Saturday, 15 October 2016

Lost and forgotten streets of Manchester ..... nu 65 the vanished 22 houses and 81 people

I can’t think anyone would mourn the disappearance of Back Canal Street and Little David Street.

In the space where two streets existed, Chorlton Street, 2016
In 1841 81 people lived in 22 of the 28 back to back properties which had been built as one up one downs at the beginning of the 19th century.

Here lived a mix of families who earned their living as labourers, textile workers with the odd craftsmen.

So few back to backs have survived that it is difficult sometimes to realize how small these properties were and how overcrowded they must have been.

Suffice to say that the width of this stone fronted building on Chorlton Street took in the combined width of Little Canal Street and the back to back houses.

The two streets in 1849
And I think we can be even more precise and calculate that the width of the street would be the distance from the edge of the brick building to right side of the doorway and what was left would be the width of the houses.

Looking at the census records for the June of 1841 reveals that some of the houses were occupied by just one person while others contained four to five people and one had nine individuals crammed in to its two rooms.*

But those with single occupants were in the minority and the general picture is one of overcrowding made worse by what appears to be the provision of only one lavatory.

The sound of young voices in Little David Street, 1841
The largest single age group were the young with 18 out of 52 in Back Camp Street under the age of 10, and 11 out of 29 in Little David Street.

All of which must have been a constant worry for parents with the canal and an arm of the canal surrounding the properties on two sides.

And it may well have been the canal which did for our 28 houses.  Maps from the 1890s show they no longer existed and the 1863 directory lists a warehouse on the site which may even have been there by the 1850s.

So a short life for those two streets.

Location; Manchester

*Census, Little David and Back Camp Streets, Enu 10, 7-8, London Road, Manchester, 1841

Pictures; the site of Little Canal and Little David Streets, 2016, from the collection of Andrew Simpson and streets in 1849, from the OS map of Manchester & Salford 1844-49 courtesy of Digital Archives Association,  http://digitalarchives.co.uk/

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