Watch our short film about the Overspill project.
In March 2020, as the Overspill project was drawing to an end, the world went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here we explore what life in lockdown has been like some people in Langley.
In March 2020, as the Overspill project was drawing to an end, the world went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here we explore what life in lockdown has been like some people in Darnhill.
I remember from 3 or 4 years old there was six of us in a 2 bedroom house. We had an outside tipple toilet loo shared by three houses. Our mums took it in turns to clean it out. In the winter, we had frozen pipes, thick frost on the windows, gas lighting and candles […]
When I got married in 1975, we had a flat over the shops in Darnhill. When my son came along, we needed something bigger. We rented off a little old lady and the house was on Bamford Road. The house had an outside toilet and a tin bath by the fire. One new year, my […]
I thought we had moved to the countryside when we first moved onto here in April 1957. We had an indoor toilet and bathroom. They was still building the estate when we first came up. The first winter was shocking, the snow was up to our knees and we had chilblains. Sheila
I remember winter time, sledging on fields near where we lived, the bonfires on bonfire night and all the neighbours used to do black peas. I remember calling all the neighbours aunty and uncles. At night, we had to wear thick pyjamas and thick blankets. I remember the snow being up to the window sill. […]
I remember picking my son up from school and the frost rising from the ground and it was really really cold. There was only one bus and it was every half an hour. The rent was a lot less than now. I remember playing bingo in the school holidays at home. Christine
I was five when I moved to Langley. The first winter with the kids next door, the snow was up to my waist and I nearly vanished building a snow man. The windows were like frosted glass. When it was snowing blizzards and the coal man couldn’t get up the hill to deliver our coal, […]
I remember me and my brother getting a bread crate and sliding down the steps at the Moonraker pub. I remember Kevin Walshes getting licko and chocolate nibbles. I remember playing on the labour club when it was derelict. Louisa
I came from Harpurhey. Playing out in the snow and the snow coming over the top of my wellies. We would go and get warm by the fire, and half an hour later back out again. I remember the icicles on the bedroom window. I had my dad’s bus guard overcoat on my bed over […]
I remember when I was 4 and going down Wood Street on a sledge and a go cart. I remember Wood Street shops, going down a big hill facing the shops on a sledge. I remember my brother tying a riprap and chasing me about on bonfire night and putting loads of jacket potatoes in […]
I never lived on Langley but worked at St Mary’s Primary School on Wood Street. The school was being remodelled but was all over the place. On the grounds we had porta-cabins and we were in a tiny office. We were breaking up for the Christmas holidays and the school had to close very early […]
I was 7 when moved in 1953 from the pre-fabs. We moved to Finningley Road from Heaton Park. Lots of other neighbours moved to Darnhill and others to Langley. A lot of people moved from Heaton Park to Langley. My father did the water pipes for Langley and Darnhill. Catherine
This amazing photograph was shared with us by Margaret W. It shows Darnettes Jazz Band from Heap County School at one of their fund raising dances circa 1966/7. Margaret tells us that the majority of the band lived on or near Lanark Close, Darnhill. Do you recognise yourself?
The neighbourhood is dark and dreary, Boarded up houses, people weary. Pensioners with nowhere to go Families just putting on a show. Everyone trying to do their best Living their lives in this great big mess! That’s what I thought before I found Community centres all around. Places of activity Groups for them and for […]
We came in 55 from the prefabs What a lovely house! Gardens, indoor toilets and stairs for the first time – we ran up and down them all day long But winter in Langley was freezing No central heating so I’d warm my legs by a stove in the mornings drinking a cup of tea […]
My first Christmas was in 1967. My daughter Helen was 2 months old. It was lovely. We had Christmas dinner at my mother-in-laws. It was a lovely atmosphere. My husband was from Higher Openshaw. He came with his mum and dad. I came from Bacup so it was a smashing atmosphere, everybody was very friendly. […]
Where do I start? I was born in 1967 and we moved up from Clayton, Manchester. Darnhill was where everybody knew everybody, and was very friendly. As a kid growing up you didn’t dare do anything wrong as there was this one bobby we called him Sherlock and he used to ride around on a […]
I came to Langley with my mum and dad when I was just a baby and we lived in the flats on Rowrah Crescent just overlooking the Golf Course. I remember the coal fire we had and burning my fingers on a piece of coal. I was only about 4 or 5. I remember the […]
Above are some photos that we found in the archives at Middleton Library of the Langley overspill. As you can see, the library has a fantastic range of documents detailing the history of Langley and the growth of a community. We used these photographs in one of our workshops at Burnside Community Centre and asked […]
Church services and Sunday School were held in St. Margaret’s School for a number of years before we raised enough money to build a church. We were made welcome by the people from St. James’ Church and my school was very welcoming to all who came. My 3 children started school there. There was a […]
When St. Margarets Church played Christmas music every Christmas Eve they were the best days. For some reason they’ve stopped but, I would love nothing more than to hear them play Christmas songs again to share the memory with my children.
