Saturday, 31 October 2015

Gone and soon to be forgotten ......... on Warwick Road South

Now I know that not all old factories and warehouses are worthy of being saved especially when they will be replaced by low cost affordable homes.

And I have to say the old industrial complex down on Warwick Road South had little to commend it as an example of industrial heritage.

Andy who took the pictures linked the building  to “Thomas Goldsworthy founder of Emery Mill who had been  born 1798 Redruth, Cornwall.

The business was taken over by his son Robert who was born 1833.

When Robert died in 1904 having retired to Southport, he left £109,000 (£11million today)”
I doubt that the building will be missed and their epitaph might well be that they had “seen better days and done better things.”*

Having said that someone may well come forward with an interesting story or an equally interesting person who was linked to the place.

But for now all that can be said is that they have gone, and the gaping space is just awaiting the ground to be broken by the builders who in a matter of months will have developed the area leaving nothing but Andy’s pictures and a few records to show what was once here.

Pictures; Warwick Road South, 2014, 2015, from the collection of Andy Robertson

*"I see better days and do better things”, .....I Shall Be Free, Bob Dylan, 1963



Another story from Tony Goulding .......... THE METHODIST CHURCH WAR MEMORIAL

Below are recorded , in no particular order, "pen pictures" of ten of these names-being the first instalment of a project to feature all the 32 men and 1 woman remembered here

William Eric Lunt
(D.o.W.14/10/1916 France)

Born in 1895 the son of John Henry Lunt, a greengrocer, and his wife Mary Ann of 60, Sandy Lane

Enlisted at Ardwick on 5th. September, 1914 into the 8th (Home Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment transferred in 1916 to the 18th Battalion for service in France.

William's civilian occupation was as an apprentice in a millenary warehouse. William's papers indicate that he was a tall lean youth of just 19; 5'11'' and 129 lbs. with a 351/2'' chest and had brown eyes, dark hair and a sallow complexion. We even can discover his cap and boot sizes -7 and 10 respectively.

He had three cousins (and fellow Chorltonians) who were all also killed on the Western Front (2)

Thomas Roy Ellwood  
(K.i.A-18/2/1917-France)
Son of the noted chronicler of old Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and chief clerk of Manchester City Council's Public Health Office, Thomas Loft house Ellwood

Thomas Roy was born in 1896, lived at 68, Brundretts Road and in civilian life worked as an apprentice in a Macintosh works warehouse until his family moved away to Bedale in Yorkshire.

He enlisted at Harrogate into the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) reaching the rank of lance sergeant before his death in France.

His body was one of the tens of thousands which were never recovered from the battlefield and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
Christopher Thomas Bottrill
(K.i.A. 1/7/1916 France)

Resident of 52, Keppel Road. A sergeant In"C"company 16th battalion, Manchester Regiment and one of the casualties in the carnage that was the first day of the Battle of the Somme, he is also commemorated at Thiepval.

Christopher was born at Shelley Nr.Huddersfield, West Yorkshire in 1891. Sometime in the 1890's his father Christopher George, a master bread baker, moved his wife, Jane, young Christopher and his four sisters to Chorlton-cum-Hardy and opened a bakery at! 2, Barlow Moor Road.(3)

Christopher also (like William Lunt) worked as apprentice in a millenary warehouse (at 29, Dale Street for Pugh , Davies &Co.) while his two oldest sisters both worked as elementary school teachers.

Robert Taylor Hardman
( K.i.A. 1/7/1916 France)

Temp. 2cnd Lt. Royal Engineers, Special Brigade. (4)

Another casualty of the first day of the Somme. He was born in Higher Crumpsall, on 22nd July 1889, from where he attended Bury Grammar School.

Later attending schools in Manchester before completing a M.Sc. degree in Chemistry (1907-1911) at Manchester University. He gained a 2cnd class honours degree which was good enough for him to get a research fellowship (1912-1913).

At the outbreak of War, Robert had not long retuned from New York, where he had been working as a research chemist (Aug. '13-Apr '14) , and was living with his father, also a Robert Taylor  and mother, Alice Ann at the family home of 30, Church (now Chequers) Road -- later 32,Stockton Road.

At university he had spent more than four years in the Officer Training Corps and he was "gazzeted" in November 1914 into the The Kings Own Royal Lancs. Regiment before the formation of the "Special Brigade" saw his transfer to the Royal Engineers to better utilize his expertise. Again he lies in no known grave and is included in the list of the missing at Thiepval.

THE THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Arthur Kettle
(K.i.A. 18/11/1916 France)

Private in the 19th battalion, Manchester Regiment.  Yet another recorded on the Thiepval Memorial.

Married Mabel Lillian (nee Jones) at the Primitive Methodist Church on High Lane, April 2nd 1904.

Home addresses 2, Swayfield Ave. Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire in 1879. Parents Joseph and Emily lived at 5, Oswald Lane.

Enlisted at Manchester on 7th September, 1914 despite being nearly 35 years old and a married man with six young children the oldest just turned 10 and the youngest, Pearl a 6 months old baby.

According to army records he stood 5'7'' tall, weighed 123 lbs and had a 35" chest, fresh complexion with blue eyes and brown hair.

Leonard Kitchen.
(K.I.A. 25/10/1918 France)
Private in Machine-gun Corps (originally "B" company 23rd battalion Manchester’s) born in 1888 at Worcester.

His mother, Annie moving   her young family back to her home town of Manchester following the death of his father John in 1895.

He married Agnes Kettle in 1913 making him the brother-in-law of the above man. They resided at 6, Provis Road. Tragically he perished less than three weeks before the Armistice of 11th. November, 1918, ended the fighting.

Raymond Percy
(D.o.W. 12/8/1918 France)

Temp.Lt. (acting Captain) 12th.battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment. Awarded a Military Cross.
Raymond was born in 1896 in Echuca, Victoria, Australia but was brought up in Chorlton-cum-Hardy at 20, Salisbury Road with his father, John Arthur, a pawnbroker and jeweller, mother Katie (nee. Kemp)  and older brother, George Leslie.

In the years prior to 1914 Raymond had attended a boarding school with his brother in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.

