Friday, 12 May 2017

Looking for the lost ...... one street over time in Ancoats ..... no 9 the school photograph

The story of one street in Ancoats, and the people who lived and worked there.*

There is something fascinating about school photographs.

I suppose it is partly that it stirs the that pot of curiosity, leading me  to wonder who each of the children were, what their lives had been and what was to come.

We have shed loads and looking at the class of ’95 or those of our other children I sometimes catch myself asking the kids what happened to Clare, or John, and sharing the picture with their friends who in many cases still resemble that young 11 year old gazing out with a mixture of adventure and expectation for the years ahead.

Of course it is all that much more difficult when the photograph is almost a century old, and there is no one to ask the obvious questions of who they all were.

I am drawn to that lad on the back row beside the teacher with the big smile and wonder which street he lived in and what he went on to do, and also the girl in the second row on the right.

Unlike most of her class mates she is not smiling and instead looks back at me with a pensive expression.

These are the class of 1928 from St Andrew's, Homer Street School in Ancoats.

Homer Street disappeared in the Corporation’s slum clearance programme a decade later and I guess the group were dispersed across the city with some ending up in Wythenshawe and others in the north.

So far I haven’t been able to track down the admissions book for the school which might offer up some names and addresses, not that I would be able to match name to a face.

The picture belongs to Kath Kelly Hughes who has come across others from the same period and in many of them there appears that teacher on the right of the group.  Unlike his colleague he doesn’t smile instead affects a slightly detached almost weary stare.

But I suppose he will have posed in many such photographs, and still had many more to come.

So I shall leave the class of ’28 but reserve the right to return.

But there may be more.  Only today Angela got in touch to say that "in a couple of days I will be putting an old photo of the school on a photo website called Alamy. 

I acquired the photo on ebay in January of this year,form someone in Cheshire- sadly no details except what is written on the back (no names of pupils) 

These are infant children in the hall. Hope this helps. " 

Pictures; the class of 1928, form lll Homer Street School, 1928, courtesy of Kath Kelly Hughes

*Homer Street,

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