READER MESSAGES - Sept to Nov 02

Salford Art Gallery, where you'll find the local history libraryMalcolm Pilling
Hi Aiden
Love your site, I look at it at least once a week when I need my nostalgia surge!!
I don't suppose you know where I could get a picture of a shop in Eccles---it is now Wilkinsons, I can remember it as Woolworth's (a picture of that would be superb).....but what I really need is a picture of it when it was a butchers shop, owned by George Gibson and generations of his family.
I await your reply with hope.
Keep up the good work.
Malcolm pilling...Bristol
Ps, My "neck of the words was in-between Hope Hospital (where I was born) and Ladywell Hospital.
I left Salford in 1960

For pictures of the area within the boundaries of the City of Salford, a good place to turn to is the local history library, part of the Library and Art Gallery, next to the university.

The Cliff Broughton.
Dear Aidan .
Further to the recollections of Nigel Day, Cllr Jim King and yourself. Let me add to the story.
During the late 40's and early 50's I and a couple of chums used to pass this area whilst going to school via Broom Lane.
As it has not been mentioned I can only assume that the building to which I shall refer has met its fate either by demolition or sliding over the cliff edge.

Whilst only half the width of Great Clowes Street remained and the number 17 bus had to divert by turning right at Cowes Garage and go down Knoll Street to pick up Great Clowes Street a building still stood opposite Broom Lane.

My recollection was that it was old and Victorian in style and left to decay.

We used to climb over the wall separating the Bury New Road pavement with the property.

The frontage faced away from the road and provided wonderful views of the racecourse. There was what remained of a paved area forming a patio most of which had gone over the edge. I cannot recall the building in detail, after all 50 years have passed and as we never broke in can only assume that the front was permanently open, but I do recall passing through a hallway into a rear room which had two French doors which in turn led into a conservatory type area which had a glass roof over the far end.

What stays in my mind, however, was the fact that the three walls looked like they had been carved out of a cliff face and consisted of large rocks out of which grew ferns and tropical type plants surviving probably by rain water coming in through the glass roof above.

The rubble down below the cliff may possibly now be all that remains of this lost building

Going north up Bury New Road and turning off at Radford Street you could look across and see the cliff with the River Irwell slicing away at the base.
I wonder how many others like us explored this building and came across this very unusual room.

Berne Leng.

Intriguing - can anyone out there shed any light?

Ardwick Green Daffodils on 7 April 02Graham Re Ardwick.
Hi Aidan,
I was just wondering if you found anything out about St Benedicts Church. I asked if you had heard anything about a Mosque being built on the site a while ago.?. I lived in the street opposite the church in Marple Street which has all been pulled down and rebuilt. I was married there in 1960. I have found a few of my "old' friends from the area thro' "In Touch" which is really great. I have been in Australia for 33 years and it is lovely to be in touch with neighbours and school friends after 40-odd years. Maybe you could do an article in the near future of Ardwick which would bring back some memories. Thanks again for your wonderful site, It is smashing looking at all your photo's.
Kind Regards
Eunice Ryder nee Horsfield.

Thanks - Ardwick is a place I remember from my childhood - passing through it on the bus to Stockport. Also my mother worked at Trafford Warehouses on Devonshire Street, later Great Universal Stores. Can anyone give any information about St Benedicts church?

christian mckie Sneaky demolitions
When going for a much needed pint of real ale at Manchester's finest ale bar the City Arms on Kennedy St. that demolition work had commenced on the group of listed buildings further down that street.

These have been empty for nearly 20yrs. and involved in numerous planning disputes, the most recent with a decision from John Prescott refusing permission for an out of scale office block.

Is this demolition by the back door, now that the buildings have become unsafe through constant weather erosion I wonder ? whatever the case maybe it is yet another worrying trait of the city council and their policy to strive towards the new whilst happily sacrificing the old.
Regards Christian.