His parents had been married at St.Matthew's, Stretford on 29th. November, 1893 prior to their move to Australia.

Arnold Clifford Wagstaff M.M (1)  (D.o.W.29/8/1916 France)

A Lance Corporal in the Manchester Regiment -20th battalion and a recipient of the Military Medal, he was born in Sercombe ,Cheshire in 1894.

Before the hostilities he was an apprentice dental mechanic living with his parent’s , George Arthur an advertising agent and Rosa Ellen at 103 , Beech Road . Arnold would certainly have been well acquainted with the three Lunt brothers (referred to above) who lived above their father's greengrocer shop at 119, Beech Road.

Frederick Pontefract
(died 16/6/1918.France)

Frederick enlisted in Manchester on 11th May , 1915 , when aged 19 years and 2 months

He was assigned to the Royal Army Medical Corps and posted to join the 2/3 field ambulance unit of the East Lancashire Regiment, spending some time with The Expeditionary force in Egypt before being transferred to France.

At his medical on the 11th. May 1915 the record shows he was 5' 6" and had a chest measurement of 35" with good vision and no distinguishing marks or "defects.”

The attestation papers reveal that he was a cashier by trade and resided with parents Frederick William, a cotton fabrics buyer, and Agnes Anne at 11,Grange Avenue.  He was born at 15, Beechwood Avenue and later lived at 5, Beech Road.

An examination of the service record of this individual brought to light a very sad story indeed
Frederick died of a skin infection "cellulitis lace" at Perronne Reserve Hospital , France whilst "a prisoner of war in German hands"

Very unfortunately it seems that due to the vagaries of communications between the combative powers (perhaps exacerbated by the imminent internal collapse of Germany) notification that Frederick was a P.O.W. only reached his parents on 9th August 1918 .
In the following weeks as the feeling that the end of hostilities was approaching grew, they likely had great hope that their son had survived only for it to be dashed with the notification of his death on 15th. October, 1918

Cecil William Somerville
(K.i.A.24/8/1918 France)

2nd.Lt. 82cnd. sqd. R.A.F. (originally joined the Manchester Regiment) Cecil had Irish parentage. William, a commercial traveller/linen merchant and his wife Mary of 11, Torbay Road and later 32, Egerton Road hailed from Co. Armagh.

Cecil was their eldest (surviving) child born in the Toxteth Park area of Liverpool on 19th.September 1897.

By the time of the 1911 census, Cecil had four siblings a brother, Vivian, and three sisters Doris, Edith, and Maudie. The family's initial home in Chorlton-cum-Hardy was at 29, Needham Avenue.
GLOSSARY
K.i.A. = killed in action.
D.o.W. = died of wounds.
Died = died of illness or injury while on active service


NOTES
1) There is a double entry on the Memorial. The list of names on the front includes A.C. Wagsraffe whilst on the side the name A. Clifford Wagstaffe appears.

The explanation for this comes courtesy of my good friend David, a member and official of the Methodist Church.

According to him when the Primitive Methodist Church, on High Lane closed in 1967 and amalgamated with church on Manchester Road they added the names from their memorial to the side of this one .Presumably Mr. Wagstaffe had been a member of both congregations.

2) William Eric Lunt is also a relative of my friend David whose family resided in Dartmouth Road, which is just opposite the location of "Lunts" greengrocer shop on Sandy Lane. Gladys May, William's younger sister and only sibling married a Thomas H. Patching in 1916. My friend David's mother, Constance was the half-brother of the groom.

3) The Bottrill’s lived at 2, Oak Bank Avenue which is now Silverwood Avenue. The bakery on Barlow Moor Road was in the building on its comer now occupied by the Halifax.

4) The Royal Engineers "Special Brigade" was formed in 1915 as a response to the use of poison gas by the Germans. Its remit was to both expand Britain's own chemical warfare initiatives and develop defensive measures to counter any future German attacks.

© Tony Goulding

Pictures; from the collection of Tony Goulding

The story of one house in Lausanne Road number 49 ............. leaving

The story of one house in Lausanne Road number 49 ............. leaving

The story of one house in Lausanne Road over a century and a half and of one family who lived there in the 1950s.*

I can’t remember when we were told that mum and dad were selling Lausanne Road and that we were moving to Eltham.

But having sold and bought a few houses I know that after the decision to sell, finding a place and doing the deals can take months.

So as we moved in the March of 1964 they will have begun the process at the start of the New Year but more probably in the winter of 1963.

Now Lausanne Road was all I had known for my entire life.  I went to school in Waller Road and later Samuel Pepys, played in Pepys park and as the years went by I wandered further afield taking in most of Peckham, Nunhead, New Cross and bits of Deptford and even Greenwich.

And after we left I continued to return to go to school and for a while at least would spend weekends with friends.

But looking back that move came at a time when lots of things were changing and I guess there will be many others who also moved out of the area in their teenage years that experienced that similar mix of regret at what was lost with all the excitement of what was to come.

For me it was that difficult time when all the clumsy bits of becoming a teenager were taking over.

So as all the old certainties were ebbing away, I no longer played with toys had stopped reading comics and was given to irrational outbursts at mum over absolutely nothing.

And I have to admit that I was far more a difficult and unpleasant teenager than ever my three sons were and for that I continue to harbour a deep shame.

Part of the problem was that having discarded the toys the comics and the adventures the things which were supposed to effortlessly take their place were slow to surface.

We didn’t have a record player for another year, my dress sense remained appalling and there was no girlfriend on the horizon.  All of which was made worse by that conviction that everyone else was having a better time.

I was unsure exactly what my friends were doing that was different and more exciting but given my own mundane existence that just had to be.

So I suppose I was ready for the move.

Not that much changed for another six months but by the September of ‘64 there was a growing confidence which showed up in what I was wearing and how I saw the world.

And while I still made that daily journey from Eltham to New Cross and would continue to do so till the summer of 1966 I didn’t go back at weekends  and Lausanne Road became just a memory.

But you never quite loose all those things that you grew up with and now I realize just how much of Peckham and New Cross is part of who I am.



Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

*The story of one house in Lausanne Road, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/The%20story%20of%20one%20house%20in%20Lausanne%20Road

Friday, 30 October 2015

Britannia Emery Mills down at Hulme Hall Road

Hulme Hall Road Bridge 1897
It’s a while since I visited Hulme Hall Road and that warehouse which suffered a devasting fire back in the summer.

At the time I ran a series of stories prompted by Andy Robertson’s pictures which he took at regular intervals recording the demolition of the building and yesterday he went back but mainly to solve a little mystery.

“My daughter alerted me to this picture showing the construction of Hulme Hall Bridge in 1897.

She wondered if ‘our building’ Excelsior was on it. 

Hulme Hall Road, 1930
We could not get or heads round it so I decided to go and have a look.

The frontage of the Emery Mill still remains.

 Since 1897 the buildings where the two men are standing has been demolished and replaced by a larger building which joins the Britannia on its right and goes all the way down Hulme Hall Road joining that building on extreme right of photo.

The 1930 aerial photo illustrates this.

Hulme Hall Bridge, 2015
Thomas Goldsworthy was here from at least 1870 to 1946 manufacturing glass and emery cloths, glass and sand papers and knife polish.”

Research by Andy Robertson


Pictures; Hulme Hall Road Bridge, 1897, H Entwistle, m60918, and aerial View of Hulme, Chester Road, and Hulme Hall Road, 1930 A W Hobart, m67731, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass and the same scene 2015, Andy Robertson

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Sending our children to Canada ..........Miss Maria Rye, Avenue House on Hanover Park and my great uncle

It never ceases to amaze me how the past twists and turns and confronts you with a little bit of your own personal history in a way you least expect.

Avenue House 1872
When I was growing up in Lausanne Road I was totally unaware that just over a century earlier Miss Maria Rye had been migrating young people from her establishment off Hanover Park.

This was Avenue House which she had bought in 1869 and used as a base for the onward migration of young people to Canada.

Nor was she alone in this enterprise, a number of philanthropists and charities had also begun “rescuing” young people many of whom were found destitute on the streets of our cities or in orphanages and workhouses.

The grand plan was to settle them on the other side of the Atlantic offering a fresh start in a new land.
These were the British Home Children and one of them was my great uncle sent over in 1914 with he Middlemore charity.

Their story is one that is close to me and one that I have written about extensively.*

But it is a story not so well known in Britain although there is a growing understanding of the importance of this bit of history in Canada.

After all over 100,000 children were sent between 1870 and 1930 and perhaps 10% of all Canadians are descended from a British Home Child.

Like all stories theirs was a mixed bag.  Some found that new life, while others were exploited, abused and used as cheap labour.

The later migration of children to Australia only stopped in the 1970s and featured in an important book and film.

Now this is a story I shall return to but for now I will just close with an extract from Miss Rye herself on the young people she took into her care written in 1872

“The children vary in age from 3 to 13 years; are all Protestants, and nearly all absolute Orphans; are bound (when not adopted) till they are 18 years old, on the following terms, viz: Up to 15 years old they are to be fed, clothed and sent to Sunday School. From 15 to 17 they are not clothed, but paid $3 a month wages, and $4 a month from 17 to 18.

If through any unforseen circumstances, it is necessary for a child to be returned to the Home, due notice of the same must be given in writing, one month before the child is removed; and if the child has been away from the Home six months, her clothes must be returned new and whole, and in the same number as they left the Home. 

In no case can a child be passed on to another family without first consulting Miss Rye, and in case of the death of persons (husband or wife) taking children, it is particularly requested that an immediate notice of the fact be sent to the Home.
Miss Rye reserves to herself the right of removing any child with whose treatment she is not satisfied.

MARIA S RYE

Hon Secretary 

N.B. Only children under nine years of age can be adopted.”

Picture; Avenue House, High Street, Peckham, from the OS map of London, 1862-72, courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://www.digitalarchives.co.uk/

And a thank you to Gail Collins, who found the extract.

*British Home Children, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/British%20Home%20Children

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Looking for my great grandmother in September 1939 ............ a unique set of records go online

Now next Monday will be a lot more interesting because Findmypast  has put the 1939 Register online*

Nana and grandad circa 1930s
The Register contains the names, addresses and occupations of everyone in England and Wales in 1939 and was used as the basis for rationing, identity cards and the National Health Service just under a decade later.

That in itself makes it a very important document but more so because it will be another six years before the 1921 census is published.

Added to which there is a gaping hole in what will be available given that the 1931 census was destroyed and the 1941 census was never taken.

Great grandmother Eliza and a policeman, 1894
And that will be important for me because after nearly a decade I have gone back to looking for my immediate family and in particular my great grandmother.

Eliza Boot was born in 1872 and had five children but never married their father.

They were a colourful pair, having once been fined for fighting with a policeman in 1894 and eventually separating in 1902 with Eliza retuning north to Derby to have her last child in the workhouse.

The surviving four children spent time in institutions and was migrated to Canada as a British Home Child.

And apart from a few fragmentary references and her death certificate I have very little else to go on.

Nana in Derby, 1930
Her medical records have long since been destroyed and her National Insurance records cannot be accessed, so just maybe the 1939 Register will reveal something to fill the gap between an address in a street directory in 1925a comment in a letter in 1941 and the official record of her death.

We shall see.

And if she continues to fall though the net there will be mother, uncle Roger and Nana and granddad in Derby and dad who by 1939 had migrated south from Gateshead to London.

So I travel in hope because there are 41 million lives recorded in the register.

Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

* Monday November 2 2015, the 1939 Register will be made available online for the very first time, only on findmypast,

Walking in Nunhead Cemetry

I have decided to find out what I can about the Chicken family.

They were buried in the cemetery between 1872 and 1917 and between them their lives spanned the 19th century.

The first was Mary Ann Chicken who was born in 1799 and that last was William who died in 1917.

And the historian in me wonders what events of that century and a bit impacted most on the family.

After all Mary Ann would have been sixteen when the news of Waterloo came through and just 38 when the old Queen ascended the throne.

I would like to know where they lived, how they made a living and their connection with Nunhead.

And perhaps I might also find a little about the people who the thoughtful or perhaps mournful angel stands over.

