The Flats




On The Names Of The Flats And The Area

The area where the flats were built we used to know it as the bomb site but whether there had been buildings there during the war I don't know. Peter Houston

The Flats were named after poets probably because the Kersal cells was the birth place of John Byrom in 1692
"The Byrom Family of Kersal The estate of Byrom has existed since the thirteenth century. Byrom Hall, the ancestral home of the celebrated poet John Byrom and was constructed in the 18th century. A timber-framed 16th century monastic building in Kersal, known as "the Kersal Cell" had badly fallen into disrepair so that it had to be demolished, and was purchased by the Byrom family in the 1660s. Tradition has it that John Byrom wrote the hymn "Christians, Awake" at Kersal Cell in 1749. The family had long been prosperous and influential in Manchester from dealing in linen drapery." Mark Morris


On The Land Upon Which The Flats Stood

When it was known that the high-rise flats were to be built . . . older residents of Lower Kersal were more than surprised.  The excuse in the past -- for not building on that area of land, was given as -- 'not being suitable for housing' . . .  I wonder what changed in 1958 . . . it certainly wasn't the state of the terrain! Dee Watson

The area was unsuitable for housing and indeed the council knew it had a history of flooding! THis happened several times in the history of the flats. What changed in 1958? Extreme housing need and little money. High rise flats were a cheap way of housing hundreds of people which might only be able to fit a couple of dozen houses. That and local authorities in the 50s and 60s were amateurish and corrupt. The history of flat building and corruption was nicely captured by the drama Our Friends in the North. Shane

For more on this area and flood risks see here


On Moving Into the Flats

I lived at 21 Milton House from 1969 (aged 6 months) until 1978 when we moved to Clifton as part of the policy of moving families out of the flats. Shane

My mam, dad and elder sister were on a waiting list in 1960 to get one of those flats and my mam said you really were someone to get one at the time! Julie Munro

I was 7 when we moved to the flats ,we were among some of the first.We came from cheetham hill , what a treat to have hot running water and an inside loo. Steve Mcdougall

I was pregnant with my son David. We moved into 42 Cowper house in October 85 and it was a palace to me with so much space. Julis Evans

I was born on the 6th floor of Keats Court in the summer of 1961, one of probably many home deliveries at in that era.I lived there until 1982 and my parents and sister until 1984 when they got a house then on Radford St. Julie Munro

We moved to the 8th floor of Milton House in 1961 and we were amongst the first occupants. We had nine children and we moved from Victoria Place, Hanky Park into a three bedroom flat.  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.Jack and Maureen Pavitt

I didn't know until I saw your site that the flats were newly built in the 60's.  I telephoned my mum straight away to ask if we were the first family to live in our flat, as I was born in 1964 and the family were already living there.  She said she wasn't and thinks she moved in around 1962/63.  It seems funny that there had already been a family living there for such a short time, or do you think maybe it was empty until then? Carol Mackintosh

I can't tell you how wonderful the location and the vast expanse of green (not to mention indoor lou and the 'real' bath) seemed compared to our old house in Hanky Park. I think as kids we thought we were moving into the American dreamhome - a high rise home. Norma Barratt

 When we moved there, dad had a house near Buile Hill Park for us to move to, but my brother and I wanted to go to Kersal, because thats where everyone else in our street had gone(Hanky Park). We visited, just my brother and I (I was 7) and we were thrilled knocking on everyone's doors at Milton House to find that Earl Terrace and Barlow Street had just relocated vertically onto Milton! When first built Jimmy and Carol Farrar and Mrs Farrar lived at 21. It was a wonderful place to live. Norma Metcalf

I know a lot of people didn't like the flats later on but when you come from terraced houses, in not the best of places and go to brand new housing up in the air,surrounded by grass and being able to look out of the kitchen windows in the morning and to see rabbits and all sorts of wildlife to me at the time it was heaven. I used to watch the racing from the kitchen window, and I used to go to the donkey derbies held there. I even remember they did something on the racecourse to do with the Americans being stationed on the racecourse during the second world war. They had a parachutist dropping onto the racecourse and we watched from the top of the hill behind the shops,good times. Leslie Whiteley

On the Double Flats (Shelley, Shakespeare and Spencer)

The `s` blocks (Shakespeare ,Shelly and Spencer) were special. Their lifts opened into  a closed in area and a lot of the tenants had painted the floors very colourfully (Sistine chapel in reverse). Steve Mcdougall

On Flood Doors

I remember the big iron flood doors that were at the bottom of the flats. They removed to try and make the place look better and added the intercoms as well. I still laugh about that today. Irene Shenton

I vaguely remember them removing the big flood doors and installing the new intercoms. We had hours of fun on the latter tormenting the adults. Shane

