Faded Views

I’ve not posted any old photographs for a while, and when I saw these three, of my home city of Manchester, being shared on Facebook I thought that I would share them with you.

As you know, I love these old black and white pictures, and if there is a local connection then so much the better.

Dirty Faces, Scabby Knees, Jam Buttiesphoto (76)


Typical kids on a typical Manchester street, 1947. Could have been my Dad’s street-he would have been seven at this time. Kids played out, got mucky, took supplies of jam butties and water, and, did you catch that first bit –they played out.

So They All Rolled Over And One Fell Outphoto (77)


Bed time 1947. I’ve heard all of the stories: everybody crammed into one bed, coats on top as covers, ice on the inside of the windows. We today, with one-switch central heating, able to stretch out (starfish) in a bed toasted by an electric blanket, sweltering away like a boil in the bag Kipper, we just don’t know we are born.

Swinging Six…er…Fiftiesphoto (78)


Kids’ play, Manchester, 1950’s.

It was on a lamppost such as this that my Mum broke her collar-bone on. Or, rather, off. Not having the luxury of a rope swing or seat, she jumped off a wall to grab hold of one of the ornamental arms (here just out of view, being near the top), caught it with one hand but missed with the other, did a somersault that any trapeze artist would have been proud of, and then crashed onto the hard floor.

Days later, a neighbour asked my Gran: “How is your Lilian? She didn’t half hit the floor with a bang!”

She replied “She is okay, but she has broken her collar-bone. It is disgusting that people will just drop banana skins on the floor,” (that old slapstick chestnut, or rather, banana), “for someone to slip on.”

The neighbour, leaning on her door jamb and folding her arms in full busybody pose, said:

Banana skin? She was swinging on the lamppost and fell off.”

My Gran, formidable and widowed, bringing up three children alone, later said to my mum “You just wait! I won’t hit you now-I will wait until you’ve had your plaster taken off!”

There’s nothing like a mother’s love  when you are hurting is there?

14 thoughts on “Faded Views

    • Ha ha-damn autocorrect! It doesn’t allow for slang and colloquialisms. A jam buttie is just a jam sandwich. Bread, butter, jam. Though I suspect they went without the butter.


  1. I also wondered what a jam buttie is. 🙂 Lovely photos. Last year I was addicted to the show Call the Midwife, the action of which took place in London’s East End in the 1950s. What I love about that show is that kids were outside, running and playing. The last photo reminds me of the show.


  2. What delightful pictures of children playing. They look like they are having great adventures. How very different to the lives that children lead today.

    This is a huge grumble of mine. When I was a youngster in the 60s and 70s, I was able to play out with my friends, We had adventures, roamed about and learned all the lessons that youngsters can learn from exploring their world by themselves unencumbered by worrying adults. Children now scarcely go out on their own until they reach near adulthood. I wish there was something that could be done to rescue children from the fears of their parents, but unless the media stops pumping parents full of horrendous stories childrens’ worlds will keep getting smaller and smaller until the only adventures they will be able to have will be on a computer screen.



    • Mine too. Born in ’71, I wouldn’t swap my childhood time for these days. The kids may have more today-in a material sense, but I had days of adventure and outdoor time far outweighed indoor time.
      I make a point of trying to get my children out in the woods from time to time.


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