Pictures, Nunhead Cemetery, from the collection of Sue Simpson

Monday, 26 October 2015

A little bit of history on Well Hall Road .......... friends renunted

Now as a piece of history goes  it is perhaps not even a footnote, but it has made my day because this afternoon I was contacted by Steve on the Well Hall  facebook site I set up.

Steve had posted an interesting picture of an iron boundary marker for Woolwich.

He had found it in his garden and I passed a comment to which he asked if I had lived on Well Hall Road with four sisters, which was prompted by his wife and sister in law who had lived just two doors down from us and had played with our Elizabeth and Stella.

And yes we all lived one house apart and they both played together and later went out to socials.

So it’s a small world but one made just a bit nicer by the Well Hall site, all of which allows me to bring out Peter's painting again showing our houses.


Painting; 294 Well Hall Road, © 2015 Peter Topping 

Web: www.paintingsfrompictures.co.uk

Facebook: Paintings from Pictures https://www.facebook.com/paintingsfrompictures

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Ghost signs on Evelina Road .............. along with an old telephone kiosk and much more

Now yesterday I was looking for water troughs and found my old one at the top of St Mary’s Road.

It’s gone now and I have no idea when it was hauled away and replaced by the big flower bed.

But the tall old iron ventilation shaft is still there like its partner on Lausanne Road which were built to vent gases from the sewers below.*

It features in front of the trough in Adrian Parfitt’s photograph of this corner of St Mary’s Road.

The picture is one he sent me a while ago and it’s not until now that I have really looked at it.

There was no date on the picture, but I know it will be after 1911 because at the time there were no buildings listed between Gibbon Road and Hollydale Road and if pushed it will have to be after 1920 when the Post Office began introducing the K1 telephone box to our streets.

The K1 was made of concrete and was replaced with the more familiar red K2 from 1926.

I suppose this one could have lingered on into the 1930s or even later which led me to the adverts on the side of what was the post office.

The detail is hard to make out and the product lost but the hair style of the woman places it in that period.

What fascinates me more is the painted sign above it and what is remarkable is that it is still there today.

Or at least a painted sign is still there although I can’t quite match the two up.

And for that I need a modern photograph of the shop and sign.

Looking at street google the present if now redundant sign seems to be advertising a chemist which had been established for 55 years.

I can’t think it will be the same as the earlier one but there’s the challenge.

So if anyone regularly walks past the spot or fancies a trip out I would welcome a new photograph which will help solve the mystery and present me with two ghost signs for the price of one shop.

Which just leaves me to add a comment from Adrian, "hi Andrew, I have just seen your item on the post office, I can remember it as a chemist named Kebbles and the post office was also in there.

Then the post office moved up into Gibbon Road, past the butchers shop, I can remember this back in the early 50's."

Picture; Evelina Road, circa 1920-26, supplied by Adrian Parfitt

*When a smelly sewer was just one too many, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/when-smelly-sewer-was-just-one-too-many.html

Saturday, 24 October 2015

More from the pen of Tony Goulding ............. SUICIDES IN CHORLTON-cum-HARDY

It is perhaps quite surprising for such a small community the number of suicides which took place in Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Victorian and more especially Edwardian times. 

In a previous blog piece I have already told the story of the sad demise of the Rev. Roland Joseph Blain, who took an overdose of laudanum on 31st. January, 1914. Recorded below are the details of four more stories of men taking their own lives.

Perhaps, however we should not be so surprised by the sadly familiar ring to the list of reasons given to account for these desperate acts.

A lover's tiff, the death of a partner or close friend, stress of work, financial ruin marriage break-up, approach of a possibly lonely old age.

These stories could as easily have come from last week’s Evening News as those of over 100 years ago.

1) Frederick Adam Cope

On 8th July, 1853 at "Oak Bank" the 28 year old son of Frederick Cope Snr.; who in partnership with his brother Richard operated a very successful wine merchants business through various outlets in Manchester city centre.

Two days earlier the family's eldest daughter, Barbara Anne has been married at Manchester Cathedral. (1)

The wedding-guests included young Frederick's fiancé and, according to evidence given at the inquest , following a quarrel between the bet roved couple Frederick shot himself in the heart whilst in a distraught state brought on by his (perhaps erroneous) perception that the young lady had broken off their engagement.
 Frederick was laid to rest in the old churchyard by Chorlton Green on 5th. July 1853.

When his father Frederick Snr.died in February 1874 in Leamington, Warwickshire his body was brought to Chorlton in order that he could be interred alongside his son.
In the opening years of the 20th century within just over a year three other incidents took place; two of which involved a double tragedy

2) Nicholas Marsden / Frank S. Johnson

The first such instance occurred on 6th. March, 1901 at 36, Keppel Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy.
Nicholas Marsden a 50 year old, Blackburn-born accountant arrived on the doorstep of his brother-in-law's house in an exceedingly agitated state; having lost all of his and his wife's money through, unwise speculative investments.

What his intentions were is not clear but the tragic outcome was a murder/suicide as he shot  Mr. Frank Stoll Johnson , a well-respected legal clerk in Manchester (and his brother-in-law) on his doorstep, before shortly thereafter turning the gun on himself in the front garden. Both men were buried in Southern Cemetery on the same day 8th.March, 1901.

The murdered victim in a family plot E.1546:- his assassin in an unmarked communal grave M.756.

 As a consequence of this case four school-age children had lost their father: Nicholas's son Nicholas (b.1891) and daughter Phyllis (b.1890) together with Frank's two daughters Dorothy J. (b.1889) and Jessie N. (b.1892).

The murder of her husband was the second trauma to affect her family in a 6 month period following the tragic death of her 15 year old daughter Phyllis Bertha just the previous September. Perhaps unsurprisingly in these circumstances Mrs. Janet Johnson left the area with the remains of her family, only returning (on her passing away in November 1906) to be buried in the same grave as her husband and young daughter.

3) Thomas Wood/ Newton Cookson

Another double tragedy happened just 13 months later, on 17th. April, 1902
Thomas, a dairyman and market gardener, of Redgate Farm was found with his throat cut, an open razor clasped in his dead hand, in a ditch in an area known locally, with grim prescience, as "Reaper's Field" close to the neighbouring Firs Farm.                        


