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READER MESSAGES December 2001, January 2002


View over Ancoats towards Miles Platting from an upper floor of the Beehive Mill. Victoria Mill is visible in the distance centre left. On the right one chimney is the sole survivor of countless chimneys which poured out smoke and soot in the days of the Industrial Revolution. (Thanks to the guys at Make It Work Online for allowing me to take this photo from the window of their offices)

Name: Sheila Thompson (Nee Hall)
From or connections with: Homebury Drive, Clayton, Manchester, 11.
Present Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Subject: Aidan you have outdone yourself again on photo's
EWM Photo: Aidan, you have brought so much joy since you started your site. Over the years I have so enjoyed them, and guess what? Yes, they keep getting better, if that is possible. It means so much to our Family and keeps us connected to our homeland, I emigrated to Canada from Clayton, Manchester, in 1971, and my husband Alf from Bredbury, Cheshire, and Ardwick, Manchester. Please keep up the good work and a Happy New Year to you and your Family.
Sheila Thompson (Nee Hall)
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
Happy New Year to you and Family. Letter is up above.

Thank you very much - I presume you're referring to the recent gloomy dusk shots! I'm very glad you like them, but I am attempting to capture what I see when I go out of the house and drive around Manchester and its environs. Many of these photographs would be considered unsuitable for the purposes of marketing the city, but in fact, the grey, gloomy, industrial side of Manchester is part of it's essential character. If you go to Berlin and have a browse in the bookshops, you'll find many gloomy black and white photographs of 19th century industrial Berlin, as well as grey and dismal images of the east. This is part of the fascination of Berlin, and Manchester has a similar appeal. Here's another gloomy image taken from the upper floor window of the Beehive Mill Ancoats - You won't find anything like this on the front cover of the 2002 local business directory!

Name: Selwyn Zwick
From or connections with: Anchor Street
Present Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Subject: Anchor Street
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I recently discovered that my great-great-grandparents Piro and Miriam Marks lived at 8 Anchor Street, Manchester. He died in 1927 and she, in 1919, according to the same document.
I presume Anchor Street must have been in the "Jewish" quarter of Manchester. I would be interested to find anything out about the area, whether there are records of who lived there, does it still exist and where am I likely to find death details for them. I have tried advertising in the Manchester Jewish newspaper but have had no response.
Piro and Miriam Marks supposedly emigrated to England from Germany in the 1870's or 80's.

You could try contacting the Manchester Evening News 'In Touch' page, or contact the Central Library Local Studies Unit - details on the Manchester City Council website

Name: DORA
From or connections with: west didsbury
Present Location: new york/usa
Subject: barlow moor road
EWM Photo: i came to manchester in 1952 and lived there for 30 years. barlow moor road used to be very quiet. we lived opposite withington hospital. there was a big empty field there. then a small cul de sac was build there to reach nell lane. it was named elizabeth slinger st. this little st. is now a busy st. serving withington hospital with many cars and buses passing through. there is a school there and a big police station. it has become a nightmare who lives opposite the street. it is very difficult for her to cross the st. because of the extra traffic and almost impossible to park a car in her driveway. it is also a pity that the emergency dept, at withington hospital is now closed. we made many visits there. it was so convenient.
Reader Message: Dear Aidan

You show a detailed knowledge of the Withington Hospital area even though you live in New York, USA, I'm impressed! You're absolutely right. As for the closure of the A&E department - the trend is to relocate services on large single sites. The field you mention is also the site of Siemens Manchester office, one of my favourite contemporary buildings (picture to follow).

Name: Phil Hart
From or connections with: Oldham
Present Location: Oldham
Subject: Old BBC Studio
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I have been searching the web for a photo of the old BBC Studio.
The old Wesleyan Church in Dickenson Road Rusholme but without success.
My own website is all about music charts past and present.
I am look for a photo that I could use as I my intention is to include a page on my website about the history of Top Of The Pops.
I thought it would be great to have a photograph of where it began in 1964.
If you come across a website with a photo of this old studio I would be more than greatful.
I could then contact the webmaster to ask permission to use it.
My website is at
Thanks in anticipation

What a co-incidence you mention the BBC studio - Have a look further down this page for some interesting TOTP memories. The place where you might find a photo of the church is in the Central Library Local Studies Unit. I will have a look the next time I am there to see if they have a picture of the church. That site is now occupied by houses, but a blue plaque commemorates its illustrious film, tv and musical connections.

Piccadilly, as seen from the south east corner of the square, next to Newton Street. The Manchester City Council-sponsored office building now under construction on what used to be Piccadilly Gardens will block this view of Piccadilly Plaza.

