Thursday, 16 June 2011
MUDC LANDROVER 1974
So far, so ordinary, but the passage of time has rendered this photograph much more interesting than it once was.
For a start, the field behind the vehicle belonged to Bert Moreton and was the scene of much frenzied activity in the potato-picking season when adults and kids from all around would descend on it to earn a few shillings.
Sometimes the field would be given over to cabbages and one year there was an infestation of caterpillars which covered not only the field but all the gardens near it in a squirming blanket of the little creatures. An eerie sight.
The latest crop to cover the field is a crop of the ubiquitous Town Houses which are to be found all over this and every other town in the country. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.
Secondly, looking at the skyline: The houses on the left are in Webbs Lane: just above the roof of the Landrover is the now long-gone Silk Works in Finney's Lane and, finally, just to to the left of the tree on the right and a few yards further on was the entrance to what is now known to have been a Roman fort in Harbutt's Field. The road to the fort's entrance would have run from Brooks Lane through here, lined with industries such as salt and iron works serving the fort and its inhabitants. Behind the tree itself can just be glimpsed the 'Stone Houses', something so rare in this brick-built town that they were singled out and given the name. Legend had it that the stones used were left over from the building of Strangeways Gaol. The path leading from King Street and, ultimately, along the River Croco to the Big Lock, which went (and still goes) past these houses,was the gateway to a wonderland for kids, known for generations as 'Down Bill Hewitt's'. At the top end, down by the River Croco, were the remains of an old salt works once owned by the Salt Union. Sadly, 'Bill Hewitt's' too has succumbed to Town House mania,