Edgeley Tales

Edgeley remembered

I remember my mum leading me by the hand on frosty mornings across the "rezzers" to Alexandra Park Primary School, from our two up, two down home on Petersburg Road. It was the later part of the swinging sixties and the world was changing faster than ever before.

I remember my brother - a real local hero because he was playing for Stockport County at the time - sending me to Mina's shop, five doors down from where we lived, with a glorious thre'penny bit to buy Spanish and pop.

For us kids, Fireball XL5, Thunderbirds and Batman were the things to watch on telly; Doctor Doolittle and The Jungle Book were the hits of the big screen, oh, and England was still wildly euphoric from their 4-2 victory over the Germans at the Empire Stadium and closer to home, Stockport was still reeling from the after effects of the terrible air disaster.


At four-thirty the Sykes' Bleach Works cannon would boom, signalling the end of the twelve-hour-shift. Kids would race through the warren of passages with duffle coats tied at the neck, flapping about their shoulders in an attempt to emulate the heroic caped crusader.

On hot summer afternoons, we'd catch sticklebacks, newts and grasshoppers from the reservoir at the back of Edgeley Park and make dens in the trees that surrounded the long-disused freight depot at the end of Moscow Road East.

On our way home, we'd pop with our fingers, much to the dismay of our parents, the sticky tar-bubbles that oozed their way up from between the sun-baked cobble stones.

jubbly frozen drinkHorsefall's, on Reservoir Road, sold delicious ice cold Jubblies and home made Vimto lollies and the paper shop on the corner of Berlin Road was the purveyor of lucky bags and home to a hugely popular "thre'penny drawer".

During the winter months, when the nights drew in, we'd make lanterns from jam jars and candles and when Bonfire Night came we'd collect pennies for the guy and knock on doors, sparklers in hand, singing:

"Bonfire Night
The stars are bright
Three little angels
Dressed in white
One with a biscuit
One with a pipe
One will go a courting
At ten o'clock at night"

Edgeley, her passages and surrounding parks were all we knew and there was endless adventure contained within.

When the power cuts came in the early seventies and the streets were plunged into darkness, dad would make egg and chips by candlelight on our rickety old gas stove, whilst we kids raced around the Stygian streets in our seven-and-six Woolworth's sandals with our dads battery powered torches.

A huge favourite and an even bigger treat, was a trip to Belle View Zoo and Amusement Park, where my best mate Tim and I would gasp in amazement at the sight of giant giraffes, elephants, hippos and the fabulous big cats.

This would be followed by white-knuckle rides on the Bobs, Scenic Railway, Water Shoot, Caterpillar and Shooting the Rapids. All finished off with the dazzling spectacle of the Belle View Circus and an exhausted ride home on the bus back to those Victorian streets and passages we called home - what memories!

© 2014 Al Fairhurst

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Copyright © Janet A Nicholson 2011 © John A Nicholson 2011