Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Re: David Hamilton's "Bennett Street Memories

Thanks to Tony Downend for the following account...

Since my Mother's now turned 90 she doesn't travel much anymore but on her last visit in  2010 (she living in Poulton-le-Fylde for  25 years or more) she stayed, as usual, at my place for the week.  On one of the days I took her down yet another 'memory lane'  to Newton this time, to a house she'd not seen the inside of since 1950.  It was number 137 Bennett Street [across the way from David's 138].

I'd fortuitously stopped the car outside 137 some months prior as to take some photographs when a kindly lady had come out of the front door. I told her the tale and so was invited in. She allowed me to take some pics whilst in there my concentrating on the things I though would not have changed much. All the pics going onto a laptop for viewing by Mother on my next trip to Poulton. The marble fireplace and well fashioned staircase caused her some thinking my purposely not showing her the outside views or anything like until the very end. 

Months on, and now on her visit we drove past 137 and again the same lady had come out of the front door. It was an opportunity not to be missed. Mother was invited in. I deciding to take a walk around and about with thoughts of my own. She now saw the marble fireplace and well fashioned staircase and the cup of tea is still treasured and remembered. I thanking again the kindly owner and her welcoming Mother in to see all those years apart. 

One Three Seven is the first house I ever lived in, the one my grandparents had bought in the late 30's, the family, aunt and uncle, all having moved, as Mother tells, from the spooky candle lit, hidden passageway and yes haunted and now demolished Dukinfield Old Hall, Globe Lane.

Being in a pram at the time I cannot  remember the inside 137 although I would have still passed it on many occasions a little later, a little older as our move from grandparents was not so far away, to what was then known as the ' modern prefabs'...halcyon days with big gardens with privet 'kid gaps' hedges and an exiting tip with drum paint and  tin-lid shields and slim round bars for swords...a number of 50's pics  of these times, all which  my father took, have kindly already been posted on the Blog.

My distant memory has now again been recently jolted  by David's own well documented  memories of 138, my reading things in their I'd 'well forgotten'.  Like "Eleanor's Shop" close to the red bridge, a tiny mixed business and I can now just see her, "Eleanor" herself again quizzing me over "mother's" poorly (as I write now) hand written note asking for permission for a box of matches!  The hardware shop on other side (red bridge) in my day sold, I think, wallpaper and the likes; my father having rented a garage round the back of it.  A  Morris 8 van, one repainted green which he converted with new side-rear windows and a bus seat in the back of it, a 'shooting brake' they called it'; going to Devon with five in it was like going to the Moon.

Thanks very much, Tony :)


Barry from Oz said...


David Smart said...

I lived at 139 from about 1950 to 1961. During much of that time 137 was inhabited by a widow called Mrs Jenny Pa[i]ce and teenage son David.