Name: Andrew Bowyer
From or connections with: Atherton
Present Location: Atherton
Subject: The "Manchester Metropolitan Region"?
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I was perusing your site - always useful to know what the other side are thinking! - and was amazes to discover the same sort of nonsense being talked about "Greater Manchester" as led to the creation of that short-lived and unloved institution (the GMC) in the seventies.
Two almost wilful blind spots seem to handicap Mancuniocentric thinking. One myth is that the area within a five to twenty-mile radius of Piccadilly is uniformly suburban, and grew up as a result of people "moving out", thus robbing Manchester of the rates support for services it continued to provide. Your correspondent Rory McLoughlin (ex-GMC employee?) illustrates this when he talks of the middle-class flight to a prestigious Cheshire address. He thinks we should leave the Cheshire identity to the good folk of Wilmslow.
But what of that far larger area and population to the north of Manchester? There was never anything very prestigious about a Lancashire address - but it served and continues to provide a sense of identity much larger, more deeply rooted and in fact more truly regional than "Greater Manchester" can. I have always lived (unlike Mr McLoughlin) at a Manchester postal address - but do not consider myself a Mancunian. The progress of towns such Bolton was from rural to urban - with a life and hinterland of their own, and a whole web of complex relationships to their neighbours. This is the mark of the true conurbation - rather than the city region. Indeed, this disparateness is the hallmark of urbanization in northern England. It has been the experience of several towns that the distorting term "Greater Manchester" puts them at a disadvantage- making them sound peripheral, when in fact, in regional terms they are pretty central. Wigan in particular springs to mind.
Indeed, Wigan at 18 miles, is the same distance from Manchester as is Macclesfield, and a good deal further away than Wilmslow!
The other blind spot is that, unlike the south east, there exists in our region a mere thiry-five miles to the west another important centre: it is called Liverpool. In fact, Manchester seems to have developed a fear of a true regionalism; a far cry from the days when the arms of the City and Lancashire could stand together, as in the Central Library. Manchester prefers to see the region in the context of the city, and has become wary about doing things the other way round. Of course, Manchester has important regional functions, which we should all like to continue to support; but it should not be a foregone conclusion, as it sometimes is in planning circles, that what is good for Manchester is per se good for the rest of the North West.
As to the jibe about Bolton's seeking city status and Manchester as an internationally recognised brand- qué? Don't you mean "Manchester United"? Most people cannot think of anything else offhand. Names matter, because identity matters. Europe, yes - Greater Germany, no; London, yes, regional Britain treated as an extended Metroland, no. Perhaps a little less hubris would help us to lower our defences! In any case, with the developing regional assembly, Manchester just might find itself outgunned if it continues to parade its Piccadilly parochialism as a regional model. Let us hope our councils have the guts to reject yesteryear's model, and go for a truly regional future: "Lancashire & Cheshire".
I have been going over your contribution in my mind since you sent it and it throws up a lot of points. Your views are certainly a counter-weight to the Mancunocentric people. I am not one of those people and please don't refer to me as 'The Other Side'! I am Eyewitness 'in' Manchester, but I also go into neighbouring areas which may or may not be considered as Manchester. There is no doubt that the local area has a serious problem of identity. What do we call this area? I'm not sure about Lancashire and Cheshire, as Lancashire stetches far up towards the Lake District, and southern Cheshire is almost the midlands. I have a regional road map from the 1950's which I bought in a second hand bookshop in Halifax. It shows the conurbation which stretches from The Wirral and Liverpool in the west to Oldham, Glossop and Stockport in the east. The name of the area is given at the top of the map. They have called it - quite correctly - Merseyside - i.e. the area along the Mersey, which begins in Stockport and flows into the Irish sea at Liverpool. Maybe that's the name the north west metropolitan region should have been called in 1974.

Name: John Hines
From or connections with: Cheetham.
Present Location: Kiama N.S.W. Australia
Subject: Cheetham
EWM Photo: Temple School. Heath Street School.
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
It's been many years since I last saw Manchester. I went to the Temple School Cheetham Hill from 1935 - 1940 and then to Heath Street School. I remember the Blitz, the bombing of the Jewish Hospital. Elizabeth Street Park. We lived at 21 Herbert Street next to the British Queen Pub. My Grandparents lived at 42 Herbert Street. Hiding in the basement from the German Bombs. The number 12 or 13 Tram to Albert Square. I wonder if any of the places are still standing. I delivered Papers in Cheetham from Mr Morts Newsagents. I was confirmed in 1948 at St John's Church on Waterloo Rd. I read your article about Barneys Croft. I remember a time when my friend and I fought some Gypsies who tried to pinch our bikes. They use to camp there. If you would let me know something about the modern Cheetham Hill, the Temple School, Heath Street School, Cheetham Hill Baths where I learnt to swim. Memories of the old Manchester are still with me.
Regards. John Hines
The next extended feature I do is going to be on Cheetham Hill. This area seems to be mentioned by a large number of people contributors to these pages, and it has a mixture of many strands of Manchester life. Though it has changed enormously, many of the buildings are still there. I hope to present Cheetham Hill in photos and articles in early 2002.