On the Flood of October 1980

As soon as they removed the flood doors the river burst its banks  and the flats had their own little moats. I was stranded that morning. I put on my dads waterproof pants, walked down the stairs and tried wading through the water. I looked up because I lived on the 6th floor of Browning and my mum and dad were having a good laugh at me trying to walk through the water from the Irwell. I recall shouting "oh my god" as I went. Eventually I said that's it! I am going no further and had to be helped back by a fireman. Them were the days. I think I lost a days pay that day for not turning up for work.Irene Shenton

Do you remember the floods and wading through to go and see your friends? Anne Mcdermott

I remember the flood of 1980. We had move from the flats by then but my nan still lived on Shelley House. On that day we came to visit her because she was trapped in the flat, and we as young lads could wade through and bring her milk and food etc. I recall playing football at the bottom of Shelly house despite there being about 2 foot of water and the ball floating. We had a great laugh. Shane

I recall in 1980 when the river Irwell burst it's banks causing massive flooding in the area, and worked to the early hours for 2 days and nights pumping out the Lift Pits and cleaning and repairing limit switches.Tony Connor, Lift Service Engineer 1978-1984‏

I was pregnant at the time and living on Chaucer Court. I remember watching cars floating down the road past Shelley House etc and Bannie Cowsill (whom I worked for when he had his shop between the chippy and launderette) trying to sell flood damage stock. He was such a miser! I tell you scrooge had nothing on that man! Janice Williams

I was in the floods, which as a kid thought was brilliant. I remember hearing the Alpine bottles floating around and banging together! Lesley Wheeldon

I remember the floods but thought they were earlier than 1980.In the flood picture of Browning House it is my Mam in the window at 13 and it is Betty Hampson on the balcony above at 23 browning. Mark Harrison

I remember the water coming down our street (Hassop Avenue) and they sent a boat to take me out because I was 7 months pregnant. I did not go in it but sent my sister who was hysterical because we had 1 inch of water near the gate. Sandra Young

I was stuck in 98 Shakespeare at my grandparents flat throughout the flood. It was during the school holidays amd I remember wanting the water to stay so we didnt have to go back to school. I also remember fireman bringing food in dinghys, and the marks the water left on the post were there until they were demolished! Paul Bird

I remember the flood. Me and our Michael got a crack off our dad for riding our Choppers though the water. He had seen us on Grandad reports. Ian O'Mara.


On the Washrooms in the flats

I can also remember standing in the warm wash house at the bottom of keats court watching my mam washing our clothes! Julie Munro

The wash rooms were a source of arguments woman not staying to the rota. Steve Mcdougall.

I remember the washhouses at the bottom of the block where you got an hour a week to wash and an hour to dry. Jack and Maureen Pavitt


On Lifts

The lifts didn't they smell from the drunks on their way home from the Castle who just couldn't wait if you know what I mean. It was a case of holding your breathe for as long as you could.Irene Shenton

Ahh yes the fragrant smell of the lifts. Even as kids we knew there was something distinctly dodgy about them. We lived on the second floor (21 Milton) so we mostly used the stairs except when visiting someone else. Shane

I remember when they built that little caretakers office and they would sit in there all day drinking tea. If you got stuck in the lifts and your caretaker was in the Castle you could be there for hours which was more often than not.Irene Shenton

I remember the lift used to get broken regularly by the coal man , had the flats gone off coal in your time? Steve Mcdougall

I worked for Manchester City Council from 1978-1984 on lift service and maintenance, who at the time, had the contract for lift service in Salford. My 'service round' was Lower Kersal Flats on service and breakdown repairs of the Express Lifts.I also recall when the flats had new liftshafts built in the early 1980's, until then each block only had one lift, which I'm sure you can imagine, suffered heavy from vandalism. Tony Connor, Lift Service Engineer 1978-1984

Worst part of the flats was using the stairs when the lifts broke down. Ann Maloney

The lifts smelling of urine! The lifts getting stuck!! Many a time when I was in it over the years. Julie Munro

My mum had 4 children under 10 when we lived in the flats and when the lift broke, which was often, she had to lug the pram up 9 floors (18 flights). I can still smell those stairs now!! Carol Mackintosh

I can remember when l was about 12 going to my grans on Spencer House with my friend Lorraine James. We got stuck in the lift for about an hour. I was scared stiff and it put me off lifts even till this day. Jackie Haining

My cousin Sue, used to live on Keats court and I used to visit her a lot. Some boys used to climb on top of the lifts and control them! Not sure how they did but I could hear them when I was in the lift. Lesley Wheeldon.



