|READER MESSAGES Dec 03 - Feb 04|
Hi Aidan, Happy New Year to you and all your readers. Just had to let you know how much we enjoyed the photos on January 2004/Manchester in the snow. It is so nostalgic to see everything looking like a white wonderland. I was a schoolgirl in the early fifties and I was usually the first to tread a path through the snowfalls as I delivered the newspapers before school, and before the milkman started his rounds. A cold/wet/freezing experience but wonderful to be the first imprint on the snow. It seems there was much more snow in my youth, or is that more selective memory like the sunny summer days?
We have lived in Australia for 39 years but still remember walking through the snow - it's like a completely different world in the snow isn't it? Here at the moment 4/2/2004 we are in Summer and it is anything from 29c to 38c degrees so the snow looks even more inviting!
We send you our best regards Aidan and look forward to another year of wonderful photos out and about in Manchester.
Eunice and Bob Barnwell
Thanks very much for your message ĐThe snow only lasted for a day or so - by the weekend it had turned mild and the snow seemed like a distant memory. The winters were definitely colder 40 and 50 years ago, itŐs not just selective memory! Some say it's due to global warming, but I'm not sure. Here's a snowy Angel Meadow Park, also known as St Michael's Flags or the Plague Burial Ground, taken during the second occasion of snowfall in Manchester on 27 Feb 04.
Subject: Atora suet
Love looking at your site, its Xmas Day and I am a bit homesick, so thought I would browse through for a taste of home, I saw the letter regarding Atora Suet, I worked at Hugon's between 1955 and 1959 loved it, it was my first job at the age of 15, it was a family affair and at the time of me working there was owned by two sisters, Old mister Hugon left in his will for us all to have a picnic every year and a special train was hired once a year which took us to Blackpool, we also were given a packed lunch to eat on the train, then we went to a flash restaurant in Blackpool for tea.
I think one of the sisters was called Louise Hugon, I was an addressograph
operator there, and can remember having to do the mail for the sisters
and still remember one was called Louise. Why I remember is that a colleague
typed a letter one day and put Lousie Hugon instead of Louise. I remember
us laughing and the name sticks in my mind, I think the building is still
standing, which was in Ogden Lane, I have many happy memories of that
first job, I think it was taken over by a firm called Lin-Can, that did
canned products, peas and other things. I hope this has been a help for
your readers, there used to be a few old paintings of the members of the
family on the walls of the office, I wonder what happened to those? With
Very interesting - An addressograph operator! Great job title! Thanks very much for the information.
I meant to tell you that I have a book called "Manchester 50 years ago". It is set in the early 18th century, and includes a map of the time. The writer is by the name of J. M. Slugg. Have you read it by any chance. The funniest thing is that it was printed in Shannon, Co Clare. I don't have the book with me as I am typing this at work, but during the holidays ahead I will send you more details of it.
I am still trying to trace my friend Annis Schilling - (nee Dillon). She was a very good friend of my first husbands (R.I.P.) and mine. She lived in New Moston, not very far from the Graveyard/Cemetery. She used to live in Whalley Range with her mother and sister before her marriage. If there is anyone out there who knows what happened to her or where she is - please feel free to get in touch with me.
Thank you Aidan for your help.
Patricia O'Driscoll, Shanaknock, Anacarty, Co Tipperary
I've not heard of the book "Manchester 50 years ago" I'd be interested to find out more about it. Thanks very much for your comments
Regarding the Schools mentioned in another email, there seems to have been an error on my part. What I need to know is this:
I have tried to get information from various places/sites, but was unable to do so. I look forward to hearing from someone who knows about these things - you maybe, even a direction to the correct website would do. Thanks for all your help. Oh yes, I found my friend Annis Schilling, through the 'In Touch' Section of Manchesteronline, great work indeed. I had not spoken to her since 1974.
Glad you found your friend Annis and hope someone will be able to help with these questions.