Name: John Hines
From or connections with: Cheetham
Present Location: Kiama N.S.W. Australia
Subject: Derby Street Jewish School
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
Going through your EWM you showed me something that I have wanted to know for years. In 1933 to 1934 I attended the Jewish School in Derby Street. I remember it very well, and the big iron staircase at the back where I sat and ate my Banana Sandwich, although I am not jewish I was accepted into that school our teacher, Miss Vitofski, (Spelling of name not sure.) We all loved that teacher and she moved to the Temple School Cheetham Hill at the same time as I did. What wonderful memories you bring back to me. I guess theres not many people remember the school or the Senior Service cigarette Factory across the road. The Daily Chronicle Newspaper Building where my father worked as a Salesman. The delivery Boy who picked me up on a Friday and took me all the way to Herbert Street in the basket on the front of his delivery bike.
Thank you very much
John Hines. (Known at school as Jackie)
Don't thank me, thank the Manchester Jewish Museum, who organised the walking tour of Cheetham. All I did was summarise the information and capture the locations in photographs. Hope you find some of your ex-classmates.

The picture whose internet address is given on the left, is actually the new multi-storey car park on Piccadilly.

Name: Annette Collins
From or connections with: Rochdale, Manchester Central, Seddeville, Crumprall, Broughton, Salford.
Present Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Subject: Tootals Warehouse
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
I enjoyed looking at the photo of the Tootals Warehouse but not being familiar with Manchester was not sure if I had the correct photo as it was not beside the wording about the warehouse. Could you confirm if I have the correct photo.

My Great Grandfather, Albert Victor Ellis(b. 1870) worked at Tootals in Manchester. I am therefore interested to find out more history on the company and if there were any employee details available that might tell me what he did, how long he worked there etc.
I also am connected to the Collins's in Manchester who had William Collins Fruit Market in the city. Several family members had fruit markets around the 1930's there.
Any information on the above issues would be gratefully received.
Annette Collins
I don't have any info on the above subjects, but knowing the encyclopaedic knowledge of some readers of these pages, I'm sure someone 'out there' will have the answer. The Tootals Building is the one on the left of the picture. Their name is on the front of the building, but they have long since moved out. Has anyone got any further information on this?

Ringway Road is seen here at dusk. Just half a mile along this road is Manchester International Airport. Planes fly low over Ringway Road on their final approach to Runway 1.

Name: John Bull
Website: From or connections with: City Centre
Present Location: Stockport
Subject: Volunteers Needed 001ewm/md/man_apt_ringwayrd_dusk.jpg 001ewm/md/che_wilmslow_tc_dusk_1X30.jpg
Reader Message: Dear Aidan
With the cold weather homeless people are more vulnerable at this time of year than ever and we desperately need volunteers for our Night Outreach Soup/Tea runs (full training is provided). We have recently finished our Christmas project which should (judging by past perfomances) have been very successful. If your readers are interested would they please visit our site, where they can request more information.
The picture URL is one off our site, but it is in Manchester!
Very glad to hear from you. I admire the work of groups such as yours and I'm thankful that after I've been out in the cold taking photographs for Eyewitness in Manchester, I have a home to go back to!

Name: Evelyn Holmes- Kaskandar
From or connections with: Whitefield and Bury
Present Location: New Port Richey, Florida, USA
Subject: Has so much really changed in Manchester?
EWM Photo:
Reader Message: Dear Aidan,
Hi there!
I am an American.I lived in Manchester for six months in 1988. I returned for another six month stay in 1990-91.
I absolutely loved living in Bury, and in Whitefield....even stayed for a bit in Craweshawe Booth (forgive me if it's mispelled).
I wanted to look at some pictures of the area and came upon your site. I am very happy with alot of the pictures I have seen.
I am not so sure if I am happy it has changed so much. Would I even recognise it from when I was there?
How many American type restaurants do you have there now?
I sure wouldnt mind it any, if any of the people I used to know wanted to send me a few lines in the email. Any and all of the people who remember me, that is. :)
I really do miss it. The thing that I think I miss most about living in Manchester is the surrounding countryside. The hills around Bury, and the tower on the hill...what was it called? I used to frolic in Heaton Park all the time. The landscape is just remarkable.
It was nice to see the old daily express building. My ex boyfriend, a wonderful guy, and his father Ken Beresford were long time employees of the Daily Express. I took a few tours in that building, drank in their special pub for workers, and had my 18th birthday party in a pub across the street.
Seeing all of the pictures of the building really brought back wonderful memories of a happy time in my life.
One last thing as I wrap things up...I love the picture of Alderley Edge, I myself took a dusk/dark ride and walk through the woods to the edge.....very spooky.... :)
You wouldnt happen to have any good ones of Pendle HIll would you?
Oh so many rich vivid memories. Would I still remember my way around?
Thank you for taking the time to read over my novel. I tend to write what I think, without thinking how much space I take.
I appreciate the chance to speak.
Thank you,
all of my best wishes to your family,
From mine,
Evelyn Holmes- Kaskandar
Very nice indeed to receive your message and I'm glad that the photographs I take bring back good memories for you. Often when I take photos of places familiar to me, I'm attempting to bring back some of my own memories. The monument on the hilltop near Bury is the Peel Monument, recently re-opened after refurbishment. It's great to hear an American enthusing about our local area. I also have great memories of New York, where I spent 3 months in 1981.

