MANCHESTER, SATURDAY 29 OCTOBER 1949
items adapted from the Manchester Evening News of that day
- keeping as much as possible to the original vocabulary
On Monday 24th the Prime Minister Mr Atlee announced
cuts in Britain's spending to a hushed House of Commons.
Among many cost-saving measures, he proposed a charge of
not more than 1s (one shilling) on each NHS prescription,
1d (a penny) on the cost of school meals, with about £30m
cut from the housing programme.
SATURDAY 30 OCTOBER 1999
Comments made with the benefit of hindsight!
boom time in Manchester at the moment - judging from the
construction industry, at least. The building of homes is now mostly
carried out by private building firms, and council houses
are being sold to tenants. But some parts of the Manchester
area are still blighted by poverty.
Lions and tigers may roam in large enclosures if Heaton
Park if proposals for a zoo go ahead. Mr R C McMillan, Director
of Manchester Parks, has said they may start with tame animals
and go on to wild animals, which will require the erection
of 20 foot high fences.
lions and tigers never got to roam in Heaton Park, though
there's a farm now, as in 1949. Here's a recent QTVR panorama
of the gardens in front of the hall.
of Manchester Corporation are recommending a "go slow"
policy in the city centre to cut down accidents. Certain streets
and dangerous curves will be narrowed by "Keep Left"
bollards. Car parking in Albert Square will be limited to
two hours between 8 am and 6pm. And parking restrictions in
and around Deansgate have caused motorists to use back streets
on the Salford side of the Irwell as an extended car park.
1999 there is still a traffic problem in Manchester, which
the council is attempting to solve by placing further restrictions
on cars, which will be banned from several major streets
in the newly rebuilt city centre.
A newly designed track maintenance vehicle will enable
engineers to replace nearly a mile of overhead cables on
the Manchester to Altrincham railway line tonight. The special
carriage is powered by two Lancashire-built bus engines,
so the vehicle can move forward at a steady 4mph. A crew
of 10 to 20 men will stand on the roof and install the cables,
which carry 1500 volts and will have a life span of about
20 years. The work will be carried out on the section from
Oxford Road Station to Cornbrook.
cables put up in 1949 lasted into the 1970's when the
Altrincham to Manchester line was upgraded to the 25,000
volt AC main line system, allowing trains to go from Crewe
through Oxford Rd to Altrincham. In 1992, the line from
Altrincham as far as Cornbrook was converted for use by
Metrolink trams. Here are two views of the tracks from
the end of Oxford Rd Station platform - the lower one
in panoramic mode.
|The Moss Side
Vigilance Committee has suggested the setting up of a force
of coloured special policemen to patrol the large Negro community
in Moss Side east and Moss Side west. The specials will wear
ordinary police uniforms so they can be accorded the proper
respect. About 3000 coloured people have settled in Moss Side.
There are no regulations banning coloured men from applying
to be policemen, though there are not known to be any coloured
policemen in England. One officer commented it might be embarassing
if coloured men suddenly decided to apply as "our men
show no racial bias whatsoever in the execution of their duty".
the euphemistic "negro" and the ethno-comparative
"coloured" have been banished from the language,
to be replaced by "black". In the Greater Manchester
police force in 1999 there are many black police officers,
but they are still under-represented in proportion to the
population they serve. A recent government initiative aims
to resolve this imbalance. Interesting that in 1949 there
was already a community of some 3000 black people resident
in Moss Side and that even before apartheid's introduction
in South Africa, the authorities in Manchester considered
recruiting black policemen.
Withington Girls School Manchester gathered in the Whitworth
Hall Manchester University for the Foundation Day ceremony.
High School for Girls continues as one of the top independent
girls schools in Manchester. Does anyone reading this recognise
herself in the picture on the left?
|A three day boom
in Manchester shops came to an end on Monday, as peoples fears
of new purchase taxes have been allayed by Mr Atlee's annoucement
in the Commons. It's reported that people were going into
shops with as many as 50 single pound notes and either buying
goods on the spot, or putting down deposits. Buying has now
returned to normal.
people pay by credit card nowadays, though it may come as
a surprise that a significant proportion of people in Manchester
still operate on a cash-only basis. VAT replaced purchase
tax in 1973 - it's now a standard 17.5 per cent on most
|At Lewis's department
store on Piccadilly and Market-street, you can buy supergloss
paint at 5/- (five shillings) a pint or 9/9 (nine shillings
and ninepence) a quart. Slumberland mattresses cost £12/7/4
(twelve pounds seven shillings and fourpence) - Three piece
lounge suites are on sale for £59/19/6 (fifty nine pounds
nineteen and six) and there are gas boilers on sale at 59s
6d (fifty nine shillings and sixpence).
