On Guy Fawkes Night

Do you remember the old Guy Fawkes that the caretakers used to make this huge scary thing that eyes lit up? Irene Shenton

Does anyone remember the huge Guy Fawkes that the flats caretakers used to make in the early 70s. It used to look about 12ft tall but im sure it wasn't! It used to be on wheels and all the kids used to push it around the flats and when you put money in the box its eyes used to light up? Pauline Gillibrand

Yeah that Guy terrified me as a kid. Do you remember a family with the surname Hankinson? One of them had a scarred throat because of a firework accident. Shane

Do you remember the shops selling toffee apples and nut brittle at that time of the year? Shane

I also seem to remember getting bangers one firework time. One of the boys agreed to the dare of holding it whilst it went off. It left his hand black, and singed for a while. Shane

The old bangers, what a noise they made when they went off on the stairs! I hated them they scared the life out of me. I remember that you had to be careful getting in the lifts just in case someone threw one in the lift after you. Toffee apples and treacle toffee! I bet the dentists had a rush on every year with that stuff. Irene Shenton


I was the lad who was burned by the firework. I was burned by a roman candle in 1970 aged 7 at the bottom of Chaucer Court. I have included a news cutting from the News of the Worl. Jimmy Hankinson

Bonfire night and the caretakers made a great Guy it was on wheels and it's eyes lit up!  and I remember a local TV crew, probably Granada, filming us once at the Bonfire on the Golflinks. Julie Munro

You mentioned the guy fawk that one of the caretakers made. It was a boy in my class in Lower Kersal whose dad made it. He was called George Thompson but I dont know what his dads name was, but I remember it was very scary but brilliant. It made a lot of money for charity. Janice Williams

Yep! The caretakers we had the best. shila I remember the guy that the caretakers made (George and his dad Jack Thompson) you put your penny in and the lights lit up. Then a big bonnie party at the back of Spencer House.Aww happy happy days. Lorraine Stapley.

I remember when it was bon fire night and walking around with the guy fawk with its flashing eyes. Les Whiteley.

I remember the giant guy built by the caretaker of the flats. Billy Williams.



A report from the News of the World 1970. Click image for larger view.

On Hand Me Downs

Did you have one pair of school shoes that had to last a year no matter how holey or scuffed? I dont think the younger generation will ever know the hand me down culture. I was a bit luckier I had two cousins a few years older so had plenty of toys and clothes in the pipeline. Simon E.

Ahhh hand me downs. I was the youngest brother. My parents always bought two of things that matched. Both my brothers  I would get twice the wear out of both! And yes shoes had to last a year. If you ruined them tough. Hole in them? Wear them! It was you fault and it was character forming so  you did not do it again. Shane

On Biscuits

Do you remember when a packet of chocolate digestives was a big family treat? Simon E.

Oh man shopping day was Thursday (because that was pay day when people actually got a brown pay packet with cash in it). So when we went shopping choosing the biscuits rotated amongst the children. We usually got a couple for the week. As I recall it was usually one packet of chocolate digestives and one pack of pink wafers (or occasionally viscount biscuits). They were to last a week so you were only supposed to have few per day. In fact they were all gone within a couple of hours and we had tow ait until next week for more. Shane


On Whit Sunday

I remember that we were all was forced to knock on the nieghbours doors to show them your new Wit Week clothes and plastic shoes. Nichola Washington

Crikey I remember that. We had to tour the relatives who were obliged to given you money because you were wearing new clothes. Shane Sullivan


On "Sterra" Milk

Do you still reel from the taste of sterra milk? Simon E.

Oh Lord..sterra milk. The foulness. We were made to have that on cornflakes etc. My dad being Irish couldnt stand the stuff so he always  had plain but my mum made us have sterra. Shane

On Lower Kersal Primary School

I remember the rose garden was the biggest in Salford back in 1960's. It was beautiful and had over 700 rose bushes as I remember. It was a huge square divided into four parts and the colours were out of this world. I also remember the infants hall where we had to sit on the floor on little squares. Janice Williams

On the picture of the medieval day at Lower Kersal PS from 1980, I'm pretty sure that it's me at the very front with the ropy old checked dressing gown masquerading as a costume!!!! Scott Ashworth

I also loved Lower Kersal shcool. Very happy there apart from when you were late because the head (Mr Gale) used to wrap your knuckles with a ruler, or a cane on your hands, even a slipper on the backside, ouch! Karen Denise Cooper.