It was reported that Mr. Wood was very depressed by the terrible occurrence of just the day previous when his close friend and business associate, an occupier of Brook Farm, Newton Cookson had been found drowned in the Bridgewater Canal at Stretford.

Newton's widow moved away to live with her daughter Marian, an elementary school head teacher, of 58,Derbyshire Lane, Stretford.

In contrast Mr. Wood's widow Mary as well as his two grown-up sons, James, a commercial clerk, and John Freserick William, a music teacher, all remained in the area.

Indeed the 1911 census shows John F.W. still residing with his mother at 52, Wilbraham Road -the address for Redgate Farm.
James and his young family being close by at 78, Manchester Road.
Sandwiched between these two sad events is the final example of self-destruction

4) John Edwin Lockwood
The above was 54 years old, a widower, and a tailor’s trimmings merchant operating from premises at 64, Cannon Street.

He resided at 16, Catwright Road (off what is now Kingshill Road) having recently moved to there from 44, Hawthorn Road, only a week before...This move is perhaps evidence of the financial difficulties which John Edwin was facing and which prompted him to shoot himself near "Sally's Lake," Hawthorn Lane, on 1st. September, 1901 .

His corpse was taken to the Bowling Green Hotel to await the inquest on his death. He left behind two daughters, Gertrude and Mabel Maria both of marriageable age.

Indeed the impending marriage of Gertrude (2) may well have exacerbated his anxiety over his money troubles and been a contributory factor in Mr. Lockwood's fatal decision.  John Edwin was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire in 1847 but his family soon re-located to the Newton Heath area of Manchester, where his father, James, was an inspector in the Railway Police.

After marrying Elizabeth Bates (3) in 1865 the couple lived with John Edwin's mother-in-law, Maria from whom he also rented his initial trading premises, on Church Road, Newton Heath.

As his business progressed he moved into his own accommodation with his expanding family first in Newton and eventually in Chorlton-cum-Hardy. He also re-located his place of business to a more central area.

NOTES
1) The bridegroom was Mr. Josiah Hunt of London and the wedding ceremony was conducted by the newly ordained Rev. Francis Haden Cope cousin of the bride being the son of Richard, Frederick Snr's brother and business partner.

2) Gertrude's marriage went ahead as planned when she wed Albert Edward Barlow, a cashier of 27, Zealand Terrace, at St.Clements (old church) on November 9th. 1901. Indeed within a year both John Edwin's other two children his son Harold Bates and his younger daughter Mabel Maria had also celebrated their weddings.

3) The loss of his wife Elizabeth in July 1898 was reported have induced in Mr. Lockwood a long-lasting depression Significantly after his death his body was taken to be buried with his wife at All Saints church Newton Heath.

Lastly, as a postscript, I have just come across a report from The Manchester Evening News dated 3rd. March, 1914 which shows that the taking of one’s own life is not a solely masculine phenomenon. It records in detail the death of a young woman, a Miss Maud Wagstaff, who took a lethal dose of "spirits of salts" whilst in a depressed state apparently brought on through the stress of her (over)work as a tracer
Researching this lady has proved to be something of a challenge involving a multitude of residences, some in Scotland, and a variety of different transcriptions of the various names. Maud was born in Southport in 1883, to John Buckley Wagstaff, a master engraver, and his second wife Amelia Alice .

Her father was already in his 60’s recently widowed and re-located from Scotland with his teenage son Horace. After moving around several addresses around Lancashire and Greater Manchester at the time of the tragic event Maud and her mother were living at the home of a half-sister of Maud’s ,Agnes Soppet , 74,Keppel Road. Incidentally all these three share a grave -N 1035 in Southern Cemetery. Unfortunately there is no memorial stone in situ either there never was one or it has been lost in the interim period.

© Tony Goulding, 2015

Pictures; from the collection of Tony Goulding

Friday, 23 October 2015

Whitworth Baths on the Old Road ........... courtesy of Ron Stubley

Now for the last couple of days I have been thinking and writing about the Whitworth Baths on Ashton Old Road.

The stories have brought a shedful of memories from those who remember gaining swimming certificates there to others who described in detail the inside.

So I thought I would close with two of Ron Stubley’s pictures taken recently.

Ron has been contributing photographs to the blog for a couple of years and can always be relied on to come up with some fascinating pictures of ghost signs along with buildings long since abandonded and forgotten.

So here are two of the Baths which show both the perilous the building now is in along with the sheer size of the place which I had never really clocked.

They date from 1890, served the community of Openshaw for almost eighty years and now stand forlorn, empty and waiting for another use.

Today public buildings tend to be bland, all pretty much look the same and have those plain plastered walls painted in neutral colours.

Go back a century, and town halls, public baths, and even minor Corporation offices were decorated in tiles, and interesting stone figures and shapes.

Now the realist will point to the fact that the tiles made the walls easy to clean while both the tiles and the stone detail were mass produced and just bought off the shelf.

That said they gave a dignity to even the modest of buildings and said something about civic pride and that simple belief that even the most humble and work a day places could look attractive.

It may well be that the Whitworth Baths are doomed but at least we have a fine collection of pictures along with plenty of memories to stand for what was once an important part of the community.

So I shall close with this detail from one of the pictures, which show the fine finish the building was given along with its present state of dereliction.

Ron has recorded both and has captured the sheer size of the place streatching back and that  tall chimney.

Pictures; the baths on Ashton Old Road, 2015 courtesy of Ron Stubley

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Inside the Whitworth Baths on Ashton Old Road .......... what we might lose

I am back with the Whitworth Baths on Ashton Old Road.*

They date from 1890, served the community of Openshaw for almost eighty years and now stand forlorn, empty and waiting for another use.

Today public buildings tend to be bland, all pretty much look the same and have those plain plastered walls painted in neutral colours.

Go back a century, and town halls, public baths, and even minor Corporation offices were decorated in tiles, and interesting stone figures and shapes.

Now the realist will point to the fact that the tiles made the walls  easy to clean while both the tiles and the stone detail were mass produced and just bought off the shelf.

That said they gave a dignity to even the modest of buildings and said something about civic pride and that simple belief that even the most humble and work a day places could look attractive.