Subject: Salford Royal Hospital. 1975 to 1978
I was fascinated to find your features about the Salford area. I did my nursing training at Salford Royal Hospital in 1975. I was a cadet Nurse first then went on to do my enrolled nurse training until 1978 when I left to go to Sheffield. I am now living near Bristol and am still in the NHS
I would love to hear from anyone who was at the hospital during that time, if it is possible to put this messages on your site.
Helen Silvers (Nee Dunks)
Thanks for your comments!
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 2:45 pm
On a sadder note, visiting my mum before she died in Salford Royal Hospital where many years before her sister had been recovering from an injury sustained during the blitz later sheltering from the continuing blitz with the nurses. She lived to tell the tale complete with shrapnel remaining in both feet. Like you I vividly remember old Manchester and Salford, the cobbled streets with corner shops, the bombed out areas at the ends of some streets, the old foundries, the parks and the transport. We returned most weekends to visit my grandparents until they too moved so witnessed a lot of the initial changes firsthand. I worked for 8 years in the centre of Manchester on Deansgate and gasp now when I return occasionally at all the many changes. The area where I was born has long since gone and with it a complete slice of history. All the toil and hardship of the terraced houses and the warmth and feeling of belonging to a community never to be found again in the high rise monstrosities that replaced them.
I would dearly love to get hold of a street map to be able to show my kids what it used to be like - so far I haven't been able to determine the right area as many of the old maps are very specific in small areas, however I will persevere. Strange, that even after living out of the Manchester area for some 22 years now I still regard it as home despite the fact that nothing of my first home remains. The council house where I was brought up still stands but the area is much changed (and not for the better!).
Both parents have since died, too soon and left me with a thirst for certain nostalgia for a time gone by. Hard to express to others. now living in a very rural area in Oxfordshire, without sounding as though I had just come out of a Monty Python sketch. Thanks for transporting back even for a short time and reminding me of the music of the era.
My photographs are not old, they are of the contemporary city, but it's amazing how some people view them as a window back in time. Despite all the changes, much of what we see around is a product of the Victorian era. I enjoy photographing everything from ancient monuments to futuristic developments and everything in between, including Salford Museum (above right)! Thanks for your comments which are very interesting.
Subject: Corpus Christi, Manchester
Search online for Manchester City Council images of Manchester.
EWM - Request
Would be grateful if you can run something like this, or perhaps point me in the direction of where I could find the information. Any pictures of Coverdale Crescent, Ardwick would be great as well.
I am planning a feature on present-day Hulme. At the Central Library there are some excellent archive photos of the Crescents and of the old streets from the 1950's. Go to the This is how Hulme looks today, as ween from the Mancunian Way. That's the spire of St Mary's Church, now no longer used as a church..
Subject: Castlefield Rd
Thank you for a most interesting site and keep up the good work.
You'll find a fantastic collection of local photographs from Ardwick at the Archives and Local Studies Unit at Manchester Central Library. The photos can be selected and viewed on computer screens. I have spent many hours transfixed by the photos there. The staff there are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, so I'd definitely recommend you contact them.
Thanks for pointing that out - I always get them mixed up!
That sounds great, but I think it's best if you publish the photos on your own website, and I can link to it if you link back to this one. I'm sure many people would be interested in the 'gargoyles' project, I certainly am. Here's a gargoyle from the Victoria Fountain Albert Square.
Subject: Wilton st Denton
In my free time i spend reading on local history.And i take photo's of the local area.With the development of the new shopping complex almost complete. I took it upon myself to keep a photographic record of now since gone. Wilton st and the neighbouring streets close to it.the houses, hat factory, cinema, church, etc...Just prior to their demolition.
These photographs I keep in the hope that they could be used as historical reference some time. So I wondered whether or not these photographs would be any use to you to use on your website.
As Eyewitness in Manchester is a showcase for my own photographs, I can't publish photo collections by others. I would advise you very strongly to set up your own website with your photos of the Wilton St redevelopment. This way, you will retain control of your copyright material and develop the site in your own way. In fact I would be interested in facilitating a network of Manchester-related websites by people like you, all linked to each other. Good luck with the project and please keep in touch.
