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Tony Flynn

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  1. Over the years we have seen Eccles, lose some of it's finest buildings and shops, mainly in the name of so called progress. Let's have a look at a list of some of those we have loved and lost... Monks Hall Museum, The Broadway Cinema. Dolly Craft, Eccles Railway Station, Smiths Restaurant, Top House, Cross Keys, Hare and Hounds, Eccles market, Eddies Sausage Barm, Cafe, need I go on? Sadly yet another fine Eccles establishment has announced that it will cease trading as from Wednesday, 3rd November at 5pm. It with is with great regret that I have to inform you that.... Scope Charity Shop, 2 Church Street Eccles has been told by the owners of the property, that the shop is required for, yes. you guessed...development. This fine establishment has been selling, tat, sorry quality reduced goods from as long as the late 1970s and I can recall it being called The Spastics Society Shop in the 1980s, a name that I am glad to say has been long since banished, there was even a collection box outside of a young lad, with a calliper, staring at you with desperation in his sad, little eyes... I have to admit that I have had, some cracking bargains from there over the years, rare vinyl albums, by Elvis, Bowie, Hank Williams, bric-a-brac galore including a Troika Pottery Wheel, Scandinavian Glass, Harris Tweed jackets, (not sure why I bought those), books by the shelf load and God knows what else I carted home, or as my Daughter, Rachel so indelicately put it, "about two skip loads" I had a quick look through a reference book and found that the shop has had several guises over the years, including a wool shop, a drapers and who can recall, Robinson's Cake Shop and Café? I can just about remember it, very genteel, with one half of the shop being dived into a posh café selling cakes and tea's for Ladies who lunched. Happily, for me there are still quite a few charity shops in Eccles with bargains to be found, if you can get in there before me that is. So rush on down to the half price. closing down sale, and pick up, well I don't know what you will pick up, but I'm sure you'll find something. A sad day for many and as Bob Dylan, so perfectly put it, "Bury the rag deep in your face, for now's the time for your tears".
  2. Leafing through the pages of the now defunct, Salford City Reporter, you can always guarantee that you will find an amusing story from the Salford Magistrates section, later to come, Before The Bench, which most people turned to, first in the hope of reading about somebody they knew, c'mon admit it, we have all done it. My eye was caught by the headline to the following story, which read, "Amazing Admissions Of Girl Who Smoked In Bed" Bridget Purcell who resided at, Oaklands Terrace, Salford appeared at Salford Magistrates Court, in October 1921, where she had summoned her step-father, Thomas Minogue for making threats to kill her and calling her "improper names" What could have caused him to to utter these threats to Bridget? quite simply because she was smoking cigarettes in the house until 12 0' clock at night. The brazen hussy. The Stipendiary Magistrate. Mr. P.W. Atkin, seemed amazed that a girl should smoke cigarettes and asked her if this was true. Bridget answered that she did and it made her feel good, stating that before she started smoking she often felt giddy at work, she said that she was thread drawer at a local mill and worked from 8.30am - 5.30pm, but was now on overtime and worked until, 8.30pm. I can well imagine your head would be banging, working 12 a hours a day in a mill on some noisy and often dangerous machinery, I'd want more than cigarettes I can tell you. Mr Minogue then made the frightful admission that, one occasion he turned down the sheets on her bed and found half a dozen cigarette ends, does this girl have no shame? When asked if it was true that she smoked in bed, she answered that she did, and elsewhere too, the girl is honest, I'll give her that. Finally, Mr Minogue told the court that in desperation he had gone away for a week to escape the girl and the house, but there was no change in the girl's behaviour when he got back, despite her mother promising to chastise her. Mr Atkin, asked him if he had threatened to kill her?. his reply was..."I might have used words like that...." Mr Minogue was bound over in the sum of £5 to keep the peace for six months and told to stop threatening to kill her. He then turned his attention to Bridget, "It seems to me that you irritated him, a good deal, but I cannot have him threatening to murder you. I should like to hear what a Doctor has to say about your smoking and sometimes in bed, in order to settle your nerves, as for smoking being good for you, it's news to me" Women smoking, what ever next? they will be demanding the vote next...they had to wait until 1928 for that as well. Bridget does seem quite a feisty character and good for her sticking up for herself, working 12 a hours a day in a mill, she deserves a medal never mind a fag break.
  3. I have to admit that when I first read the following story about a bogus valet to Sir William Bass, I was reminded of the Fawlty Towers episode, "A Touch Of Class" and the fictitious, "Lord Melbury" who cons money out of Basil, who is fawning over him,because of his title. Our story begins in August 1921 in Douglas, on the Isle of Man with a Mrs Ann Edwards and her unnamed husband on their holiday's in a boarding house, they got into conversation with a chap, called, Thomas Henry Ireland, who told them he was the valet too, Sir William Bass who was also on holiday in Douglas. They exchanged business cards and Mrs Edwards told him that if he was ever in Manchester, that he should look them up and he would be made welcome at their home in Conway Street, Broughton, Salford. It is worth noting that at this time there was a, Sir William Bass, he was the son of Sir Hamer Alfred Bass the brewing magnate, Sir William was educated at Harrow and became a famous racehorse owner. One can only imagine the the look on Mrs Edwards face when several weeks later, Mr Ireland turned up at her two up and down terraced house and told her that his "Master" was staying in Manchester but had kindly allowed him 13 shillings and sixpence a day for board and lodgings and could she kindly put him up, to which she agreed. Surely a valet's occupation is to be the personal assistant and is responsible for his Masters clothes and daily arrangements? Mr Ireland stayed with them for almost a fortnight and on the morning of, August 26th he told Mrs Andrews that he was going for lunch with Sir William and would be back later, later on in the day they received a telegram from him, informing them that, he had been called to Liverpool and would return the next day.....do you think he would? Mrs Andrews suspicions were raised, (and not before time if you ask me), a search of her property revealed a quantity of gold, including a watch, a gold Albert, several gold sovereigns and a war medal were missing, along with Mr Ireland. The police were informed and a month later he was apprehended in High Wycombe, some distance from Liverpool, and was brought back to Salford to face the music, where he was charged with theft and a further charge of obtaining food and lodging by false pretences. He appeared at Salford Magistrates Court under the watchful eye of the Stipendiary Magistrate, Mr P.W. Atkin. Inspector Mitchell told the Court that Ireland had pleaded guilty to the theft of the gold but not the war medal and that all of the stolen property had been recovered, he also revealed that there were two court cases pending against him in, Douglas and Llandudno He was sentenced to six months imprisonment which seems a fairly lenient sentence, possibly because all of the stolen gold was recovered. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in Mrs Andrews house at tea time, when Mr Ireland would regale them with stories about Sir William Bass and the high life that he led, however a fortnight off spinning these yarns about his, "Master" would soon wear thin and I can imagine that they had already regretted bumping into him in Douglas and exchanging, calling cards. Thanks to Gary Williams for the photo of Conway Street taken in 1978.