Could be - I will keep an eye on this site - I notice Kennedy street is still blocked off while work is carried out on these buildings.

Frank Hadland
Salford photos

Hi Aidan: I used to live at 341 Chapel Street, until we were bombed out when the Salford Royal Hospital was bombed. It was their own fault, they always left the operating theatre lights on in the blitz. So we were right across the road from the hospital, and we were under the stairs in our old house, not being able to get to the air raid shelter, in I believe St Philips church. Is that right next to the Hospital? We used to use the crypt with all the old coffins pushed into side pockets to make room for us. I went to school at St Mary's, across the street, and behind the Cathedral. Is the school still there?? Perhaps if you could put the street numbers onto the photo's it could help me to relate, after all it was in 1941. Thanks Aidan, Frank Hadland

Well, I can only take a small sample of what's there. I'll bear in mind your request to provide street numbers. Not sure if St Mary's is still there - can anyone help?

Susan Jaleel
Hello Aidan
Thank you so much for your feature on Chapel Street, Salford. I worked at Salford Royal Hospital in the 1960s and, in fact, met my husband there. We have fond memories of the building, the area around it and the lovely people we worked with. SRH was much the preferred hospital, both for treatment and as a workplace, simply because of its small size [about 235 beds] and cosy feeling - Hope Hospital, even then, being enormous by comparison and rather impersonal.

Salford Royal Hospital main entranceThe wartime bombing of the hospital destroyed the part of the building most distant from Adelphi Street and it was there that a number of nurses were killed. There was a memorial plaque to commemorate them on the wall facing onto Chapel Street and when the hospital closed I wrote to the Chief Executive of Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust to suggest that the plaque be removed and re-sited at Hope Hospital, but I think it is still in situ at SRH. Actually, I don't really mind that as I guess that is its rightful place.

You also mention, in another part of your latest update, about Dukinfield Town Hall being used for the administration of Tameside Borough. This isn't strictly correct as the administration is handled at the council offices in Ashton under Lyne. Dukinfield Town Hall houses the register office for the Borough, but this only happened after the reorganisation of the boundaries in 1974. Prior to that, each of the 9 towns had its own registration facility. I was married at Hyde Register Office, situated in Clarendon Place, in 1965. Not many people who formerly belonged to the individual towns recognise the Borough of Tameside and, indeed, neither does the post office - the correct postal addresses being Hyde, Gtr Manchester, or Dukinfield, Gtr Manchester etc. Neither do we recognise Greater Manchester. I certainly, as a Hydonian [albeit in exile in the north east], will always belong to Hyde, Cheshire!

Just a thought! Again, many many thanks for your pages and your photographs - they are a wonderful blessing.


Salford Royal Hospital is special for a lot of people. I think it's good that it is now going to be used for residential purposes. As for Hyde being in Cheshire, you've touched on an important issue there. Actually, as far as I'm aware, the correct postal address for Hyde is Cheshire. For post office purposes, Greater Manchester doesn't exist. If you look for addresses on listings websites, you'll find that Manchester is in Lancashire. As for Tameside, they are the only local authority to list the 10 constituent towns on their website, council vehicles and other publicity channels.

Walkden Town Hall under demolition September 1999Donald Wigley

Donald Wigley I liked your daffodil quiz but as I haven't been around Manchester for many years now so I had no luck in recognising the locations. However, I cheated and looked at your picture labels! This quiz caused me to recollect, as your pictures so often do and I wondered if you had any pictures of the old Wakden Town Hall and the adjoining Technical School. I attended the latter in the late 1930's and look back very fondly on that time as the location of both buildings were in a park setting and were quite handsome buildings to boot. I gather both are now demolished but I don't know if the park expanded to encompass the sites or if some modern "economically acceptable" buildings were erected in their place. Any comments Regards D.Wigley

Yes, as it happens, I do have a picture of the old Walkden Town Hall - being demolished in September 1999. My friend Peter Cannon used to live near there and alerted me to the demolition. I think the site is now used as a car park.

