I lived in Clayton as a youngster in the 1950s and the Eastern Bypass was an anachronism even then. After all crossing the Medlock valley would obviously need a huge viaduct that would cost an absolute fortune. (when small boys can suss that out why can’t the council officials?) About a mile eastwards was the infamous “Pop Brew” (Pop Brow perhaps?) Here we could get our pushbikes to go well over the 30 mph speed limit! On the other side of Pop Brew there was Newton Heath railway station (I had an Auntie who lived there in Silverwell Street) For 9d in old money (about 4p in metric money) it was possible to buy a return ticket to Manchester Piccadilly. This was an exciting trip although the rows of railway wagons painted with “condemned” was a bit depressing.. Reminiscing about these things makes one realize how old one is but curiously I don’t feel old at all even though many of my contemporaries croaked long ago! I would urge young people to treasure Victorian heritage as this was built when Britain was a superpower and such brilliant stonework is unlikely to be ever seen again. Later we moved to Audenshaw and a great treat was watching the Travelling Post Office go through the nearby Droylsden Station. Mailbags would be hurled into a net and other mailbags would be snatched off a hook. Brilliant! In those days letters posted at Clayton Post Office up to eight o’ clock at night would reach most parts of the UK by first post in the morning. For really urgent letters one could catch the all night bus to downtown Manchester and post letters at the main sorting office at up to 1 am. Again these letters would reach just about anywhere by the first post in the morning! No jet planes required it was all done with steam trains and one has to take ones hat off to the men and women who provided such a service..

 

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