  4. I think we have all heard the Mother In Law jokes and how they make their Son in Law's life a misery with constant nagging, but this story from the pages of the Salford City Reporter, September 1921 puts a new spin on that old chestnut. Leah Perry, 49, and her daughter, Cecillia, 27, appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with assaulting, Molly Perry, her Daughter in Law, who had the misfortune to marry her eldest son. Molly appeared in court with her head swathed in bandages and sporting, two black eyes, she told her tale of woe to the Stipendiary Magistrate, Mr P.W. Atkin. She told him that that Leah and Cecillia had made her life a misery for the past four months, beating her, stealing her wages, called her, "filthy names" and had threatened to split her head open if she didn't leave her husband. When her, husband, Frank got in from work, she told him what had happened, his remedy to this solution was that they both go for a walk and chat to avoid any trouble. Their walk took them along Cross Lane which was famous for the number of pubs there, and also it's colourful clientele in the evening, hardly the place to calm one's shattered nerves I would have thought. Frank as noble as ever, nipped in the pub for a pint and left, Molly outside waiting for him, I think you can guess what is going to happen... Leah and Cecillia just happened to be taking a stroll along Cross Lane when they spotted her, incredibly, Leah produced a hand grenade and struck Molly over the head with it, she then passed it to Cecillia who, walloped Molly over the head with it twice, knocking her out, and the poor girl remembered nothing until she woke up in Salford Royal Hospital. Frank who had possibly finished his pint came out of the pub to see what the commotion was all about, only to see his Mother and Sister knocking the living daylights out of his poor wife. P.C. Wilson who happened to be passing arrested both women and took them to Cross Lane Police Station, both women denied ever having seen a hand grenade and that they were the one's who had been attacked. The Magistrate adjourned the case for a day and warned the women that he was considering sending them for trial at the next Quarter Sessions. The following morning, Detective Smith told the court that drink was the cause of this quarrel and the family squabbling, and that the hand grenade had been brought home from the war by one of Mrs Perry's soldier sons, and was harmless...unless you were hit over the head with it several times, presumably? MR Atkin then told the accused women that he had thought of sending them to prison but he would bind them over for 12 months if they promised to stop drinking and leave Molly alone. They agreed to this and were discharged from the court. I have a nagging feeling that the Magistrate had made the wrong decision and that he hadn't seen the last of these feuding ladies.
  5. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes, I would like to add another to that statement. I can virtually guarantee that if you go to someone's house for what ever reason, you will see a pint pot or a glass that has been nicked from a pub, c'mon admit it, we have all a Stella, Carling, Heineken, Boddingtons or Holts glass lurking in the cupboard... This story from the pages of the Salford City Reporter, September 1921, tells of what happened to a Mrs Catherine Walker who was found to be in possession of drinking glasses from a local pub, be warned. She appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with stealing (or receiving, well knowing them to have been stolen) five drinking glasses from The Cattle Market Hotel, Cross Lane, Salford and a further charge of being in unlawful possession of 44 more glasses. Superintendent Clark told the Court that a few days ago from something that came to the knowledge of Groves and Whitnall brewery who owned the pub and was passed onto him, concerning a number of drinking glasses in a house on West High Street, Salford, a search warrant was applied for and granted. The next evening, Detectives Coates and MacDonald visited the house and asked Mrs Walker if she had any drinking glasses that didn't belong to her, bearing the name of the Cattle Market Hotel, to which she replied, "No". One of the Detectives went into the living room and saw two glasses with the Imperial measure stamp on them, on the table, in a nearby locked cupboard was found a further 44 glasses, five of which were stamped, Cattle Market Hotel. She told them that the five glasses had been in her house for a number of years, and then added that she ran a boarding house which catered for artists performing at the nearby Salford Hippodrome and thought that, "theatricals had bought them in at various times" as for the other glasses they belonged to her. The manager of the Cattle Market was asked if there was any marks on the five engraved glasses which would indicate if they had been taken within the past two years, he said that in the case of two of them, that particular glass was not made two years ago. For the defence, Mr A. Gilman Jones said that with regard to the first case there was no evidence of theft, and as a matter of fact Mrs Walker had only been in the Cattle Market pub once during the past, three or four years, and that her husband had died, two years ago. He then tried to switch the blame onto the Artistes who had stayed at her house who he described as being, "happy go lucky people and travelling on a Sunday they brought food with them including, glasses, knives and forks, and they must have visited the Cattle Market pub and brought them out of the pub and back to her lodging house" Seems plausible enough to me. Mrs Walker then told the court that she had seen some of the glasses stamped, Cattle Market Hotel, and it was simply neglect on her part, not to return them, and since her husband had died there had been no new additions to the glasses collection, is she blaming him, now? The Stipendiary Magistrate ruled that she was guilty of receiving the five stamped glasses and fined her £5 or 28 days in prison, the second charge against her of unlawful possession of the other glasses was dropped. A strange case to say the least, I wonder who tipped the brewery off about her glasses collection, a disgruntled lodger perhaps? and also was she allowed to keep the remaining other glasses? So the next time your in Wetherspoons or some such pub, think about Mrs Walker afore slipping a glass into your pocket or bag....
