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Tony Flynn

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  1. Tony Flynn


    Today I paid a visit to the Crown Theatre, Liverpool Road, Eccles after diggers were seen on the site, levelling the ground and generally making good the area. I spoke to the site manager, Simon from Goodwins who told me that the digger was doing, "enabling work" a posh term for getting the ground ready for construction work, which will start in the next few months, and new safety barriers are being erected around the site. I have a long term fascination with this building and it's rich and varied history, so I would like to share a few anecdotes about the performers who have played here and incidents at the theatre. The building opened in February 1899 and was called the Lyceum Theatre and it originally put on Shakespeare productions and high brow revues, sadly the people of Eccles were not too enamoured with this and wanted good old fashioned music hall revues. And so their wish was granted with top name artistes treading the boards here, including a young Charlie Chaplin in 1910, George Formby Senior and George Formby Junior, Frank Randle as one of the Bouncing Randles, trampoline artistes, Ted Ray, Linga Singh, Will Hay, Max Miller, Max Erard and countless others. I came across some strange acts that performed here and I would like to share just a few with you. In June 1900 a revue called, The "Klondyke Nugget" played here, a full Cowboys and Indians show complete with horses on stage, gunfights even a band called "The Alaska Brass band" even a shooting contest with local councillors taking part. This revue was the work of Samuel S. F. Cody, no relation to Buffalo Bill, but he was an American who led an amazing life of his own. He developed a man-lifting kite and sold the patent to the War Office in 1906, and in 1908 became the first man in Great Britain to build and fly his own plane in a sustained power flight and won £5,000 in a Round Britain air race in 1912, sadly he died when his plane crashed at Laffan Plains, Aldershot in August 1913. A chap called Dr Walford Bodie appeared here in 1903 and he billed himself as being, "The World's Greatest Hypnotist, Electrician and Scientist" obviously a very modest man. He claimed he could cure people with polio by giving them electric shocks with his "Royal Magnets" and on stage he allegedly cured two young boys of polio, James Bethell and Willie Davis, they arrived in wheelchairs and walked out of the Theatre. Bodie led a fascinating life, he even introduced an electric chair into his act and would electrocute his female assistants, also hypnotising them so that they would sleep in a coffin in a shop window for several days, in Birmingham a deranged youth ran on stage and tried to kill him, to no avail. In 1905 King Edward V11 was so impressed with his stage act in London that he visited him backstage to congratulate him! He incurred the wrath of the medical profession with his use of the initials M.D, he said that they stood for Merry Devil not Medical Doctor and shrugged it off, however a large mob of medical students would turn up at his shows causing mayhem, pelting him with bricks and rotten fruit, causing him to flee the stage. If you get the chance, look into Walford Bodie a truly remarkable man who could list Chaplin, Houdini, Harry Lauder. Marie Lloyd and many more as his friends. Continuing with the bizarre a chap called Samson appeared here in 1921 and his act consisted of him performing feats of strength such as bending iron girders, catching a 200lb canonball fired from a cannon 20 feet away and the highlight of the act was to have a motor car drive over him on stage, Follow that! If you think that was strange, consider, "Fred Ropers Midget Company" this consisted of a troupe of midgets who each did a novelty act, such as singing, dancing or juggling, he even put adverts in the Eccles Journal to let people know that would be arriving at Eccles Train Station and then taking afternoon tea in the Furnishing Department at Eccles Co-op Stores. The Crown became a cinema in 1932 and carried on showing films until 1963 when it became a bingo hall, this too closed in the mid 1990s. Finally no story is complete without a ghost in it, is there? spare a thought for Fred Mason a decorative painter who was killed shortly before the grand opening when part of the scaffolding he was working on collapsed and he fell 45 feet to his death into the auditorium. Obviously many,many more stories can be told about the Crown Theatre and I am certain you have your own, so feel free to share them with me.
  2. Tony Flynn


    It's hard to believe but today, 24th February is the tenth anniversary of the death of Joe Martin, a man who many of you may possibly not have heard off, but his legacy is all around us. Joe was the last Conservation Officer for the City of Salford, sadly a position that has never been replaced by the Council, something I find shocking, surely Salford needs a Conservation Officer to keep an eye on listed buildings etc? I first met Joe when I was working at SalfordOnline and was doing some research into the blue plaques and listed buildings in Salford, I contacted him and the very next day he sent across all the information I needed but also a huge list of information through the post. From then on I found Joe to be friendly, informative and a mine of information about Salford, a place he loved dearly and fought hard to improve and preserve. We met again when the Salford Totem Pole which had stood outside the Manchester Liners office on Trafford Road, was rediscovered after years in storage, neglected and in need of some repair. I followed the progress of the totem pole, from a lock up garage in Broughton until it was fully restored by Native American Indian carvers from Canada who came over specially to do the specialised work. I have been told that totem pole will shortly be erected in a site in an appropriate place in Salford, you have to guess were. The famous Monton Lighthouse may possibly not have been built if Joe hadn't seen the potential in allowing it to be built and helped the owner, Phil Austin through the minefield of paperwork that needed to be completed for the job. To learn more about Joe and his life I met his brother Pete Martin who shared his memories with me. So tonight Joe, I shall raise a glass to you memory, Salford lost a great man when we lost you and the City is poorer for your absence. Joe's older brother, Anthony has written a delightful book about the family growing in Salford, full of amusing anecdotes about the family, with some lovely anecdotes in it. It's called, "Tales of 47" and is available from Amazon priced £9.99 - ISBN# 9781773740539 https://amzn.to/2VlttJ4
  3. I should imagine that, the above headline has caught your attention, it did mine when I first read it, because it comes from the pages of the Salford City Reporter, February 1920 and is a shocking example of the casual racism that was bandied about in the press those days. The story was about a man who got stabbed by a black seaman on Broadway, just off Trafford Road, following an altercation it also carried the strapline, "Nigger Stated To Have Cut Three Men" I make no excuse for using those words, I am hoping to show how black people were perceived at the time and the use of the N word was prevalent, sadly. Archie Samuel Gittens 27, appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with maliciously wounding Joseph Dewhurst who lived at Bemsley Street, Salford. Astonishingly he was described as being, "A frizzy haired, lynx-eyed nigger" that description is beyond belief. Inspector Clarke told the packed court that at 11.30pm the previous Thursday evening, Dewhurst and a couple of his friends were walking along Trafford Road and had reached the corner of Tatton Street when two coloured seaman rushed up to them and without provocation, one stabbed him in the face, and then ran away. Despite bleeding heavily he ran after his assailant but when he caught up with him, he was stabbed again this time in the arm, the blow caused him to fall to the floor. His friends called for an ambulance and he was taken to Salford Royal Hospital were Dr Ellis inserted 13 stitches to his wounds, none of which were life threatening. The next day Detective Sergeants Norman and Coates were assigned the case and were soon guided to a Spanish merchant ship, berthed at Salford Docks. They boarded the boat and questioned Gittens about the stabbing, and he was quite open and frank to to them, he is alleged to have said, "I will tell you about the fight, I went into a chip-potato shop on Trafford Road for some food, a mob in there demanded that I buy them all food. "I told them that I would not do so and walked out, straight into another mob of men who called me names and shouted at me and my friend. "I did cut the man and I cut three more more, I ran off down Broadway and threw the knife away" He was arrested and taken to to the Trafford Road police station and charged with the offence mentioned. Back in court Inspector Clarke added that police enquiries had failed to find the three other men that Gittens had alleged to have cut and no complaints had been received by the police. The Stipendary Magistrate having weighed up the evidence told Gittens that only cowards fight with knives and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with hard labour. Obviously Gittens got the punishment he deserved but I can't help wondering if the press han't made things worse with such inflammatory statements and I am certain they would not have helped race relations in Salford which was developing foreign communities including Black, Maltese, Chinese etc mainly seaman from the docks who had decided to stay in Salford and make a new life here. Happily I have seen very few stories that are directly related to race hate in Salford and lets keep it that way.
