What was hap­pen­ing 80 years ago?

Rochdale Observer - - NOSTALGIA -

HERE in our reg­u­lar nos­tal­gia fea­ture we look back at sto­ries in the Rochdale Ob­server from years gone by. Fol­low­ing on from last week’s 100 years ago fea­ture, this week, we are turn­ing back the clock to see what was be­ing re­ported on 80 years ago:


DR J. A. Kempthorne, Bishop of Lich­field for 25 years and vicar of St Mary’s, Wardle­worth, from 1895 to 1900, paid an­other visit to Rochdale and was given a most cor­dial re­cep­tion by his old parish­ioners of St Mary’s.

There was a very large gath­er­ing and dur­ing the evening there were games and danc­ing and light re­fresh­ments were served. Be­fore the speech mak­ing com­menced.

Those in at­ten­dance were Mr Duck­worth, Dr Kempthorne, the vicar, Rev E. Stephen­son, Mrs Kempthorne, the Rev. J. Rus­coe (cu­rate), Mr John B. Howarth (peo­ple’s war­den), Mrs Stephen­son, Mr. W. Dykes (or­gan­ist and choir master) and Coun Bate­son (vicar’s war­den).


MISS C. A. Le­je­une, the most dis­tin­guished writer on the cin­ema of the time, de­voted her weekly ar­ti­cle in the pre­vi­ous Sun­day’s Ob­server to Miss Gra­cie Fields, whom she de­scribed as “the best-loved per­son­al­ity in the English show world to­day.”

In the ar­ti­cle Miss Le­je­une wrote: “Gra­cie Fields, I sup­pose, is the big­gest per­son­al­ity and the best com­pan­ion who has come out of the English en­ter­tain­ment world this gen­er­a­tion.

“Star of the the­atre, the ra­dio, the films and now tele­vi­sion, she is as much a part of English life as tea and the foot­ball pools, our green, hedged fields, and the Nel­son Col­umn. Rich peo­ple send her roses and poor peo­ple knit her tea-cosies.

“When she comes in front of the tabs to sing her fi­nal num­ber, the house roars like a great hun­gry beast and won’t let her go.”


IN Mil­nrow and Ne­whey dur­ing 1938, the cot­ton trade ex­pe­ri­enced a bad time - much worse than in the pre­ced­ing year.

From the be­gin­ning of the year un­til July or Au­gust most of the mills could not find full em­ploy­ment for their work peo­ple and there were many tem­po­rary stop­pages.

Dur­ing the later part of the year, there had been an im­prove­ment, but trade was by no means brisk. This slack­ness had had its ef­fect on the dye­ing and fin­ish­ing sec­tions of the trade.

In en­gi­neer­ing, trade had been much brighter and the largest firm in the dis­trict had worked over- time.


DE­VEL­OP­MENTS in con­nec­tion with hous­ing and slum clear­ance were the most no­table fea­tures at War­dle dur­ing the year, which had just ended.

After pro­tracted ne­go­ti­a­tions, the Dis­trict Coun­cil in March, ap­proved plans sub­mit­ted by the Rochdale Cor­po­ra­tion for the erec­tion of 20 houses to re­place dwellings de­mol­ished in con­nec­tion with the Water­grove reser­voir scheme.

It is un­der­stood that the work of erect­ing the houses would com­mence in the spring, and the scheme would be com­pleted be­fore the end of the year. The sec­ond batch of 38 houses on the Birch Road site pro­vided by the Coun­cil un­der the over­crowd­ing reg­u­la­tions were com­pleted and oc­cu­pied in April. These houses were mainly of the three bed­room type with a few four bed­room dwellings and a num­ber of bun­ga­lows for aged peo­ple.

With a cheap rent of 6s. 3d per week in­clu­sive, the bun­ga­lows had proved a boon to aged peo­ple whose means did not al­low them to rent larger houses, and the fore­sight of the coun­cil in study­ing the needs of the older res­i­dents has been greatly ap­pre­ci­ated. ●●Front from left: Mr Duck­worth, Dr Kempthorne, the vicar, Rev E. Stephen­son, Mrs Kempthorne. Back from left: The Rev. J. Rus­coe (cu­rate), Mr John B. Howarth (peo­ple’s war­den), Mrs Stephen­son, Mr. W. Dykes (or­gan­ist and choir master) and Coun Bate­son (vicar’s war­den).

●●Ad­ver­tise­ments from 1939 edi­tions of the Rochdale Ob­server

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