  6. I have been trawling through the pages of the local newspapers for many, many years now, mainly for research material which would be used in my local history books, also I would select stories from 100 years ago to illustrate articles for SalfordOnline. The stories selected are often humorous, sometimes hearting breaking, yet they all give an insight into what life was like in our great City of Salford, however I kept coming across one man's name, which would crop up fairly regularly, and always at The Magistrates Court, his name was Joshua Batty. Batty aged 40, who lived in Birley Street, Pendleton, wasn't one of the regular drunks or brawlers who so often featured, his appearances were always politically motivated, his "offences" included, chalking messages on walls and pavements, in which he would insult the local authorities, the police, councillors, clergy and the Government, he was once arrested for going into the pulpit at Salford Cathedral when there was a Mass in progress and began denouncing the church and it's wealth. The following story is about, yet another of his appearances at Salford Magistrates Court in August 1921 where he appeared charged with begging outside the War Pensions Committee's premises on Strawberry Road, Pendleton. Detective Sergeant McNee told the court that following "complaints" and having cautioned, Batty the previous day, he and Detective Squires kept observation on him for 20 minutes, during this time they saw Batty approach men leaving the building and ask them for money, some gave and others refused, McNee then told the court that after speaking to a disabled ex-serviceman and what he told him, (which was not disclosed in court) they arrested him on a charge of begging and he was taken to Pendleton police station. When searched they found a list of names and the amount of money given, written next to it, the amount came to, three shillings and three pence, and Batty had only three shillings on him, when asked where the missing threepence was, he told them he had bought himself a packet of Woodbine cigarettes, he was then charged with begging to which he replied, "Fair enough". By keeping a list of names of the people who had given him money doesn't strike me as being the actions of a street beggar, was he collecting for something else? and the fact the bought himself a packet of cigarettes is hardly a crime, was it mentioned in court as an attempt to discredit, Batty? Batty who was no stranger to the courts, took to the stand and asked Detective Sergeant McNee, if it was true that he had spoken to him the previous day but not for begging, but for obstructing the pavement, to which he agreed. Then Batty asked him if he would read out to the court an appeal he held in his hand which referred to a local public official, strangely enough, the Stipendiary Magistrate. Mr. Atkin read the appeal and wouldn't make the contents public, was it too inflammatory or possibly down right libellous? McNee then read out to the court, a list of Batty's previous convictions which started out with by saying, "Batty appears to have discovered the secret of of living without working" Batty's convictions dated back to 1906 and included, 12 months in Strangeways for smashing the windows at Lewis's store, Manchester, incitement to riot, chalking on pavements, obstructing the footpath and in 1916 he was Court Martialled from the army for, "Conduct prejudicial to military discipline" The with a final blow he said to the Magistrate, "I appeal to your worship to assist us in controlling this man who has got to the end of his tether" The case was adjourned for the day and Batty was granted bail. The next day the attacks on Batty continued, with Superintendent Clarke by saying that Batty had a bank account and that the bank manager a Mr Bracewell had been summoned to give evidence about the amount of money he had in the account, Bracewell said that Batty did have a joint bank account but there was little money in it. Batty, quite rightly got to his feet and objected to this evidence saying that he was being charged with begging and this evidence had nothing to do with this case. Possibly exasperated with the court case, The Stipendiary Magistrate. Mr. Atkin asked Batty if he would stop begging for money outside the War Pensions Committee's offices and demanded a straight answer. Batty replied that there was no reason why he should not, but gave his word and said he would keep to it. The case was dismissed and Batty walked free from the courtroom. In my opinion it does seem that Batty was a thorn in the side of the authorities, and looking at his criminal offences, he would appear to be a political activist of some degree, perhaps his days in the British Army had affected him in more ways than one, I can only guess. I fully intend to do more research into this chap's life as I find him to be a fascinating character, and if you have any anecdotes about Joshua Batty, please contact me on here.
  7. You may have heard the expression, "Forbidden Fruit" and this rather sad story from August 1921, helps illustrate the meaning behind it. Henry Simmonds aged 53, who lived at North George Street, Salford and James Pollitt aged 23, who resided at Water Street, Manchester appeared at Salford Magistrates Court with stealing gooseberries otherwise receiving them knowing them to have been stolen...yes that's correct, gooseberries. Simmonds have been employed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company for several years as a loader, whilst Pollitt was employed by a wholesale butcher. In response to to repeated cases of fruit pilfering, the company had gone as far, as to use two of their detectives to to hide in the goods yard and keep observations on the workforce. They saw Simmonds on several occasions bend down and take fruit from a barrel which he was unloading off a train and eat them, as if this wasn't bad enough, Pollitt was then seen to climb onto a railway waggon and also eat some fruit, however he was seen by the keen eyed detectives to put something into his jacket, followed by Simmons who did the same. As Pollitt was leaving the goods yard, Detective Bolas sprang into action and asked him what he had in his pockets, Pollitt admitted having some gooseberries and said that the other men unloading the fruit were also eating them. Simmons was also stopped and searched, rather comically he was seen swallowing the evidence and five squashed gooseberries were found in his pocket, this was all the evidence the detectives needed for the men to be arrested. They were taken to a nearby police station and charged with theft, Simmons pleaded not guilty, whilst Pollitt who had been caught red handed, pleaded guilty to this heinous offence. In the Magistrates Court, Mr Howard Flint who was defending Simmonds put forward the rather half hearted excuse that the fruit was loose in the barrels and could have, in transit accidentally fallen into his clients pockets.... Furthermore his client had unloaded 36 baskets of fruit that day and he could have filled his pockets with gooseberries, yet instead he had, only taken four or five, which were squashed. Predictably the Magistrate, Alderman Hughes, dismissed the notions of fruit accidentally landing in pockets etc and showed that he had no sense of humour by finding both men guilty, and they were fined £1 each but were warned if the fine wasn't paid in seven days they would go to prison for 14 days! Talk about petty, the sad thing is that, Simmons who had no previous convictions would not only get a criminal record but he would lose his job at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, this at a time of economic gloom for the whole country, obviously they shouldn't have nicked a few gooseberries but it was hardly a major crime was it?
