT VERY WELL AND I STAYED AT THE COOP, AND OUT OF MILITARY SERVICE UNTIL I WAS 21.WHILST AT THE SAME TIME STARTING ON A BELATED PERIOD OF COLLEGE STUDY,TO AQUIRE QUALIFICATIONS I HAD BY PASSED,LEAVING SCHOOL EARLY.
SOME OF THE LADS WHO PERHAPS THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE VERY CLEVER,AND COULD BEAT THE SYSTEM, NEGLECTED THERE COLLEGE STUDIES AND COLLEGE ATTENDANCE. BEFORE YOU COULD SAY "JACK ROBINSON", OFFICIAL DOME CLOSED RANKS, SWUNG INTO ACTION, AND THEIR FEET NEVER DID TOUCH THE GROUND AS THEY WERE FROG MARCHED OFF,SCREAMING AND KICKING TO DO THEIR BIT FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY.
WHEN I CAME TO THE END OF MY APPRENTISHIP AT THE AGE OF 21,AGAIN I WAS EXTREMELY LUCKY AS NATIONAL SERVICE WAS THEN WINDING DOWN TO CEASE.
THEY SELECTED A FINAL DATE, ALL PERSONS WOULD STILL HAVE TO GO UP TO AND INCLUDING ALL THOSE BORN PRIOR TO 31ST JUNE 1939.
I MISSED CALL UP BY 2 DAYS, AS I WAS BORN ON THE 2ND JULY 1939. NATIONAL SERVICE THEN CEASED.

