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 while the family was still in bed.
We were all in the same boat.

They were just starting to build Langley and there were
No doctors
No priests
No midwives
And the buses full of smoking men going to work in Manchester
only ran to the top of Wood Street
where the bus driver would shout
“Debtor’s Retreat!”
That’s until Ted Briscoe, the Bus Inspector, aka ‘Lord Mayor of Langley’,
walked imperiously down the middle of the road and
organised our 121 Langley Flyer.
We were all in the same boat.

We had some really great times over the years
Not much money but there was always a piano and a singsong
Entertainers in the Catholic Club
Church activities and trips back to where you’d come from
Lovely afternoons spent in Jubilee Park –
free sketches on a Sunday ’til it went dark
Dancing at the baths on the wooden floor put over the water and
marvelling at the Langley Festival elephant kept in that field near the motorway
With cinemas to choose from we could opt for
freezing feet at The Palace or
scratching at The Flea Pit.
We were all in the same boat.

Everybody knew everybody
And everybody got on so well
We were all struggling to make a better life for our children
We were all in the same boat.

Compiled from memories of participants in a reminiscence workshop at Langley Library, March 2008.