Piccadilly Gardens, 1950's. Picture courtesy of the Museum of Transport, Manchester. This spring or summertime view shows Mancunians sitting on the benches quietly enjoying the sunshine and flowers. The statue, featuring nude figures, was later moved to a more unobtrusive spot at the Portland Street end, here overlooked by the blackened facade of what is now the Portland Hotel. The "Black & White" whisky advert is clearly visible on the rooftop at the London Road corner.
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New Year 1958 started with storms and flooding. In Manchester the River Mersey burst its banks at Cheadle and Northenden . And at Bramhall Lane, Stockport , Miss Iris Smedley, aged 16, narrowly missed being hit by a falling chimney next to her home. The incident occurred during high winds. The forecast was for further strong winds, with hail, thunder and snow on high ground.
It was double trouble for Manchester's morning commuters when a lorry collided with a furniture van at the intersection of London Road and Whitworth Street. Half an hour later, there was a trolley bus cable fault in Ashton Old Road, causing massive disruption. Many workers got off the bus and walked the rest of the way to work.
Angry ratepayers in Moss Side complained about the lack of traffic control at junctions with Princess Road and Lloyd Street. Gwynneth Pritchard, 52, was the latest of many victims on that stretch of road. She was killed when her car was involved in a collision.
Lymm, near Warrington was to become the next Manchester overspill town for 60,000 of the city's inner city residents. It was promised that there would be jobs in the 3160 acre new town for all those who wanted one. Those who were interested in moving a little further from Manchester could attend an illustrated talk on emigrating to Canada, held at the Central Hall, Oldham Street. Tickets, available from Thomas Cook's, were limited.
Ukrainians in Manchester were about to celebrate Christmas - today was Christmas Eve in the Orthodox church. There were 3000 Ukrainians in Lancashire. They met at clubs on Bury Old Road and in Cheetham Hill. The Ukrainian population is split between Roman Catholics and members of the Orthodox Church.
Attendants at the Princess Ballroom, Chorton-cum-Hardy were checking the trouser widths of teenagers at the Wednesday and Sunday rock'n'roll sessions. Anyone with a trouser leg under 16 inches in width wasn't allowed in. Long "zoot" jackets, as well as those not wearing a tie, were banned. The reason: "One or two rough incidents".
Rent or Buy? That was the question for prospective TV viewers in January 1958, as more and more people joined the television age. You could rent a standard tv for nine shillings a week, or perhaps you might prefer a 17" Sobell model for 10 bob a week. There were two channels, BBC and Independent Television - at that time the independent station seen in Manchester was ATV. If you didn't have a telly, there were plenty of cinemas to go to, including the Odeon, the Gaumont and the Gaiety, on Peter Street where you could see "The Pajama Game" starring Doris Day. Showing in Warnercolor!
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With Harold Macmillan ("You've Never Had It So Good") in Number Ten, the year started off in confident mood: Economic prospects for 1958 were good - the pound was strong against the dollar and the mark.
Edmund Hillary was on an expedition to the South Pole
19 year old Dutch maid Mary Creik was found brutally murdered near Colchester
Words by Aidan O'Rourke based on reports in the Manchester Evening News. Picture courtesty of the Museum of Transport, ManchesterFANCY A FLASHBACK? WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN MANCHESTER ON YOUR BIRTHDAY, OR SOME OTHER IMPORTANT DATE? PLEASE CONTACT