On Decor

This is a shot of our living room in Milton House with me cut out of the picture. That was some nasty wallpaper. And what about that sofa! Sheesh. We changed that for a leather one. Quite posh for Kersal flats. Also quite lethal. In winter it was freezing and in Summer you stuck to it and risked ripping off skin if you stood up quickly. My nan in Shelley House had wallpaper with flowers etc. However, the pattern was three dimensional and stuck out from the wall! I can still remember spending hours as a kid picking at that paper. Shane


Nice wallpaper! I remember ours being just as loud. You needed sun glasses until mum went through her all white phase.Then it was wood chip. Remember that? I used to have hours of fun pulling the little bits off that.It was dangerous stuff if you stuck your leg out of bed and caught it on the wall the woodchip would take your skin.Irene Shenton

On Tough Conditions

In the winter I remember the ice being on the inside of the windows as well as the outside.Irene Shenton

I also remember the heavy smogs/thick fogs that used to fall like a heavy blanket on the estate encouraged by the closeness of the river and the coal fires. As children we used to get the most terrible barking coughs - no heating in them there days in tut bedrooms. We used to break off the icicles that had grown on the windows and suck them like ice lollies Lorraine Smallshaw.

I remember visiting those flats in 1977 in which my niece and her husband lived. They were so cold and damp that condensation was on the walls all though winter I was told. And her husband should never have lived in the unit with his chest complaints. I made them go and see the officer in charge of housing for that area and I also went with them for back up. Within a week they were moved to a brand new house 3up 3down on the old Cross Lane. Roy McKay




On Kitchens and Facilities

Life was hard. Oh god I had washing lines strung all over the flat with Martin's work clothes, baby clothes, sheets all on the go at the same time. I didn't have a washing machine for a year I had to wash our clothes like an ancient italian treaded grapes and wring them out round the taps of the bath. Julie Evans

Back in 1960 we didn't have fridges and a treat to die for was a carton of freezing cold milk from the machine outside Banny Cowsill's shop in the evening when the shop was closed. Norma Metcalf

I remember coal fires in the flats and coalmen blocking up the lifts to deliver.Parafin heaters in the Kitchen. Gary Turner

On the Clinic

Do you remember the old clinic building on the flats? One clinic for the entire community. Irene Shenton

The clinic is on the picture in the Lived in Section. There was a pre-school nursery held in it. I went there when I was 3 and still have some vivid memories. Before going to Lower Kersal aged 4. Shane

There was a clinic there and I used to go to the dentist, Mr Carr a lovely man. Ann Maloney

I went to a nursery at the clinic before going to school. Alison Johnson

Just on the right there was a little doorway. I spent most of my nights sat there in about 1976 when Iwas 16yrs old because we were cold but could not get into the pub. This included Mo Pavitt, Claire Coffey, Janice Conway, Hazel Patten, and many more waiting for the lads, say no more. Lorraine Stapley

I remember having my two front teeth out at the clinic because my younger brother (Stephen ) tripped me up because I was beating him in a race. I landed smack on my mouth shattering my two front teeth. My nan rushed me to the dentist there and he pulled my teeth out which didn't take much pulling Karen Denise Cooper


On the Community Centre

In the 1980s they built a community centre next to the shops on the flats that never lasted long. Simon E.

A new community centre, the Castle, was opened on the site of the old park and Les Whitely and I ran the youth club there. There was also a junior club, run by Ann, one of the local mums, and all sorts of other activities, something for everyone – I’m sure that many of the youths would have got into some kind of trouble if they didn’t have the clubs to go to. It closed in the late 80s which was a shame but it was great whilst it lasted. Chris Berney

I remember Dancing to 'come on Eileen' in the community centre! Sonia Townley

I used to go to the flats club which Chris Berney used to run. I loved it!!! Lesley Wheeldon

Morris dancing practice in the community centre - LOVED IT! We had such top giggles back then. Jacqueline Harrison

I so loved Morris dancing and Kersal Aces at the time was my biggest love. Loved going to Championships and all the older kids used to fight to get in a carvan with my mum. Cos my mum was the cool mum, no she was just plan crazy, lol. Michelle Healey.

Morris dancnig practice at the community centre was mint! Everyone used to do it (even my mum)!! Jacqueline Harrison



On The Huts

There was a series of huts at the side of Rushley Avenue in which they held the scout and cubs meetings. Occasionally they would hold fancy dress events at Halloween and have a Santa at Christmas. Shane

The old peoples hut/scout hut. My grandfather used to run it Mr Thomas James Pope. Graham Green

I used to go to Cubs in the old hut on Rushley Avenue. Scott Ashworth 

I can still picture the old people in the hut playing crib,don,soli. with cups of tea and rich tea bikkies.The tree as you look at the hut on the left., me and my brother used to climb.Once there used to be people flying kites on the fields stunt kites.One got loose and ended up on the telegraph pole just down the street. Graham Green