> This message was edited at 09:19 on 13 March 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 16 February 2009 at 9.27am
STARTING AS A LAD OF 15, I WAS ALLOCATED INTO THE TOP JOINERS WORKSHOP, THIS WAS A FIRST FLOOR BUILDING BUILT INTO THE LOW HIP/VALLEY ROOF WITH GLASS PANELS IN IT. VERY COLD IN THE WINTER AND EXCEPTIONALLY HOT IN THE SUMMER. IN FACT IN EARLY SUMMER THE PAINTER HAD TO CLIMB OUT ONTO THE ROOF WITH A PAINT BRUSH ON A LONG STICK,AND WALK ALONG THE VALLEY WOODEN GUTTER BOARDS AND WHITE WASH ALL THE WINDOWS TO REFLECT THE SUMMER SUNSHINE TO KEEP THE HEAT DOWN.
ON ARRIVAL THE TIMEKEEPER JACK MITCHELL IN HIS ENTRANCE OFFICE GAVE ME MY CLOCKING ON CARD,FOR INSERTION IN THE LINE OF WALL MOUNTED TIME CLOCKS.EVERY MORNING ON ARRIVAL, AT LUNCH IN AND OUT, AND ON LEAVING ONE HAD TO RING THE CLOCK AND STAMP THE TIME ON YOUR CARD.
LATENESS WAS NOT TOLERATED, AND MONEY WOULD BE DOCKED FROM YOUR WAGES EVEN A MINUTE LATE,YOU WERE QUARTER HOURED. AS THE NEW BOY YOU WERE PROMOTED TO THE POSITION OF TEA BOY AS A FIRST DUTY. EVERY JOINER DRANK TEA, EACH MAN HAD HIS OWN WHITE ENAMEL "BILLY CAN" WITH A LID WITH A LOOP HANDLE. EVERYBODY STARTED WORK AT 8.00, O CLOCK EACH MORNING.
TEA WAS CONSUMED IN LARGE QUANTITY,THIS WAS DUE TO THE VERY DUSTY ATMOSPHERE, BREWS HAD TO BE PREPARED AT 8. O CLOCK TO START WORK, MID MORNING FOR A TEA BREAK,TAKEN AT THE BENCH, MID DAY FOR LUNCH AND MID AFTERNOON. IF BY ANY CHANCE THE WORKSHOP OR INDIVIDUALS WERE WORKING EVENING OVERTIME, AGAIN A BREW WOULD BE DEMANDED, BEFORE YOU COULD GO HOME.
MOST OF THE LADS HAD HATED THEIR TURN TO BREW UP, AS IT WAS SO DEMANDING. ONE HAD TO RUSH AROUND THE WORKSHOP WITH A LARGE WOODEN TRAY, COLLECTING THE CANS,EMPTYING OUT THE TEA LEAVES INTO A BIG WASTE BUCKET WITH A STRAINER, THEN EACH CAN HAD TO BE SWILLED AND WASHED OUT,UNDER A COLD TAP AT A BIG DEEP WHITE SLOP SINK,WHEN YOU HAD WASHED AND EMPTIED THE CANS, YOU THEN HAD TO RETURN THE CANS FOR THE JOINERS TO PUT THEIR OWN TEA IN THE CANS, THEN BACK TO THE HUGE COPPER GAS WATER BOILER, BOILING AWAY IN THE CENTRE OF THE ROOM.
IT WAS A CONTIUOUS DEMANDING JOB FROM WHEN YOU ARRIVED TO WHEN YOU LEFT. MEN WERE RUDE, DEMANDING, INSISTING THEY GOT ATTENTION AND THEIR DRINKS. IT WAS A HOT HEAVY WET JOB KEEPING 50 MEN HAPPY AND CONTENTED.
I DID NOT NEED A INDENTURED APPRENTISHIP TO DO THIS JOB IT WAS EXPECTED OF YOU. BUT IT TAUGHT YOU PRIORITY AND DISIPLINE. EVERY FRIDAY AFTERNOON YOU HAD AN ADDITIONAL DUTY. I SAID THAT THE BILLY CANS WERE ALL WHITE ENAMEL. THEY WERE WHEN NEW, BUT THE HEAVY USAGE CONSTANTLY BEING FILLED UP WITH TEA, STANDING PARTLY FILLED ON THE END OF EACH BENCH, THE INSIDES WERE EVIL, BROWN, BLACK, STAINED AND DISGUSTING TEA STAINS.
EACH FRIDAY ALL HAD TO BE CLEANED, I STOOD FOR HOURS CLEANING THE CANS WITH WIRE WOOL IN COLD WATER AND "VIM" THE CLEANERS SALVATION.
I DID THIS WITH EXTREME DEDICATION AND ENTHUSIASM, I MADE A CAREER OF IT. IT WAS A BUSINESS, I MADE MORE MONEY EACH WEEK IN TIPS OFF THE 50 JOINERS THAN I RECEIVED IN APPRENTICE WAGES,SOMETIMES TWICE AS MUCH.

BEFORE DECIDING TO PROCEED FURTHER, I WAS TRYING HARD TO RECALL THE ERA OF MY APPRENTISHIP DAYS. NOW BEING 70 YEARS YOUNG IT DAWNED ON ME THAT TO THE READER, IT MUST BE VERY APPARENT THE PERIOD OF CHANGE I HAVE WITNESSED OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS.
IT WAS BROUGHT VIVIDLY TO MIND,WHEN I WAS READING AN ARTICLE IN A PUBLICATION, I READ IT CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY, I PAUSED AND THOUGHT ABOUT IT...RADICAL CHANGE.

I OFFER A COPY FOR THE LADIES TO PURUSE,TO BE READ VERY CAREFULLY, IN CASE THEY HAVE OVERLOOKED ANY OF THE FINER PEARLS OF WISDOM OFFERED.

JUST NOTE WITH CARE THE MINOR CHANGES OVER THE PERIOD.

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS TAKEN FROM THE THEN MONTHLY PUBLICATION, ENTITLED...

THE HOUSEKEEPING MONTHLY DATED 13th MAY 1955.

"THE GOOD WIFES GUIDE."

