Looking back at way
THEY’RE the Google Street View images of their time.
Men, women, smiling children and local landmarks captured on camera by Ordnance Survey teams working to map out post-war Middleton.
The images offer a glimpse into the borough’s communities in the mid 1940s to late 1950s and here are just a few.
Many of the streets, homes and views shown have long since gone, victims of social changes and urbanisation.
Children pictured in some of the many images are now likely to be aged in their sixties or seventies. But the sights of yesteryear have been preserved in a new online archive, with just shy of 50,000 images available from Greater Manchester alone.
New historical photo mapping app Timepix. uk has been launched in Manchester.
It includes images of temporary post WW2 homes in Middleton which were known as prefabs, all now long gone.
A detailed land and street survey of the area started in the early 1940s, but took off after the war.
Surveyors would capture measurements and take the photos, with field labourers holding white arrows and information boards to display relevant detail.
Street corners were preferred locations as they gave a line of sight in more than one direction, hence the high number of corner shops in the collection.
Inadvertently, however, faces, fashions and environments were captured.
The project’s founder, Elaine Owen, said: “We have a treasure-trove of images which illustrate everyday Middleton life. There is such a rich heritage captured in the collection.”
Elaine said hundreds of thousands of historic photos are still tucked away in vaults or in library files. The project aims to reveal as many as possible. The first phase of 21,000 images of sites across Greater Manchester is available, with 26,000 more to follow.
The project is part funded by Geovation, OS and HM Land Registry’s innovation hub. Visit www.timepix.uk. all
‘We have a treasuretrove of images which illustrate everyday Middleton life’