To the left a picture of the 2/9th (second ninth) Salford ‘Oates’ cubs football team (named after Captain “I am just going outside and may be some time” Oates) on Scott’s South Pole disastrous expedition – I am not sure why.Does any body remember the Cub / Scout hut on Rushley lane at the bottom of Kingsley Avenue? Cubs and Scouts, just like marmite – loved them or hated them.For those that threw stones on the tin roof, thanks it sounded what a bad night in Iraq is like inside. Afterwards I remember running the gauntlet through the flats, only the bravest went in the chip shop by the flats on a Friday night - cub caps were a collectors item apparently! So the safety of Oaklands Road chippy it was for me.Hope people remember the faces in the picture, we beat the posh kids from Lightoaks near Lancaster Road. Mark and Wayne Skillen were from South Mesnefield Road, Sean Dinneen and myself were from Castlewood Road, the rest of the crew were from around the flats area. Andrew Washington (fastest boy alive) had to go hospital and so did not make the picture.Andrew Haining (South Mesnefield Road) and Robert Minshull (Castlewood Road) also ran the Friday night gauntlet with us.Arthur and Brian Levinson were the Cub and Scout Masters they lived on Monsal Ave, I think. Mark Read


On Parents Arriving Home

My dad used to get the number 13 bus home from work, and the bus stop was at the next block of flats; I used to sit at the window of the stairs on the 9th floor of Cowper and wait for his bus to come round the bend. As soon as I saw him getting off the bus, I would start jumping down the stairs, a full flight at a time. I always managed to get to him before he reached our block. Carol Mackintosh


On Animals and Pets

I remember there was  a dog on South Radford Street that always used to bark at cars, chase them and try to bite the wheels.I also remember there was a dog on Littleton Road that had learned to cross the road at the zebra crossing! Shane

I remember the stupid dogs that would chase car wheels! I remember the thunder storms we had a black cat called mighty mog and one summers day he managed to get on the veranda then the weather changed and it started to thunder well the silly cat jumped from the veranda to an open bedroom window missed and fell 6 floors down he survived the fall with a cracked pallet and a broken jaw but he landed on his feet he must have been the luckiest cat in kersal we reckon he must have hit his face on the way down. Irene Shenton

I had a tortoise called Sid. We lived on the second floor on Milton House. He often walked onto the balcony and kept walking and fell off. He did this several times, and almost hit numerous children. On each occasion he survived without any damage. Shane

We had about 3 budgies while growing up and I think they all flew away when the verandah door was open! Julie Munro

Does anyone remember a black dog called Faithful that everyone seemed to own. That is ,until some disturbed person who I shall not name threw him off top of Keats Court. Russell Jones

I remember our Barry's dog Rupert. He was always chasing the buses when they went passed until he actually got killed from doing it!! Ita Fawcett

I bought an alligator for ten shilling or a ten bob note that I pinched from me dad. I kept it in a little fish tank under my bed and when I came home from school one day I got a right clout off my mum and she was going on about me fetching frogs a newts into the house and keeping them under my bed. I asked her what she did with them and she told me that she had put them down the rubbish shute. Well I ran down the stairs, tipped the big round bin over and dug in all the refuse and found "ALLIE" still just alive. So the first thing that came into my mind was running into the washroom under the flats where all the women spent most of their days because it was warm and frightning the life out of old Mrs Cottgrave. It survived but I had to take it back to the pet shop.It was a laugh at the time just a bit of mischief. Leslie Whiteley


On The Castle

I remember looking from the balcony from the living room, it used to look right over at the Castle. I would sit there for hours watching all the comings and goings, and not to forget the countless amount of times it would kick off in there!! If I was lucky I could sneak in and sit at the back and hope that someone would get me a drink!! Zoe Thompson

On one of the photo's that shows a group of people outside the Castle, I have half convinced myself that the child standing on the steps is me!! Carol Mackintosh

Best days of my life ... good times outside the Castle on saturday nights watching fights and vinegar Veira. Paul Hogan

I remember things going decidely down a hill after they built the Castle we used to watch many a scrap from our verandah (not balcony!)it kept us entertained though. Julie Munro

I remember sneaking into the Castle pub to watch my dad sing. Nichola Washington

I practically lived in the Castle in the late 70's! My sister lived on Chaucer Court and we lived in Hassop Avenue (my parents still live there). What a great place to live will never forget the memories.
Sandra Moore

My Grandad used to go in the Castle on a Sunday afternoon, come home, have dinner, have 40 winks, wake up and head straight back! Ooooh, Sunday opening hours! Happy days! Jacqueline Harrison

My nanna and grandad had this pub in the 70's. They were called, Brian and Ann Grundy. Gemma Grundy

God so many memories in this pub! My dad was one of Brian Grundy's mates. As a little girl I always wanted to drink dirty beer in the Castle. When I was in my 20s I worked there for about a year and a half for Hadge Foster. What a crackin place! Nichola Washinton

I used to stand outside and smell the beer and wonder what it was like to actually be in there! I went in there after a funeral years and years later with my Nana and Granddad (Winnie & Frank McCormick). Jacqueline Harrison

This was a usefull place to find bottle tops for Blue Peter appeals! And yep it was the only pub where you could smell the fags and beer from across the street. Simon Egan

WOW the Castle pub. My mum used to work in the Castle, Debbie Caffrey. I used to play with Michelle Foster, her dad was the landlord. It was great free games of pool and qavers crisp. That pub was as rough as a bears arse, but funny and full of some amazing memories. Michelle Healey