On the Racecourse

My mother lived in the Racecourse Hotel as a child. My Grandparents and my Grandfather's sister ran it when it first opened. They were Gertrude and Cuthbert Sharp and Norah Walker. As far as I know Norah was the licensee. My Grandmother, Gertrude, died there in 1937. I have no idea about when they left the Racecourse. I was able to come up to Manchester last October and called into The Racecourse, what a place it must of been at it's height! Patricia Bean 

I remember watching the manchester handicap race meetings with my dad from a vantage point on Littleton Road bridge, then going into the racecourse pub with him afterwards for some crisps and lemonade Mmmmmm lovely. Les Williams


On Free Bus Rides

My dad used to give everyone on the flats a free ride on his bus .My dad was called Arthur Washington. He worked on the buses and everyone knew him. My dad let everyone on the bus free except the Adams Family the old woman and her very dirty daughter that all the kids bullied, he made them pay cos they used to pee on the bus (lovely). Nichola Washington


On The Kersal Club

I remember the Kersal Social Club! I had my 21st party there. It is off Littleton Rd. Janice Williams

The social club ( was on Littleton Road - set back a little). A real old fashioned cloth cap place with a vault STRICTLY for men! I often walked into the vault 'deliberately' whenever passing just for devilment, a good giggle, to wind up the old buggers and to hear the storm of abuse hurled at me for being a female. Happy days! Lorraine Smallshaw.


On The Easter Parade

I remember an Easter fancy dress parade oragnised by Salford council in which I came second because I dressed up as a Dalek. My prize was a tennis racket. Shane

The fancy dress parde! My brother paul won it one year and I still remember the prize. It was a Dad's Army board game. Graham Green.

You know that fancy dress comp you were in? I won it a few years later dressed as a Viking forgot about that till I read your bit. Simon E.


On Saturday Nights

I recall the saturday evening treat. Go to paper shop on the flats with dad buy quarter of sweets each, three packets of crisps between a family of five and a bottle of pop (usually tizer or urn brew) and then watch basil brush, dr who, the generation game. Happy days! Shane


Sad also to hear that Cussons soap factory is closing. We had a school trip round the place in about 1954. That makes it sound like a bus trip but really we walked down Moor lane from St Paul's School which used to be on The Moor opposite the rugby ground. We were given a lovely afternoon tea and each presented with a boxed soap Disney character (mine was Donald Duck.) They were all hand painted & we'd seen the women painting them on our tour of the factory. Peter Houston


I lived on Castlewood Road (no1) with my older brother Jeff on corner of Moor Lane, right opposite Cussons Soap factory, I remember at 4.30pm every day it was like rush hour went the whistle went for the day shift to finish and the night shift to start. Mark Read


On Employment in the Area

Employment in the area , the `ump` on Langley Road (universal metal products) made tooth paste tubes,  `thermo-lite` made breeze blocks with the ash from the power station, Frederick Road bus depot ( my brother worked on the busses).Cussons had a centenary do about 20 years ago they put on busses to take employees old and new to a place in Derbyshire it was like `its a knock out` ...a great day. Steve Mcdougall


On the Cliff

I remember watching from our varanda, Man United training on the grass, Bobby charlton and George Best! Alison Johnson

On Trips

I would like to know if anyone remembers the 'white bus tours' around Salford in the early days. You could get on the bus from the flats and it was free to see the sights of sunny Salford. As a kid, you just tried to get on it every night for the free ride round. No idea how long it ran for. Norma Metcalf

I remember my mum used to organise trips to alton towers and a big fancy dress doo when Charles & Diana got wed. Sonia Townley


On Littleton Road

Littleton Road looks very different from how it was in the '50s. It's sad to see all the shops needing shutters over the windows - a sign of the times. Peter Houston


On Littleton Road Shops

The Chippy is still on the same place it always was. The shop on the right with the black shutters used to have the finest selection of Matchbox Cars.. Shane

By the way the paper shop on Littleton Road with the best matchbox collection was owned by Gordon and Joan. I remember their surname but at the moment it escapes me. Right next door there was a wool shop owned by Marion. The paper shop opposite the racecourse hotel was owned by Mr Chadwick. I had paper rounds at all 3 shops at one time! Jimmy Greg

I too remember the shop on Littleton Road that had the best collection of match box cars for sale. I also have a recollection of a Bottle Shop, Chippy and a shop that sold the best Pork Pies!!

