Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Adventures in Salford ............... part 2 walking down a Victorian street

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” nevertheless the past can be a cosy and comforting place. I was reminded of this recently when I was telling a friend about Larkhill Place that reproduction of a Victorian street in Salford Museum and Art Gallery.*

Lark Hill Place was originally created in 1957 when many shops and houses in central Salford were being demolished to make way for new developments. Some of the shop fronts that were saved restored and interiors were added with authentic objects, recreating the way they were used in Victorian times.

Here along the street are Mathew Tomlinson's General Store, a music shop, printers, pub, smithy and wheelwright as well as the chemist and druggist and dressmaker.

Today such theme places are more common than they were in 1957 and there is a danger that they present a sanitized interpretation of the past. The real noises smells and unwashed humanity are missing from the streets as is the dirt and ever present evidence of poverty.

But as an introduction particularly for children it is first rate.

Now my introduction to the museum was not the result of a random visit or even a wet Saturday afternoon “what can do” trip, but one planned to show young history teachers just how a museum can be used to tell a story of the past.

Now it is all very well knowing about what happened but it’s no use if you can’t get young people to engage and begin to understand for themselves what a “knocker up did” or that there was a time when people routinely repaired their leather shoes and shared just two room where they ate, slept and just got with the business of living.

And that is what Larkhill Place does well continuing to offer a sense of the magic of the past as it has done since 1957 through to when I went there in 1974 and continues to do so today.

Of course to many the museum will be an old friend but there may be some who haven't been for a while or those who have never been.

Location; Salford Museum

Picture; the interior of one up one down cottage, in Larkhill Place, from the collection of Andrew Simpson and  picture postcard of Ye Bulls Head, circa 1916 from the collection of David Harrop

*LarkHill Place, http://services.salford.gov.uk/larkhillplace/

1 comment:

  1. I have never been Andrew. Sometime maybe. It sounds very interesting.

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