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Alkrington Memories

My maternal grandfather Joseph Pott I was looking for information on Alkrington Hall and came across your site. I was born in the "front room" of 30 Home Drive, Alkrington on 13th June 1941, the 3rd child of Harold and Ethel (nee Pott) Tattersall. My grandfather James Edmund Tattersall who pre-deceased me was Secretary of the Loom Overlookers Union and he built a row of houses overlooking Bogart Hole Clough in c1904. My father Harold was brought up there with 5 brothers and a sister.

My maternal grandfather, Joseph Pott, had a boot and shoe shop at Barnes Green which closed during the late 20's depression. They then had a small grocery shop in Moston run by my Liverpudlian Grand Mother Fanny (nee Pickston). He then had a clerical job at Levenstein's Dyeworks, shortly to become ICI, before retiring until the late 30's to 102 Mossway, Alkrington to be near to their only child, Ethel, my Mother. He played rugby for Bowdon RFC in the late 1890,s and I have a photo of him and the team 1899/1900.

Bowdon RFC, Joseph Pott bottom left Our next door neighbours at Home Drive, Frank Jaques and his wife shared a cellar with us beneath the "semis" and it was used as a war-time shelter. Frank who was a keen gardener grew mushrooms after the war and he used land behind his house for a greenhouse and additional gardens.

As a child I played in Alkrington Woods and had a "dinghy" (an ex navy job) for sailing on the "big" and "little" lakes. I have a photo taken in the late 40's or possibly early 50's of a sledging party using the splendid slope below the Hall. The slope was also used for "rolly-polies" earlier on and also for picnics during the war time.

There were "caves" below the Hall which had been closed off, though some were I think accessible, but I was too scared to explore them. I wonder if there is any historical information on them. Also I was told that Captain James Cook either visited the Hall or was indeed a resident for some time. Again this was family information passed down.

My late sister Jocelyn rented a very seedy flat at the Hall from the council for a year or so after she joined the District Bank c.1955 and wanted independence from her two troublesome brothers! You may remember the John Pessagno's ice cream "factory" at the dairy next to the Hall.

My Mother Ethel Tattersall and myself in the dinghy on the little lake in Alkrington behind 30 Home Drive, before Lake Drive was built, 1952. The Scrimmager's lived in a cottage nearby and I knew one of their sons. He was known as "Scrim" and got up to all kinds of mischief around the two lakes and the "island" which was detached from the "mainland" next to the big lake in periods of drought. I was the youngest of the gang (the rest of whom probably didnt recognise me as a member!) and consisted of Geoff Mayall, Toz Rogers, John Schofield, Zena Jones, Jo and Val Terrett, my brother Keith and on the fringe my sister Jocelyn and Heather Mayall, etc.

We had a bonfire on the waste ground next to the little lake which is now Lake Drive and smoked fags when guarding the bonfire on the dark October/November nights, which were pinched from my fathers packets, Jaycee or Radex, which were produced by the CWS at Trafford Park. The supply of cigarettes gave me entry to the gang at the tender age of 7 or 8! There was a rival bonfire down Dingle Road and their gang sent raiding parties to steal our fire wood.

Alkrington Primary School cricket team This photograph is also from 1952 of Alkrington Primary School cricket team, victors of the Middleton and district cricket competition final played at Middleton CC (Eric Price was their professional at the time). Back row l-r, James Hovington, Ralph Millner, Geoffrey Price, John Connacher, David Wellings. Front row l-r, A.N.Other?, David Fern, John Fiander, John Morris (Capt), Michael Godson, John Ince and myself, Neil Tattersall. Geoffrey and his older brother John were no relations to Eric Price!
The houses in the background are most likely to be Mainway which would have still been being built at the time.

The only contacts I have had since the 1950's was with the late John Morris at the "washing up facilities" on a French camp site in the early 1970's and the late David Wellings who was the brightest of all the pupils in my year and became C.E.O of Cadburys. He died prematurely in his late 50's shortly after retiring to Majorca where he was a keen bird observer.

I went on to William Hulme's GS with Ralph Millner. Geoffrey Price, John Connacher, David Wellings and John Morris went on to Manchester GS and most of the others on the photograph to Middleton GS. Our last form teacher was Derek Kirk under the headmaster "Pop" Sydney Edwards who gave me 6 strokes of the strap 4 times. Out of 40 pupils I believe 29 out of my class went on to grammar school so maybe this sort of discipline wasn't such a bad thing. Sydney lived with his Mother on Mossway not far from my maternal grandparents, but this wasnt a good reason to withhold punishment!

By all means publish these memories and maybe it will enable me to find more relatives and friends!

Submitted by Mr Neil Tattersall. May 2009.
Updated November 2010.

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