Had many drunken night in the Castle.Brian Grundy the landlord and later Age Foster and Pip Brooder had it for a while.Best pub in Salford. Harold (adge) Foster was the landlord for some time.His Brother is Steve the viking Foster the boxing champion.Thomas Harrison

This was the onlly pub I used to drink in, in the late 70s. My kids were weaned on Greenalls lager! It used to do wonders dipping there dummys in it used to make them sleep for hours. Pauline Gillibrand

God the only thing missing from that photo is our Lester! If anyone can't remember him, he was the huge red Bullmastiff that Tooley owned that would walk in the pub. Hadge used to throw him a pack of ready salted crssps and he used to pop them with one swipe of his humongous paw and lie in front of the bar in the room munchin away. Then he'd sit right where that kid is standing and wait for his next 'feeder' to come along. We wouldn't see him until teatime. Great days eh. Myles Toole

Lester was mad if anyone started fighting he would pounce on them. Derek Redshaw was scared witless of that dog. Thomas Harrison

Bob Morrall never let us in. He always made us stand in the hallway because me and Mo Pavitt were only 16, so we had to go down to Broughton to a little pub called the Globe. Lorraine Stapley

I remember going in the Castle pub with my mam and dad and having a packet of crisps and a coke. Also our Barry trying to catch flies with a dollop of dog shit outside the pub!! Ita Fawcett

Wow! So many nights sat outside the Castlee with a cold ass because we were too young to get in especially when Bob was the landlord. He was having none of it, and then when I was 18, god it was like my second. Lorraine Stapley

Awwwww! This is where my Mum and Dad met!! Shell Belle.

The Castle pub was where I popped my cherry regarding my first ever pint of beer lol. I went in with my girlfriend Sue`s older brother Eddie Beaumont and proceeded to get blind drunk on 4 pints of mild costing the princely total of 52 new pence! Imagine that? 13 pence a pint ha ha! Leslie Murphy


On Coronation Street

Elsie Tanner who used to be in Coronation Street visited the estate looking every inch the star and glamorous and we were hanging over the balconies shouting her. Norma Metcalf

Our flat on Chaucer Court was used in a scene for Coronation Street in 1979.A film crew arrived with Alf Roberts, Deirdre Barlow, her daughter Tracy and Emily Bishop. I remember that we had a large fish tank nad that the girl who played Tracy Barlow was so fascinated by it that it took some tome to get her to concentrate on her part. We were paid 15 pounds for our trouble. Kevin Skeffington.

On Mobile Vendors

Does anyone remember a van that used to drive around the esate selling fruit and veg? There was also a hatch back car that used to sell sweets! Shane

I do remember the veg and sweet van but do you remember the mobile library that used to come round on a Tuesday tea time? Irene Shenton

Ahhh the mobile library. There was a section for kids and a section for grown ups. I always wanted to see what the grown up books were. Shane

The rag and bone man? Yeah people used to throw things down to him. Irene Shenton

Do you remember the rag and bone man? He used to come round the flats shouting RAG AND BONE ANY OLD RAGS!! We used to take our old rags down, and he would give us a balloon..good old days. Maureen Pavitt

Yes, I remember the rag and bone man. I remember Martin Ormandy (51 Milton House) running down with his dad's (Johnny Ormandy) best and only suit so that he could get a gold fish from rag and bone man! Shane Sullivan


Did you scream at siblings for drinking the one bottle of pop you begged your mum to order for you from the Alpine man? Simon E.

Ah the pop man. We still had Alpine when we moved to Clifton in 1978. They always had weird flavours of pop that  you could never get anywhere else! Shane

Do you remember the white haired man that was in the burgen's ice cream van that used to make a funny sucking noise no matter what you ordered? Usually a rocket ship lolly if you were a boy. There used to be a rhyme we would sing to the tune on the ice cream van "burgen's ice cream taste like brill cream" Simon E

A chippy van that came round for a seemingly brief spell, before they built the second lot of shops (chippy, launderette, mace). They made chips like heaven! Julie Munro

Does anyone remember the chippy van that came round on a friday night before we had one on the newer shops? You could get a bag of scratchings for 6 pence! Christine Crook

I don't remember the chippy van but I remember Derek with the greengrocers van. I recall waiting for him under Burns house on a Friday night and you could be up until midnight waiting to buy your pot. Lorraine Stapley


From Lorraine Smallshaw

As well as the Local Shops on the Estate, we also had a number of transient/mobile sellers.
We used to have:-
The Bleach Man:  who used to sell cleaning liquids door to door. He also used to sell Pop ?
The Farmer:  he would call on the estate each week selling his local produce.  One of his most popular items were his 'cracked' eggs which everyone used to clammer to buy at a highly reduced rate - something like a penny each.

and believe it or not, we still had a
Rag and Bone Man:  He used to come round each week, walking alonside his horse and cart shouting "Rag Bone" residents would rush out and exchange items of discarded clothing, and rubbish for cream stones, balloons, etc., or if you were lucky he would give you a Sixpence !
In the Sixties, the Estate also acquired the Corona/Pop Man who delivered bottles of pop around the estate. Don't forget the majority of the residents didn't own a car and the lugging home of heavy liquids didn't take priority with the shopping.  So the benefit of someone calling door to door selling heavy bottles of pop was very welcome.  and thats only if you could afford it !


