10 kids in the house!

I was born in 1943, in Harpurhey in a two up and two down. 10 kids in the house! There my grandma lived next door, but one, so I spent a lot of time there.

We only had cold water in the house, and no electricity. Flags on the floor in the kitchen.

We just managed in those days. My mum would go to the wash house or Moston Lane weekly to do the washing should be gone all day. My dad would say “take a brew to your mother” halfway through the day. I think she enjoyed it, though. She met her friends and gossiped.

There was no bath in the house either. We’d go to the wash house on Moston Lane. The building’s still there. We’d go into a big bath there. Just before we moved, they used to bring showers to the school yard Christchurch school in Harpurhey, you could shower there. And we’d go swimming once per week. We’d walk come rain or snow.

In Harpurhey we’d would go to a health shop to get biscuits, I swear they were dog biscuits the more I think about it.

When we moved to Langley was beautiful. Four bed hous,e fields behind us. And when we walked in my dad went to the light switch and he said “on off on off on off”. We were amazed. I never had electricity before.

There was no shops at first, I was 14 when we moved in 1957 so they were building them.They had a van that went round – it took him all day so f you missed him, so that was it. You’d have to go to Middleton. We had a bread man and a milkman.

There was nothing no school no shops no pubs nothing.

Then they built the school, and a youth club at Demense. It was brilliant. Lots of people from Manchester had heard about it, and would jump on the bus to come. It was our only entertainment.

Lots of our neighbours came up here too. The churches were built early, even though they were only huts. The Catholic Church was one of the first buildings and there was a nunnery next to our house

Veronica H

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Those bloody lads

I came from Miles Ploatting. I was born in 1951, I was four and a half, so it was the spring of 1956. I don’t remember much about Miles Platting. My first memory is the move. I remember the big van.

There was no school. The school board came to see my mam and said I’d have to go in a coach, which picked us up from Bowness Road and took us to Magdalena Street in Heywood. I was only five, so my mam was worried. There were adults on there looking after us.After about eight months, Demense was finished.

The new house had two bedrooms,  front garden. Small back garden. I lived in it until I got married. My mum and dad thought it was great because it was so modern. I’m still in Langley now.

There was no parks when we moved here at the bottom of bonus seals farm, and they would let us go on there and have picnics. When I was about six, a family moved in next door with three lads and there’d be no one to play with before then. I’d hang about with them getting in trouble.

My mum would be looking for me and she’d be saying “She’ll be with those bloody lads!”.

As the estate grew we’ve got shops and the bus Terminus was right outside my house.

Then parks – Threlkeld Park was the first one. And then it developed and grew from there.

When I was about seven or eight years old, on a Saturday, we could get the bus to the Palace in Middleton. It was threepence to get there. And what you had leftover you could treat yourself. By then I’d got more friends because more people have moved up. We all got on.

When we got older, 11 or 12 ish we’d walk across the fields to Heaton Park, we climb over the fence in Swinton Park, and we spend the day there, and come home shattered.

We were free then can’t do that now. We would go at 11 o’clock and be back by eight o’clock would go is a gang – seven or eight of us. Jam butties and a bottle of water and we would feel like we’d really been somewhere.

Margaret H

Senior Service

I was 21 when I came up here. I was born in Ancoats. When they brought the houses down, we went to Chorlton on Medlock, facing High Street baths. The council that only had those houses for 13 years and so we were moved to Langley, I went working at the cigarette factory in the service of Oldham road, Senior Service.  

It was okay when we moved here. We had a son when I was 38. He went to St Mary’s. I’ve got two grandchildren now who live in Middleton had to share a bedroom with my mom, because we only had two beds.

Langley did get a bad name but over the last five or six years it’s gotten much better.

Iris K

You never saw snow in Sale.

I lived in Sale. My husband was from Blakely, we moved when we got married, had two daughters, and they went to St Mary’s primary.

I remember the van, the mobile shop Bob’s. He sold everything, things you might run out of. Then they built Lakeland shops,

It was so cold when we first came here, you never saw snow in Sale. I never seen anything like it.

We came here because it was cheap. Our house was £2200. Our wages weren’t good. I earned £11 pound a week, my husband earned  £10 pounds a week. He was in a band as well.

We would never move.


If I won the lottery today, I wouldn’t leave

Our Debbie, was born in 1967 and we’d moved here two years before. We’d lived on Ashton old road, and it was a clearance thing. We were married. We had a little two up two down that we owned was compulsory purchased. We didn’t want to move but we had to – we weren’t given a choice.

We were given a choice of area, though. They offered me a house in Wythenshawe and I was taking the key back because I didn’t want to go. I saw a lady at the bus stopwho I knew to say hello to. She just been offered one in Langley and she didn’t want to go there. So we went to the town hall and asked if we could do a swap. That’s how I ended up here, my husband’s family we’re here.

Iin town, I was a barrow lady. I travelled to town every day. I had 30 years in back Piccadilly selling salad, barrow peppers, that kind of thing. And 14 years on church streets. I’d get the 121 bus and it would drop me right outside my Barrow, my granddad had done the same thing with a horse and cart.

I live in the same house I moved to. If I won the lottery today, I wouldn’t leave – all my memories are in the house.

Maureen C

Bob’s van at midnight

At first, I went to Magdalena Street school because there was no school in Langley. There weren’t enough places. I was eight or nine when we moved. And I went to Langley high, which was the new secondary modern School.

They built Bishop Marshall the Catholic school afterwards,

I lived in Harpurhey before – I can remember it. There was a toilet in the backyard with steps going down flanks in the kitchen.

In Langley Bob’s van would come at midnight. Even when we had shops he’d still be going he did come in the day too I think but I just remember him coming late. We had a bread man too and my mum would have it on tick. She would order things that she couldn’t afford and my dad would send them on their way – he’d be so mad.

We never had a youth club. We’d go to Rhodes youth club in Middleton. We had to walk over the fields.

I’ve always lived here. I’ve got my first flat of 24, and I’m still here. I moved about 50 yards. I’m happy here. My family is local, my son lives in my old house now!

Linda W

Such a different world

We moved from Blackley in Manchester to Darnhill in October 1962. I was 10 years old my sister was 3 and my Mum was pregnant with my youngest sister.

In Blackley we lived in a prefab and I had always wanted to live in a house with stairs. The house we moved into was lovely three bedrooms and stairs. I loved going up the stairs to bed.

In February 1963, one of the worst winters on record my Mum went into labour with my sister. She was still booked into the maternity home in Manchester. An ambulance came for her but was unable to get up the grove because of the snow. They had to walk my Mum carefully down the grove in the snow to get her into the ambulance. I don’t think my Mum ever forgot the experience.

Such a different world to the one we now live in.

The winter was bad and at the time I was still travelling to school in Manchester. I used to get the train from Broadfield station to Moston before Mr. Beecham stepped in and closed all the stations. The estate was still being built and there was a lot of fun to be had playing around the houses that were still being built. The shops hadn’t been built and there used to be a mobile shop that came up the the grove. The man who ran it with his wife was Polish and used to make the best piccalilli.

I am still friends with one of the first friends I made on the estate and have a lot of lovely memories of the place and the people. We were all the same from different parts of Manchester and got on well.

When the shops were built they were lovely as were the people who worked in them.

My Mum lived in her lovely council house until 2011 when she went into a care home.

Maria B