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AitchD

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About AitchD

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  1. Sorry, I can't help. I remember Gents shop - opposite was the Co-op coal yard I think. Am I right? But the shops you mention - no joy I'm afraid. I think it's gone for good but I'll try to remember. Mentioning the coal yard reminds me of that appalling winter of 46/47 that coincided with a critical shortage of coal. Anything that had a runner or wheels - old prams, home-made trolleys, bikes anything that would carry a bag of coal on snow and ice was pushed into service. Bad days. Candles permanently on the mantelpiece with a box of matches at the ready.
  2. I know I'm late on this thread but I haven't been on the site for long. Bert Webb lived opposite to my home in Cambridge Road. My father played trumpet with his band at the co-op and anywhere else they played in the late forties and early fifties. Good little band, I remember with some excellent arrangements of all the big band hits of the time. Good to dance to which was what was expected back then. I remember it took my father,always in dinner jacket and bow tie along with trumpet case, out usually about 5 evenings in the week. Back then there was a very popular outfit - regularly on the radio - Felix Mendlessohn and his Hawaian Serenaders - so Bert Webb's band overnight for a while became Bert Webb and his Hawaian Serenaders. I don't think it lasted long in that form. They did rehearse sometimes in our front room - not for long: it was overpowering. My father was passionate about his music and if there was nothing doing in the dance band line - he'd simply play in a brass or silver band - his real passion. I recall he played regularly with Parr St. Peters Band. Uniforms, brass buttons, the lot. Incidentally, does anyone remember the Jazz Club that used to meet the Shaw Street side of the Parish Church? Back then it was all traditional jazz, of course. I always liked the clarinetist who played note for note what Johnny Dodds played - I was a very big Dodds fan then. The only name I can recall from the Club was a pianist - a good one- named Warren Bromilow. Occasionally he sat in at the Co-op with the Bert Webb band. And yes - I do remember 'Georgia' - very well. Late on in the Saturday night dance.He didn't miss many.
  3. I recall that the first dance I and my pals ever went to was in the Peter Street Institute. To records, of course, and about 6d to go in. Between us - a group of 8 lads maybe - we had a total number of dances in the evening of ZERO. In fact we played cards all the time when we weren't watching the girls. A few years later most of us went to the Maida to learn to dance properly. Anyone else remember the Maida? All this talk of chip shops reminds me of our local one. Hollands on Kitchener Street - next door to the Cookery (full title not known but probably the word Institute came in there somewhere). It was never known as Holland's it was always 'Polly' Holland. She had two green parrots - hence the name. Free chips if you took along a pile of newspapers. Different tack. I still remember my mother's divvy number at the Co-op (Cambridge Road). Sometimes it still comes in useful as a password on the internet. As does my old National Service Number. Disgusting thing to do but walking home with a warm loaf was too tempting - that corner just had to be bitten off - didn't it?
  4. Hello Ollie, Re Margaret and her local history group. Would you have an email address by any chance? Thanks for pointing it out to me anyway - as you say, it's a bit far to go, otherwise I certainly would.
  5. Dr. Jackson was a partner and our family doctor there when I was around. There was a large gas fire in the waiting room and the door to the doctor's office was covered with a velvet type material and studded.. No receptionist, just remember the correct order so as not to miss your turn.i
  6. Jonty must have been one of the most widely known characters in the town, playing in front of thousands of people every other Saturday,yet the story was that he went AWOL from the army and the authorities took forever to find him. He lost an eye - I think that was playing rugby.A hard man.
  7. No, Lummy, I haven't been near the baths since back then. I lived in Cambridge Road at the corner of Kitchener Street..Since then have lived in Cheshire, Norwich (2 spells), Derbyshire (2 spells), Hampshire, Dartmouth in Devon and now Dorset.On foot I might know my way round, but driving - I doubt it. As boys - until we started going to the Co-op Hall on Saturdays, our lives were centred on being down in the park. Great days.. Except that when the fair (Silcocks?) came in the summer they ruined the special bit of field we used as a wicket. I write a bit and one particular story I set in the park, and brought Fred into it. Remember Fred? The parkie? Strict with us lads, but fair. I also told the story of the big gates at the Horace Street exit. Even after they and the railings had gone off to be melted down for Spitfires, or something, Fred went round each evening and rang his bell. Probably all the gates but I don't know. Our wedding reception was at the 'Blind School' as we called it - its posh name was,I think, the Institute for the Blind where they had the bamboo and willow canes outside there to use in the chair making they did. I do recall Joe Hatton and his mate walking down Boundary Road regularly. Joe would be talking and his pal - always in a dark suit, taller and leaning to be closer - would have his hand on Joe's jaw / mouth and picking up what was being said from that. Quite marvellous and these days that would be given masses of publicity, I expect. Down that way also was Gavin Murray's garage. My mother, bless her, regularly went down there and booked tickets for the Saints away matches. Prices were either 2/6 or 5/-, depending whether it was somewhere in Lancashire or to foreign parts. One final little tale. The mother of my best friend at the time found herself locked out. Fortunately a friendly window cleaner was nearby. He helped out by getting into the house through an open upstairs window, came down and unlocked the door for her,went back inside, then upstairs and came down again through the window. The window cleaner's name might ring a few bells with the older folks - he was Jonty Pilkington.