  4. Police are appealing for the public’s help to trace the family of a man from Manchester. David Leslie O'Brien, 63, who is from Salford passed away at his home address of Upper Brook Street in Manchester on Monday 10 February 2020. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. David may have brothers and a daughter, possibly living in Manchester. Anyone with information about David’s next of kin should contact the Police Coroner’s Office in Manchester on 0161 856 6069.
  5. I mentioned a few weeks ago about the discovery of some beautiful tiles by workmen renovating a shop on Church Street, Eccles, which will shortly be transformed into a Ladies hairdressers. Research showed that the tiles belonged to a confectionery shop called, Bowdens Limited, hence the monogram. The shop was listed in the 1923 Trades Directory but by 1939 it had been taken over by Meeson's Limited another well known confectionery company. Today I passed and looked into the shop, sadly but inevitably the tiles have been covered with plasterboard and skimmed over, hiding them from the public view forever. I was hoping that they could have been left in-situ as a reminder of the shops heritage, sadly not to be. Possibly it would have been a nigh on impossible task to remove them and clean them up, they were firmly cemented to the wall and some damage was inevitable. We can only take consolation from the fact that we were allowed to see them and record them for posterity and in a strange way they have been preserved and who knows in another 70 years they may be revealed again and this time perhaps kept?
  6. The votes are in and they have all been counted and I think it's fair to say we have an overall winner, by a landslide actually, yes it's Sykes Chip Shop, Swinton. We called at the shop today for a chat with owner Gail who along with hubby Anthony run the shop and present them with our salford.media Gold Star Award for the.... "Best Chip Shop in Salford" I asked Gail to tell us about the shop and the secret of their success. I was really impressed with the shop and the adjoining cafe which was filling up as we were there, it really was spotless, and yes in the course of my duty I felt obliged to try the fish and chips which came in a fancy Sykes branded takeaway carton, no less. Without bias I can honestly say they were magnificent and I can see why the shop was a runaway winner in our competition and I congratulate you, Gail and Anthony, excellent, food, excellent service, excellent prices what more can you ask for? Give it a visit you will not be disappointed I can guarantee, 10/10 from me. You can find them at 596 Bolton Rd, Pendlebury, Manchester M27 4ET - and after our visit today we can see why they won.
  7. One of the more serious charges to be held against a woman was to be convicted of running a disorderly house, or as I like to call it, a brothel. There was an obvious stigma attached to this kind of woman, "the talk of the wash house", "a fallen woman". "lady of the night" etc but this "profession" still carries on. This story from the Salford City Reporter, February 1920, tells of two sisters, Mabel Tomlinson and May Brown who appeared at Salford Magistrates Court accused of running a disorderly house and assisting in the management, respectively. P.C. Lamb, who was a well known and feared beat bobby in Salford had been keeping his beady eye on their house in Treble Street, off Trafford Road, close to Salford Docks, possibly a little too close. On two separate occasions he had seen the ladies in question escorting gentlemen back to the house, they would go in the front door and the men would be let in by the back door, possibly to avoid detection. No doubt morally outraged he decided that enough was enough and decided to put a stop to their shenanigans and banged on the door. Mabel answered the door, he demanded to know who the gentleman was she had just brought home, to which she replied rather cheekily, "you find out". No doubt enraged by her answer he along with P.C.Walton burst into the house were they saw a Norwegian seaman in the kitchen with May Brown, he asked him if he knew the woman, "Yes I know the Missus, I met her in a hotel we had a few drinks" They turned their attention back to Mabel and told her that the police had received numerous complaints about her conduct, she wasn't happy with that, "I'll bring back as many gentlemen as I like, my husband doesn't keep me" A stern woman to say the least, talking back to the police like that, I have a grudging admiration for her, Then for some reason, she rather foolishly offered P.C. Lamb a ten shilling note saying, "take that and say no more about it", he declined her offer as they say, she then offered it to P.C. Walton who also refused to take it. Our boys in blue had seen enough and chucked the Norwegian seaman out and carted the women off to the police station were they were charged with the above offences. The ladies had Mr Howard Flint defending them and he asked P.C. Lamb how many men he had seen go into the house, he replied 14 but admitted that he had seen no actual impropriety taking place, Mabel took the stand and told the court that Mr Tomlinson was her second husband but they were separated and that her younger sister, May was staying with her because she and her husband were not seeing eye to eye. May was described as being, "a pleasant looking girl" she told the court she and her husband, Albert had agreed to separate because, "they could not agree", - not sure what that means - but that he did call and see her at her new address. Alfred Brown for some reason told the court that he still visited his wife and gave her money when he could afford it? not sure what for though. The Stipendary Magistrate turned his anger on the two women and really blasted into them as he witheringly told them, "May Brown, do not for a moment think that I disbelieve anything that has been told me by the prosecution, I believe every word of it, but I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt of your husband giving you money. I hope that you have not gone so far that you cannot turn around and go back home to your husband, You are discharged" "Mabel Tomlinson, I blame you entirely, I think you are a very immoral woman, unfortunately as I have given your sister another chance, I cannot convict you" Both women left the court, rather quickly I should imagine if they had any sense just in case he changed his mind, in cases like this it usually carried a custodial sentence, One thing still puzzles me, Albert Brown giving his wife money, surely not for services rendered!