Enjoyed looking at the pictures of Ardwick as I was brought up in the 50's in West Gorton and know the area well. A bit suprised you didn't mention the "red reck" on Bennet street, site of many football matches and scraped knees! My father spent the first few years of his married life in Mathews St.(No.11 & No.1) I haven't been down there recently so I don't know if that street is still standing.
Ardwick was at one time a very select area to live in, and the people
didn't wish to be confused with those from Gorton or Chorlton on Med.
Wow, you have educated me on a couple of things. It's amazing how in Manchester we fail to recognise the importance of local heritage - Elizabeth Gaskell's hosue on Plymouth Grove is standing unused and in need of repair, the pub on Hyde Rd where Manchester City Football Club originated was demolished in 2001 and now you tell me that Mother Annie Lee, the founder of the Shaker movement was born in Ardwick and the house has been demolished! Our city won't be truly regenerated until we open our eyes to the wealth of hidden history that's around us. Here's St Benedict's Church, another building at risk.
Lorraine N. Cohen (nee Graham)
probably - there are many similarities between English and Dutch - There's
a town not far from Amsterdam called 'Broek in Waterland'. Different pronunciation,
but the words are very similar to English. Here's Nicholl's School, now
part of Mancat (Manchester college of Arts and Technology).
very interesting - Best of luck with the book.
The palm house is still there, though not in the condition it used to be. The nearby Lancashire Mining Museum has sadly closed.
I used to know every street around Manchester and Cheetham and helped out (in a small way) when the Jewish Hospital in Elizabeth St was bombed. Like every city in the world, and I have travelled to many there will always be changes, some good some bad. But change they will. My wife and I look in your messages for people who went to Whitworth Street Girls High School in the 1940s. My wife Iris met a schoolfriend in New York last September. It was due to your Readers Messages. We all thank you and keep up the good work
Regards John Hines.
Maybe another name for this page should be 'Mancunians Together'! I'm always amazed when people meet via my reader messages! Thanks for your messages.
We lived in Lytham Avenue, Chorlton. I was lucky to have grandmothers who lived on trolleybus lines, in Ardwick (Viaduct St, bet that's no more!) and Moston (Amos St), while my mother's brother was in Oldham with the no.23 tram direct. (Indecently soon after the war they substituted buses so the creaking but beautiful trams were no more.) Esoteric travel, probably explaining my lifelong interest in public transport.
My memories of Manchester are of a cold, dank, rainy and run-down place which I never wanted to see again but recently I have found a renewed interest. A friend tells me this is a natural trend and points out I'm getting older. Surely not.
The New Revitalised Manchester that I see and read about in your excellent EWM with its photos and individualistic captions, seems an entirely different place. I think I shall visit soon. Meanwhile, keep up the good work!
very much for your message, which is beautifully written.
Great work again Aidan Ray
That crash has been lost from the Manchester collective memory, unlike the Munich air disaster, which involved famous and well-loved footballers. But the victims of the Irk Valley crash also deserve to be remembered. Amazing that there are plenty of people about who remember seeing it, including yourself, Here's another view of the line. The steam train from Victoria Station should have turned onto this viaduct from the junction ahead and to the left, but it never made it.
Subject: Longsight & Lev. history. from J. Suth. Canada.
Date: Sunday, January 11, 2004 19:43
Pleased you added my letter to your site. Incidently I left the A.T.S in 1947 not 1943 as I seemed to have typed in my letter.
Read one of your letters and saw the comment about the bus terminus. Albert Rd near Crossley Road??? Surely the small terminus was on Stockport Road opposite to the Monarch Laundry, at the end of the small row of shops and not far from "Isherwoods" garage and on the same side as the garage and the laundry and just on the Stockport border.