A rag and bone man at the flats near Salford Precinct in 1973.


On The Shops

The old shops starting with the news agents, hardware, chemist, not sure what the other one was then  Walshe's green grocers. Then later they built the other row of shops- chippy , then the mini supermarket, and the laundrette at the end. Before they built the laundrette do you remember the old wash rooms at the bottom of the flats? My mother worked at the chippy on the estate before it became a chinese. Irene Shenton

The hardware shop. In  the first harry potter when he goes to get his wand in that magic shop just reminds me so much of the time I went to buy a neck scarf for my brother who was in the scouts. He had them all in boxes on the shelves. Is that right? I just have that one memory of the place. might be somwhere else but I think it was there. Simon E.

I also remember the lady Mrs Block from the hardware store on the flats.  She was such a nice lady. Was she Greek or something like that? I always remember her with black hands like you said from newspaper and her glasses on a chain around her neck. She was wonderful! Jimmy Greg

Does anyone remember Mixy the poodle frm the old hardwarer shop on the flats? Maureen Pavitt

My mum bought me some shoes from Mrs Blocks hardware shop. The shoes were black until it rained and all the dye ran on my socks and the shoes were yellow! ha ha she must have dyed them herself. Mrs Block used to send us to the paper shop for a kitkat and give you a half a pence for going. Awwr bless her! Nichola Washington

And the newsagents, even though the two brothers were awful miserable that owned it!  My mam used to clean for Nellie Hagan, who lived over the newsagents, and I can remember her letting my mam use her phone when the phone boxes were out of order, as they often were. Julie Munro

I can still taste the chips from the flats chippy. Graham Green

My mum used to work in the greengrocers and then in Chadwicks Newsagents. Scott Ashworth

My dad married Nellie Hagan and ran the papershop with her for a while. Norma Metcalf

My mum Maggie used to work in the wash house with winnie Murphy. My sister Anna used to live in the flat above the wash house aswell. Sonia Townley

I remember all the old shops and most of all Violet's chippy. Martin Turner

One of my memories was the pot shop on the flats the lady was called Mrs Block.I used to spend my money in there on little ornaments for my nan. I also remember the chippy. There were two older ladies who ran it and my brother smashed the window by accident but luckily he wasn’t hurt and and my dad paid for it. Lesley Wheeldon

I had the best part of my life at the shops..most of it was robbing them..miss the good old im grown up and know it was not right what I did in them days..still had my good times down there with my mates.Ian Whiteley.

I recall having to go to the wash-house on a Sunday with a pocket full of coins and bags of washing which was a pain in the arse.....I would have rather been at home watching the Waltons! Jacqueline Harrison

I used to live on top of the laundrette 'Dryden house' with my mum and sister. Donna Newbury

I remember having to go to that butchers every saturday to buy 1lb of bacon and sausage and half a pound of cooking cheese for sunday breakfast. Also two sheeps or pigs heads for the two alsations we had. God they didn't half stink when they were cooking (the heads not the dogs) Pauline Gillibrand.

Oh happy days getting 10p mix-ups from Chadwicks newsagents. Mojo's, white mice, them spaceship things with the sherbet in the middle! Scott Ashworth.

I was a paperboy for Graham and Steve Chadwick. We used to run the route to see who was the fastest paperboy John Pavitt.

John I was the paper girl morning and night. Me and Mike Booth went on our rounds. happy days !! Lorraine Stapley.

I had a paper round with Chadwicks newsagents and posted newspapers to most of the houses along Littleton Road going towards Cussons soap works and around the council estate and flats. Les Williams

Later I had a paper round with Chadwick's (both City fans, spit), they were lousy payers (tight bastards) and miserable most of the time (bet they didn't pay Nelly too much for the shop). Mike Stapley.