1. HAVE DINNER READY.PLAN AHEAD.EVEN THE NIGHT BEFORE,TO HAVE A DELICIOUS MEAL READY,ON TIME FOR HIS RETURN.THIS IS A WAY OF LETTING HIM KNOW THAT YOU HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT HIM AND ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIS NEEDS.MOST MEN ARE HUNGRY WHEN THEY COME HOME AND THE PROSPECT OF A GOOD MEAL (ESPECIALLY HIS FAVOURITE DISH) IS PART OF THE WARM WELCOME NEEDED.

2. PREPARE YOURSELF.TAKE 15 MINUTES TO REST SO YOU WILL BE REFRESHED WHEN HE ARRIVES.TOUCH UP YOUR MAKE UP, PUT A RIBBON IN YOUR HAIR AND BE FRESH LOOKING. HE HAS JUST BEEN WITH A LOT OF WORK- WEARY PEOPLE.

3. BE A LITTLE GAY AND A LITTLE MORE INTERESTING FOR HIM. HIS BORING DAY MAY NEED A LIFT AND ONE OF YOUR DUTIES IS TO PROVIDE IT.

4.CLEAR AWAY THE CLUTTER. MAKE ONE LAST TRIP THROUGH THE MAIN PART OF THE HOUSE JUST BEFORE YOUR HUSBAND ARRIVES.
GATHER UP SCHOOL BOOKS,TOYS,PAPER ETC,THEN RUN A DUSTER OVER THE TABLES.

5. OVER THE COOLER MONTHS OF THE YEAR YOU SHOULD PREPARE AND LIGHT A FIRE FOR HIM TO UNWIND BY.YOUR HUSBAND WILL FEEL HE HAS REACHED A HAVEN OF REST AND ORDER. AND IT WILL GIVE YOU A LIFT TOO. AFTER ALL CATERING FOR HIS COMFORTS WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH IMMENSE PERSONAL SATISFACTION.

6. PREPARE THE CHILDREN.TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO WASH THE CHILDRENS HANDS AND FACES. (IF THEY ARE SMALL),COMB THEIR HAIR AND IF NECESSARY,CHANGE THEIR CLOTHES. THEY ARE LITTLE TREASURES AND HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM PLAYING THE PART, MINIMISE ALL NOISE. AT THE TIME OF HIS ARRIVAL,ELIMINATE ALL NOISE OF THE WASHER,DRYER OR VACUAM. TRY TO ENCOURAGE THE CHILDREN TO BE QUITE.

7. BE HAPPY TO SEE HIM!!!

8. GREET HIM WITH A WARM SMILE AND SHOW SINCERITY IN YOUR DESIRE TO PLEASE HIM.

9. LISTEN TO HIM. YOU MAY HAVE A DOZEN IMPORTANT THINGS TO TELL HIM, BUT THE MOMENT OF HIS ARRIVAL IS NOT THE TIME. LET HIM TALK FIRST-REMEMBER, HIS TOPICS OF CONVERSATION ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOURS.

10. MAKE THE EVENING HIS.NEVER COMPLAIN IF HE COMES HOME LATE OR GOES OUT TO DINNER,OR OTHER PLACES OF ENTERTAINMENT WITHOUT YOU. INSTEAD,TRY TO BE UNDERSTAND HIS WORLD OF STRAIN AND PRESSURE AND HIS VERY REAL NEED TO BE AT HOME AND RELAX.

11. YOUR GOAL SHOULD BE...TRY TO MAKE SURE YOUR HOME IS A PLACE OF PEACE, ORDER AND TRANQUILLITY WHERE YOUR HUSBAND CAN RENEW HIMSELF IN BODY AND SPIRIT.

12. DONT GREET HIM WITH COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS.

13. DONT COMPLAIN IF HE IS LATE HOPME FOR DINNER OR EVEN IF IF HE STAYS OUT ALL NIGHT. COUNT THIS AS MINOR COMPARED WITH WHAT HE MIGHT HAVE GONE THROUGH THAT DAY.

14. MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE. HAVE HIM LEAN BACK IN A COMFORTABLE CHAIR OR HAVE HIM LIE DOWN IN THE BEDROOM. HAVE A GOOD WARM DRINK READY FOR HIM.