  8. I came across this entertaining story from the pages of The Salford City Reporter from August 1921 which tells of the mishaps that befell Acting Sergeant Groves, one night on Regent Road, Salford and a crowbar wielding rescuer. The full story came out at Salford Magistrates Court in Bexley Square when Samuel Royle aged 19 from West Union Street and Gilbert Saunders aged 20 from Gledhill Street, appeared charged with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting Acting Sergeant Groves. A/S Groves who took the stand sporting a black eye and limping heavily gave his account of the fateful night, he said that he saw Royle. singing and shouting, and acting in a drunken manner, and asked him to be quiet and move along. To which Royle, replied, "Who are you spoofing?",then punched him in the face at which point all hell broke loose as A/S Groves was punched from behind and kicked to the ground by several people. Royle broke free and ran some fifty yards along Regent Road before being rugby tackled to the ground by the .plucky A/S Groves again a group of men joined in kicking and punching him in an attempt to release Royle. Help came from an unlikely source as a passing tram driven, driven by a Mr Connell came to a halt, he grabbed a cast iron, points iron and waded into the mob attacking the policeman, hitting anyone in his way and as he told the Court, "I used the points iron to some good effect" which was met with laughter from the public gallery. Mr Connell then helped the injured onto his tram and took him to the nearby, Salford Royal Hospital for treatment to his injuries which included, black eyes, bruised legs, knees and arms, these resulted in him being off work for several days. P.C. Wood took the stand and told the Court that he heard a police whistle and went to his comrades aid, there he saw, Royle rolling about on the floor with, A/S Groves, he manged to restrain him and took him to Regent Road Police Station where he continued to act like a "mad man" Saunders then went into the witness box and said that he had heard, screams and shouts and saw his pal, Royle on the floor when somebody hit him on the head knocking him out, and he woke up in the cells, possibly our crowbar wielding hero had claimed another victim? The Stipendary Magistrate, Mr F.W. Atkin, clearly didn't believe a word that Royle and Saunders had said and took the side of the police. Both men were fined, £1 for being drunk and disorderly and a further punishment of one months hard labour in Strangeways Gaol for assaulting A/S Groves was added. Seems a lively night on Regent Road and Mr Connell wasn't a man to be taken lightly by all accounts, as they say, The Good Old Days!
  9. This story comes from the pages of the Eccles and Patricroft Journal, August 1921 tells of the sad deaths of two American sailors in Eccles, and with a Coroners verdict that is slightly puzzling. The S.S. Hartford was an American registered ship which moored at Irwell Wharf on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, Eccles in late July 1921 and the crew headed off out for a night in Eccles to enjoy the local pubs, and with an added relish because at this time, America was a dry country due to the controversial Prohibition Act of the same year. After an evening drinking the crew made their way back to their boat at about 10.30pm, a fight broke out between several men on the deck of the boat, resulting in the death of two crew members, Irvin Siers and William Fentress, and John Munden being taken to Green Lane police station and charged with the murder of Irvin Siers. An Inquest was held at The Grapes Hotel, Peel Green by the Manchester Coroner, Mr G. S. Lereche to determine their causes of death, also in attendance was the American Consul to Manchester, Mr Holliday watching on in the interest of the accused, John Munden, an American citizen. The Coroner told the Jury of nine men that many of the crew had been drinking in Eccles before returning to the ship, a drunken row broke out in which Siers was involved, a cry of "man overboard" was heard, a sailor by the name of William Fentress jumped overboard to help save Siers, lifeboats were thrown down to them, however Siers continued to struggle and was dragging his rescuer, Fentress down with him. Edward Darling another crew member clambered overboard on a rope and urged the men to grab his legs, sadly the men were too exhausted and sank into the murky water, their bodies were recovered the next day by the police using grappling irons. Mr Lereche then said that several witnesses would be called who had said, that they seen, John Munden strike Siers in the fight and then drop him overboard, and it would be for the Jury to decide how Siers and Fentress had met their deaths adding that there would be three alternative verdicts. The First would be a deliberate killing by Munden, Second, that without intending to kill he committed an act resulting in Siers death, which would mean, Manslaughter, the Third alternative being that the man got into the waters accidentally, the verdict on Fentress would be accidental death. Lee Galvin the Chief Officer told the inquest that he was informed there were men fighting on the deck, and found a number of men brawling, when he heard the cry of, "man overboard" and saw Fentress enter the water. David Blackwell the Second Cook said that he saw two men fighting and that Munden picked up Siers and dropped him over the side of the boat, he added that both men had been drinking and he didn't think that Munden intended to throw the man into the water. The Inquest was adjourned for the day. Fred Gentry, an engine wiper, took the stand and said that he saw both men fighting, when Siers was held back, he demanded to be released so he could carry on fighting Munden, he then described Munden as looking, "half crazed" as he picked Siers up and dropped him overboard, although Munden did help lower a lifeboat to aid the rescue of the two men in the water. Edward Darling a friend of Siers said that they had both been drinking in Eccles, and had drank about seven or eight glasses of beer before returning to their ship, he too heard the fighting but did not see Munden, and to his credit Darling did overboard on a rope in an attempt to save his pals life. P.C. Duggan of the Ship Canal Police told the Jury that he was on duty at Irwell Wharf when he heard the commotion, he questioned and detained Munden, who told him that he was drunk and had been beaten up in a fight, he was taken into custody and removed to Green Lane police station for further questioning. Finally, a John Crowe a night watchman said that he saw Siers pushing and shoving Munden despite being told by several people to calm down, and when questioned by Munden's Solicitor, Mr Hockin