  8. Today we payed a visit to the Salford Local History Library on the Crescent in Salford not to have a peruse through their archives for once, but to see the librarian and all round good chap, Duncan McCormick and present him with our latest Gold Star Award. Duncan really is one of the unsung heroes of Salford, for the past ten years he has worked at the library and it has to be said he is one the most helpful, friendly and informative people I have ever met. His enthusiasm for the job shines through as we called in and caught holding a "reminiscence" session for local, elderly people, the table was full of period photographs and maps and they were all busy chatting away sharing their memories, and what an excellent way of encouraging people to meet up and chat about their lives. Duncan is in charge of some 70,000 photographs of the city and surrounding areas,census returns, street directories, maps and newspapers, so as you can imagine he is in constant demand for his services. I can not praise Duncan highly enough for the sterling work he does in helping so many people, week in, week out with unfailing enthusiasm and it was a pleasure to present him with his award, if it was up to me he would be given the Freedom of Salford! The library is open Tuesday to Friday from 9.30am until 4.30pm with a late night opening on a Wednesday until 8pm. Booking is essential if you are visiting and wish to use the facilities, call on 0161 778 0814.
  9. Aren't the kids of today little terrors, needlessly smashing things up, stealing other people's property and generally running wild, not like when I was..(insert own age group here). Actually they have always been like that , just look through any old newspapers as I often do, and its the same old story of bored teenagers getting up to no good as this court case from February 1920 shows only too clearly, only the weren't even in their teens! Mr Dyson who owned a chemist shop on Marlborough Road, Higher Broughton was in for a rude shock when he returned from his dinner break and found a window at the back had been smashed and somebody had been in the shop. To his horror he found his shelves had been ransacked and the following items were missing, four tins of pastilles, one pound of cachous, four bars of soap, two tooth brushes, three boxes of cinnamon tablets, seven bottles of perfume, one dozen safety razor blades, three pounds of Spanish and five tins of boiled sweets, with a total value of £4 and ten shillings. The police were called and Detectives Bird and Hodgson were assigned the case and they quickly made a lead thanks to a tip-off, always the way. They visited an unnamed school and questioned two young boys, Harold Dunn aged 12 and Michael Earley also aged 12, they soon cracked and confessed with Dunn saying, "I'll tell you the truth, we both broke into Dyson's but we didn't take anything we threw it all away" However once he got in the swing of confessing to things, he wouldn't shut up and confessed that they had both broke into a confectioners on Waterloo Road the day before and caused, "some damage inside" a slight understatement as you will see. They were both charged with breaking and entering into the two shops and causing criminal damage and appeared at Salford Magistrates Court the following day. Detective Hodgson told the court about the "some damage" inside the confectioners shop and it sounds a right mess, but I could imagine these two young boys getting carried away once they had started. Eggs had been thrown up and down the floor, at the walls and the ceiling, four cases of chocolate were opened and trampled into the mass of egg yolks and shells. On top of this they poured the contents of bottles of cordials, then they took from the shop window a dummy wedding cake and poured into it a mix of eggs, chocolate and cordial followed by a large bag of mixed sweetmeats. He then said that the damage was "simply wanton" and when the "outrage" was discovered it took a spade to clear the mess from the floor..stop laughing! The Stipendary told the boys it was a, "thoroughly naughty thing to do" and sentenced Dunn to receive six strokes of the birch whilst Early was remanded in custody for a week with a view to sending him to a reformatory. When Mrs Dunn was informed she could witness the birching of her boy she said she did not wish to do so, but hoped that, "they would give it him very severely" So there we go nothing has been learnt and nothing has changed apart from the birch being banned, however I fear there are a minority of people who would welcome it back.
  10. Six teenagers who have caused large amounts of damage to a building in Salford, have been hit with injunction orders. The teenagers who are aged between 12–17 and cannot be named for legal reasons, have been served with a Civil Youth Injunction Order, after entering a residential building on a number of occasions to cause damage to the communal areas, including damage to new fire safety measures. Housing association Salix Homes, which owns around 8,000 homes in Salford, sought legal action against the teenagers following their persistent anti-social behaviour at Fitzwarren Court in Salford. Three of the youths appeared at Manchester and Salford Youth Court on 9 January, 2020 where they were hit with a 12 month order. The other three youths who did not attend were also given the same order which prevents them from entering Fitzwarren Court. The court heard how the teenagers had not only caused damage to important fire safety measures, but had also been urinating on the communal stairways, smoking cannabis, leaving rubbish behind, as well as causing damage to windows. If the defendants break the terms of the order, which has a power of arrest attached, they could face a supervision order or detention. Sue Sutton, executive director of operations at Salix Homes, said:
  11. Many of you hopefully have had a stroll through the grounds of Eccles Parish Church and enjoyed the pleasant greenery of the gardens, with cherry blossoms trees and weeping willows helping create a tranquil setting to enjoy the 12th Century church. Until 1965 headstones were still on display with over 4,000 people buried there when the headstones were removed and the area grassed over. Dotted around the eastern wall of the church are about 20 headstones one chosen from each century to show the different designs used throughout the years. A few years ago I was admiring the Eccles mural, the original painted by Ed Povey in 1980, which in turn was painted over in 2012, at the side of the mural are a set of steps which lead to the back of the Grapes pub. I walked up the stairs and was amazed to make out part of a headstone protruding from the churchyard but now being used used as part of a flagged pathway, with very little lettering showing to give any clues as to whose it was. Today I was passing and revisited the spot and was pleased to the headstone still showing but overgrown with moss, grass and weeds. I spotted the Eccles Precinct security staff, Mark and Alex and asked if they would kindly give me a hand to clean away the rubbish and hopefully reveal some more clues, the temptation to call them Burke and Hare was overwhelming I must admit. They very kindly shovelled away the grass and poured water on the stone and slowly we were able to make out some lettering which was barely legible. More water and a stiff brushing revealed even more of the lettering, which appears to read, "In Memory of John son of William....Harrison...Departed" Sadly the rest of the headstone goes under a fence and into the churchyard and we were unable to clear away any more grass without trespassing onto church ground. The mystery is, Who were the Harrison family, I do know it is quite a common name in the Eccles area, we even have a Harrison Street in Peel Green. Why is the headstone in such an incongruous setting, was it one of the headstones that was removed in 1965 and has somehow ended up as part of footpath, there are slabs of stone there but they don't appear to be headstones to me. Obviously more research is needed but the whole gravestone if it is intact, needs to be exposed and cleaned before we can find out who the people are.