Darren joseph

just wanted to tell you that I left Manchester 10 years ago July 2nd and now finding your pictures just brought my whole child hood back to me and how much I miss it so much.

I live out here in California in a place called Huntington Beach about 40 miles south of L A along the coast. I grew in Blackley in a place called Dam Head Estate. It was once a milk farm years and years ago. If you have any pics of that area I would love to see them. You should try contacting ex pats over here in the U S ! I went to school at North Manchester for Boys but I hear that might be all gone now.

Wow that school has been there for nearly 100 years! how sad if its true. you might get a lot of emails but I hope I hear some thing from you....all the best and thank you for all the hard work . know that you have made me very happy and home sick. I have not been home once in the 10 years being away! thank you so here's a pic of this old public school boy doing what he has always!

You have a dream job in California, and yet you are homesick for the Dam Head Estate! It just goes to show how attached we can be to our roots, no matter how well we prosper in other parts of the world. I went to the Dam Head estate recently, but I was reluctant to take out my camera due to the aggressive-looking youths who were hanging out on the street corners. I hope to get up there again some time soon.

Edgeley Road Stockport, childhood home of EWMFrom David Rayner in Stoke-on-Trent

Hi, Aidan,
I hope that it's not too late for you to include on your upcoming Readers Messages pages this request for some information concerning my Cheadle Heath childhood of fifty years ago, when my name was David Welsh. Having, in 1954, been dragged away from Stockport at such an early age (only seven and a half), and losing touch with many people in the process, that part of my past contains a couple of mysteries that I would dearly love to find the answers to. When I lived at 1, Eva Road, there were two local teenage girls (today, I'd say they were about 13 or 14), who were friends of the family. They used to babysit me and look after me and take me places with them on many occasions. I can still see their faces in my memory, but I cannot recall their names. All I am sure of is that, whoever they were, they thought the world of me. I often wonder where they are now and if they ever think of me and wonder whatever became of me. Does anyone reading this know who these young girls were?
The second great mystery of this period concerns the identity of the middle aged lady and the teenage girl who kept calling for me at 1, Eva Road, and taking me on the bus to Stockport station and then on a train to Ashton-under-Lyne. We had no relatives in Ashton-under-Lyne, yet these people were well known to the family and kept taking me there for some reason. They were very kind to me and always made a big fuss of me. Again, does anyone reading this know who they were? It's highly unlikely that the middle aged lady is still with us, but the girl, who was perhaps 12 or 13 at the time (1953) may well be still alive. Any information on these four people would be much appreciated.
Yours Sincerely, David.

Can anyone out there help? It's amazing how well we remember the people from our childhood. One of the people I remember most from my days at Our Lady's primary school in Edgeley is Mrs O'Gara - not a teacher but a caretaker and assistant. I remember in first year infants I was building a tower with wooden bricks and she came in and said 'That's a lovely tower Aidan'. I also remember fellow pupils Gary Duignan, Mary West, Beverley Beckett, Andrew Staverdale, John Brennan, Simon Crewdson, Julie Dawson, Paula Hill, John Horbach, Patricia - can't remember her second name. Sadly a daughter of Mrs O'Gara was killed in the Lockerbie incident. Mrs O'Gara still travels to America to visit her family there, my mother tells me.

Jill Cronin
Dear Aidan, Could you possibly announce the publication of our new book in your Readers' News summary? Gorton, the second selection of photographs, has just come out in the Images of England series by Tempus Publishing company. It was compiled by Frank Rhodes and Jill Cronin and costs £11.99. It is available from all good bookshops or from the authors plus postage of £1. Thank you very much, Jill Cronin

Another fantastic compilation of photos and information - I've not seen it yet, but I have no hesitation in recommending it very highly! Thanks Jill for your fantastic work on local history.

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