Monday, 25 June 2018

One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 107 ......... when Sundays lay heavily

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.*

Perhaps it was simply that England was playing in the World Cup and the sun was cracking the paving stones, which accounted for the utter stillness that fell over the road and the Rec yesterday afternoon.

That said it hadn’t been any livelier in the morning, and while the Friends of Beech Road didn’t disappoint us, and as ever chose to park on both sides of the road, mounting the pavement for good measure, there was little evidence of anyone around.

And in an instant I was transported back to those slow Sundays of my youth, when the day lay heavy with the prospect of little to do.

Until the middle of the 1950s there was only the one TV channel which closed in the afternoon and reopened around seven.

Most of my friends were in the same boat but for whatever reason we never met up, leaving the day a dreary one filled with rereading comics and waiting for the evening.

None of which was made any better by the prospect of school in the morning.

Just how Joe and Mary Ann spent their Sundays is unknown to me, but they were one of those generations who experienced profound change in their leisure time.

Both had been born in the 1880s, and began their married life just after the dawn of the Edwardian era, and while things were more relaxed than we sometimes think there were still limitations on what fun could be had.

But in the course of the fifty eight years they lived here in this house, they experienced a deluge of different forms of entertainment, from the cinema, to the wireless and on to the television with first 78s, then 45s and LPs all thrown in.

When they first moved here in 1915, the Rec across the road was still relatively young and they would have known plenty of people who would have remembered when this 2 acre plot was all that was left of a set of fields called Row Acre which ran down from what is now Cross Road all the way to Acres Road.

Although back in the 1870s both had been called lanes.
I suspect Joe and Mary Ann would occasionally have taken a turn in the Rec but may also have stepped out through the fields behind them down to the Brook and on across meadow land to the Mersey and beyond.

Joe who built many of the smaller houses around Chorlton may also have wandered into the newly built Chorltonville, and making the decision that his houses would all start with electricity and not old fashioned gas lighting.  That decision was to become a selling point in much of his advertising literature by the early 1920s.

But I am in danger of straying into speculation so I will close where we began with yesterday.

By the evening the Friends of Beech Road had moved on, taking their cars with them and the television was offering up a range of entertainments, leaving me to water the garden just as Joe might have done and settle down for night.

Location; Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Pictures; Beech Road, 2018, from the collection of Andrew Simpson and in the late 1940s, from the Lloyd Collection

*The story of a house,

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