15. ARRANGE HIS PILLOW AND OFFER TO TAKE OFF HIS SHOES. SPEAK TO HIM IN A LOW, SOOTHING AND PLEASANT VOICE.

16. FINALLY. DONT ASK HIM QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS ACTIONS,OR QUESTION HIS JUDGEMENT, OR HIS INTEGRITY. REMEMBER, HE IS THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE AND AS SUCH WILL ALWAYS EXERCISE HIS WILL WITH FAIRNESS AND TRUTHFULNESS. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO QUESTION HIM.......

I MUST HAVE BEEN 16 AT THE TIME THAT THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED. AS I SAID BEFORE I HAVE LIVED THROUGH A PERIOD OF CHANGE.
BEING NOW 70 I CANT QUITE REMEMBER MOTHER FOLLOWING IN DETAIL THIS GOOD WIFES GUIDE, BUT THEN AGAIN THAT MIGHT BE DOWN TO MY MEMORY FAILING...
I KNOW WE HAVE TO HAVE PROGRESS FOR GOOD AND FOR BAD, WAS IT BETTER THEN THAN NOW?

PLEASE LADIES DONT RISE TO THE BAIT, AFTER ALL I AM SIMPLY THE MESSENGER. BUT IF YOU REQUIRE A COPY,JUST REQUEST SAME AND PROVIDE EMAIL ADDRESS.


> This message was edited at 00:46 on 16 March 2009 by born into a steam era.
Posted by: Jacqui on 16 February 2009 at 2.47pm
I echo what Julie said you MUST put all your writing into some sort of pamphlet. I am sure Salford Library would love to have it, I have thorougly enjoyed reading it and I am sure other people will too.

Many thanks for letting us share your story.

