Wednesday, 31 August 2016

So what was going on at All Saints in Weaste on July13 1912?

Now here is a mystery worthy of investigation.

We are at All Saints Church in Weaste on July 13 1912 and it would be fun to know exactly what was going in.

Of course the most obvious suggestion would a fete or perhaps even a celebration of the establishment of the church which “began as the mission church of St. Paul in the parish of St. Luke's was built in 1903, extended by Rev. Theodore Emmott, and consecrated as All Saints on 31 January 1910. 

An Order in Council, 19 July 1910 (London Gazette, 26 July) assigned part of St. Luke's parish to All Saints.

In 1949 the parishes were re-united as St. Luke with All Saints.”*

It was situated on the Eccles New Road with its vicarage at nu 542 close to Stott Lane.

Now some at least of the records of the church are in the Manchester Archives and Local Studies centre so

I may find a clue there to this event and a trawl of the papers might also turn something up.**

July 13 1912 was a Saturday and if I wanted to be really nerdy I guess I could find out the weather for the day.

But I shall close with that name on the bottom left hand corner which is a G Greenhalgh who may have been the photographer and who may also have been responsible for turning it into a picture postcard.

I found a George Fredrick Greenhalgh at 17 Derby Street but there is no listing of him as having a photographic studio.

Not that any of this detracts from what is a nice photograph of an unknown event in Salford in 1912 and leaves me to ponder on whether any of those staring out at us were related to the men who appear on the All Saints War Memorial now in St Lukes.***

Location; Salford

Picture; All Saints in Weaste on July13 1912, a picture postcard from the collection of David Harrop

*The National Archives,

** Manchester Archives and Local Studies

***Salford War Memorials,

Greenwich Park, and moment a full 45 years ago .......... nu 2 from the river

It will be a full 45 years ago but the memory of that walk through Greenwich Park on a Saturday in September 1971 has never left me.

I was in my second year at Manchester Poly and the pull of Well Hall and the family were still strong and so
I found myself back home with three friends.

Lois was from Weston and Mike and John from Leeds and we travelled down from Manchester in John’s van on the Friday night.

Even now I have to say I haven’t forgotten the kindness of David Hatch who agreed to put Lois, Mike and John up on his floor.

It was a brief stay and most of it is a blur except for the walk from the gates on the Blackheath side through the park to Wolf’s statue, the observatory and that view down to the river.

At any time of the year that short stroll is pretty good but in late autumn it is magic.  The leaves are on the turn and the bright sunlight can still surprise you with its degree of warmth and the way it brings out the colours all around you.

Now we never made it across the river but had we I am sure we would have been rewarded with a view like this.

All of which just leaves me to reflect on the postcard which was marketed in the USA and carried the imprint of the American YMCA of which there must be a story, but not for now.

Location; Greenwich

Picture; Greenwich Park, 1905 from the series Greenwich, marketed in 1911-12 by Tuck & Sons, courtesy of Tuck DB,

The Four freedoms, Free Speech 2 Speaking

Gary Betney

A series of pictures taken in the 1990s debating the future of the National Health Service

Picture; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Old Road in the 1890s

Now the Old Road has always been special to me. 

It ran from Hardy Lane down past the Brook into the village by the church and then off across Turn Moss to Stretford.

Over the years it has had many names and bits of it have been renamed from time to time.

Strictly speaking it was never known as the old road for there are equally old roads, lanes and track ways which ran out of the township.

But unlike the others it has retained much of its rural character.  True if you start at Hardy Lane you are presented with a modern road followed by the “stumps” which lead into the ville and the stretch past the school, round the church and along Ivygreen Road is pretty urban, but where it becomes Hawthorn Lane it still has the power to transport you back to the early 19th century.

Here it becomes a narrow twisty lane with the remains of hedges along its path, the 18th century weir clearly visible through the trees and finally the raised platform underneath the canal built to protect travellers from the farm wagons passing on their way to Stretford.

All of which makes this picture and those to follow over the next few weeks rather special.  They capture something of the charm and magic of the old road.  This one is from around 1890.  Despite the fashions of the couple staring at the camera which dates it to the late 19th century it could be any time over the last few hundred years.

The horse and cart add to the almost timelessness of the image, but hard by where the road ran into Stretford was a modern railway line, and just over a mile and a bit in the other direction was new Chorlton with its rows of recently built houses catering for the middling people who travelled into town from the newly opened Chorlton train station but still lacked the idea of living on the edge of the countryside.

Picture; from the Lloyd collection

Lost and forgotten streets of Manchester nu 29 ............... the one with two names

Now I have never walked the entire length of West Mosley Street which starts at Princess Street, and ends at Marble Street.

If I did I would cross first Nicholas Street, then Charlotte Street and lastly York Street.

It was there by the 1790s but twenty years earlier the area was just open land.

It is one of the twisty little streets which originally began at Dickinson Street which ran along the north side of St Peter’s Church

Today both of church and most of Dickinson Street have now gone, although a short stretch of  the street does still exist from Portland Street into St Peter’s Square.

Sometime in the 20th century West Mosley Street acquired its present name, which before that was simply

Back Mosley Street.

Location; Manchester

Picture; West Mosley Street, 2016, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

The Four freedoms, Free Speech 1 Speaking

Andrew Simcock & Gerald Kaufman MP

A series of pictures taken in the 1990s debating the future of the National Health Service. 

Originaly issued last year.

In 1941 President Roosevelt spoke of looking forward to a world founded on "four essential freedoms." 

"Freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear."

Later Norman Rockwell turned them into four paintings of which my favourite is the first where a blue collar worker speaks at his local town council meeting. And it struck me as I looked around the hall that we were doing exactly the same thing.

Picture; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

Posting a letter at the Worsley Post Office ........ now that’s a zippy title

I am the first to admit that Posting a letter at the Worsley Post Office does not rank high as an imaginative title but there you are, sometimes you just have to say it as it is.

And today I am going to do one of those things I dislike when others post a picture with no supporting notes.

I don’t have a date, or the name of a photographer or anything else which would provide a context, other than that it was marketed by “Boots Cash Chemist” and was from their “Pelham Series.”

It’s not a lot but it does offer something to follow up.

I am not surprised that Boots were selling picture postcards, only that they were doing it so early.

The company was established in 1849, was sold to the American United Drug Company in 1920 and sold back into British hands in 1933.

Not that any of this helps with a date for our Post Office.

But someone will know.

Location; Worsley

Picture; Worsley Post Office, date unknown from the collection of David Harrop