I remember cleaning Graham and Steve Chadwick's cars for around five bob each (25p) behind the newsagents. I also cleaned Mr Block's from the hardware store next door.Eventually I saved enough to buy a SUN racing bike which ended up in my dads garage for years under Milton House. That was probably around 38 years ago. Mike Bennett

We also got our candles from the hardware shop r when the power cuts came in the 'winter of discontent' (it was fascinating watching large areas of Salford being blacked out as other areas came back online from our bedroom) Mark Stapley


This splendid and very detailed account from Lorraine Smallshaw

The Newsagent was run by Nellie Haigan and her family and they lived in the maisonette above the shop. This was a typical Newsagents that catered for everyones needs. The Shop Counter was 'L' shaped.  One side was a children's haven - selling every kind of desirable sweet and comic imaginable! The children used to stand drooling, armed with their pennies, waiting to be served, before making their way off to the local park situated to the left of the shop, to enjoy their goodies.  What more could a kid want, a mouthful of penny chews and a park ? (albeit a very dangerous one) with an unguarded swollen River Irwell just yards away to the rear) The back wall was lined with shelf upon shelf, crammed full of old fashioned glass sweet jars. The Penny Counter - offered flying saucers, licquorice laces, gob-stoppers, sherbert dabs, sugar mice, penny chews, etc. The contents of this area were pushed aside each October/November to make way for the Firework Display, when there was a mad scram to buy Rockets, Penny Bangers, Roman Candles, and Sparklers. There was no legal age requirement then and anyone could buy these fireworks. There was a large freezer by the window full of lollies, ice-creams, mars bars, and frozen penny jubblies - very popular during the long hot summer holidays.  Remember - no-one had a freezer then, let alone a Fridge! The other side of the Counter was set aside for the adults. Selling Newspapers, Magazines, Football Pinks, Cigarettes, Greetings Cards, etc. You could even book your Summer Holiday here with Nellie (the advent of the package tour was yet to arrive)  Trips to Wales, Blackpool, Southport, Blackpool Lights, etc. The Coach would leave from the corner by the telephone box - and I remember when that Telephone box housed the old telephone with the A-Z pull and push buttons. Nellie was a very kind lady and would let you use her private telephone if the phone-box was out of order - which was more often than not as the phone was frequently vandalised - despite the presence of the old Police Moggie Minor that used to patrol the area.

This shop was ran by Mr and Mrs. Block and MEL, and was a veritable Aladdins Cave. They seemed to have the capacity to sell everything you could ever wish for or need to run your home. As you opened the door, you always got a strong whiff of Paraffin which was stored at the rear of the premises. There was no central heating in the flats or the houses on the estate, so Paraffin heaters were very popular and a necessary commodity as a back-up to the coal fires. They had a good eye for buying in special/unusual items.  They seemed to stock Everything:-  Crockery, Pans, Pegs, Fire-lighters,  Bundles of Fire-sticks, Jewellery, Bric a Brac, unusual items of clothing, Gift sets, Christmas decorations. You name it they had it, and if they didn't have it - they'd buy it in for you. I remember when 'Dutch Blankets'  became  all the rage  in the sixties, and they had stacks of these brightly coloured heavy blankets piled high in the shop. The Shop would have a pile of newspapers on the Counter ready for the wrapping of your purchases. Consequently Mrs.Black's fingers were always full of black newspaper print! Maybe thats where she got her name from ?  Ha ha ha. Everything in this shop was affordable and if it wasn't - They ran a 'Pot Club' where you could save a little money each week, say sixpence, and they put goods aside for you. Mrs.Block and particularly Mel were very good friends of ours. Mrs. Block thought nothing of wrapping up a little treat/ornament as a get well gift for my mother whenever we went in to buy something, and they would let us use the shop's phone out of hours whenever my mother was in hospital - making a special trip in to open up the shop. Mel used to play Golf with my dad and I have very fond memories of these lovely kind people.

Despite being a new build, this Chemist Shop housed all the ubiquitous large coloured medicinal jars you would expect to see in an old victorian chemist.  Most of the residents looked upon this Gentleman as a GP - as he was always available to offer friendly helpful advice. He always wore white and was extremely polite and very professional.  Unfortunately I cannot remember his name.

This small supermarket was like the Tardis. It was initially opened/ran by Bannister Cowsill - a suited middle-class gentleman who was on the Local Council. He ran this shop for many many years.  His wife would often make an occasional appearance to help out when short staffed. (He later opened the Supermarket on Littleton Road - located by the Chip Shop.) The rear of the shop was dedicated to fridges/cold counters, selling bacon, cold meats, cheeses - A delicatessen area way ahead of its time. The middle of the shop housed the Bakery and The front of the shop housed tins, and everyday items, and had two check-out tills by the door. I remember one of the assistants being called Hilda (because she had the same name as my mother) Later an Off-License was opened on the left hand side of the shop - The Off License opened up in the evenings - until late at night  (after the rest of the shop closed down) How they packed so much in to one tiny shop I'll never know.

Every day except Sunday and Wednesday afternoon the awning would be pulled down to shade the shop;  and rabbits, chickens, pigs trotters, sides of lamb, etc.,  would be hung outside. The shop window would display tripe, pigs heads, sausages, cuts of meat, and home made sausages, (they had their own sausage making machine on the premises, and you could watch them being made). The shop was kept scrupulously clean.  They scrubbed down every evening and the floor was scattered with sweet smelling sawdust.  I remember a lovely gentleman named BOB working there, and every Saturday we would be given a Ten Shilling Note for the Sunday Roast, and told to "ask Bob for a lean leg of Lamb - about 7s 6d but no more than 10 shillings"! Happy Days ! ! !