gave some evidence that would prove crucial. He said that the S.S. Hartford had a list to the starboard and that the ships handrails were only three foot six inches high, and that, "anyone capering about or carrying on might easily go overboard, if under the influence of drink" After hearing all the evidence, the Coroner told the Jury that in the case of Fentress his cause of death was accidental and as for Munden it would be mere assumption that he deliberately pushed Siers overboard and that it was possible that he dropped him overboard to, "cool him down"... The Jury retired to consider their verdict and came back with the verdict that Siers met his death through accidentally falling over the hand rails whilst staggering about on deck, and Accidental Death verdicts were delivered on both men. Munden appeared at Eccles Magistrates Court and was told by the Chairman, Mr C, Fenton that to a great extent he was responsible for the deaths of both men, owing to him being drunk and fighting, and that has had come from a dry country it was pity he wasn't dry whilst in this country and was then free to leave the Court. Words fail me, surely the witness statements about him dropping Siers overboard was enough evidence to give a verdict of Manslaughter?, could it have been that with Munden being American the authorities didn't want to ruffle any diplomatic feathers? A strange story with no consolation for Irvin Siers. Photos: S.S. Hartford
  10. I told you last week about the amazing collection of books that have been inherited by David Jones, from his late father, Alan and how David was looking for a good home for them, preferably to a University, College, History Group or a keen local historian. I am happy to announce that since the article was published I was contacted by, Dr Brian Hall a Lecturer in Military History at Salford University, and Graham Walker an ex-soldier and keen military historian. We met up at David's house and it if fair to say that both men were delighted at both the sheer number of books and the wide variety of subjects that were covered. Brian took away several suitcases and boxes of books, mainly about World War One, which he will split between his own personal collection and the rest going to Salford University's Library, He told me that he was very pleased with what he was able to take home and that it had, made his week and will be a great help with further research and he would like to thank both David and myself for contacting him Graham who you may know from his Billy Unsworth research, a Salford man who fought in the Boer War, but then re-joined the army only to be killed at Gallipoli in 1915, which Graham has turned into both a song and a possible book/film venture. He also took away several boxes of books mainly about the Gallipoli campaign and books relating to local regiments. with which he was delighted. There are still quite a few books left on the shelves, relating to both WW! and WW2, history's of regiments, autobiographies from men who served in the Armed Forces including the R.A.F. and Royal Navy, maps, brochures and a great deal more. If you wish to claim some of these books, free of charge, then please contact me on Facebook or via my email address, salfordreds1950@gmail.com and I will arrange a suitable time for to call at David's, but please, no book dealers, these books are for the use of people who are truly interested in military history and would be ideal for history societies, retirement homes etc. Please hurry as David will be selling the property shortly and needs to clear out the collection as soon as possible, so if you are interested in this once in a lifetime chance to obtain these books, please contact me.
  11. Last week we payed a visit to see, David Jones in Eccles who contacted us with a query regarding a vast collection of books at his late Father's house, so we called in, and we were staggered at what we saw. Inside the house we were met with pile upon pile of books, on such diverse subjects as World War One, World War Two, coal mining, engineering, mills, canals, buses, and many books on the history of Eccles, Salford, Leigh, Worsley, Wigan, Bury, far too many to count. Our collective jaws dropped as we were invited to look at the collection in the back bedrooms, once again row upon row of books, mainly about World War One, but what a fantastic collection, Rolls of Honour, for Salford and Manchester soldiers who fell in the war, bound volumes of The Great War published by the Sunday Times from 1914 - 1918, bound volumes of, Source Records of the Great War, Illustrated War News, books on every major battle on land, sea and air, newspapers, medals, badges, an amazing collection. Not only books on militaria there are books on virtually anything you can think of, I could live in that room for a month just reading and reading. David told us, more about his Father and how the collection came about, This is where, salford.media step in to help David, I have contacted one or two local history groups who have shown a keen interest in acquiring some of the books, however we don't want individuals taking books and then selling them on Ebay or wherever, that is totally wrong. If you are a genuine historian or preferably a member of a Local History group in Greater Manchester, please contact me for a chat and I will see about putting you in touch with David, this is a once in a lifetime chance to acquire some, rare and unique books, pamphlets, badges, newspapers, maps etc. Contact me on either tony@salford.media or salfordreds1950@gmail.com
  12. You may heave read in the news about the sad plight of the ex Leeds and England rugby league, legend, Rob Burrows who has been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease, a degenerative condition, that affects the function of the nerves in the brain and the spinal cord. Liz Wright a student nurse and a massive rugby league fan, was so touched about reading about his plight that she has decided that along with father they will walk an astounding 127 miles and stopping off at each of the current rugby league stadiums to raise money for the MND in honour of Rob. She will set out on the 7th July starting at Hull KR ground and finishing in Warrington some 4/5 days later depending on weather conditions, walking an average of 10 - 13 hours a day. Salford Red Devils fan, James "Jimbo" Hoskison heard about the charity walk and has decided to get involved himself, and told me more. salford.media will be there on the 9th July to film and interview Liz and James about the walk and how it's going, we shall be there just before 2pm, so please try and get along or if you see them wave or toot your horn in support. If you wish to sponsor James you can contact him on Facebook or Twitter. dig deep!