So I am indebted to Nick Bowles who photographed the inside of the Baths and featured them on his site.**

The future of the building is uncertain and already the facade is beginning to deteriorate which in time if unchecked may make saving the place uneconomic.

I still hope that someone will take the place over a develop it for this I suspect will be the only way it will survive.

If that happens the tiles and other features may be seen and enjoyed all over again.











Pictures; Whitworth Baths, Ashton Old Road, 1960, H W Beaumont, m12602, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass  interior courtesy of Nick Bowles

And tomorrow looking at the baths today courtesy of Ron Stubley


*Manchester and Salford’s Public Baths, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Manchester%20and%20Salford%27s%20Public%20Baths
**HJISTORYME, http://historyme.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Going swimming on Ashton Old Road in 1905 in the Whitworth Public Baths

Outside the Baths in 1960
Whitworth Baths on Ashton Old Road is a place I have passed countless times and never even knew existed.

It was just one of those buildings which you passed on the bus but never gave any though to.

I wished I had made the effort to visit them when we were leaving off Grey Mare Lane, but I am not quite certain when they closed.

I guess the whole sale clearance of the area of houses made them less used and by the time we were there along with a few other old public and industrial properties they stood isolated and alone surrounded by grassed open areas.

The Turkish Bath Cubicles, 1906
They were designed by the Manchester architect J W Beaumont and was built in 1890 by the executors of the engineering magnate Joseph Whitworth and were then donated to the Openshaw Local Board and when Openshaw was incorporated into the city in 1890 were run by Manchester Corporation.

Like Leaf Street Baths* which were built a little earlier they also had a Turkish Bath and may have had facilities for washing.

I would really like to know more and a trawl of the net turned up a number of sites including one with pictures of the interior** with some very evocative images of it’s now abandoned inside.

And one that I fear will not long survive in its present state.

Of  course there will still be many who remember them and so I hope there will be people wanting to share their memories and a little of the history of the place.

There is even a petition calling for the baths to be saved, and I rather think it is one of those places worthy of protection which can be accessed via the link below.

Now not all old buildings can be protected but here is a one which with a little tender care and attention could live again.

Not I grant you as a swimming baths but there are plenty of imaginative and exciting uses this place could be put to, particularly since the area is being redeveloped.

First class pool, 1905
Sadly the place looks to be fading fast.

Trees and bushes are growing at the roof level and more have taken root in front of the building and are slowly obscuring the place from the road.

Soon the fabric will have deteriorated too far for a rescue to be mounted.

Which of course raises the question of why should it be saved?

Part of the answer lies in the wonderful interior, with the glazed tiles, and iron work  and the sheer beauty of the some of the big rooms.

And then there is the part the building has played in the history of the area and  its contribution to the health and hygene of  the people who lived here.

For many this was one of the only grand buldings they could ever hope to enter, more impressive in its way than many of the local churches, and far superior to the pubs.

Now not even many of the pubs have survived the changes of population and the big development plans.

The last time I was on the Old Road there were few of them left, and the old engineering works and factories.

So the romantic in me hopes it can be saved.

Pictures, Whitworth Baths, Ashton Old Road, 1960, H W Beaumont, m12602, interior showing Turkish Baths cubicles, 1906, m51842, and First Class Swimming Baths, 1905, m51839, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass


*Manchester and Salford’s Public Baths, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Manchester%20and%20Salford%27s%20Public%20Baths
**Whitworth Baths Ashton Old Road, http://historyme.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/whitworth-baths-ashton-old-road-openshaw/



Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Who remembers Leaf Street Public Baths?


Now one of the things I like about writing history is that you get to meet lots of people all of whom have a story to tell, but in the way that history used to be written, most of these people would have been ignored.

They did not hold great offices of state, did not engage an enemy in heroic combat and didn’t come up with some profound invention.

My history lessons at school were full of Kings and Queens, and generals as well as politicians but never about the army of cooks, maid servants or foot soldiers without whom all these noble people could not have done sterling things.

This came back to me recently when I was rereading a story on the old Chorlton Union Workhouse which had stood on the island formed by Leaf Street, Streford New Road, Nelson Street and Devonshire Street. It was replaced by the Withington Workhouse built in 1855.

And the site was taken over by the Manchester & Salford Baths and Laundries Company opened their third public baths on the site between 1858-60.

The company had been formed in 1855, and built baths in Salford, Mayfield at Ardwick and Victoria Park.  Its assets were bought by Manchester Corporation in 1877.  The company had added a Turkish bath in 1860 which was the first in a public baths in Manchester.  The Leaf Street Baths were demolished in the clearances of the 1970s and today the site is open ground.

All of which is a roundabout way of wondering if any one remembers the baths, and more importantly has stories about them?

Picture; Courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, Leaf Street Public Baths, 1920, m57327 http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

The story of one house in Lausanne Road number 47 ............. Topper or Eagle?

The story of one house in Lausanne Road over a century and a half and of one family who lived there in the 1950s.*

Now if there is one thing guaranteed to bring forth a shedful of memories it is the name of a comic from the 1950s.

Part of the reason is that there were so many of them and the quality was so good.

For sheer knockabout pleasure the Beano followed by the Dandy ranks at the top of my all time favourites although they are closely followed by the Topper and the Beezer which were larger format.

All of them went in for the more serious story of which the invasion by walking jelly fish always fascinated me especially their ability to trap their enemies in transparent bubbles.

Sadly only the Beano survives although the Dandy did have a brief flirtation with an online version.

And between them they have a special place in our family because they became the chosen comics of our eldest sons and in the case of our Ben even now the Beano annual features in his Christmas stocking.

All of this I was reminded of by David’s picture of his Topper comic from April 1960 which was one that very probably came through our door.

But I have to confess that I was and still am a fan of the Eagle and of its companion comics, Girl, Swift and Robin.**

Eagle did have its silly and funny stories but at its heart were serious adventures featuring Dan Dare Pilot of the Future and a host of other daring heroes drawn from the French Foreign Legion, the Wild West and the Napoleonic Wars.

Added to which there were factual cutaway drawings and the stories of great lives.