  12. Walking through the backstreets of Salford can often be a depressing slog, with rubbish seemingly dumped everywhere, bin bags ripped open, bottles, cans, furniture even the occasional bed just casually dumped. However in Eccles we a one woman army dedicated to fighting the flytippers, I give you Lorraine Naylor a Grandmother of nine children who is on a campaign to clean up her local area. We met Lorraine on a wet Sunday morning in Patricroft as she showed us around the sites most affected by this blight and what we saw can only be described as disgusting. Lorraine told us: We did take photos of the rubbish and hopefully local councillors can help out, surely it's within their realms to sort this mess out or at least work on behalf of the residents to sort the problem with the rail company that apparently owns the land? Lorraine is appealing for volunteers to help her on her crusade to make the area a cleaner, healthier place to live. How about it? perhaps a few councillors and members of the community could tag along along and help out? Salford Council has been fighting an uphill battle with fly-tippers and rubbish dumpers who are blighting this city and causing unnecessary misery to residents. It seems that no sooner have the council removed rubbish a new pile turns up in its stead. Our own Karl Davison has been documenting the problem for over five years now and in that time he has come to have a unique perspective and understanding of the issue. Karl said: On Nelson Street we found that much of the dumped rubbish could have easily been sorted and put into the correct bin, sadly it seems that some would sooner let the council deal with the problem, this has a direct impact and costs the council hundreds of thousands of pounds to continually deal with. Money that comes out of tax payers pockets, that said, even taking that into account, the bins that are there are totally inadequate for the homes in the area and that in our opinion needs to be addressed. In recognition of Lorraine's commitment to her neighbourhood we have awarded her one of our Community Champion Award. It is people like her who make a positive impact and they should be recognised for trying to make out communities better, cleaner and safer.
  13. Hard to believe but the Conservative Party once held sway in Salford and held the majority of seats on Salford Council and their members were considered to be the respectable, upstanding pillars of the community. This story from January 1920 shows some of them in a somewhat different light and obviously not all Tories behave like this. The steward of the North Conservative Club in Broughton was having his usual quiet night, serving members and was preparing to close for the night when his reverie was rudely shattered by the arrival of six men led by Frank Nolan. They marched to the bar and demanded to be served beer, it goes without saying that all of them were under the influence of drink and used threats of violence to members of the club and bar staff, some people were so alarmed that they ran upstairs and hid. The steward tried to reason with the men, saying that the bar was closed and if they didn't leave he would be forced to summon the police. Sadly this appeal fell on deaf ears as they demanded to be served and once again threatened him with violence if they didn't get their drinks, he became so scared that he fled from the club and went looking for a constable. When he returned a few minutes later with a passing beat bobby, to his horror he found six empty beer glasses with dregs floating in the bottom, the bounders had helped themselves! He demanded to know who drawn the beer only to be told by Nolan, "Me" His chum Richard Laithwaite then casually chucked a half crown coin onto the bar and said, "I'm paying for it, keep the change" I love a generous drunk. Laithwaite strolled into the lobby and saw the policeman and told him. "I am in charge of this gang, Fall in: right turn, quick march" They marched out of the club and into a waiting taxi and drove off into the night. Detective Sergeants Cheetham and Birds were assigned the case, they soon tracked down the good companions at their home addresses and arrested them. They appeared at Salford Magistrates Court before, Mr P.W. Atkin with Major Parker Morris prosecuting, and Mr Gilman Jones acting for their defence. They were charged with, "Consuming beer on the premises of North Salford Conservative Club in contravention of Section 2 of the Central Boards Control" I think that means that they nicked their beer after time, Mr Gilman Jones in their defence said that it was a "silly escapade" for which all the men have apologised and deeply regret. Major Morris pointed out that Laithwaite has been earlier expelled from the club and Nolan had been refused membership of the club. The Stipendiary fined Laithwaite £10 and the other accused £5 each saying. "There is nothing a political club is as jealous as, as it's good name" I get the impression that Laithwaite and Nolan had been earlier hooved out of the club and they had returned drunk making a nuisance of themselves in some form of petty revenge. Tories don't you just love them.
  14. We are a nation of shopkeepers as the famous saying goes and wrongly attributed to Napoleon by many people, but we are not here for a history lesson. At salford.media we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the local shopkeepers who do a sterling job in meeting our needs and fighting against the Big Boys who own the supermarkets. Take a look around you, we have barbers, butchers, newsagents, corner shops, off licences, florists, chemists, and bakers. And it is with those that we have chosen our inaugural winner, step forward, Ivor Ward, who has run Ward's Bakery on Barton Lane for the past 50+ years. The shop has been in his family since 1922, a staggering 98 years! Ivor took over from his father, Thomas Frederick Ward who in turn took it over from his father and inside the shop are photographs showing them standing proudly outside the premises. To get back to the present day, the shop is going as strong as ever with customers coming from all over the area to purchase his wares which are all made on the premises. Take your pick from Eccles Cakes, (the only shop in Eccles to still make them), mince pies, gingerbread men, chocolate shortbread, blackcurrant tarts, iced fingers.... However the shop is well worth visiting for his mouth watering selection of pies, meat and potato, cheese and onion, meat, steak and kidney and sausage rolls. Have you ever tasted the shops delicacy, cheese potato cakes? they are wonderful as my waistline will testify. This shop is a marvellous example of an independent bakery, who has managed to keep going because his products are second to none and faithful customers who know quality when they taste it. And the good news is that Ivor assures me has no plans for retirement just yet and has a couple of daughters who may take over the reins one day, but not just yet. We shall be doing a series of articles on local shops, doesn't matter what the trade is, if you think they deserve an award, why not drop us a line at newsdesk@salford.media The next recipient will be directly chosen by the people of Salford who will have a chance to nominate and vote for the 'BEST CHIPPY IN SALFORD 2020' details coming soon via our 27.5 Thousand Strong Facebook Group.
