A while back I mentioned the shoe repair shop that stood on Barton Lane, Eccles and is now called Linda's Plaice despite it being an Indian Takeaway.
Some people remembered the shop as being called, Heywood's Shoe Repairs in the 1950s, i can recall it in the 1970s when it was owned by who I thought was a Polish gentleman.
Looking through the Eccles and Patricroft Journal for October 1970, 50 years ago, would you believe? I came across the following story and photograph, entitled, "Shoes For A Circus Clown"
The story told that anybody passing the shoe repair shop would be in for a shock as proudly displayed in the shop window, were a pair of clown's shoes, so large that there wasn't a size for them but they were 23 inches long.
They had been hand made by the owner of the shop, 57 years old, Dymtro Ostapowycz.
We are told that last year Mr Ostapowycz. got a call from a high wire, walker at Belle Vue Circus who wanted a pair of shoes made for him to be used in his act, he did and the chap was delighted at the craftsmanship, so much so he told all his friends in the circus.
He then received a telephone call from Sonny Fossett a clown at the circus who wanted a special pair of shoes making, a pair as big as possible and yet still one's he could walk in.
Mr Ostapowycz.was obviously a highly skilled man as we were told that he had already made specialised shoes for disabled people and had even shod a Polish dancing troupe from Oldham.
After much trial and error the shoes have been finished and are waiting to be picked up, but in the meantime they were proudly displayed in the shop window.
Can you imagine if Sonny Fossett decided he was leaving the circus and didn't want the shoes?
Finally we learn that Mr Ostapowycz was a Ukranian and came to England in 1947 and spent some time in a displaced persons camp at Banbury.
He has had the shop since 1968 and lives in Cheetham Hill with his wife and three children.
I do remember the shop and this gentleman, however I was told that he was Polish and had been in one of the concentration camps in Europe, and also had a camp number tattooed on his arm.
I have no idea if this is true or an Urban Myth, do you remember Mr Ostapowycz at this shop and had you heard this story
I came across this story from December, 1920 in the pages of the Salford City Reporter and it tells what happens when love breaks down and tempers get frayed.
Lucy M Roberts who resided at Albany Street, Salford appeared at the Stipendiary Magistrates Court asking for a separation from her husband, Thomas who was a commissionaire at Salford Town Hall, Bexley Square.
She told the Magistrates that he was her second husband and they had been married since June, 1917, but she had left him, last Tuesday because of his persistent cruelty.
At the end of November he didn't give her any housekeeping money until the Sunday at 9.30pm which meant she was unable to buy any food for the house.
The following day she purchased bacon and bread and made a breakfast, with her daughter from her first marriage sat beside her, the girl had the temerity to put her cup of tea, close to Thomas's plate, who with the back of his hand pushed it away spilling tea over the table and the girl, saying he was not going to allow people to do what they liked at his table.
Lucy told him that her daughter was allowed to sit at the breakfast table, that her own Father bought, this obviously touched a nerve with Thomas, who said that they wouldn't be able to do as they liked at the breakfast table.
As if to prove his point he chucked the contents of the table into the open fire, and smashed the cups and saucers, then added that he was going out for a policeman to witness what had happened and stormed off.
No policeman appeared so Lucy went looking for one, and showed him the scratch marks on her face which she said he had caused, would appear no action was taken so she decided to pursue the matter in the courts.
Back in the dock she told the Magistrate that he talks in his sleep all night, and hardly sleeps, but when he is awake accuses her of seeing other men.
In March this year she had him at court on a summonses for putting her daughter's only costume and hat up the chimney whilst they were out, adding that he threatened her and promised worse was to come.
Mr Desquesnes for the Defence asked if things were unpleasant between Thomas and her daughter, she told him that she hadn't spoken to him since June, six months ago, and he had told her that he didn't want her living there, also it was her Fathers home and I have said I will keep a home for her.
Things got a tad, heated when Mr Desquesnes suggested that she was more attached to her daughter than her husband, and that if she left, she would follow her, she vehemently denied this and said he was the one causing all the trouble, also he gave her £2.15 shillings a week and accused her of being extravagant whilst he had bought two suits of clothing and spent £7 on a new gramophone.
The daughter, Gladys May took the stand and said that when Thomas tipped the table into the fire, she had to stop him from beating her mother, such was his temper.
At last, Thomas took the stand and said that he was living at nearby Florin Street and was a Commissionaire at Salford Town Hall earning £3- 12 shilling a week he also received a pension of three shilling a week and told a tale of woe.
He said that home life was very unhappy and that his wife was constantly knocking him about, and had called him, "A dirty old pig" and that he had to report for duty at The Town Hall with scratches and bruises ion his face.
As for the breakfast table incident he said that Gladys had told him that the table was her father's not his to which he had replied that the things on it, were his and pushed it into the fire.
The Stipendiary granted a separation order and ordered Thomas to pay 30 shillings a week to Lucy.
