What was happening 80 years ago?
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:
●●A HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE GATHERING
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).
●●OUR GRACIE. A FAMOUS FILM CRITIC’S TRIBUTE
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.”
●●BAD YEAR FOR COTTON TRADE
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.
●●MORE HOUSES TO BE DEMOLISHED
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