  15. What is the secret of long life? Today I spoke to a lady who certainly has the answer to this question and plenty more, the wonderful Lillian Berry who will be 100 years young on Sunday 9th February and Amadeus Care Home in Eccles where she currently resides, is hoping to help celebrate her long life and make the occasion extra special by asking the Salford community to send Lillian a birthday card. Lillian is a wonderful person and an inspiration to us all who still has a twinkle in her eye as she told me her life story and I was enthralled to hear it. She was born, Lillian Paisey in Lawrence Street, Eccles in a two up, two down terraced house along with seven other siblings, so I should imagine life was hard from day one. Her parents moved from London to Eccles looking for work after the end of WW1 and found employment at Brown and Polson's Trafford Park, a short boat journey across the Manchester Ship Canal away. After finishing at Eccles Parish School at the age of 14 she was soon to be a breadwinner working at Turners Asbestos Company, an industry and company you would hardly associate with good health. She told me about the Christmas Blitz of 1940 and how she was forced to shelter in the deep cellars at Brown and Polson, The war did see Lillian meet her husband to be, George who at the time was serving on the HMS Nizam in the Royal Navy, It was lovely to hear Lillian tell me that when she was a girl, she and her sister would visit the local cinemas in Eccles and Patricroft, calling in at the Empire, which closed in 1940 after being damaged in the Blitz, The Crown and The Palladium where she recalls seeing a lady violinist playing on stage between films. After the war, George and Lillian settled down in Salters Lane, Eccles wiith George working at Gardners, in Peel Green as a machine engineer, were they had two children, Dennis and Norma. One of George's hobbies was fishing, but as Lillian told me, Sadly George was to die tragically young aged just 61, however Lillian forged ahead with her life telling me of her new found hobby of decorating. I did ask her how she had kept so young, the secret? As I sat and listened to her it occurred to me that in her lifetime she had seen, The Great Strike, WW2, the bombing of Eccles, the birth of the National Health Service, the silent cinema, three Kings and one Queen on the throne, 25 Prime Ministers, Decimalisation and so many, many more. Lillian will be having a family birthday party next Sunday surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, however she will not be touching alcohol. I for one will raise a glass to you Lillian, for you are truly a special person and it was pleasure to spend an hour with you, many thanks. Finally I would like to ask for your help here, I thought it would be good idea if any of our readers would be so kind as to send her a birthday card? it would really surprise her and help make her special day that little bit more special. So, if you can, drop her a card to: Lillian Berry c/o Amaadeus, Hampson Grove Eccles M30 OQU Cheers!
  16. The legendary American pioneer, William Frederick Cody better known as Buffalo Bill who was at one time was a Pony Express rider, Army scout, buffalo hunter and in later life the owner of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show which toured Europe with genuine Native American from the Sioux and Oglala tribes, cowboy sharpshooters, stage coaches, wagon trains and even a herd of buffalo! Bill rolled into Salford in early December 1887 and set up camp on the Salford Racecourse at New Barnes, later to be the site of the Number Nine Dock at Salford Docks. As can be imagined 1,00's of visitors flocked to see this show and Bill ever the showman was only to eager to please his adoring public with exhibitions of rifle shooting, mock ups of famous battles including Little Big Horn and plenty of blood curdling action guaranteed. The Wild West Show ran from 14th December until 30th April 1888 and was seen by everyone from MP's, Mayors, Magistrates, merchants, traders and the people of Salford who must have been transfixed by the spectacle unfolding before them. There were a couple of incidents on the Salford leg of the tour, firstly one of the troupe a Native American Indian, called, "Surrounded" died of a chest infection, this was seen as being a curse on the show by some, rumours of his burial have been circulating for some time, he was allegedly buried in Weaste Cemetery, which proved to be untrue, then in Brompton Cemetery in London, but no records exist to show this internment, there is speculation that that he was secretly buried on the showground by his friends, possible? The second incident is that a baby girl was born to "Goodrobe" and "Little Chief" the first ever Native American child to be born overseas, this caused much excitement not only in the camp but in the local press. The little girl was baptised in St Clement's Church in Ordsall, and was given the name, "Overseas" and the English name of Frances, Victoria, Alexander, the names were for Frances Cleveland who was the wife of the American President, Grover Cleveland, Queen Victoria and The Princess of Wales, Alexander, For me the best story involving the visit to Salford concerned a court case which involved Buffalo Bill, which I came across whilst researching for my Cross Lane book (still available in all good bookshops!) On the day before was due to leave to Salford with the show he went out drinking in several pubs and naturally decided to visit a few of the pubs on Cross Lane, I'll bet that was a sight to behold. On the 1st May 1888, he went in the Buck Hotel to have a farewell drink with the Landlord, a chap called Thomas Twist, after a few drinks a hansom cab was called to take Bill back to his lodgings in nearby Howard Street, which shattered my illusions about Bill sleeping underneath the starry, Salford skies in a tent. The cabdriver Mr Broadhurst duly arrived and Bill was waved off, however when they arrived at his address, Bill refused to pay saying that Broadhurst had taken him the long way round, that old trick then! Bill went into the house and slammed the door, Broadhurst, brave chap, banged on the door and demanded his money - wrong move - Bill came out grabbed him by the neck and punched him in the face and promptly went back in the house. Broadhurst went to the police and demanded that Bill be arrested, now this put the police in a dilemma because Salford Council had mooted the idea of naming Broadway, Buffalo Bill Way and possibly the Freedom of Salford for him, for all the charitable work he had done during his stay here. A summons was issued and Mr Twist turned up at Court in his place, whilst Buffalo Bill sent his apologies, and pleaded Guilty but under provocation and was prepared to accept whatever the Magistrate thought fit. The Stipendiary Mr Makinson fined Bill £3 plus costs which included ten shillings for Mr Broadhurst and his cab fare, which was paid at once by Mr Twist. Buffalo Bill did return to Manchester but not Salford, in 1891 and 1902, perhaps he had, had enough of our cab drivers?