you'd probably be more likely to buy home decorating goods
at out of town stores like B&Q, MFI, Housing Units,
and others. In some outlets, you can probably get a knock-down
"soiled" three piece suite for under a hundred
2001: Lewis's sadly closed its doors in February 2001
after a long period of decline.
shillings and pence became pounds and pence with decimalisation
in 1971. Nowadays the burning question is whether the
pound will join the European currency, the Euro.
|You can rent a
radio from Whites Radio and Television, 62 Swan St, Shude
Hill, for 2/- a week, including all service, maintenance and
the age of digital television, renting your tv is coming back
into fashion. In 1999, Granada introduced a new tv rental
scheme which allows you to keep up to date with the latest
equipment for five pounds a week.
from Sutton Coldfield transmitter near Birmingham, commence
on December 17th, but there is a shortage of supplies of television
sets in the Manchester and south Lancashire area. The reasons
include a tv boom in London, and the fact that three times
as much work is required to build a television set as a radio.
Local councils are currently giving permission for the standard
H type of television aerial to be mounted on roofs in this
digital television has been launched and Manchester is leading
the way. Cable and Wireless are offering a digital cable
internet service in the Manchester area. You can watch tv
and also access a special digital TV version of Manchester
At cinemas in Manchester, two films have arrived simultaneously.
Both are described as "musts" and among the dozen
finest films seen in Britain since the war. They are the
British film "The Third Man" directed by Carol
Reed, and written by Graham Greene, and from Italy, "Paisa"
directed by Roberton Rosellini.
weekend, "The Blair Witch Project" opens in Manchester,
showing at both the Cornerhouse (left) and the Odeon cinema
|Here is a selection
of what's on at theatres in Manchester on Saturday the 29th
of October 1949.
here's what's showing in the same theatres tonight 30 October
"The Servant of Two Masters" and The Little Foxes
- play by Tom Stoppard
Library Theatre is still one of Manchester's foremost theatre
Sir Lawrence Olivier in "Hamlet"
been a multi-screen cinema for many years - tonight there
are various films showing including... "Blue Sea",
"The Blair Witch Project", "Election"
"Bitter Sweet" a new comedy starring Jack Buchanan
tonight: The Reduced Shakespeare Company "The Complete
Millennium" - Musical
in November: "Oh What A Night", starring Kid Creole
"Bless the Bride" a musical by Charles B Cochran
Traviata" an opera staged by Opera North
Palace Theatre is still going strong, though the building
is a little run down
Manchester Hippodrome Ardwick Green:
"Old Mother Riley and her Daughter Kitty"
Manchester Hippodrome was demolished many years ago,
like other theatres in Manchester, including the MMU's Capitol
Theatre, Didsbury. The venue has been accommodated in the
ugly 70's building on Oxford Rd (pic upper left).
The Grosvenor Picture Palace, (same pic, left had side of
Oxford Rd) was saved - it's now the Footage and Firkin pub.
And opposite the BBC, you'll find the Northern Ballet School
(left), housed behind this shabby but beautiful facade.
If, like me, you enjoy turning the clock back to past
times, I can recommend three excellent places to visit, all of which
are being or have recently been revamped and extended:
|Styal Quarry Bank Mill, Styal Cheshire, owned and run by
the National Trust:
RecentIn 1991, the water wheel was rebuilt and is now in use,
and can be viewed at close quarters by visitors. They also have
a magnificent working steam engine. Quarry Bank Mill is one of
the most important industrial revolution heritage sites in the
country, and is an absolute must! More details at the National
|Portland Basin Heritage Centre, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Tameside
Recently re-opened, this museum has a superb display of industry-related
exhibits with a strong "hands on" element, which is
ideal for kids. You can peer into a reconstructed parlour from
the 1930's, see an old fashioned chip shop, and try on some of
the hats which were made in Denton and other parts of what became
Tameside. See the official Tameside website at www.tameside.gov.uk
|Manchester Central Library is where I researched the
1949 news items Back copies of the Manchester Evening News and
other local newspapers can be looked at on microfilm. See also
my Eyewitness in Manchester Central Library feature
That's all from a cool and changeable late October
Manchester. Let's take a final look at that late afternoon sunset on
Lower Mosley Street - tomorrow night it'll be dark at this time. Below
is the same scene, taken a couple of minutes later in panoramic mode
- was I looking at Manchester though rose-tinted spectacles? I'll leave
that question to another Newsletter...