Sunday, 31 December 2017

One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 93 ......... waiting for New Year

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 house, 1974
Now I know it’s daft to think of a house celebrating the coming of the New Year.

But when you have been in a place for 41 years you do rather come to feel a part of it especially as that ranks you as the longest resident after Joe and Mary Ann who were the first to occupy the place in 1915 and lived out their lives here till 1973.

The remaining two owners together clocked just seven years and one of those barely did a few months before they went off to South Africa leaving the house vacant.

And as I know nothing of how Joe and Mary Ann celebrated the event, it is down to our 41 years.

The Trevor, 1975
At the beginning it was the pub where there was an extension to see in the New Year, followed by a very drunken hour back in the house before we all conceded defeat, went to bed waking up with a hangover fit to rival all hangovers.

Back then the pub was the Trevor and despite the possibility of glittering parties most of the regulars stayed put and saw the New Year in with Stan, Mona, Chris and Lynn who ran the pub.

We always seemed to collect a group of friends who because they were also single ended up with us and that reminds me just how many people have passed through the house in those four decades, from Whispering Dave, to Jen and Shelia, along with the French bunch and of course Jack Harker.

In the Trevor, 1979
Some like Jack were a permanent feature who helped John build the boat in the back garden and often picked up basic groceries for us, while we were at work.

I have no idea how many passed through but all were made welcome, invariably stayed for a meal and often ended up on the setee for the night.

Some of them were part of those early New Year’s Eve Event

Later when the lads came along the flow of friends didn’t abate although we tended to spend the night of December 31st at someone else’s house with the slow walk back pushing the pram through quiet streets.

That said there were more than a few “in between” gatherings when the house was filled with family, friends and work colleagues in those few days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.

Celebrating, 1977
All of which just left the actual night to be celebrated quietly with uncle Michael who brought a selection of Blockbuster videos and a bottle of Moet Chandon.  The films were a mix of ones for the kids followed after they had gone to bed with more grown up ones.

Later still, we slipped in that more gentle set of celebrations as the lads, all now grown up went off to see in the new year in places as far afield as the city centre, Leicester, Warsaw and Berlin.

And along the way how the rest of Chorlton celebrated it all has changed.

Once on those still cold nights the sirens of the ships from the docks could be heard marking the transition from one year to the next.

Today even if those ships from across the world were still plying their trade in the docks I doubt that we would hear the sirens over the noise of the fireworks.

It used to be that fireworks were just for Bonfire night.

The New Year Eve meal, 2016
Now they dominate the time either side of midnight, with their noise crashing and rebounding across the roof tops, lighting the sky in streaks and cascades of colours.

There will always be the one who let them off early, either through sheer incompetence or in a desperate bid to outfirework the neighbours and those that decide to repeat the exercise at 3 am.

But this year as for the last few, we will be lucky to see them, having fallen asleep sometime around 11.30, with me telling Tina stories of Andy Stewart and the Hogmanay shows, all along way from the way we marked the passing of the old year back in 1976.

But just possibly, how Joe and Mary Ann would have seen in the New Year during part of their time in the house.

Location; Chorlton

Pictures; from the collections of Andrew Simpson, Lois Elsden and Lyn

*The story of a house,

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