  17. Last night, Thursday 23 January I visited The Glasshouse At Worsley to celebrate Burns Night with a traditional dinner with my good friends, Bill and Cath Nolan. This was my first time here but I had been assured by many people that the food they prepare and serve is amazing also the prices are hard to believe, which is a good incentive to visit. The Glass House is a specialist training restaurant manned by trained chefs and culinary students who are encouraged to express their culinary artistry to create mouth watering meals for the customers. We were led to our table by a member of the attentive staff who gave us our menus and took our order, and what an amazing choice of food was available. For starters you could choose from, Beetroot Marinated Mackerel, Arbroath Smokie Bon-Bons, Ham Hock Terrine, or Spiced lentil and Garlic Broth. I chose the Ham Hock Terrine which came with pickled cauliflower and whisky soaked sultana salad, the pickled cauliflower's zingy taste really complimented the terrine to give a fresh, clean taste in your mouth, really delicious. This was followed by, yes, you guessed, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with a drizzle of rich gravy, the presentation of the meal was a delight to behold, the haggis was topped by a rich layer of mashed potato, prepared in a food ring, I was well impressed and it virtually melted in your mouth, beautiful. Pausing for breath I had a bottle of Peroni lager brought to the table from a well stocked bar. For the Main Course you could choose from, Roast Haunch of Venison, Poached River Spey Salmon or Risotto of Scottish Wild Mushrooms. I plumped for the Venison which was served with Mealie Pudding and Bramble Jus, this was the highlight of the meal for me, the venison was rich, lean and cooked to perfection, possibly one of the finest meals I have ever tasted, full marks to the chef and staff. As we felt our waistbands expanding we came to the Desserts a choice of Whisky, Walnut and Brown Butter Tart, Clootie Dumpling or Cranachan Parfait, a weight watchers nightmare there I fear! I think you can guess which one I chose? the Tart was served with warm Atholl brose ice cream, how decadent is that? it goes without saying that I threw caution to the wind ate the lot, the joy of food guilt. We sat back to soak up the ambience of the restaurant and to get our breaths back, just when we thought we had, had more than enough, the waiter Nathan presented us with a plate of sugary shortbread slices and Saltire flag decorated chocolate bon-bons, what a lovely gesture, these were placed in a "doggy bag" and taken home...by Billy! So how much did this culinary feast set me back, it cost £20....you read that correctly, £20 for a four course meal which if you were to order in a Manchester or Worsley restaurant would cost you close to £80-100 easily. The beauty of eating at The Glass House is that not only are you getting a first class meal made from the finest, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients you are also helping in the development of the skills of the trainee chefs and staff, a winner, winner in my book. I cannot recommend the Glass House highly enough and I for one will be making return visits. Finally a thank you to John and Wendy who took the time out from their busy schedule to talk to me about their students and their pride in working her, the pleasure was mine. You can contact The Glass House at theglasshouse@salfordcc.ac.uk 0161 6315160 or Facebook.
  18. Pigeon's we all all love them right? feathered flying rats, wartime heroes (Dickins Medal the animal VC) a table delicacy, (Speckled Jim) a much loved creature of fanciers and breeders? Take your pick. I do know that racing and breeding pigeons was and is an extremely popular sport with strong working class roots, birds have been known to change hands for as much as for a staggering £1.07 million and with prize money as high as £30, 000 competition is fierce. What has this got to do with your usual local history stories I almost hear you ask, well settle down, don't ruffle your feathers and all will be explained. January 1920 saw a strange case at the Salford Magistrates Court when Daniel Harman 23, who resided at Irlam Square. Pendleton appeared charged with theft of a racing pigeon. Samuel Corbett who lived at Bolton Road, Irlams O' Th' Height was a collier at Agecroft Colliery and was described as having an excellent collection of birds, and had been quite successful in winning a number of sweepstakes and prize money in the local area. He had one fine specimen which was sadly unnamed he valued at £5 a not inconsiderable sum, which he had prepared for a forthcoming race which had a prize of £25. Obviously Sam loved his pigeon and one can only imagine his horror when he went to the cote to feed his beloved bird, only to find to his horror that the bird was missing, the cote had been safely locked when he left and he flew to the conclusion that his bird hadn't flown but had been stolen! His suspicions were aroused and he decided to keep watch on neighbouring cotes to find his beloved bird, going as far as hiding in bushes and sleeping overnight to catch the bird burglar. Two nights later his labours were rewarded when he spotted Hardman holding his pigeon, he leapt from his hiding place and demanded. "What are you doing with my bird?" Hardly phased he casually replied, "Oh take your bird" Corbett took hold of it and to his consternation found that the feathers on one side of it's wing had been clipped off , "in a most shameful manner leaving the quills bare" He furiously demanded what he had one to his beloved pigeon only to be told that he wanted some eggs from the bird and with that breezed off. The police were called and Detective Sergeant McNee was summoned to investigate the fowl deed. He arrested Hardman at home and asked him why he had done it, and was told, "Yes I did steal it, I did it for spite" The Stipendary Magistrate heard the evidence and said, "it is about as mean a thing as I have heard in years" He then fined £20 or go to prison for 51 days, yes we all thought he deserved bird. Not a lot I can say really as I have run out of pigeon/bird puns but I can assure you that it is a true story! I'll get my cote.
