Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Prefabs in Hyde

Prefabs were the result of the 1944 Temporary Housing Programme, and were designed to provide a quick and easy solution to the massive housing problem caused by the Second World War. They were built around a central core of Kitchen, toilet and bathroom, designed by the Ministry of Works. Prefabs were a familiar site in at least three areas of Hyde by 1950. The smallest site was at the bottom end of Water Street, where the Manchester Evening News once had a small distribution centre, with only four Prefabs. The largest two sites were at Carter Street (Tin Town) and the old Brickyard area of Godley

The two pictures enclosed where kindly loaned to me by Joe Lloyd of Hyde, they are both of Carter Street around 1946 or 1947.

Carter Street construction 1

Carter Street construction 2

Many Thanks to David Stafford and Joe Lloyd for the information and photographs!


Werneth Low said...

Lots of information recently on prefabs in Hyde but why is it that no-one except me ever mentions the development at Lord Derby, behind the Grapes? Come on, folks, they were there - I didn't dream it! Someone must have lived there, have photos - anything!

Maloney said...

I think those two photos are the earliest I've ever seen of the construction of the prefabs on Carter Street. I would date them about 1946, I have some information somewhere about the clearing of the site and the arrival of the building material, if I can find it I will let you have it. Regarding the prefabs behind the Grapes, I remember them very well.

Werneth Low said...

Thank goodness for that! Thanks Maloney, I was beginning to doubt my sanity.

Maloney said...

This information is for Werneth Low. There is an old English proverb: "Many talk of Robin Hood that never shot his bow" - meaning many talk about Robin Hood but they never knew him. The same could be said by many who write about Hyde and know bugger all about the town. Thomas Middleton was one such person. Everything he wrote about Hyde came from the archives of an old antiquarian who had been writing and collecting newspaper and magazines cuttings about Hyde long before Middleton was born. Somehow Middleton wormed his way into the old mans confidence, and when the old antiquarian passed away, Middleton was given the full archives and this was where all his knowlege for his history of Hyde came from. Of course, being a local councillor he did manage to get access to many of the old town records. Like it or lump it, that is true.
My information about Hyde comes from years of research and from listening to the tales told to me by my grandmother which I never forgot.
For instance, do you know Werneth Low, that the famous British Screen actor Robert Donat, who was born in Withington, Manchester, visited Hyde many times when he was first starting his stage career. He appeared several times at Hyde Chapel School and Flowery Field School in the new hall. In some of his early correspondence he says he had many fond memories of visiting the town when he was just starting his career. Did you know that the Hyde Philanthropic Burial Collecting Society, one of the very first in the country, was inaugurated in a small cottage in the vicinity of Kingston Brow in 1830. Another gem of information you might be interested in, is how Gee Cross supposedly got its name. Beside the old smithy was the Presbyterian Chapel, the history of which goes back to the passing of the five mile act of 1665. Where now stands the Grapes Hotel there used to be a cottage in which lived a man called Gee, and he proclaimed his Evangelical faith by erecting a cross in his garden. It was know as Gee's Cross, after a time the "S" was dropped, and it bacame Gee Cross. Next to the smithy was the residence of the village blacksmith and then Paddy Leach's sweet shop, and another cottage owned by the brothers McLellen. The elder brother, Edward, later went on to become president of the Primitive Methodist Church.
The first post office serving Hyde came into existence in the year 1848, when David Oldham was appointed postmaster for the town. In those days the post office was housed in David's druggist shop at the corner of Hamnet Street and Market place., near to where George Brownson set up his business. Since letters were not delivered to houses, as they are today; it was up to the people of Hyde to go to the post office to collect or send their own mail. Everybody in Hyde went to pick up and send their mail. David Oldham's shop was baically the hub of the town. The first letter carrier was -- well that's another long story.
Many terrible events have taken place in Hyde, perhaps one of the most tragic took place on 2nd June, 1882, when Martha Shawcross cut the throat of her daughter, May Shawcross, aged two years nine months, with a table knife at 48 Cross Street. When her unfortunate husband first heard of the tragic event he was on Hyde Lane watching the Whit Friday Walks. He rushed home only to be greeted by the awful sight of his daughter May, lying butchered on the scullery floor in a pool of bloof, her head almost severed from her neck
Well Werneth Low, I hope you find the stories of interest.

David said...

fantastic info
thanks Maloney


Jill said...

Yes, of course we remember the prefabs "up Lord Derby" we used to call them. I lived across the road from the Grapes and remember them being built. We used to play all around there but I never knew anyone who lived in one.

Anonymous said...

I also heard a long time ago that the famous 60's Manchester band, Herman's Hermits, played their first ever gig at Hyde Town Hall.

Don't know how true it is.

the tufty club said...

Thanks Maloney, for another very informative and detailed post.
I can see you could be a valued contributor to this blog. I was born in 1965 but I am interested in learning about any aspects of Hyde, from past history and straight up to the present day

the tufty club said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Werneth Low said...

I knew someone who lived in Lord Derby prefabs. She was Pat Knowles and attended Holy Trinity School.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen any photos of the prefabs behind the Grapes - Amyone out there have any to show me?

Werneth Low said...

Jill, were you by any chance, Gillian Ollerenshaw?

Joyce Howarth Jones said...

I lived at 6 hollins avenue from 1947 to1954 with mum, dad and brothers Ian and Brian. Next door was my friend Sheila Downes. I loved it there. The prefabs were just like detached bungalows.

Anonymous said...

I mrs janet saxon better khown as miss janet smith was born (1952)and grow up in the prefabs godley hyde cheshires thease are my comments