Hear all about life in Salford

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Childhood

The fishmonger who sold his wares round the streets of Ordsall Hall
Mr. F. Hinson (b. 1914)
(Extract from LifeTimes Oral History Archive LTT 031 - Duration 54 seconds)

I remember coming down Robert Hall Street, a summer's day. There used to be a fishmonger on West Park Street and he'd come round with his little donkey and cart and he'd have this straw hat on and he'd have this straw hat on top of the donkey as well, with its ears sticking through. And he'd come round, "Crab, crab. Crab, crab. Conger eel, conger eel. Crab, crab, all alive-o. All alive-o." And the kids used to dash to his cart and buy a bag full of periwinkles. And then the donkey would start. "Ee-aw, ee-aw, ee-aw, ee-aw." And his journey was marked by a load of periwinkle shells (thrown) on the pavement by the kids.

Church

Weaste Congregational Church
Mr. W. Sandys (b. 1908)

(Extract from LifeTimes Oral History Archive LTT 044 - Duration 87 seconds)

Mr J E C Lord was the owner and principal managing director of Lord's Tar Works in Weaste and he helped Weaste Congregational to a very great extent. He lent the money to build it and cancelled the debt some years later. The stained glass window in Weaste United Reformed Church is very handsome indeed and it is to his memory. He died about 1920, so I would be 12 then, so I remember him very well. On the Whit-Monday, or the Wednesday, according to the weather, we would process from the church to his house in Lords Avenue, it's now the local health authority office, and we'd sing outside his door. He would come out and he'd have a table spread out and every boy and girl was given a ha'penny. We'd then progress again from there, after we'd sang a couple of hymns for him, up Weaste Lane, turn into Edward Avenue onto another field, owned by Mr Lord, which eventually became Weaste Cricket Ground, and we'd have impromptu sports there.

Mary Sumner, nee Heywood, founder of the Mothers' Union
Mrs. D. Dempsey (b. 1924)

(Extract from LifeTimes Oral History Archive LTT 045 - Duration 70 seconds)

Mary Sumner who started the Mother's Union was a Heywood before she was married and I found this out because we found a manuscript. It was about an inch thick and it was in one of the cupboard when we moved into the Lodge at number 38. And it had a hard back but fastened with strings at the sides and it was all written in copperplate handwriting. My dad let me have a look at it one time. I remember reading little bits out of it, and I've never found out what happened to that, 'cause dad said it should go to somebody that's to do with the Heywood family. How it come to be in a cupboard in the Lodge, I don't know. And I read, 'Mary came visiting', and it was Mary Heywood, who later married this rector in Hampshire and became Mary Sumner and started the Mother's Union.

Leisure

Rialto Cinema from her courting days
Mrs. M. Thorpe (n. 1937)

(Extract from LifeTimes Oral History Archive LTT 029 - Duration 104 seconds)

We used to go to the Rialto. If you had a date, oh, that was the place to go. That was the be all and end all, the Rialto. Years later I got a job there, I wasn't there all that long, I was an usherette. And the woman that was actually on the screen shown selling ice creams - it looked like she was coming down the aisle. It was like far back and then she come right in front on the screen. It was the actual woman that worked there. They'd done a film of her. This would have been about '56. 57', something like that.

Why was it the place to go?

Oh it was beautiful, very plush. And you either went up the stairs that way, or you went this way, there was a big corridor going to the right. It was beautiful, all red velvet seats and red carpets. And like I say, if you had a date, that's where you went, you never went anywhere else.

War

Surviving being mined on GMS Isis
Mr C. Pearce (b. 1922)

(Extract from LifeTimes Oral History Archive LTT 047 - Duration 56 seconds)

I went in the navy as a cook, on HMS Isis, a destroyer. It got mined and I was in the galley at the time and I got thrown to the floor and got blew right into the water. There was only about 25 of us saved - all the others got killed. We was in the water 12 hours then we got picked up.

In a lifeboat?

What we called a Karley Float (a life raft), and I had all burns overme. We got picked up and we was landed in France for two days and then we got flew home to England.

Obtaining corned beef
Mr. R. Wilde (b. 1913)

(Extract from LifeTimes Oral History Archive LTT 048 - Duration 94 seconds)

Food! We did all right. We didn't seem to go short, so I don't know where it was coming from. My father worked on the docks and I did and we were always looking for food. One ship I was in charge of, the chief stewared said tome, "Bob, you see this cupboard in this room in here. It's got to come down, the bulkhead. All the food's got to be moved," he said, "and I've got nobody here. Do you think your lads would move it?" So I said, "Course they will,." And he said, "And I'll give them all..." And what do you think he gave me - a seven pound tin of corned-meat. I had to hide the (empty) tin. I was frightened of putting it in the dustbin in case somebody saw it. I had to break it up and bash it. I hid it under the sideboard in case somebody came looking for it. That was a real treat. We weren't short of grub then.

Work

An early form of incubator at Hope Hospital
Mrs. B. Sandys (b. 1913)

(Extract from LifeTimes Oral History Archive LTT 026 - Duration 114 seconds)

You had regular staff on maintenance, and I remember talking to the joiners and electricians and saying, what can we do with these premature babies? We're trying to keep them warm and it's very difficult to do this. And they designed - I mean no one's going to believe it but it's true - they designed a box which had an underneath of about nine inches. In the underneath they would have six electric bulbs. They would have a wire thing across the top, well away from the bulbs, and on top was the Gamgee (developed by Birmingham surgeon, Dr Joseph Sampson Gamgee). Very thick cotton wool with a gauze on top and underneath and it came in rolls and you cut what you wanted. And three switches on the outside of these boxes and a thermometer in the top. You put your baby in and cover it just with your Gamgee. You had to try and keep the temperature right - switch on two bulbs, I don't rememb er if you were 60 or 100 - and get the temperature something like. If you needed a bit extra you'd switch on... There were three swtches and six bulbs.

What period would that be?

Well, I was in midwifery at Hope Hospital from 1936 to 1942 I think.