  19. Salford Docks was an amazing place, I can remember as a youngster going to Old Trafford cutting through Mode Wheel Locks over the Ship Canal, past the Dry Docks and marvelling at the ocean going boats lined up in the docks. As we know the docks finally closed in 1982 with the loss of 3,000 jobs, a hammer blow to the to the local economy and workforce. At one time nearly every family in Salford had s family member employed there or at least knew somebody employed there, such was it's size. As can be expected with all the goods being transported through the docks, it was often the case that certain goods were often "mislaid" to put it politely, we have to remember that that the surrounding area was one of the poorest in Salford, I can't frown upon the the actions of a dock worker who would take food home to feed his family. This tale from January 1920 tells just such a story and I do have to admit feeling sorry for this poor chap. John Kelly 32, described as being, "a crippled dock labourer" appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with being in Unlawful Possession of a tin of jam, 18 pounds of sugar and two packets of grape nuts, alleged to have been stolen from Salford Docks and assaulting Sergeant Rowlands of the Dock Police. The full story unfolded before the Stipendiary Magistrate and Court officials. Sgt Rowlands told the court that he saw Kelly acting suspiciously and asked him what was in his pockets, instead of replying, "my hands", an old joke" he produced a two pound tin of jam which he said he had bought outside the docks earlier. When questioned as to which shop he had purchased it from, Kelly rather cheekily replied, "That's for you to find out" In my some what limited experience I have found that sarcasm and wit don't go down to well with the Salford Police and I should imagine it was the case then. Sgt Rowlands collared Kelly and proceeded to drag him to the Docks Police Office. He then said that Kelly became violent, tripped him up and kicked him as he lay on the floor, undeterred he got up and gave chase, Kelly ducked underneath some railway wagons and once again tripped him up and started fighting again. I have to sat Kelly was a very nimble, "cripple" outrunning the Sergeant and ripping him up twice. More police were summoned and he was dragged out from underneath the wagons taken into police custody and charged with the offences. Inspector Carrol tool the stand and said he saw both men fighting together on the floor, adding that "they were both exhausted and looked like chimney sweeps" A search was made of Kelly's house in nearby Howard Street were the sugar and grape nuts were found. Defending Kelly was a Mr F. Lewis-Jones who asked Sgt Rowlands if it was true he pushed Kelly to the floor because he wasn't walking fast enough,which was obviously denied. The Stipendiary heard all the evidence such as it was and sentenced Kelly to prison for seven days for the theft and one months imprisonment with hard labour for police assault. On a more humane note he said there was no evidence that the sugar and grape nuts found in Kelly's house was stolen and ordered them to be returned to him. A strange and sad case because Kelly once released from prison would never again be able to work at the docks and as a cripple would find it hard to find suitable employment.
  20. People from all over Lancashire came to celebrate the life of Salford born, Albert Spiby at the Station Bar, Eccles, yesterday, Sunday 19 January who died after a short illness in December 2019 Albert was a well known and well loved figure in the Salford and Eccles area and to be honest he was hard to miss with his all black army style fatigue clothing, camera and zoom lenses strapped around his neck and his ever present can of Diet Coke! He was a well known figure at any demonstration in the area and was at Barton Moss almost every day when the anti- fracking demonstrations were on and was to suffer for his cause when the police wrongfully seized his car, which was returned to him. He would take me out to many stories I was reporting at SalfordOnline, going as far as Warrington on one occasion to interview a 98 year old chap, Charlie Oldham, who had memories of a famous football match at Salfords ground in 1947/8. It will be more for his political outspoken stance that Albert will be remembered and loved and so it was as people crammed into the pub to celebrate his all too short life and hear stories about him. Debbie Critchley Spiby thanked everybody for coming and told us all about Albert's childhood growing up in Salford and very soon a pattern was established as his refusal to conform became apparent! a proper little rebel even as as a kid. I spoke about the times we had shared together, and couldn't resist reminding people of his bloody awful jokes he would tell, and his strange habit of putting curry powder in hot-pot to flavour it!, his views on gun control, capitalism, New World Order and his love for Guinness and pool. It was good to see a couple of his friends, Jonathon Yates sharing their memories who told us that he, "felt safe when walking around Eccles with Albert" and the times they would spend in the pub together, his friend John Corboy echoed these sentiments, also the owner of the bar, Paul Quinn got up and told us how when he had a spot of bother with the police, Albert came to Court with him everyday to give moral support and advice. Then the mysterious fat Ben Affleck look a like and former Winton playboy Craig Littler, who doesn’t do social media, made a rare public appearance and even rather graciously waived his usual fee to talk about Albert and basically switch the conversation to himself as often as possible... So all in all a sad but splendid afternoon get together to celebrate Albert's life, and raise a glass to him, Albert you were a top bloke and I and many more people will miss you.
  21. I was delighted to be contacted last night by Stephen Saleh who told me a very interesting story and did I have any information? Workmen refurbishing a premises on Church Street, Eccles had revealed a large tiled mural with the monogram BL set in the centre which had been hidden from view for many, many years covered up by a studded wall. Using my so called "archive" I did a bit of research and discovered that the premised used to be a confectionery shop called, Bowdens Limited, hence the monogram. The shop was listed in the 1923 Trades Directory but by 1939 it had been taken over by Meeson's Limited another well known confectionery company. It has has gone through many owners over the years including, Minton Wallpaper, Smiths Cleaners and Quinns Electrical Store who sold expensive stereos and Hi-Fi equipment. The Booth family are the present owners who will be letting the premises to Adam and James Hairdressers who have a smaller premises on Church Street at present. I do hope that the tiles are left in situ and used as a feature in the shop, I believe they are an important reminder of Eccles's social history and should be preserved, fingers crossed!
  22. Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police - Ian Hopkins, has released the following statement in response to recent media reports on the Independent Assurance Review of CSE which have revealed the failures of Greater Manchester Police, Manchester Council and Social Services in safeguarding young vulnerable girls that had been systematically abused by a one hundred strong Asian grooming gang whilst they were in Council care homes. One girl tragically died within months of being hospitalised after being forcibly injected with heroin. Her abuser, Mohammed Yaqoob then aged 50-years old, was cleared of her manslaughter after forcibly injecting her, he was instead jailed for just three and a half years for the administration of a noxious substance. Hopkins released a statement this afternoon denying that the force had been involved in attempting to prevent the publication of a report into the case, saying nothing could be further than the truth, this is what he had to say on the matter:
  23. Another story of when love breaks down and young lovers fall apart, happily most relationships don't end so dramatically as this one. Letitia Worthington 19, (what a lovely first name) lived in Foster Street, Weaste and had been courting Arthur Dunn 20, who resided at Morpeth Terrace, Salford for a mere six weeks. On a Sunday evening in January 1920, Dunn called at Letitia's home and asked if she would marry him, she declined his offer and after a few choice words, slammed the door shut in his face, The next morning she was on Eccles New Road when the persistent suitor once again approached her and said, "So, what have you decided to do then?" To which she replied "I have given you up, I am marrying James Smith" She had kept him quiet until now, but not the answer young Mr Dunn wished to hear. He then took out a cut throat razor from inside his jacket, wiped it over his handkerchief and said, "Neither Smith nor anyone else will have you, I will do you in myself" Fortunately for Letitia she spotted P.C. Hartley and D.C. Coates walking down the road, always there when you need them aren't they? She told them what Dunn had said and threatened, he was arrested and taken into custody were he told the constable, "I intended doing her in, I'm sorry I didn't do it last night, if you don't arrest me I will do it later" Hardly making it easy for himself is he, I thought you were supposed to say nothing in the police station... The next day he appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with making threats against her. Stepping into the witness box, Letitia was described by the journalist as being, "A tall, slim sharp featured girl". Is that a compliment? She told the Stipendiary that she had been seeing Dunn for only a few weeks and when he knocked on her door asking her to marry him, she told him that she had no intention and was staying at home looking after her invalid mother, furthermore she intended marrying James Smith. P.C. Hartley took the stand and told the court that he saw Letitia in a distressed state and when he asked Dunn what was the matter, he told him that he intended, "doing her in". D.C. Coates then took the stand and said that Dunn had never been in trouble with the police before. Strangely enough he told the court that Dunn had left school aged 11 because of "a little mental deficiency" from which he had recovered and now worked for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. What on earth is "a little mental deficiency"? Then even more bizarrely the Stipendiary bound Dunn over for 12 months with a surety of £20 or if in default 14 days imprisonment! Now that is a remarkably lenient sentence, he had admitted that he wanted to kill her and would do so in the future, yet was allowed to walk free. Can you imagine the uproar if Dunn had carried out his threats at a later date, who would the finger of blame point at then, and possibly to late to save Letitia's life, a strange case.
