50-YEARS-AGO: PHASE 70 GROUP IN ECCLES UNITING ALL THE TRIBES OF ECCLES
I loved this story which was in the October edition of the Eccles and Patricroft Journal in 1970 and talk about gripping the reader by the throat with the first line, have a read of this, word for word.
"Soccer hooligans, skinheads, hippies, yippies, Hells Angels - the headline hoggers of today.
"Youths with a vengeance and a vandal breeding boredom, quite incomprehensible to their forefathers with the abundance of recreational facilities available.
"Gangs sharing the view that violence and theft are OK, offloading their consciences onto friends by collective action, Nomadic groups sharing an ideology.
"A small element who through their rejection of society's accepted standards, make the news, yet those who do help their "neighbour", so often go without a mention".
Have you any idea what he is wittering on about?
Hold on because it's not all wild and crazy kids, slashing the seats, shooting and a looting.
Into the limelight come Phase 70 a Peel Green based group devoted to aiding charities, one of the founder members was The Rev Dick Hatch, Vicar of St Michaels and All Angels, who was alarmed at the falling numbers at the church's youth club.
Rev Hatch explains all or most of it,
"There are no individuals in Phase 70, we are a non - denominational group who have gathered together in a form of experimental communism, that is we sit down and plan projects which we execute together for various charities."
"There were 17 founding members whose occupation range from labourer to tax inspector and we have five new members all eager to pool their talents"
One of their first projects was a marathon dictionary read outside Eccles library in February, working in relays and finishing at five in the morning after having completed 60 hours of continuous dictionary reading which raised £100 for the Moat Hill Autistic Unit in Peel Green.
Since then they raised money for a concert for Senior Citizens, £20 for Shelter, a folk concert at Worsley Court House and £20 to sponsor a boy in Nigeria.
The group meet on a Sunday and take it in turn to act as Chairman and listen to talks by the Police, Probation Services etc and regardless of age it's Christian names all round.
"Young people wishing to become members have to apply in a fairly formal fashion" said Rev Hatch.
"We only accept those who are prepared to give themselves to the aims and works of the group"
Were you a member of Phase 70? I have read quite a bit about Rev Dick Hatch and he was quite a character by all accounts ending up having a Radio Show on the BBC.
Would the youngster of today join such a group though? to be honest I can't see it, sound in principle but those days have gone I'm afraid and as for standing outside Eccles library reading aloud from a dictionary for hours on end.....
Patrick Brennan, 73, sadly passed away at his home on Hunterston Avenue, Eccles on Wednesday 18th November 2020.
Police say that there are believed to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
Anyone who has any information about Patrick Brennan's next of kin should contact the Police Coroner’s Office in Bolton on 0161 856 4687.
By Tony Flynn
The newspaper, Salford City Reporter for November 1920 carried the following story and rather sensationally called it, "the remarkable story of the life lead by a young girl"
Ellen Ben Saleh appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with the theft of £66 from her mother, a widow who resided at Hancock Street. Pendleton.
Detective Inspector Mitchell told the court that for some time the mother had been saving up and a portion of the money was a gratuity from the army authorities which she received in consequence of the death of her son, the money along with a small amount of gold was kept in a box in the kitchen of the house.
When it was discovered missing the police were informed, Detective Sergeant McNee made enquiries and questioned the girl who denied all knowledge of the theft, however the next day she absconded and nothing was heard from her, until her husband returned from the sea and he took her to the police station.
Initially she told the police she had nothing to with the theft, then admitted it and said,
"I might as well tell you all about it, I stole the money whilst mother was out and I gave it all to a man who I know"
She then broke into tears and sobbing asked for another chance.
Detective Inspector Mitchell then took to the stand and gave a detailed account of the last few months of the girl's life and pretty damning it was too.
He said the girl's mother had tried to shield her but she seemed beyond control and had been going out with a man who lived in a lodging house, who threatened her if she didn't give him money and he thought that the stolen money was divided between the two of them.
Seven months ago she had met Ben Saleh in a public house and after only a few days she asked him to marry her, shortly after the marriage Saleh returned to a ship at Salford Docks and went on a six month voyage and only returned on the day when he surrendered his wife to the police.
She had worked in cafe's in Manchester and as a barmaid in pubs on Cross Lane but had been associating with "loose women" and had got into debt and had stole the money to pay them off, he then added that Ben Saleh was going to leave Salford for ever as soon as this court case was over.
He finally added,
"She is a thoroughly bad girl, she is crying now, but no doubt the first thing she will do after leaving this courtroom will be to ask me for a cigarette"
The Stipendiary Magistrate, Mr P. W. Atkin, promptly sentenced her to four months imprisonment with hard labour.
The newspaper reported that the poor girl, fainted and had to be carried from the dock and owing to her cries the following court case was halted until she was placed in the prison cells below the court.
To sum up the girl not only lost her liberty but her husband who no doubt had seen a glimpse of the life he faced if he stayed with her and sailed out of Salford.
Hopefully she saw the errors of her ways and kept out of the pubs on Cross Lane and led a hard working, sober life, but I somehow doubt it.
Officers in Eccles are currently out looking for a missing person.
Faaiza ASHAR described as an Asian female, 52 years old, about 5'6, of large build with short blonde hair.
She was last known to be wearing a pink / peach scarf as well as a cardigan, the female was last seen on foot around Milton Street, Eccles. Its unknown if she is still wearing her glasses or not.
If you see her call 101 and quote log 1166/24112020