Well Done Lads!

Christmas really has arrived. Put those headphones on! Listen to Lucy describe the incredible success of Besses o’ th’ Barn Band just after the war. We begin with a musical introduction by the modern-day Besses o’ th’ Barn Band recorded at the Longfield Suite in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. Looking at some old photos we find out what type of musical instruments are used in a brass band. We also find out just how ‘inconvenient’ it was to have an unreliable tour bus! The interview ends with yet more sound from the Besses o’ th’ Barn Band with a rendition of The Christmas Song (you might know it as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”). (Runtime 15 minutes 29 seconds)

Play audio by clicking arrow on left-hand of bar above

Continue reading

Advertisements

Program 10: Making the perfect black

Dennis tells us about working at the dyeworks in Prestwich Clough during the last few weeks of its operation in the 1950s. He tells us how the man in the bowler hat was devastated by its closure. Having been a major contributor to the economy of Prestwich, it really marks the demise of the industrial revolution in the North-West. In particular, he tells us about working at the stenter machine. He explains how the word ‘tenterhooks’ originates from the dyeing industry. Fabrics were once dried in the open fields (tenter fields) on a tenter frame. His nephew, John (whose mother also worked at the dyeworks), tells a story about a worker at the Prestwich dyeworks that ‘temporarily’ discovered the recipe for the perfect black dye.
(Recorded at All Saints Church in Whitefield. Runtime 8 minutes 48 seconds)

Play audio by clicking arrow on left-hand of bar above

Continue reading

Program 09: Sorting out the morning papers

Betty tells us of her recollections of owning and running the newsagents at Besses o’ th’ Barn with her brother before the construction of the M60 motorway in 1970. The interview took place at All Saints Church in Whitefield with organ music playing in the background and many people exhibiting photos of Whitefield and Besses of the past.

Play audio by clicking arrow on left-hand of bar above

Continue reading

Program 08: What became of a boy in the class photo?

Do you ever wonder what happened to your classmate? In this audio interview we found out what became of one of the classmates that appeared in the photo celebrating the Queen’s Coronation photo on 2nd June 1953. The class of St Mary’s School (the National) in Prestwich have undoubtedly taken many different paths. Barry explains how his own wanderlust began with an exchange trip involving a German boy. It opened his eyes to a new language and perhaps more tellingly a fascination for ‘counting’ in other languages. Wandsbek, a borough of Hamburg, gave Barry the first taste of foreign travel. Eventually he chose to reside in the US pursuing a career in another type of exchange….foreign currency exchange.

Play audio by clicking arrow on left-hand of bar above

Continue reading