The Gaumont, Oxford Street, photographed by Berne Leng in the 1940's. Half a century later, this site is now occupied by a multi-storey car park.

Name: Berne Leng
From or connections with: Kersal
Present Location: Littlehampton West Sussex
One of the great things about the EWM site are the readers messages that bring back long lost memories to us geriatric Mancunians.
The November batch was no exception, a Mr Livesey in York asked if there had been a tunnel under Deansgate between the two Kendal Milne stores and the answer is yes, I used to love as a kid going into one store, down to the basement through the tunnel, up to the ground floor and reappearing on the opposite side of the road.
Alan Whyatt of Australia remembers Cussons Imperial Leather factory at Kersal Vale. So do I. The number 2 bus used to travel from Moor Lane down the hill and stop outside the factory. All the locals made sure they were not on the 5:00pm bus as the factory emptied and the bus reeked of the heavy, heavy perfume that was used in the soap production. All the windows were quickly opened.
Barbara Furness of Accrington recalls the Gaumont restaurant and worked there at the same time as myself. This was situated above the entrance foyer and overlooked the entrance area to the stalls. We screened an advert for the restaurant followed by the golden gates opening of Theatre Publicity presents. Stanley Tudor the organist would play Tea for Two for the restaurant and a fanfare for the Golden Gates sequence. At the evening performance the restaurant was closed so we started with the Golden Gates bit, trouble was Stanley frequently forgot which performance he was doing and we got Tea for Two much to our amusement.
She also recalls the Fatted Calf pub, if I recall correctly this was at the bottom end of Market Street and reached down a side alley.
I worked opposite one time at the ILA Mans Shop. This was on a corner and the side street went down to the Manchester Guardian and Manchester Evening News building. Next door to us was another pub called the Thatched House. The fascia beneath our shop windows was of marble and every morning I had to go out with a bucket and mop and wash down the marble near the pub which their patrons had liberally sprayed the night before. Happy Days !.
Tony Walsh of Prestatyn remembers Cromwells statue. This stood at the bottom of the slope leading up to Victoria and Exchange Stations. It originally faced the station but when Queen Victoria made a visit she stated that she would not be driven down the slope 'with that man facing her', the statue was turned around to face the cathedral.
Kathy Brockwell of Stockport remembers the Gaumont, next door was the Tootal building the management offices provided great entertainment to the male staff at the Gaumont opposite as they were unaware we could see in at the sexual practices being offered by the secretaries and down that side street stood the famous Peveril of the Peak, famous because that is where the chief projectionist and House Engineer spent their evenings whilst we kept the show going.
The Paramount office was situated behind the Odeon because that was originally the Paramount Cinema, and we may have met Kathy as I spent quite a bit of time catching and throwing out those who crept in through the side door, heading up the stairs to the rear circle.
Keep the letters coming in folks I love them and may I also thank all those who wrote following my article on Manchester Cinemas, once my computer room is reorganised I might well expand on the subject with another article and Aidans co-operation in publishing it.
Berne Leng.

After your remarks about the Tootals building activities, I'll have to park in the new car park which occupies the Gaumont site and have a peep from the top level... to take Oxford Street from a different angle of course, not for any other reason! Thanks very much for your insights. I'm amazed at how the locations I photograph revive long lost memories in the minds of so many people. It's obvious that our memories are strongly linked to physical locations - streets, buildings, pubs, shops - that's why it can be such a traumatic experience for people when they return and discover that these locations have changed or disappeared completely. Having said that, the city must move forward, and Manchester is changing much faster than most other cities. I look forward to receiving many more of your glimpses of life in a different Manchester to the one I see around me today.

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