  13. Today I called in at the Ilirian a new Greek cafe/bistro on Church Street, Eccles located in the old NatWest building for a chat with the owner Ervis, who kindly told me about the new venue and the delights on offer. I have to admit, first impressions are important and I was well impressed with the cafe, it's both spotless and well laid out with seating for some 24 people, additionally it features an access ramp which has been installed for customers with disability problems, and it all comes with friendly customer service. Most importantly, the array of food was mouth watering with traditional Greek pies and pastries which are all hand made, daily on the premises by family members on display at the counter. Indulge yourself on Spanakopita a Greek savoury spinach pie, Bougatas with Mizithra Feta cheese, Mykonian, sausage pie, Traditional Twirled pie with chicken and four cheeses or Creek County Pie with Chicken Graviera and Red Pepper all for the bargain price of £2 a slice. For those with a sweet tooth, Ervis recommends the Portokalopita Orange Pie with Vanilla Cream, or may I suggest, the Galaktoboureko Custard Pie? The Ilirain which is named after after, Ervis's son is a breath of culinary fresh air, and is just what Eccles needed, a more cosmopolitan vibe and a break from the traditional café fare which prevails in the area. Also I am told that permission has been given for outside seating for 10 people, in the summer so you can enjoy a delicious slice of Greece on a plate and watch the world go by, sounds idyllic and I for one will be a regular customer. Call in, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed , trust me! It is open, Monday to Friday 7am - 7pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am - 7pm Unit 1, 49 Church Street, Eccles, M30 0AF For further info visit their website Ilirian Greek Taste Eccles - Cafe or phone on 0161 787 992
  14. I called in at Morrisons Store in Eccles today for a chat with Sue Marsh, The Community Champion for the store. My visit was to discuss a possible book signing for the History of Eccles Pubs book, and the use of a table and chairs in a suitable Covid free, socially distanced environment. no doubt close to the recycling bins where our office is situated, All monies raised will be split between The Mustard Tree Foodbank in Eccles, and Broughton House, The Armed Forces Rest Home, and who knows perhaps Morrisons may purchase a copy or make a donation to the two nominated charities? My plea for help seems to have worked as the matter is being handed to the store supervisors, so fingers crossed for a week on Saturday between 12-m and 2pm depending on how many people turn up or we slope off to the pub with the takings Sue asked if we would kindly mention that Morrisons are giving away, free of charge, packets of sunflower seeds, at the tills with no purchase needed. as part of the Seeds of Hope campaign. The reason being is that they want to help celebrate the growing sense of national optimism with the decline in Covid cases by planting these sunflowers across the UK, representing the brighter and lighter times of hope ahead. Seems fair enough to me, I love Sunflower plants and had two growing at Alma Towers, last year bright and cheerful they are. I have been given quite a few packs, so just think, a free packet of sunflower seeds with every book purchased!
  15. Following on with our recent articles and videos about the abandoned and forgotten graveyards of Barton upon Irwell, the story takes another twist. Whilst we were filming in the Barton upon Irwell Wesleyan Methodist graveyard on Barton Road, the one that that mired in controversy when the developer callously smashed the headstones and was forced to put them back, which he did, but not in the original sites. Amongst the rubbish that had been dumped there, we noticed a small, black marble headstone. that had been left and it was obviously a fairly recent headstone with gilt lettering and no sign of wear. It reads, In Loving Memory of Darren L O'Brien, Died 6th July 2019,Aged 42 Years. One of our readers, Debbie Milton contacted us this week to ay that the headstone was still there and wondered if it had been stolen and dumped there? I fear this is one of those cases which has more questions than answers, who was Darren OL O'Brien, was he a local man, who paid for the headstone, why was it left in the Barton Wesleyan, is their a family connection to this burial ground, has it been removed from another graveyard in the area, All Saints and St Catherine's can be ruled out I should imagine, that leaves Peel Green cemetery, but why remove it and place it here? To my untrained eyes it doesn't appear to have been in the soil at all, also it is a small size, possibly an addition to a family grave. I would love to find out who, Darren was and how and why his headstone has ended up in the Barton Wesleyan burial ground in such undignified circumstances, so if you have any knowledge of this, we would love to hear from you and return the headstone to it's rightful owners.
  16. Over the past few weeks we have telling you about Sue Richardson and the excellent work she has been doing for over 40 years in publishing local history books that cover both Salford and Manchester at affordable prices. I first met Neil in 1977 and together we set about doing extensive research into Salford pubs, photographing them, chatting to customers and Landlords alike, and yes we did imbibe quite a few pints, but serious research can be thirsty work.....I digress. Looking back, I am so glad we did the Salford pub books,because as you know Salford has lost so many pubs for so many reasons, and we managed to document their history's for posterity. In 1981 I branched out on my own when Neil went full time as a printer/publisher and author, I decided to write a history of the pubs of Eccles from 1772 onwards, some 40 pubs. Only 1.000 were run off and quickly sold out I'm happy to say, the printing plates were never used again and have been lost over the years. I have been asked many times to do an up to date version, but to be honest I haven't the inclination and things are moving so fast the new updated book would soon be redundant, and I am a lazy sod. You can imagine my shock when I saw a copy for sale on the Amazon site for a staggering £500 a few years back, my spirits were lifted when I was told there was a copy on sale in an Oxfam Charity Shop in Cheshire, for the knockdown price of £250...well if you are daft enough to pay that, good luck to you, I wouldn't. However I was chatting to Sue at weekend and I mentioned that I usually do a history walk around Eccles twice a year to raise both money and food for the Mustard Tree Foodbank and Broughton House, the nursing home for armed forces veterans. The Covid crisis has wiped out one of the walks for certain, however. With advances in printing techniques, Sue has told me that we can now reprint A History Of The Pubs Of Eccles, be still my beating heart! I have decided if enough people are interested in buying a copy, we can run off a strictly limited number of the book, each one numbered and signed, and the profits to be shared between above named charities. The sticking point is how many to reprint and how much to charge? I think 100 to be published and charge a £10 a copy is about right, and yes I know it was originally only a quid but that was nearly 40 years ago and the money is for charity and not for my Swiss bank account or for paying for the upkeep of Alma Towers, West Wing. So there you go, so if you are interested in purchasing a valuable piece of social history which is bound to increase in value over the years, an ideal gift for your grandchildren. a talking point when left on your smoked glass coffee table, you know the dance, let me know?