The shops at the Cussons end (where I lived) have certainly changed - they could do with a bit of work! There used to be what we called "The dirt path" that went between my street and Littleton Road that came out at these shops - i guess it's still there. David Frain

I think I must be a little older than you because before Bescobys it was the Co-op shop and you could get butter loose and milk tokens and across the road on the parade of shops there was Mercer's Newsagents, next door was a hairdressers then I think an Ironmongers also on the row was O'Briens greengrocery and Preston provisions. Pam Tunstall

Bescobys used to be on Cromwell Road nearr Whit Lane in my time , what is Bescobys now used to be the co op. Steve Dougal.


On Littleton Road

The picture of the wooden fence that was along Littleton Road on the playing fields side,  I used to balance all along that fence to the shops for Mum. After the war on the playing fields they had the barrage balloons and they used to go up and the men (who I think were Yanks) used to parachute out. Pam Tunstall


On the Jubilee Bridge

I walked over there twice a day for 5 years going to and from St. Albert's School. A horrible walk in the rain. Pauline Gillibrand.

I crossed this bridge loads of times as a kid. It looked massive back then. Jan Williams Lambden

I remember running along the top... shiiiish how stupid lol Pauline Gillibrand


On The Littleton Road Fair

Do you remember the fair that used to come round twice a year and make a right mess of Littleton rd playing fields? Irene Shenton

The fairs on Littleton Road were an amazing and wonderful place for a small child. Dad would win coconuts and gold fish that would be dead inside 3 days. Shane

I remember the Silkcocks Fair coming to Littleton Road playing fields in the summer. Julie Munro

On Oaklands Road Shops

Was that the shop owned by Alan Spooner in 70s? Then there was Green's and finally Price's chippy. Best fish cakes in Salford yum yum and scratchings (remember them). Jan Williams Lambden

Yep it sure was. Remember Derek who had the shop next door, a greengrocers and he did the rounds in the big van selling his stuff. Wow waiting for him to reach Burns house was a nightmare! Sometimes it would be midnight!! Aww well the goodd old days lol Lorraine Stapley

What happened to the chippy? Susan Grundy

The chippy is a house now,and the shop has been burned down in 2008...the roof well there is no roof its now gone Janette Davidson



On Old Pictures

I found a  photograph in the streets sections of n Monsal Avenue. The baby in the pram was my sister Denise Williams and the older girl was I think Linda Birchall  the photo was taken around late 1959 to early 1960 (Denise was born January 5th 1959 ) so looking at the picture she looks around 12 months or so. Janice Williams

I was born in 1962 and there is a picture of two of my sisters on the website. It is a black and whte picture. My sister Janice has my sister Denise in an old carriage pram. Billy Williams

On Liitleton Road Sports Field

I loved playing football for Lower Kersal and Cromwell on Liccy road playing fields on a Saturday Morning, my dad, along with George Storrs dad watching and supporting us in all weathers. Steve Benham.

Played soccer for Lower Kersal Youth Club with many mates from the flats. Frank Connor




On The Summer of 1976

The Summer of 1976 and the plague of Lady Birds in the fields at the side of the flats. I can still recall collecting them in Match Boxes. The freezer in the newsagent broke down. So he gave away Dalek Lollies. I remember running home with five of them. Shane


On The Silver Jubilee

I certainly do remember the Silver Jubilee. My mother was one of the people who organised that event. Irene Shenton

We had a big party at schoool for jubilee and we went round everywhere scoffing cakes at the night . Simon E.