This shop was run by the Walsh family who lived in the maisonette above. They ran a well-stocked friendly shop where you could buy anything from 'Boiler' Chickens,  and Pot Herbs,  to Christmas Trees. From memory, I think they were quite a big family and their children worked in the shop.  They were very helpful and would open up the shop if you needed something urgently.



And from Graham McCormick

The shops were numbered from left to right, 1 to 6. The houses were numbered from right to left 7 to 12. In no 1 was Nellie Hagan who sold the shop to the Chadwick's (who owned the paper shop opposite the racecourse hotel). The no2 was Mr & Mrs block. Then no3 was the chemist who was very grumpy. Then at no 4 was the mace Banny Cowsill who sold it to a hair dresser named John, who in turn sold his hair dressing business to Margery Walsh.At no5 the butchers, the Bramhall's. At no 6 was the Walshes greengrocers which included Paul,Keith,Ian, (cant remember eldest lads name), Diane, Barbara,Margery, Frank and ma Walsh. Then upstairs at no7 the Walshes again, at no8 Taylors/Johnson's. Then at no9 the Cowsill's and then later the Henshaws (their eldest daughter, Carol is now my wife). At no10 was us, the McCormick's, and at no11 Mrs Brooks an old lady who was some relation to the Johnson's, and then finally of course Nellie Hagan at no 12.


On Bannister Cowsill

One shopkeeper seems to remembered more than all the others, and not necessarily in a good way!. Step foward Kersal Flats own Arkwright.........Bannister Cowsill.

Who remembers Bannie's shop and everything had a half a pence at the end. He robbed the poor people blind on them flats. It's funny I wondered then why so many people refused to help him when his shop got flooded! Nichola Washington.

OMG - It's a picture of Banny! My mum worked for him for years. Jacqueline Harrison

I worked for Banny Cowsill in 1974 till 1977 then again 1981. Someone mentioned remembering an assistant called Hilda who worked there. I worked with two Hilda Jackson and I think the other one was Hilda Johnson. Janice Williams.

Unfortunately I worked here as well. May god rest his soul but he was a robbing BA****D and I am sure that many will agree! Nichola Washington.

Bannie Cowsill (whom I worked for when he had his shop between the chippy and launderette) during the flood of 1980 he was trying to sell flood damage stock. He was such a miser! I tell you scrooge had nothing on that man! Janice Williams

My mum worked at the Mace for a good few years and still remembers the night that there was a mini riot on the flats. Banny ran into the shop in agony with the scalding hot juice of a well-aimed meat pie running down his face. And the tranny who used to come in the shop and mumr and all the other girls would pelt it into the back so they wouldn't have to serve him / her as they could never keep a straight face. Stephen Peter Aldcroft

I worked for Banny in the Mace on the flats with Hilda and May. I gave most of the stuff away.I remember Flo Hankinson coming in every sat always a big shop with very littlel to pay. I told you that I gave it away. What a tight bat Banny was. He made me work so hard. Lorraine Stapley


On the demolition of the flats (14th October 1990)

The leaves on the trees look like that they are on the turn and going brown, the football season was underway, because as Boo said, they their football match on the old racecourse was stopped while they watched, and my dad was still alive in at that date, and he went on the racecourse also to watch it. I went there were I took pictures, just above the old golf course so that I could get a raised view, but it was not that good really, but I had to stick with it as it was minutes from blast time. I won't ever forget that blast sound as well, because it was the first time I had seen flats blown up. But it was like a massive crack sound that just ripped though the air followed by the rubble of the flats falling. Eddie Smith

As a foot note myself and Martin and Little David then went to see the flats demolished. I was quite sad at losing those flats because they where so big and both my kids came from there. Funny enough we live not far from where Cowper House was at Matlock Avenue. Julie Evans

I remember the day they came down, if I remember rightly it was quite a nice day. People were coming from all over and trying to get the best spot to see. I was on the top of Oakland's hill with my mates anxiously awaiting, and then it happened, silence from a lot of people, probably thinking there are all my good and bad times just gone in a cloud of smoke. I think I was probably one of those people, sad really, the end of an era. Zoe Thompson

Saw the flats demolished on the news in Australia - that blew me away. Frank Connor

I was a caretaker and we moved in Milton House in 1970 with my wife Mary and three kids. We were also the last residents to leave in 1990. Chris Berney

I watched this from Vine Street. It was was fantastic to watch but also very sad! Sandra Young.

I cried so much that day. Michelle Healey

Me too Michelle, a very sad day. Lorraine Stapley

I lived on Burns House until I was 3 years old with my mum Nichola Washington. I watched from Carlton Avenue the day it was knocked down. It brought a tear to my eye. Michelle Hepburn