At which point I could get quite pompous about the quality of these four companion comics but I have done that elsewhere and so instead I shall just return to the slapstick humour of the Topper.**

Picture; the Topper April 1960, courtesy of David Harrop, and the Eagle from the collection of Andrew Simpson

*The story of one house in Lausanne Road, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/The%20story%20of%20one%20house%20in%20Lausanne%20Road

**Comics of the 1950s,  http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Comics%20of%20the%201950s

Monday, 19 October 2015

Canada votes today

I have been following the Canadian General Election partly because a big chunk of our family live in Ontario and I have friends across the country but also because a long time ago I signed up to one of the political parties.

Tom Mulcair NDP
Not that any money swapped hands.

I get updates on their progress and policies and that in turn allows me to get a sense of what is going on.

And today Canadians are voting.

Not that I have a vote and given that it would be a bit presumptuous to talk about the campaign and issues from this side of the Atlantic I shall just reflect how yet again  the election conveys the size of Canada.

So according to Decision Canada, "voting hours across Canada (all times local): are 
Newfoundland Time: 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Atlantic Time: 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Eastern Time: 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Central Time*: 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Mountain Time*: 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Pacific Time: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Justin Trudeau Liberal
Saskatchewan is a special case, as most of the province doesn’t observe daylight saving time. So even though the province is geographically in the Mountain Time Zone, most of the province observes Central Standard Time all year round. All voters need to remember is that voting hours for this election in Saskatchewan are from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.”

If your electoral district spans more than one time zone, Elections Canada decides one local time for voting throughout the district.
The electoral districts spanning more than one time zone are:
Labrador
Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Kenora
Thunder Bay–Rainy River
Kootenay–Columbia
Nunavut*

Stephen Harper Conservative
And that I think pretty much brings home to me just how vast the place is.

*Decision Canada, Global News, http://globalnews.ca/news/2284021/prime-minister-trudeau-ipsos-poll-suggests-liberal-win-but-margin-of-victory-hinges-on-turnout/

Pictures; Canadian federal election, 2015, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election,_2015

Sunday, 18 October 2015

When you could see Tom Jones, Ben-E-King, and Dell Shannon in the Princess on Barlow Moor Road

Fothcoming entertainers at the Princess

There will be many who remember the Princess Ballroom on Barlow Moor Road and many more who will have been there when it was variously known as Valentines, Ra Ra’s and Adam and Eve’s.

I guess its heyday was in the 1960s when as the Princess Club it played host to a variety of entertainers from Del Shannon, and Tom Jones, to Lonnie Donegan, and Bob Monkhouse, Ben-E-King and the Drifters.

Nor were these acts performing alone.  What you got for your ticket was a selection of turns which on the night of our poster included the group Paper Lace from Nottingham alongside Hollywood, Korky and Chugalug.

And one of the real strengths of clubs like the Princess was that they offered an opportunity for local groups to perform allowing young hopefuls the chance to be discovered, or just somewhere to act out the dream and learn from the professionals.

And it was here that the Big Chuckles played in the mid 60s.  They had been formed in 1963 but lacked a singer so they advertised for one.   In the words of Graham Gill who was one of the group, “a young lad called Chris Neil from Wythenshawe turned up.


The Big Chuckles
Chris was a choir boy at the Holy Name church and had grown up in the Moss Side, Hulme area before moving to Wythenshawe.

He played with the group for a few years before leaving to perform in Hair at the Palace Theatre and went on to become a record producer, songwriter, singer and actor.”

I missed out on this period in the club’s history which is my loss.

Now I know that the forthcoming Chorlton Arts Festival offers an opportunity to sample a wide range of live events and that there are also the Edge Arts Centre and Jellyfish Rooms but places like the Princess, and the Golden Garter should be missed and mourned.

But they were commercial enterprises and at the mercy of commercial trends and the odd disaster.
The Golden Garter had opened in 1968, and closed after a fire in 1990. There are still many who miss it today.

Johnathan Young in the centre of the picture
“The Garter', as it was affectionately known locally, had lavish, thick carpets and gold and crimson décor as well as décolleté plaster goddesses smiling in pairs on either side of the movable apron-stage. There were 50 barmen, who wore green and gold-striped waistcoats and there was room for 1,400 diners. 

A 3-Course meal at the Golden Garter would cost you 15 shillings (75p), a bottle of champagne 39 shillings (£1.90p), a glass of brandy 3 shillings and 6 pence (33p) and a pint of bitter 2 shillings and 7 pence (23p).”*

Added to this it could draw the top performers of the day.  In 1979 the list included Gene Pitney, The Supremes and Mary Wilson, The Drifters, the Dooleys, and Showaddywaddy along with Les Dawson, Cannon and Ball and Tom O’Connor.

The Princess Ballroom, 1959
And here in Chorlton once you mention the Princess the memories of magic evenings are recounted with a mix of pleasure and a sense of loss that eventually it became just a place to get a late night drink and dance to records.

It had opened in the 1920s as the Chorlton Palais de Dance.  Ida remembers it from the mid 1960s when "it was always busy" and Adge told me that "we went to the Princess Club ('the Prinny') on a regular basis in the late 60'/early 70's, it was always rocking! 

Saw some great acts there inc' Ben E King Emile Ford and Long John Baldry amongst others. 

It was always packed to the rafters and, at the end of the night, the last song was always "Hi Ho Silver Lining", everyone in the place joined in (all well lubricated) I can see and hear it now in my head. It was also the place I had my first dance and snog with my (now) wife."

My thanks to Graham who provided the handbill, and the pictures of the Big Chuckles,  Jonathan Young and card for the Golden Garter.who not only hosted many of the night in the Princess but wrote Manchester Morning.

The New Golden Garter
He also reminded me that "the Golden Garter started as a Bowling Alley with a night club attached I think it was called Darrens. One thing I do know is that I made the ventilation system for the bowling Alley in 1963 when I worked at CWS Engineering Knowsley Street Cheetham."

And I suppose it reflects the time, because just as the Garter moved from bowling to live acts so our own Palais de Dance became the Princess Ballroom.