I remember marching around the flats on jubilee day being ordered about off Nelly Collins. Nichola Washington

1977 the Queen's Jubilee what a party that was having all the people who lived on the flats bringing out there tables and chairs an the grass. Martin Turner




On Community

I left Kersal aged 8 or so, thus the memories  I have are probably the fondest of my life because it was the carefree innocent part of life. Life was one long game and the world seemed a big and marvellous place. The hills and back fields seemed like a huge place. Indeed even the power cuts of the early 70s seemed wonderful and exciting at the time.I also remember the sense of community involved in living in a place like Kersal flats.  I remember a fancy dress parade oragnised by Salford council in which I came second because I dressed up as a Dalek. Also every Halloween there would be a fancy dress event in the scout huts! This was summed up by the huge Silver Jubilee Street Party.

One of the reasons we moved to Australia is because of a lack of community in England. I think back to the flats and with adult eyes I now realise that many of the people were poor, or rough or a bit 'pikey.' However, kids were safe. People looked out for each other, and people looked out for each others kids. People spoke to each other. Neighbours were actually neighbourly. It is rare to find that in England these days. People are much richer now but less happy. I was reminded of this lately when I watched a programme called Life on Mars. It was set in the 70s. Times were actually hard and life was basic. But people were happy and felt alive. Now everyone is obsessed with stupidly big cars, even  bigger and more pointless TV sets, and two foreign holidays per year! It never occurs to people that without friends and a community it is all pointless. Compare the 1977 jubilee with that of 2002. I am not a royalist but the former showed great community spirit and the later showed what had gone so badly wrong. Shane

You know that fancy dress comp you were in? I won it a few years later dressed as a Viking forgot about that till I read your bit. Simon E.

I loved the website as I lived in the streets next to the flats and my sister lived on Chaucer Court. Looking at the pictures now they were an eyesore but when I lived there, they were great and I had some good times there. The best picture is the one of the Castle pub where I spent most of my youth. Sandra Young

Your right there is no sense of community here now. I have lived at my present address for 10 yrs and except to say hello I don't see my neighbours at all. Kids don't hang around together like we did. Your parents knew each other and more or less knewwhere we were. Irene Shenton

Kersal Flats seems like a lifetime away now. My best memories were of the community spirit, and mooching about on Kersal Moor. I know we tend to look back with rose-tinted glasses, but people really did care about one another way back then. Everyone was your aunt or uncle, and everyone shared, and looked out/after one another. The world does seem to have lost that community spirit which is so very sad, and I personally feel that this is why there has been a breakdown in society. Lorraine Smallshaw

I think the hardship has some role to play in the fondness people feel for the place. Looking back we were dirt poor. But as the cliche goes we were very happy. As kids the flats provided a massive array of families and hence playmates. That coupled with Kersal Moor and active imaginations made for an incredible time. We would hang around in groups of 10-15 kids with ages from 6-13 or so. We would go out at 9 in the morning, come back for lunch at 1 for 30 minutes, and then back out until tea time. All without the need to spend money or worry about our safety. Shane

I spent all my childhood in Lower Kersal from 1967 until 1985 and don't remember there being any problems. As children we used to be able to play out with friends,without causing trouble,we were in and out of each other gardens and houses all the day,we all watched out for each other,we made our own entainment ,spent our time in Drinkwater park,on the golflinks or on Littleton Road playing fields.There was never any problem families when I grew up around there,everyone got on with everyone most of the time. I used to live on Shirley Avenue and some of my family still lived there until 2 years. So I can safely say that Kersal was the place to grow up and you could never have had better friends who I still keep in touch with today.I still have family who live in the area (Carlton Avenue) I only have fond memories of my life there,but I believe I don't see Kersal with rose tinted glasses,because I had a wonderful life and would not change a thing.When I was around 7-8 I was knocked down on Oaklands Road and the people knew me as everyone knew everyone and they went to get my parents.They took me into their house whilst the Ambulance came and they also fetched my parents. when I came out of hospital 5-6 weeks later everyone came to see I was ok! Now that's what I call a good neighbourhood and good friends who watch out for each other. Anne McDermott

Lower Kersal was my childhood  and I will always have happy memories of carefree days.  We didn't have much money but then neither did any one else, but we were safe, happy and entertained ourselves. Anne Maloney