Not sure what to make of this case, obviously both, better off not being under the same roof, possibly the marriage may have survived if there was no third party, lets hope they both lived happily ever after.
By Tony Flynn
An amusing story from the pages of the Salford City Reporter, December 1920 in which two chaps reason for being on enclosed premises was taken with a pinch of salt.
Herbert, Henry Green and Thomas Costigan who both resided at Mottram Street, Salford appeared at the Quarter Sessions charged with breaking and entering, Wolf Halons, outfitters shop on Lower Broughton Road, Broughton.
Police Constable Roberts told the Magistrate that he was on duty, when he heard the crash of glass from the rear of Mr Halons, outfitters shop, he went to investigate and found a pane of glass had been smashed.
As he peered in to the shop, something was thrown at him, narrowly missing his head and hitting the window frame, he cautiously entered and found Green and Costigan hiding in the cellar.
He asked if there were any more people with them, to which, Green replied,
"We have pals outside and if your not careful, you'll be shot"
Not the wisest of things to say even if in jest I would have thought.
Mr McKeever for the Defence asked P.C. Roberts, "
Was it not true there were a crowd of civilians outside the shop, and that these two men, did what you were afraid to do, and entered the shop?"
This was denied by the P.C,.
He was then further asked if that the two men inside the shop were pulling his leg when they said he would be shot.
Again the less than amused P.C, denied these accusations.
Henry Gilbert Green took the stand and gave his account of the night in question.
"We were both a bit inebriated and we heard a smash of glass so we went to investigate, we went into the backyard of the shop and found the door open., so we decided to go in and look for the robbers.
"The constables arrived and found us in there, we thought we were doing them a good turn looking for the robbers"
The jury found them both guilty, Green was sent to prison for four months with hard labour, Costigan was said by the police to have been led into the affair by Green was bound over to keep the peace.
Justice was served and no doubt Mr Green was able to reflect on his wicked ways and wicked quips in his cell at Strangeways prison.
By Tony Flynn
The Salford City Reporter for December 1920 reported on a police raid, carried out on a house on Hulton Street. off Trafford Road which was "carried out in the stillness of midnight" by Superintendent Clark, Sergeant Lamb and a dozen constables.
The police were acting on information received not to mention a complaint by the American Consul in Manchester about men returning to their ships at Salford Docks in a drunken condition from what the sailors called , "The House of Rest".
Two police constables in plain clothing had previously called at the house and were supplied with whisky and beer which they paid her for. they returned several times and were served with drinks, they were on observation duty in the house when the police raid took place.
A police search of the house found, a considerable quantity of rum, whisky, port and 47 pint bottles of beer, hidden underneath a bed in the front room, a large quantity of boots were found in a cupboard, when asked to account for them, she said she had bought them,, but couldn't produce receipts for them.
They arrested Annie Warange and she was charged with being in, unlawful possession of, several pairs of boots, galoshes, shirts, flash lamps and other articles, her husband Avrid Warnge was charged with being in unlawful possession of a gold watch.
At Salford Magistrates Court, Annie Warange had changed her name to, Annie Filkins for reasons not explained and the case got underway with Mt Tomson for the Prosecution and Mr Flint for the Defence.
Mr Tomson said Annie was being prosecuted under Section 65 of the Licencing Consolidation Act of 1910.
The court was told that after receiving complaints the house was put under observation and two police constables in plain clothing made frequent visits to the house and were sold whisky and beer and whilst in the house saw numerous sailors, mainly American being served, whisky and port for which they paid Annie.
The midnight raid by Superintendent Clarke found the accused in the kitchen with ten sailors who were all drinking, on the table was a bottle of rum, a bottle of port and six glasses of beer, underneath the table were a further six empty bottles of spirits.
Six of the seaman were arrested for being drunk and disorderly and taken to Trafford Road police station.
Mr Tomson then told the court that Annie had been charging for a bottle of beer, which cost 11 pence, one shilling and sixpence, a shilling for a glass of whisky which would normally cost seven pence and for a glass of rum a shilling which would normally cost six pence.
Annie pleaded guilty to all of the charges.
Sergeant Lamb told the court that the American Consul had contacted them alarmed about the condition of their sailors returning from shore leave to their ships, he thought that Annie had been doing a very profitable business and that there was a big trade being carried out at the house.
Mr Flint for the defence said that Annie had lived in the house on Hulton Street for nine years and this was the first time she had been in trouble.
This very flimsy piece of character building cut no mustard with the Magistrates who came down heavily upon her.
She was fined £10 and ten Guineas on the first charge, and £20 each on three other charges a grand total of £80 and ten shillings in total, a very large amount in those days and no doubt sent out as a warning to anybody who harboured thought of opening their own, "Home Of Rest"
On a further charge of receiving a stolen, mincing machine, she was fined a further £5, her husband was acquitted of receiving a stolen gold watch and the charge was dropped.
Not a good day in court for her was it?