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 it was. ‘Yes’, he said, ‘That’s where I live. He took us to his house, introduced us to his family, gave us tea and then showed us our new home. The Wrights became good friends throughout the next 14 years. As kids, we used to play cricket in the street using a street light standard as a wicket. We had fields to roam around and a stream in which to catch sticklebacks and frogs. I started out at St Mary’s catholic school, joined the church choir. As there was no secondary school in Langley, for 2 years we were bussed to St Patrick’s Boys School in Sudell Street, Manchester. When Bishop Marshall Memorial School was built, I went there and became the school’s first Head Boy. I joined the North Manchester Cathedral Choir (Salford) and started playing and singing around the pubs in Bury, Middleton (Ring O’ Bells) Whitefield, MSG in Manchester and even ventured over the border to Todmorden. I was working as an apprentice precision engineer in Middleton.
Around 1968 we did a house swap and moved to Stevenage and lost touch.
The old houses have been demolished.
Number 1 The Wrights (Stan and Sheila)
Number 2 ?????
Number 3 The Theakers (Vera and son Frankie, always in trouble)
Number 4 The Stanhopes (Ralph)
Number 5 The Graves (Gladys)
Number 6 The Reids (Betty, George, Albert and Violet)
Number 7 The Cunninghams (John, Gwen, Peter and Anita)
Number 8 ??? (Vera)
Number 9 The Robinsons
Number 10 ???
Most of the women worked part time at the Crumpsall Biscuit Factory, so we had loads of broken biscuits. All the women were ‘Aunty’ The women who were not working took in the kids of those who were after school. Aunty Betty used to have sterilised milk in the tea which I hated and preferred to have my tea black which I do to this day.
There were three cinemas in Middleton with Saturday Pictures at The Victoria at the bottom of Wood Street. I had my first pint of Wilson’s Bitter at the Woodman’s on Wood Street with my mate Harold Rothwell. The posh pictures was at The Essoldo in Blakely.
Sundays were walking in Bow Lee or, if we were lucky, a day out in Heaton Park with a visit to the zoo. My parents were mad about speedway and followed Peter Craven at Belle View.
Manchester Corporation Transport Department used to have an employees Christmas Visit to the pantomime at the Hippodrome at Ardwick Green with a party afterwards, As my father worked for MCTD, I went to several. They were very noisy affairs.
There were several mobile shops around, The Co-op and a vegetable van who used to announce his arrival by shouting, very loudly, ‘Heyup Wilfred, ripe bananas’, Rag and bone man and Mr Softee ice cream often came to interrupt our game of cricket.