As I get older I find myself looking more in the past that I do in the future! Is this just me or is it an age thing?

I started from when I was a child playing in the street at the front of our house in Alderman Street in Ardwick, Manchester. I remember waiting for the ‘rag n bone’ man coming on Tuesday. I remember mithering my mum for some old clothes to exchange for – a goldfish, bow and arrow, balloon on a stick, hoop and stick, etc. – he carried a treasure trove of goodies that any child would want for and what a decision to have to make for a lad of 5!

Next, I remember waiting for the ‘chippy’ across the road to serve their last few customers on Friday and dashing in before the door closes to collect any ‘scraps’ that was leftover from skimming the fat – always free, always scrumptious.

Moving on a few years, I was allowed to play further afield on the ‘Red Rec’ on the other side of the railway line with my mates and a football and using whatever we could take off for goalposts. With this new-found freedom, I ventured into Beswick and Palmerston Street to visit my gran.

Gran used to bake every day and the smells coming from the two ovens each side of the fire in the black-leaded hearth was mouth-watering, especially on a Tuesday when she baked her oven-bottoms. I eagerly waited for one of the first to appear and gran would slice it and fill it with butter that would melt throughout and down my mouth as I bit into it.

My next real milestone was going to school, but leave that to another time!

Take care,

TAMG Editor Bob Alston

If this has got your memory juices flowing let us know what you remember about your childhood. What did you get up to? What was your memory of being set free from the front of your house? How far were you allowed to go on your own? We’d love to hear from you.

Email your memories to [email protected]


  1. That is very evocative Bob…its funny how when you look back that my childhood was full of long hot sunny days in school holidays. I am not really sure that they were but for me now looking back they were special times…exploring new things and places. Pauline


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