  17. Today we paid a return visit to Ringley Village to see local history book publisher, Sue Richardson, to see how she is coping with book sales and the Corona virus, also to present her with the salford.media award in recognition of both her and Neil's work in documenting and preserving the diverse history of Salford and Greater Manchester. For over 40 years they have been publishing local history books at affordable prices, with books that cover all aspects of life in Salford and Greater Manchester, which are a boon to both the serious academic and keen local historian, alike. With the death of Neil in 2006, it was feared that Sue would close the publishing house and leave a massive void in the local book market, she has bravely continued with Neil's good work and for that, I thank her along with many other people. Following the video interview we did with her last week she was delighted to receive a request for a book catalogue from the Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett, who hopefully will place a massive order! Also she received telephone orders from both local people including a request from Norway! and a several visitors to her home. So, once again I am asking you to support local business who will be struggling in these difficult times. Please contact Sue on 01204 578138 or via email at wattywalton@btconnect.com Or if you send a Stamped Addressed Envelope to Sue at 88 Ringley Road, Stoneclough, Radcliffe, Manchester, M26 1ET. She will send you a catalogue of all of the over 100 books available
  18. Earlier this week we visited several areas of Barton upon Irwell and did a live stream about three graveyards in the local area, one of which was, the Roman Catholic cemetery on Peel Green Road which opened in 1820 and closed in 1948 with at least 280 interred there. We had to mention the dreadful state that it is in, with cans, bottles, household rubbish, traffic cones etc which has just been thrown over the walls, not to mention the fallen trees, branches and undergrowth. Concerned reader, Billy Tunnicliffe contacted us and told of his plans to clear up the site and recruit local volunteers to help clean up this eyesore.. As we clambered over the undergrowth we came across several more headstones, which we cleaned up to make more legible, and these included the following people. Charles Kilner, Arthur Sherry, Jonathon Hankinson, Patrick Higgins, Patrick Griffin, Elizabeth Swarbrick, Joseph Polllit, and Robert Eadsworth. Are any of these names, relatives, or you do you recognise these names? So if you wish to help Billy on his mission to tidy up the graveyard please get in touch with us and we shall pass on all details.
  19. I have heard the saying that if you go in somebody's you can guarantee there will be a glass from a local pub in there, I think this saying can be extended to a copy of a Neil Richardson, local history publication. We visited Sue Richardson's house in Ringley Village to see a truly amazing collection of books, Trade Directories, maps, photographs and even a bound collection of the Manchester Guardian newspaper from 1821 - 1972, a historians dream. Neil who sadly passed away in 2006 was good friend of mine and I am proud to have known him, I first met him in 1977 when he was the Editor of the Camra magazine, What's Doing, an hilarious and often Irreverent newsletter about local pubs and breweries. Together with Alan Gall we wrote , A History of Salford Pubs volume one, this was published in 1978 and from then on things snowballed as Neil assisted by Sue set up his own publishing company and began publishing affordable, local history publications, and put in print many. many authors, myself included whose work, would have never seen the light of day. His publications covered a vast area of Salford and Manchester with such topics as Salford Docks, memories of Hulme, Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, Miles Platting. Hanky Park, Weaste, housing conditions in Victorian Manchester, the history of long defunct breweries and pubs, cinemas, dance halls, policing, WW! and WW2 local regiments, the Blitz and far to many to mention here, in all some 200 publications were printed, this has now been whittled down to around 100 or so. Sue Richardson has continued with this legacy and from home still reprints much of the back catalogue and the odd new publication, single-headedly, a cottage industry you could call it, but more importantly she provides an invaluable service for both the keen local historian and the person who has a love for a certain area and likes to reminisce about days gone by. I am delighted to say that Sue has managed to keep up, just printing the books but has been hard hit for sales with the Covid crisis, however she has informed that she is still doing postal sales and can be contacted at home where she will be happy to discuss sales with you, but please phone before calling at her home address. Please contact Sue on 01204 578138 or via email at wattywalton@btconnect.com Or If you send a Stamped Addressed Envelope to Sue at 88 Ringley Road, Stoneclough, Radcliffe, Manchester, M26 1ET. She will send you a catalogue of all of the over 100 books available Finally Sue tells me that her email is a bit slow at the moment but rest assured each one will be answered, if you get stuck, you can message me at, tony@salford.media and I will pass messages on. So please support your local small business at this most testing of times and Sue fully deserves all of our help and support For a full list of available books please attached file: Download
  20. Salford's favourite historian, accomplished author and respected local journalist, Mr Anthony Errol Flynn, has announced that he is standing as an independent candidate for the position of City Mayor in the upcoming Salford elections which are to be held this May. Tony cuts a popular figure within Salford, having amassed a considerable following over the years due to his immense encyclopaedic knowledge of the cities history as well as his wit, humour and philanthropy. Speaking on the steps of Swinton Civic Centre, Tony told us: Tony went on to speak about his election pledges: Tony hopes to have his full politically correct 'personifesto' out later this week once it has been finalised and printed for free on the photocopiers at Eccles Library.. For a full copy of the 740 page hard back booklet which comes with a free copy of his Eccles pub book, you can contact him on 0161 820 2411 and leave a message starting with the words 'In Like Flynn'.
  21. What do you expect to find when you visit your local allotments, people growing, potatoes, fruit, vegetables, herbs, the occasional chicken coop or even a bee hive? Today we visited Mark Howard in Eccles to have a look at his highly unusual garden shed, unusual in it is some sixty foot long, and three feet deep and entered by going down, several stone steps, a six foot man or woman can easily stand upright and walk about in it. Mark has had the allotment for over three years and has taken it over from his Father in Law who had previously had it for over 30 years or more. I think it has been in a previous life an Anderson air raid shelter from World War Two looking at the brick construction, it could easily have seated 40 people in there, and after the war the underground base has been kept, the corrugated iron roof removed and built up with glass panels and surrounds. Eccles was bombed in the war and close to the allotments and on Peel Green Road a house was hit and the occupants were killed, also Trafford Park is minutes away from here, so I think it's a strong possibility. Meanwhile Mark, who grows strawberries, potatoes, garlic, onions etc, see's the shed as the perfect bolt hole from life, with a stove and comfy chairs in there, he can relax and watch the world go by. If anybody has maps of the area from the 1930s we would love to see them and find out how long the allotments have been there and was this a communal air raid shelter, or hear your memories of the allotments. As a footnote there is a small replica Anderson shelter on the allotments built by one of the allotments holder, and it is a really good replica with a corrugated roof, piled high with soil and grass growing on it, and decorated with military slogans, well done that man.
