Monday, 8 May 2017

One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 85 ......... ducks and other things

The continuing story of the house Joe and Mary Ann Scott lived in for over 50 years and the families that have lived here since.*

The Rec, 2016
Now I have to say that I wasn’t ready to take pictures at 5 am which is a shame because I have missed forever the photograph of four ducks walking across the Rec.

I can’t quite remember whether this is a first and I am sure there will be people who respond with their own duck stories.

Our four may have just got lost or fancied a change of scenery either way; there they were at 5 this morning walking across the open bit of land in front of the basket ball net.

And as I made the first coffee of the morning I got thinking about what Joe and Marry Ann might have seen from the same bedroom window.

The Rec, 1910
Compared to them I am but a novice at looking out of that window having only been here from 1976, while they moved in when the house was brand new in 1915 and in Mary Ann’s case died here in 1973.

Back then a century ago the Rec was different.

Parts of it were still laid out in formal flower beds, there was a hut with a bench and a play area consisting of a number of sew sews and the trees were smaller.

Looking at the old pictures there does seem to have been more litter about but then as now part of the main area was bare of grass.

Joe who was born in the late 1880s may well have remembered when this bit of land was still being farmed as it had been for a century in long thin strips by a number of tenant farmers.

Mr Higginbotham ploughing Row Acre, 1895
The Higginbotham’s who lived on the green rented the strip beside Cross Road and the Bailey family whose home was Ivy Farm where Ivy Court now stands also farmed the field.

In the 1840s this stretch was known as Row Ace and ran all the way down to what is now Acres Road.

By 1894 the field was just the space between Cross and Wilton Roads and in 1896 was gifted to the residents of Chorlton by the Egerton family as a Recreation Ground.

And that pretty much is that, leaving me only to wonder if Mr Higginbotham or bailey ever went home to talk about the ducks they say while ploughing the field.

Location; Chorlton

Picture;  the Rec in 2016 from the collection of Andrew Simpson, the Rec in 1910 from the Lloyd Collection and Mr Higginbotham ploughing the Rec, circa 1895 courtesy of Mr Higginbotham

*The story of house,

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