  24. A new decade and another selection of stories from Salford's colourful past, starting with this somewhat violent and tangled love story. As I have said many times it must have been hard being a bobby on the streets of Salford, 100 years ago, the newspapers are full of stories of the poor P.C. being punched, kicked, spat at and generally abused by the general public, no wonder they went around in pairs on Cross Lane and Trafford Road. This story from January 1920 shows yet again what happens when the local policeman gets involved in a neighbourly dispute. P.C. Harding was doing his rounds in the Broughton area of Salford when he heard shouts and screams coming from a nearby house on Blackfriars Road and went to investigate, He saw William Wheeldon knocking lumps out of another man and a large crowd had gathered to watch the spectacle, cheering along. Wheeldon unexpectedly put his arm through a window causing a massive blood loss. P.C. Harding stepped in to stop the fighting and help staunch the flow of blood from Wheeldon's arm when he slipped on the pavement, possibly in all the blood? Wheeldon showed his appreciation of the constable's action by booting him twice him in the head, he then collapsed from loss of blood and fell on top of him. Both men were taken to Salford Royal Hospital for treatment to their injuries. The next day, Wheeldon appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting P.C, Harding, He must have looked a sorry figure in the dock with his arm heavily bandaged and sporting two black eyes received in the fight. He told the Stipendiary that he had taken quite a few drinks that day and only remembered waking up in the hospital. Hoping for leniency he added that that he was deeply ashamed of himself and his actions and would like to apologise to P,C, Harding. Then with a marvellous attempt at emotional blackmail he told the court that his wife was having a baby and was due in the next few days" This reminds me of the scene in that classic film, Withnail and I when he is being threatened with violence and pleads with his attacker not to him because, "my wife is having a baby" The Stipendiary rebuffed this plea and said that that this was a serious offence and sent him to prison for seven days with hard labour. However this isn't the end of the story.... Mrs Wheeldon who was sat in the public gallery, leapt to her feet and shouted out, "Please don't send him to prison, my baby!" She then theatrically collapsed and was carried out by the courtroom staff to recover and the case was temporarily halted, When it resumed shortly afterwards the Stipendiary humanely decided to reduce the sentence to a fine of 15 shillings saying that , "We cannot have your wife distressed like that" A nice gesture and hopefully the Wheeldons lived happily ever after, but I wouldn't recommend trying that stunt in court today,
  25. I have covered some strange historical news stories over the years but I have to admit to be taken aback at this truly bizarre court case from the Eccles and Patricroft Journal of January 1916. Mrs Hulse who lived at Bell Terrace in Barton appeared at Eccles Magistrates Court with her head swathed in bandages. She gave evidence against her husband George Henry Hulse in the hope of getting a separation order – an early form of divorce. Legal separation in 1916 was difficult for women – not only because of the immense cost of legal representation. The 1857 Matrimonial Causes Act allowed ordinary people to divorce, but women not only had to prove their husbands had been unfaithful but also had to prove additional faults, which included cruelty and rape. It was not until 1937 that the law was changed to allow divorce on other grounds, including drunkenness, insanity and desertion. Had poor Mrs Hulse been born 20 years later, the law would have caught up with what she needed to get away from her husband. Eccles Magistrates Court heard that George Hulse had hospitalised his wife in a severe assault after a row over money and beer. She said that her husband – who had an artificial leg – had left her penniless, hungry and without any housekeeping money for over a week. George had apparently gone out drinking and had not returned until 24 hours later, much the worse for wear. When Mrs Hulse sat with her husband to explain the lack of cash, he promptly stood up and punched her in the face, sending her sprawling to the ground. As if that wasn’t enough, he started attacking the prone woman with his wooden leg while she was on the floor, until both she and the kitchen floor were covered in blood. Such was the ferocity of the assault Mrs Hulse had to be taken to Eccles and Patricroft Hospital for stitches to her head wounds. It transpired in court that this was not the first time he had beaten his wife so badly she needed hospital treatment: she had already been in the infirmary for over a week during Christmas 1915 after another assault. The unhappy couple had only been married since March the year before and each had five children from those marriages. Eight boys and girls were living with them at the time. Edith Bradley, a neighbour from Bell Terrace, told the court that she had seen Mr Hulse come home and lock the front door and then proceed to thrash his wife. She could hear the screams from next door but was unable to gain entry into the house so called the local police for help. Mr Hulse took the witness box and said that it was all his wife’s fault as she was “seeing another man causing him to lose his temper with her”. The Magistrate told Mr Hulse that his actions had been cowardly enough without making charges of that nature. He then proceeded to say that in ordinary circumstances the offender would have been sent straight to prison, but that he had to take the couple’s multiple children into consideration. Mr Hulse was then told he would be fined £1 or face a month in prison – a remarkably light sentence in my opinion. A seperation order was also granted to Mrs Hulse with an allowance of 15 shillings a week to be paid by Mr Hulse. I think we have to ask ourselves what on earth was Mrs Hulse doing in the first place marrying this dreadful man? Bell Terrace, I believe, was a small, close-quarter terraced street behind the Rock Hotel in Barton, hardly an ideal place to bring up eight children in what sounds like appalling conditions, not to mention while dodging a drunken, bullying husband. Hopefully Mrs Hulse went on to live a normal, happy life bringing up her children without any violent interruptions from Mr Hulse.

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