  22. A visit to Barton upon Irwell, Eccles today and a tour around the area and it's myriad delights. We took a close look at Barton Swing Aqueduct, the first and only swing aqueduct in the world which opened in 1761 and replaced in 1894, still working and a pleasure to watch in action/ Stonemason's marks in Pocket Park and the mystery of the 1824 stone engraved tablet, W.R.B. all explained. We look at the disgraceful condition of the 1894 Barton Road Swing Bridge, peeling paint, exposed metalwork and even the original wooden setts are showing through the potholes on the bridge, This is a fascinating area with two Grade One Listed Structures, and two Grade Two Listed Structures, hidden graveyards, terraced houses dating from 1820's, wildlife including Canadian Geese even the chip shop Laurel Hardy visited in 1947! what more could you ask for? I could ask Peel Holdings to please, please repair the damage to the Barton Road Swing Bridge, as it is an eyesore, before it is too late. I could ask Salford Council to consider using the area when tidied up to be a heritage/ tourist attraction, it would be off huge interest to canal boat enthusiasts, lovers of architectural engineering, historians, wildlife and would bring money into the area. So, hope you enjoy the video and find something of interest in it.
  23. Continuing with our pledge to reward the unsung community heroes who have done so much for their local community and for no reward or recognition, we had no hesitation in awarding the highly prized and much valued (that enough Ed?) award to a Community Champion. Today we visited Eccles Precinct to present our latest salford.media Community Award to a lady who is a familiar figure there as she serves up drinks in all weathers to her dedicated customers. Yvonne McGarvey has run the Eccles Coffee Stall there for the past four years and has turned this corner of the Precinct into a meeting place, were her loyal customers come for a chat, a brew and talk their cares away. The Covid crisis has hit Yvonne as hard as anyone else but she rose to the occasion and as soon as restrictions were eased, it was normal service as usual and the customers I have spoken to, were delighted to see her back. Yvonne not only dispenses drinks with a smile for all her customers but has a real care for them, she can be seen organising Bingo sessions with prizes she donates herself and with the profits made she takes takes her many of her more elderly customers out for a day trip, four times a year to Southport, Blackpool and Morecambe where they get a free meal in a hotel and free transport there and back, for which she deserves a round of applause at least, a real unsung hero and a fitting recipient of the award. She has become a huge asset to Eccles Precinct and is beloved by her customers just as much as the hot beverages she serves. So if your in the Precinct why not take the weight off your feet, have a brew with Yvonne and watch the world go by.
  24. On Tuesday we did a story on a true local hero, Fred Tewson, who some will know better as the chap which many of have you seen walking around the Barton and Peel Green areas in all weathers from 8am - 11am every day picking up discarded litter from the streets, hedges and parks and disposing of them responsibly. Earlier in the week we gave him a salford.media Community Champions Award which he fully deserved as he represents what our award is all about. Fred does not seek publicity or notoriety for his good deeds, he does it because he truly loves the local community he lives in and he is proud to do his bit. Many have attempted to get Fred to accept an award in the past and we are immensely proud that he accepted our small token of appreciation for what he does, and appreciation is the key word there as we really do admire him not only for keeping his area clean and tidy but also for the reasons he does it. Just a few moments in Fred's presence and you become fully aware of the kind of man he is, no nonsense, down to earth and very proud of the area he lives in, and so he should be as he is a huge part of its success. The story triggered massive amounts of comments from our readers and and every one was complimentary about him, here are just a few: Alyson Mellor "Fred passes our house daily come rain, shine or snow thank you Fred you do an amazing job x" Doreen Martin "Really pleased Fred accepted this award "He is such a lovey man. xx" Kellie Baker "I love this guy. When real life is occurring I see him most days and always wish him a good morning. Brings a smile to my face. Really appreciate all his hard work." Vania Burnell-Pack "A great guy. At long last he has accepted an award. Congratulations Fred" Liz Miller "So deserved. "Every community needs a Fred in it Congratulations Fred." We were then contacted by Councillor Sharmina August on behalf of Salford City Council who wished to show their gratitude by sending a bouquet of flowers to Fred's beloved wife, Marjorie, which I thought was a really nice gesture. This evening I received a message from Fred's niece, Debbie Nickisson, which said, So, do you know somebody who deserves one of our much coveted Community Champions Awards, an unsung hero who gets on with helping out without seeking praise or a reward? If so contact us with their details at tony@salford.media
  25. If you live in the Barton, Peel Green area of Eccles you must have seen a sprightly figure with a litter sack and a stick, busily picking up discarded cans, paper, face masks, litter etc and generally making the area an almost litter free zone and if that isn't enough he can be seen in Spring planting flowers on the local verges and grassland. He has been doing this for some twenty years and has carried on through the Covid pandemic, suitably attired of course and in all weathers. We were contacted by several people including his Niece, Debbie Nickisson who were all singing the praises of this amazing man and the wonderful work he does for his local community. So we paid a surprise visit to Barton to meet the man and have a chat with him about his good work and present him with our Community Champions Award. The local hero is Fred Tewson a youthful 84 year old who it has to be said is one of the most, modest and unassuming people you could wish to meet and has in the past, turned down various awards and quietly gets on with his work. Fred is obviously a man of few words and initially was reluctant to accept the award and we were delighted when he did as this is what our awards are about, local people who do amazing things not for rewards or accolades but because it is something they feel passionate about enough to get involved! Instead of complaining about a problem, Fred is the type of man who instead looks at how best to solve it. He really is a great example of a community champion, an unsung hero who fully deserves a round of applause if not a standing ovation and it was a pleasure chatting to him and his wife Marjorie. If you see Fred doing his rounds why not offer him some encouragement or a cheery word even better, follow his example, grab a sack and get tidying up!
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