People and places of Middleton
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More Langley and Middleton Memories

The joys of a visit to Joe the Barber's on Wood Street where it was "Sit down, sit still and take that chewing gum out of your mouth lad!" and any request for 'summat fancy' was met with an icy stare.

A bit like all the car registrations you’ve ever owned, I never forgot the Coop divi number, '10685' for use at Hebers or Middy branch.

The slightly sinister feeling as Dad placed his once a year bet on the Grand National with the bookie under the staircase at Windermere Road shops in the days before, of course, betting was legalised – I used to think the bookie was a gangster.

Going to Woollies and drooling over which new Matchbox cars were on the counter.

Bike rides through Hoppy Woods to Slattocks bridge - the nearest train spotting place

Pessagno's or Granelli's - decisions, decisions!

Sledging down Hollins lane ..."Watch out - the 63's coming!"

Sunny Sunday afternoon matches with Grandad at the cricket ground – Crisps, orange squash and the late Basil D'Olivera - legend!

Paying the weekly telly HP at Horridges.

Always the same perfume smell in Middleton library - must have been the librarian.

Saturday morning traipse with Mum to the greengrocers on Long Street.

Fish and chips at Tommy's - say no more!

The Palace - Saturday mornings - The Three Stooges, Mr Magoo - magic!

Delivering papers for Bevan's newsagens at Hebers – why did he always seem such a miserable old so and so?

Being allowed to accompany some of the neighbouring 'big lads' on the 63 bus to Cannon Street - walk to Central Station - train to United - heaven! [still is of course!]

Durnford Street clinic for polio vaccinations – scary!

Building sites and ‘workies’ all over the estate – not a hard hat or visi vest in sight. As soon as the working day had finished these were our 'adventure playgrounds'!

Footy till dark on Eskdale Drive – "If that ball comes in my garden again …"!

Seeing the "real life, honest to God, cross my heart, no flippin' kidding" Bobby Charlton with his then fiance and soon to be wife in Cleworth Road.

Garden Centres? – I don’t think so … 17 bus to Stakehill nursery with Dad for seeds and bulbs.

Middleton Baths – "I won’t tell you again – no bombing !".. then Bovril and cream crackers from the balcony café – sophistication or what!

Lost balls in the long grass at the North Manchester golf course – "Sell them back to you mister - a tanner each."

St Mary's Juniors, Windermere Road – Sister Bernadette .. old and scary – Sister Barbara .. a bit like your Mum - Sister Anthony .. young and not scary at all and interested in Uniteds results!

Winter time early sixties, fresh fall of snow – snowball six foot in diameter, I swear – about twenty kids rolling it down Windermere Road towards Wood Street – the bloke driving the Ford Anglia up the hill towards us wasn’t too impressed though!

The concrete bus shelters around the Central Gardens – faint whiff of wee and fag ends.

Mums new coffee table ..."from Beddoes don't you know" - all we needed then was some coffee!

Poole's shop on Hollins Lane, sweet tray - Spangles, Fruit Salads, Bazooka Joe chewys, Love hearts - just think of the e numbers...but then again who cares!

Passing the Middleton Building Society offices opposite the library and for years reading the big sign as the Middleton Building Sockyetty!

The market on Saturday mornings - anything and everything ..and why was that bloke selling plates and stuff always shouting!

Talking of coffee - that smell you only got in Redman's store...was it coffee, biscuits, custard, pepper? - don't know but only Redman's smelled of it !

Vincent Stafford. September 2012.

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