Pictures; Princess Ballroom, R.E.Stanley, May 1959, m17616, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, and remaining images courtesy of Graham Gill

* http://www.wythenshawe.btck.co.uk/GoldenGarterNightclub

The story of one house in Lausanne Road number 46 ............. hot chestnuts and toasted crumpets

The story of one house in Lausanne Road over a century and a half and of one family who lived there in the 1950s.*

Now we really did roast hot chestnuts by the open fire and crumpets using one of those long forks which later became one of mum’s knitting needles after the fork was lost.

On balance I have to say for all sorts of reasons a toasting fork wins out over a knitting needle.

But with one of those sweeping decisions which was characteristic of mother the fireplace was replaced by one of those three bar electric fires with the imitation logs at the bottom and if the light bulb and fan worked well it was magic.

Not that a three bar electric fire even with imitation logs is any good for roasting chestnuts.

So dad cooked them on the top of the stove in the kitchen.

Forty years on I have never managed to replicate the roasted chestnuts on our coal fires and resort to the oven while the crumpets worked best in the toaster.

Such are the ways we try to relive our past, and by extension what we pass on to our kids.

So they have all had their share of chestnuts, got the coal in and come down on Christmas Day to their presents in big stockings which are just colourful copies of the pillow cases we used in Lausanne Road.

That last tradition still shapes the start of the day even though they are all now grown up.

But Christmas stories are for another time instead and with not a hint of nostalgia I am drawn back to the foods of my youth.

Like you would expect they are the stuff of stories I have written about already.

Many owed much to the food my parents had eaten, coloured with a few from the years of war and rationing and finished off with a whole shedful of dishes from the time when we never had it so good.

There were the stews and soups which were more full of vegetables than meat, tons of dumplings and a host of reiepies using the cheapest cuts and just a few from Nana who was born and grew up in Cologne.

And then along came the 1950s, which offered up ready to make blancmange, fish fingers, TV dinners and Vesta curries.**

All of which meant that with rising living standards more money at the end of the week the cherished sugar sandwiches, and the apple ones along with spaghetti with milk and sugar slipped from the table.

Some I have revisited but others have rightly stayed in the larder of my memory but the chestnuts are in the shops again the ingredients for the Christmas cake have been bought and the coal fires have been running since later July.

Pictures; coal fires from Beech Road, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

*The story of one house in Lausanne Road, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/The%20story%20of%20one%20house%20in%20Lausanne%20Road

**Blancmange ........ with a bit of nostalgia and a history lesson in fast food from the 19th century, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/blancmange-with-bit-of-nostalgia-and.html


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Down at Duffy's reflecting on Audrey's and the man who sold a knit comb

Now Duffy’s has been serving up pints with football for almost as long as I can remember.

Duffy's in 2008
That said I did once have a meal in the place when it was an Italian restaurant and just about remember what was there before that.

But for those with longer memories and a greater claim to be from Chorlton  it will always be Audrey’s that rather elegant ladies clothes shop.

Back in the 1950s it was a double fronted premise taking in the next door shop and was pretty much all glass with impressive signage.

Audrey's in 1959
In time I will go looking for the story of Audrey’s and for the history of the chemists who occupied that corner shop at the very beginning of the 20th century.

Back then the parade of shops still known as Pemberton Arcade was relatively new and it may well be that Mr Walter Smith was the first tradesmen to occupy that shop on the corner with Needham Avenue.

In 1903 he was there dispensing his mix of prescription medicines, over the counter cough mixture and much else along with those huge glass jars of coloured liquid which were the hall mark of all chemist shops.

Window shopping for something nice at Audrey's
A full eight years later you could still call in and collect everything from a nit comb, surgical bandage to all a doctor might prescribe, although by then Mr Smith had moved on and sometime after that here will have been a stretch of business up to when Audrey’s opened.

All of which is for another time leaving me only to comment that Peter’s painting of Duffy’s is now itself a bit of history which I guess means he will back down there to paint it again now that it has adopted its bright new green sign and veranda.

Painting; Duffy’s Bar  © 2008 Peter Topping 

Web: www.paintingsfrompictures.co.uk

Facebook: Paintings from Pictures https://www.facebook.com/paintingsfrompictures

Picture; Audrey’s 1959, m17591, A H Downes,courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

The story of one house in Lausanne Road number 45 ............. the escapologist on Rye Lane .... catching the memory

The story of one house in Lausanne Road over a century and a half and of one family who lived there in the 1950s.*

So there I was possibly aged six or seven watching this man on Rye Lane inside a sack and wrapped in chains make an amazing escape.

It might have been a Christmas Day in which case I think it will be have been 1957 and that is the extent of the memory

It has sat deep down occasionally coming out but with the passage of time I had pretty much decided it was imagined.

And then by chance I came across this picture postcard dated 1955 and my escapologist bounced back at me.

Now this I know isn’t Rye Lane but just a little to the left of the carts was that open space beloved of street vendors and other more dubious characters that existed on a Sunday morning to fleece the unwary tourist.

And yes that was where I remember that other escapologist dressed as they had been in the 19th century in body stocking and fur coat and assisted by a rather odd looking old man with a flat cap which he handed around after the escape.

The crowd was big and me being little I wanted to worm my way to the front but even given the excitement of the moment and my childish curiosity I hung back because I have never forgotten Nana’s warning about being trapped in a crowd.

Sometime around 1900 in Cologne aged I guess about three and attracted by a noisy group beside the canal she too had worked her way to the front only to discover that what had drawn the people was the body of a drowned woman and unable to escape she was stuck at the front.

All of which is daft I know but stuck with me and even now makes me less than happy surrounded by lots of people.
I had to go checking that there was a canal in Cologne which there is and so another bit of a half remembered story was confirmed.

All of which brings me back to that Sunday morning event and the knowledge that mine might well be the last generation to have watched such an event in the open air.

It’s a tradition which will date back to the travelling men at the annual fairs in the Middle Ages and no doubt goes back even further.

But I won’t be alone in remembering him.

Picture; Tower Hill, 1955 Judge Picture postcard, courtesy of Mark Flynn Postcards, http://www.markfynn.com/

*The story of one house in Lausanne Road, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/The%20story%20of%20one%20house%20in%20Lausanne%20Road