Life can be strange and as a glowing example of this I was in Eccles Library today or home as Karl calls it, when the young librarian chap comes over and hands me a wallet full of, no not cash, black and white photographs of Eccles, some 26 in total the first 11 which are below in part one of what is a two part article.
Sadly the chap who left them for me never left his name, but blimey they are fascinating, they show Church Street, Eccles which to be fair hasn't changed that much - just wait until October 2019 when The Top House and Booths come down .
The photographs of Church Street show shops such as Woolworths, , The Chicken Barbeque, Twin Stores, Rediffusion, Clifford Turner, Edith Lloyd, Radio Rentals, Crossley's, Fryers, Eccles Journal, Waterworths, Loofe's, Quine, Village Wool Shop, Ashworths, R. Quinns, Waddiloves, Little Dolphin, W H Smiths, H. Fairhurst, need I go on!
Can't forget the pubs we have The Top House, Cross Keys, Grapes, Oddfellows, Hare and Hounds, and the Bulls Head!
It is a proper nostalgic walk through time, OK they were taken some 48+ plus years ago but what a amazing set of photos they are.
Eccles had recently been pedestrianised and you can see concrete flower beds, all removed now and sets of benches in the middle of Church Street, again all gone.
They must have been taken earely on a Sunday morning because there are no people in the photographs apart from a stray dog walking past the Hare and Hounds pub.
On the contact sheets are views of the Eccles Precinct, and it looks eerie, what is now Wilkos was then called Giro, of all names!
A Nat West bank is slap in the middle of the Precinct, also shops such as Jones the Jewellers, Bacon and Cheese Shop, Hamlet Grill, Curtess Shoes, Dorothy Perkins etc.
Did anybody work in these shops? if so the memories should come flooding back, I shall not mention if you supped in any of the pubs because we all know the answer to that one.
So that is two great Eccles photographic finds in a few months, with the amazing George Shepherd exhibition which drew record amounts of people to the Eccles Community Art Gallery and this smaller but in my opinion, important find.
Finally mystery donor will you reveal yourself and more importantly are there any more left lying around?
If so you know where I am most days!
Part Two will be coming tomorrow but for now we leave you with these little gems.