Jacqui big smile
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 16 February 2009 at 5.06pm
JACQUI, THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND COMMENTS.
I STARTED TO WRITE THIS AS A BELATED RESEARCH TO THE C.W.S. JOINERY AND SHOPFITTING DEPARTMENT,VERE STREET,SALFORD 5.
PERHAPS YOU PROMPTED ME TO WRITE AND START AT THE BEGINNING, I WAS RATHER WORRIED THAT PERHAPS YOUR READERS, MIGHT HAVE TAKEN EXCEPTION TO MY RAMBLINGS, AND POSSIBLY FOUND THEM INAPPROPRIATE AND TERRIBLY BORING. PERHAPS I MIGHT CONTINUE. I TRUST I DO NOT OFFEND OR UPSET YOUR VALUED SALFORD READERS.
Posted by: born into a steam era. on 17 February 2009 at 9.50am
ALL TRADESMAN HAD TO BUY THEIR OWN TOOLS,THEY WERE VERY EXPENSIVE,APPRENTICES HAD TO START FROM SCRATCH BUYING ONE TOOL AT A TIME FROM THEIR WAGES,PERHAPS ONE EACH WEEK, A SMOOTHING PLANE, A CLAW HAMMER,A CHISEL, A SAW. BUILDING UP A TOOL KIT.
A JOINERS TOOLS WERE HIS POSSESSIONS,AND HIS LIVELY HOOD, ANYBODY WHO GOT CAUGHT PINCHING HIS TOOLS WOULD HAVE HAD HIS FINGERS CHOPPED OFF,IT WAS A DEFINATE NO NO.
A LOT OF THEIR TOOLS WERE OF THE SAME MAKE "STANLEY" SO FOR IDENTIFICATION EACH MAN HAD A SPECIAL METAL STAMP MADE WITH HIS NAME ON IT,WHICH HE HAMMERED INTO THE HANDLE OR BODY OF EACH OF THE TOOLS HE POSSESSED. SO ON EACH BENCH HIS TOOLS WERE LAID IN THE WELL OF HIS BENCH ALL CLEARLY IDENTIFIED.
LEG PULLING ON THE NEW LADS WAS VERY COMMON,I REMEMBER GETTING MY FIRST WOOD PLANE A STANLEY SMOOTHING PLANE,HAVING BOUGHT IT ON SAT FROM THE SPECIALIST TOOL SHOP, I TOOK IT IN TO SHOW OFF TO THE JOINERS. LOOKING CLOSELY AT IT FRANK POINTED OUT THAT IT HAD NO NAME STAMPED ON IT,AND IT WAS BOUND TO GO WALK ABOUTS AND GO MISSING. DO YOU WANT TO BORROW MY NAME STAMP(FRANK BOLLAND) TO STAMP ON YOUR NEW HANDTOOL?
YES ,FRANK,DO I LOOK THAT THICK????
SMALLER TOOLS WERE KEPT IN A BIG DEEP DRAWER IN THE BENCH FRONT, OR IN A LARGE WOODEN TOOLBOX UNDER THE BENCH.APPRENTICES WERE GIVEN THE WOOD,AND SET THE TASK OF MAKING THEIR OWN TOOL BOX WITH A FITTED TRAY AT THE TOP, FOR DRILLS AND CHISELS. ON COMPLETION THE BOX WAS POLISHED ON THE INSIDE AND SOMETIMES POLISHED ON THE OUTSIDE OR PAINTED BLACK,THIS WAS DONE FOR YOU IN THE POLISHING SHOP.
SO YOU STARTED OFF WITH NO TOOLS AN EMPTY TOOLBOX,A DESIRE TO FILL IT,BUT THAT WAS A LONG SLOW EXPENSIVE PROCESS. BUT IT GAVE YOU A PRIDE IN YOUR TOOLS.
WHEN I STARTED I WAS PLACED WITH FRANK BOLLAND, FRANK WAS A HUGE CHAP,SINGLE,LIVED AT HOME WITH HIS MOTHER ABOUT 60 YEARS OF AGE, SMOKED HARD AND LIKED A DRINK.
HE WAS THE KING OF ALL JOINERS. HE HAD WORKED AT THE C.W.S. FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS. HE WAS THE BEST CRAFTSMAN THAT I EVER MET. STANDING ERECT AT HIS BENCH IN COLLAR AND TIE IN A PIN STRIPE WAIST COAT,WHICH WAS ALWAYS PROTECTED BY OUR WHITE JOINERS APRONS THAT WE ALL HAD TO WEAR, CLEAN ON EVERY MONDAY MORNING.
FRANK WAS A GEM, NEVER HAVE I LEARNED SO MUCH OFF ONE MAN.
HE WAS RESPECTED BY ALL THE OTHER JOINERS,WHO NEVER FAILED TO SEEK HIS ADVICE OR OPINION.
HE WAS GIVEN ALL THE BEST, MOST COMPLICATED AND DIFFICULT JOBS, EVERY JOB WAS A CHALLENGE TO HIM.
THE QUALITY OF HIS WORK WAS TO BE ADMIRED BY ALL HIS MATES AROUND HIM. AN IDEAL TUTOR FROM WHOM TO LEARN YOUR TRADE.
OTHER NAMES AT THAT TIME IN THE TOP SHOP INCLUDED, ERIC GREENWOOD(KINGS RD, STRETFORD,)BEN BROWN, FRANK GIBSON, ARTHUR LITTLE,THE SETTER OUT, LOUI LIGHTBOWN THE STAIRCASE HAND, LITTLE JOE SELLERS,THE FOREMAN LABOURER WHO CAME TO WORK EVERY MORNING FROM GLOSSOP, IN DERBYSHIRE ARRIVING ON THE TRAIN AT PICCADILLY ,WALKING ACROSS TOWN AND GETTING THE BUS TO VERE STREET,NO MEAN JOURNEY TO DO EVERY MORNING AND EVENING WITHOUT A CAR. PLUS MANY MORE GREAT LADS THAT I WAS TO GET TO KNOW WELL IN MY NEXT 6 YEARS.

> This message was edited at 16:19 on 20 July 2010 by born into a steam era.

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