My husband Tom Arnold, was a bus driver in M/C from 1947 to 1986. Worked at Parrs Wood depot then Birchfields which I believe is now gone. Interested to hear from a friend that the Express Dairy building is also gone and flats built there now.
Going back a little further. When I was very much younger and living in Methuen St, before the war, I remember a housing estate being built on a field opposite Norton Ave. Norton Ave and Wiltshire Ave formed a right angle and the field was in front. When the houses were built they filled the whole area. Hemmons Rd. Ringwood (or was it Ringway) Ave. The interesting bit is that the sunshine semis as they were called were two hundred and fifty pounds and the ones with two rooms were three hundred pounds. I can remember playing among the houses as they were being built. My parents thought they were expensive. Seems odd to-day but then of course wages may have been about two pounds a week, if the 'man of the house' had a job. My Mum's next door neighbour was considered well off because her husband earned three pounds a week. How things change.
Glad to read that Levenshulme is being improved. The last time I saw it nearly three years ago I thought it looked awful.
Before the war the children in our area went to Gorton Mount school and then probably to Spurley Hey if they didn't pass the 11plus or their parents couldn't afford the fees to send them to Lev. High or Burnage High.
Scholarships available if parents 'hard up' but a little stigma attached.
As I remember fees for Lev. High were six guineas a term.
Thanks for your comments - Levenshulme has improved considerably since I did the feature. I was driving through it last night. The former church and cinema is covered in scaffolding. There are new shop signs and some buildings under renovation and construction. Thanks for your information about Levenshulme.
One thing that surprised me when visiting with my father in 1987 was how close everything was. I used to think that Plymouth Grove School was hours away from Morton Street, that Platt Fields was an afternoon hike, and that ConM was practically in the south.
Does anyone else remember Pownalls when the Army was billeted there -
the Pay Corps I understand. There was one officer of the Black Watch who
seemed to be marching down the road every day when I was going to school.
very close to the areas you mention, in fact I was in the play area next
to Mrs Gaskell's House with Adele this week. What's there today is very
different to what was there fifty years ago. It's amazing how your sense
of scale changes with time. The 'data bank' idea is a good way of describing
it - It's sort of what the messages on this page are, a data or memory
bank about Manchester past and present.
Do you actually have an architectural qualification?? And if so, how much did it cost you?? Perhaps you should leave the critical comments to someone else, who understands what it is that a city such as Manchester does and does not need.
Well, I certainly didn't 'insult' modern and innovative buildings like the Urbis Centre, the Expressnetworks development, No1 Deansgate, the Green Quarter, the Beetham Tower, Urban Splash Boxworks and Timber Wharf developments, the Imperial War Museum North, the Lowry, the Lowry Hotel, the new Piccadilly Station, the new Royal Bank of Scotland, all of which I think are very good indeed. Like many other people, I have criticised the Hacienda, the Piccadilly Gardens development and a few others.
You don't need an architectural qualification to express your opinion about the city around you, any more than you need a musical qualification to express your likes and dislikes in music. And to use the word 'insult' in this context would suggest a high level of intolerance towards dissenting views, something we are seeing more and more of nowadays.
You have failed to take in the entire scope of the photo feature and have merely picked out two items and jumped to conclusions. And by the way I didn't say I like the Ropeworks, I merely said it showed a "more design-conscious approach to its upper sections".
You have also completely missed the point of what I am doing, which is to encourage people to express their opinion and share in the debate about the way our city is being altered and renewed. The fact that you took the trouble to contact shows that I must be doing something right!
The attitude of 'leave the development of Manchester to the professionals and don't consult the general public because they're ignorant an unqualified' is prevalent in some quarters, and part of the problem. In any case, my opinion is of no special value, I just enjoy documenting and commenting on the city and encouraging others to do likewise.
You obviously feel passionate about this issue, which is great, but you've allowed your passion to cloud your reading of what I wrote. I will continue to express my opinions and give people like you the opportunity to express theirs and one way or another we will all help to bring about a better Manchester.