My Gran lived at the end house before the school on Sutherland Rd. She always sat in the window reading and when the children were going to school, she’d wave her hanky at them. When she died in 1989, they brought the children to the railings and they all waved a hanky. She was 93. […]
Grandad (my dads dad) had a ‘sell anything’ shop on Oldham Road. He did cycle and sewing machine repairs. One day, Gracie Fields called in wearing a fur coat because she’d seen a picture in the window. Mt grandad was thrilled and gave it to her for free. His dad was furious because they were […]
My Nana was offered housing in Darnhill and she said “I was born and bred in Collyhurst and I’ll stay in Collyhurst for the rest of my life!” And she did! She was born in 1945 just after WWII. Lewis
I moved to Darnhill from Salford (Bury New Rd. Strangeways area) in 1963 and that winter was very bad. In Salford, we had no electric, 1 cold tap, no hot water and a private landlord. At school, we used to talk about TV and I was very jealous. There was a running joke: ” have […]
My 5 daughters and son have grown up on Darnhill. They all went to Sutherland Rd School and each of them have done very well. The house we have is really nice with a large back garden, front garden and side of the house. We have always taken care of each garden, lots of flowers. […]
I moved to Darnhill from Fallowfield with my husband and 3 children in 1972. It seemed very strange, but after a few weeks of getting to know people I realised they had all been in the same boat. We all became friendly and soon became best friends, helping each other out. By this time, my […]
I’ve lived in Middleton for 80-odd years. My name is William, I was born in a cottage in Middleton. It was a very old terrace and on that road there was a small shop in one of the houses (which my maternal grandmother worked at). At the end of the row was a Co-operative Society […]
I remember when it was all fields up here. It started near Wood St. and it was all green. You’d look up Wood St. and all you’d see was green. We moved from Oldham to Clayton after the war and then we moved to a prefab on Victoria Avenue East in Middleton, near the Avenue […]
There was a row of shops on Bowness Road where my mum worked. I remember going to our local pub The Falcon with my dad and my uncle. I grew up on the estate and lived there until I was 26 when I met my future wife and we have been married for 30 years.
I came from Manchester, but I was born in Salford. When we arrived on Langley it was nice and peaceful and it was countryside. It was lovely. The house was nice and warm and our lawn was long. We cut the lawn singing ‘here we go again’. I remember my parents shouting me in the […]
I came from Wythenshawe and came to Langley in the 50’s. I lived on my own in a flat. It had a little bit of a garden and had one bedroom. It was all farmland and there was a corner shop. I met my husband in 1961, got married and we stayed in the flat. […]
We moved from Longsight to Coledale Drive in Langley when I was about 7 (1954ish) It took us several hours to find the house as the bus stopped a mile from where we were to live. It was late November, dark and deep snow. We eventually asked a gentleman passing by if he knew where […]
My paternal grandparents came here in the 1950s from Ancoats and Collyhurst. They lived on Brandlehow Drive before it was rebuilt.
My Aunty Lynda and Terrence have lived next door for 53 years. They are the original people from when the house was built. She has lived there for that long that when she bought the house it was only £14,000! L Ashton
The Overspill book was posted out to participants of the Overspill Project in September and October 2020. Copies of the book have also been made available for collection at Heywood, Middleton, Darnhill & Langley libraries. To read it online click the link below.
A selection of images from the Archives, courtesy of Archives +
The estate was all new and clean. We thought we’d moved to the country! Not many houses were here at the time – they were building new houses all around us, I lived with my granny till we moved to Langley. My mam had a tow up and two down at Newton Heath, outside toilet, […]
I lived in Collyhurst and moved to Bowness road in 1964. OMG there was such a huge difference! From cobbled streets, back yards, no bath or toilet inside – we felt like we were in the country. Posh! The first time I stepped inside Our Lady’s Church on Wood St I felt like I was […]
From the Manchester Guardian 1955. Reprinted with permission from Archives +
This poem was written at an Overspill workshop led by poet John Lindley which the Langley Writers took part in in November 2019. Back from the future Eight immigrants, Indigenous population absent, Writing in refurbished Community centre, Heading for mists of history. Riverside from Merseyside Control Bowlee Park, Control most of overspill. Rest consisting of […]
Article from the Manchester Evening News 1st June 2005: “THE population of Heywood swelled when thousands of people were moved out of the Manchester slums and into the Heywood countryside of Darnhill” https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/nostalgia/heywood-grows-as-darnhill-rises-1139421