An ice-cream dynasty, rally driver caught speeding and Dip trip
EASTER fifty eight years ago, the patrons of the Avenue Cinema noticed a well dressed gentleman in the foyer, but many had no idea who he was.
Others gave a casual glance, thinking that he looked familiar. The reason could have been because he was not dressed in his usual kit.
The well dressed gentleman was none other than Nat Lofthouse. If you are of a certain age you will now know who I am talking about. Nat, dubbed the ‘Lion of Vienna’, attended the cinema to hand over Easter eggs to children of the Northern Hospital.
Cinema manager Mr Denis Machin organised the event. The super duper eggs were provided by the Van Houten chocolate company, where Nat’s brother, Dick, was a representative.
Staff Nurse Skinner and a young patient called Sharon attended the cinema to accept the eggs, which were transported over to the hospital. Nat Lofthouse was a famous England international centre-forward.
THRIFTY ICE-CREAM SELLER
Mr. William Henry Taylor of 19 Henry Street, Parkfield, was once a well-known ice-cream seller in Middleton. ‘Bill’, as he was known, was one of four Taylor children, who never married.
In the early days the family wove silk hat bands in their cottage, then they branched out selling ice-cream on Middleton Market.
Bill bought a quantity of naphtha lamps and rented these out to other stall holders. To complete his days work he went out hawking firewood around town at night.
The Taylor’s extended the ice-cream business by acquiring barrows from which they could sell their product, the next step was the purchase of horses and carts to travel further afield.
When the head of the business passed away, their father David, he left a sum of money to each of his children with the advice that they work hard, save hard and look after one another.
Another wish of their late father was that the estate of each child when they die should be kept in the family, it should be passed down to a brother or sister.
This was carried out to the letter. One of his daughters who was married left everything to her husband, but in the end it reverted to her brother.
The last two of the Taylor family were Bill and David. They carried on the business until David passed away. He left everything to Bill.
Both brothers worked hard and saved hard, so Bill had enough money to live on. He sold the icecream business and went into retirement, but you can’t hold a workaholic down. In his retirement he looked after some garages and also sold paraffin in his locality.
Reports state that he had a careful way of living. Always clean, his clothes were well worn and patched up.
He had no carpets in his cottage, but the floors were always kept spotlessly clean, he lived a thrifty way of life, his only luxury was his television.
When he was living alone his next door neighbour, Mrs Hilda Jones, kept a watchful eye on him and looked after him. The surprise being that when Bill died he left Mrs Jones £30,000. He also left her 26 year old daughter £1,000, because he had watched her grow up from a baby to a young woman.
In his will Mr Taylor left £100 each to Parkfield Church, Long Street Methodist, Chapel Street Methodist Church, Rhodes and Middleton Parish Church.
The last word on ‘Billy Taylor’ came from his neighbour, who told the Guardian that although he had lived frugally and simply, he had never stinted himself when it came to his funeral. “He wanted his funeral to be like his brother’s,” related the neighbour, “and he made all the arrangements himself some time before he died. It was certainly was a grand affair.” MISS JANE One of the sisters to William was Miss Jane Taylor, who resided at the same address.
From our archive we find that she was a woman of most remarkable physique, because in those days when the market was in the old Market Ground she would take up her stand in all sorts of weather for the sale of ice-cream.
At one time she was an active worker for Parkfield church and school, being a familiar figure in town. She passed away in 1942 after a short illness.
Her father David started the business on the market around 1870. At that time he had a ‘cokernut’ shy, an ice-cream stall, plus he had the monopoly of the supply of oil lamps.
His death took place in January 1917 after having spent 50 years in the icecream business. He was 74 when he died.
This report was published in the Guardian: “The late Mr Taylor was one of the best known figures in the town, particularly to the amusement loving public whose interests have centred around the Market Ground, for the last 50 years. Here at all seasons of the year and under all kinds of conditions, Mr Taylor has erected his icecream stalls and his aunt sallies. Together with this he carried on the work of a carrier and altogether had the reputation of being an exceedingly prosperous man.”
His death was sudden, he fell down the stairs at his home after suffering an attack of dizziness. His wife Elizabeth gave evidence to the Coroner, she said: “After dinner he went upstairs to a workroom and shortly afterwards she heard one of her daughters calling out that he had fallen downstairs. He never spoke a word. He was badly hurt at the back of his head and died later that same day.” Verdict, “Accidental death.” TOO LATE Mr David Taylor, brother to Bill, was taken to court in 1925 for selling ice-cream wafers etc during prohibited hours.
Taylor was in a horse drawn cart when, on Old Hall Street, two boys stopped him at 9.10pm and requested an icecream, Taylor obliged, which was observed by a police constable.
He was prosecuted for selling ice-cream out of hours. In court he said that milk could be sold at this time of night, but the Chairman of the Bench said that his milk was made up into ice-cream. It was prohibited to sell his product after 8pm. He was fined five shillings.
“Is It Safe”; This question was asked by Councillor Wilde, chairman of the Health Committee, 1924, with the regard to the manufacture of icecream. In the old days of saving ice from the top of frozen ponds, who knows how pure the ice is? It appears from our reports that two random samples of ice-cream were taken and sent for analysis. Both samples contained baccilus coli. RUNAWAY We discover ice-cream vending has been around for a long time.
In 1899 a horse attached to an ice-cream float took fright on Heywood Old Road, as it is named today. The horse was bringing the commodity in the direction of Manchester Old Road, but when it was at the bottom of the brow, it caught its feet on the kerb and took fright, dashing along the road at a furious pace.
PC Frances was in the vicinity and gave pursuit.
Pessagno’s was a Middleton Market favourite
The Avenue Cinema. Easter eggs were given to poorly children