It was really nice and the kids loved it.  We had coal fires because there was no central heating then. The kids had plenty of room to play and you always knew where they were. We lived there for 18 years and it was a really nice community.Arthur and Winnie Murphy

We moved from Islington to Burns House in 1961 and raised five children.  I wasn’t sure whether we would settle or not, but I got used to it and it was a lovely place to live. We had everything we need and plenty of grass for the kids to run about on. There was a great community spirit. Jack and Maureen Pavitt

The not so good memories. It seems that the place deteriorated later on when they seemed to allow families that were really not so keen to keep the place looking good and the when the Castle was built we used to see many a fight from Keats Court outside, and inside when I got old enough to go in!! They were socially isolating looking back, there were no streets for kids to play in and neighbours to chat. But we did have the landing and many a game of hopscotch was chalked outside the front door! When they put the key codes on the front entrances and big ugly steel doors, they made the place look really intimidating. More good memories for me than bad, but they do say rose tinted glasses and all that!! I live just outside Bolton now. I wasn't sorry to see the flats demolished, at the time they really had become an eyesore.Well we only had 2 bedrooms and when my mam went on to have 3 girls, you can imagine that got difficult! It took us 7 years on another waiting list, from 1977, to get out and by then we girls were moving on anyway, bar the youngest. I watched the demolishment with a bit of sadness though as you would when your birthplace and so many memories disappears, I suppose. Julie Munro

The demise set in eventually though and the happy years came to an end when my dad was one of the first to be 'mugged' on the way home just underneath Spencer House in the early 1980's. It was on the front page of the Reporter. Norma Metcalf

I had a great childhood on Kersal Flats. It was a proper community where you always felt safe and there was always someone looking out for you. Berni Farrell.

How times have changed! We were happy kids, lots of friends and yes we did fallout from time to time and our mams would get involved in a shouting match but not before long everyone was friends again. Janice Williams

I was brought up on Burns House and had a fantastic childhood growing up with the cheeky kids of Kersal. I loved it.Everyone on the flats knew each other and thats when you could leave your key dangling on a shoe lace behind the letter box cos we couldnt afford for the whole family to have a key each BLESS. Nichola Washington

Looking back, we were all as poor as church mice, but there was a real sense of community, always somebody to play with and to fight with. I recall my mum walking in convoy with the kids and loads of her friends up the path to Lower Kersal School - loved that school, and Mr Crump, the headmaster. He seemed to be about 100 at the time, but in reality he was probably only half that! Carol Mackintosh

I often find myself thinking back to those days, wondering what happened to the Caretakers and families and it really does seem like 'Life on Mars' today. I know I look back with 'rose tinted glasses to those days, but towards the last 2 years, found the area a very depressing place, and left the job because of it. Tony Connor, Lift Service Engineer 1978-1984

I have so many fond memories of my childhood there and feel sad that the area has deteriorated into a high crime zone. When I was a lad everyone helped each other out, whether that was borrowing a cup of sugar, cleaning someone's windows or stoning their front door steps with the light beige coloured stones we got from the rag and bone man. I also remember the coal man deliveries and the fantastic coal fires on winter nights, when all my family would sing around or play games like charades, cards, dominoes, ludo etc toasted crumpets, done on the fire with a toasting fork and my grandad having a glass of stout but before drinking it he put the poker in the fire until it was white hot and then put it into the beer, I never knew why he did this? deliriously Happy, Happy days Les Williams

I loved the flats too and we lived there when they were first built until my brother and sisters all married and moved on.  My mum and dad were there until my mum died 20 years ago.  We wanted them to move when the area changed but my mum said she was happy within her own four walls. We couldn't wait for my dad to move once my mum had died because it had changed so much. As you say at the beginning the flats were full of very decent people who had been given a new home which they were proud of when they demolished all those old houses in very poor areas such as Hanky Park (I was from Rossall Street).  I can honestly say I only have good memories from when we lived there - I left when I married in 1973, and actually had the service at St. Phillips on Littleton Road, and moved to Barcelona because my husbnd is Spanish.  Both my daughters remember the flats too and spent many hours running and playing on the grass - all that grass after Rossall Street!!!  What a pity that later it turned into a no go area. Sheila Taylor.














The same blockof flats but 20 years apart.