  8. Things I recall from the past - the forties in this case. Opposite the Boundary Road baths there were 2 shops - a newsagents and next door, a shop where you could buy ha'penny buns - delicious. Think of 480 of 'em for a pound! Further up on the same side as the Baths, at the corner of Kitchener Street, a shop called Raws (I'm not sure of the spelling). They sold penny drinks. The best I felt was a raspberry coloured one. Cross the road and go down the hill again - there was Billy Dunn - the barber.(he was still in business when I left the town in '58). Not lived there since.
  9. Only part-way relevant but the comedian Jimmy Edwards ran foul of the Lord Chancellor and his Sunday entertainment rulings once. Something to do with what they were allowed to wear on stage when an attempt was made, I think, to cut back on the over-usage of stage costume. They tried to stop Jimmy Edwards from wearing his mortarboard and gown but as a graduate he was able to fight the matter and won.
  10. I recall cinema screenings beginning on Sunday evenings in the early post-war years - probably '46 or '47. I also remember my mother's reaction when I went the first time - (to the Palladium in Boundary Road). According to her terrible things were going to happen.They didn't, of course, but I do remember a partial falling in of the Theatre Royal roof not long afterwards. This leads me to a question. At the back of my ageing brain is a belief that some sort of town vote or referendum was held before the Sunday shows began. I have nothing to substantiate it, but I seem to remember that some of the churches were lobbying against it happening. A different world back then of course. It's been niggling away at me for years and I would like to know something positive about the matter. Can anyone shed any light on this?
  11. Picked this one up late. I was at Cowley from '45 and Pop Hanley was there then. I was told he had been in an Olympic Games - 1912 I believe. He ran the Christian Union back then too. Decent bloke. On the subject of 'Flash ' Clifton. When he first came - like so many of the other masters - he was from the war. He was then described as Captain F.M.Clifton. I remember he had this nervous tic of clearing his throat and stretching his jaw forward - just as if his collar was too tight. He played rugby (as a winger) at Moss Lane - it was St.Helens Old Boys then - and one match scored three tries. Another name has surfaced in the old brainbox. Brocklehurst. He worked at the blocks in the floor until the first one was loose and that became his ammunition. After the first one was out the rest were easy enough. He had quite a sense of humour and I thought he was an excellent history teacher. On the subject of Pam Morley - he never taught me but I knew his reputation. To put a bit of extra weight into the pack he played for the school team against the old boys one year. Quite how it was fixed I don't know but he took a bit of a hammering that day.
  12. Knowsley Road up to spring '45. Then we all left after sitting the first of the new 11 plus exams. Except they were always referred to as 'The Scholarship.' The teachers I remember were Miss Henty (Headmistress), Miss Foggo ( a lovely lady, but I sat at the front and she did tend to spray a little as she spoke). There was a Miss Patrick who frightened me. There was also just one male teacher I recall - a Mr. Angers. Happy memories of Miss (?) Davies. Probably Mrs as she and her husband took four of us to Old Trafford to see the Victory Test Match in '45. Rivington Road before that. I don't remember any teachers by name, but I do remember regularly going down into the cellars when the air raid alarm sounded. Just joined the site today so I'm intrigued to see what is here. Re Cowley ('45 - '49), several names on the list I remember. Clifton, Rodden, Morley, Hayward, Moss, Adshead - none of the others. Mike Holland would be the same chap was at school with. Played on the wing when I remember him. Other names - Cantle(Headmaster) - a horrible, snobbish man - Bilinki, (Lefty) Lees, Powell (2 0f them - one with a long 'o' and one without). Cogan, Skidmore (he remembered my 2 brothers from Rivington Road), M'selle Poitevin, Cashin,(Shem) Webb, (Fuzzy) Fairhurst.Then anyone there then will remember Tom Smith, the janitor.His footsteps were unmistakeable and he was alleged to have cork feet. J.D. Robins ( a British Lion), Richardson, That was a man named Bilinki. Asthmatic and used a phrase "Right, sit quietly" that he became known for.
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