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Oral Histories

Shadowmoss Road Air Disaster, by Michael Noke:

Shadowmoss Road


  • “At the time of the crash in 1957 I was 9 years old and lived at 6 Beagle Walk, which was half on Shadowmoss Road. At school we saw the smoke from the crash and children livingin the immediate area were told to go home, unsupervised, I may add.“When I reached home,the smell of burning and aviation fuel wasoverwhelming and I got to my back door where I saw the crashsite immediately in front of me. My mum, who had literally got home

    just after the crash, grabbed me, and I had to work my way past a kitchen full

    of firemen. We had a fire engine in our back garden, the wheel ruts remained for years afterwards.

    My dad, Harold Noke, worked at Ferranti just at the bottom of the road and he and

    a few colleagues saw the plane hit the houses. He thought ours was one of them and wasn’t sure if my mum had already got home.

    They dashed up to the crash in a car and were on site at the same time as the emergency services started to arrive, they helped at the crash, doing what they could.

    We knew the Wilding family who lived in the house, sadly Mrs Wilding and her young son died along with all the passengers and crew.

    I remember that the greenhouse in the garden next to the crash was virtually undamaged. I do recall victims being carried from the crash on stretchers, covered with pink blankets. It was my first experience of death.

    A few hours after the crash the top of Shadowmoss Road had been cordoned off but there were “sightseers”and weirdly at some point, an ice cream van turned up. My mum kept me off school the next day but that was about it”

Friends of Wythenshawe Hall

Growing up in a Garden City 

  • “My mother grew up in Northenden, living in Church Street, just next to St Wilfrid’s. She was in her 80s when she told me this story and she still sweated slightly when she told me it…‘“In 1927 I was courting, as they used to call it, and I was walking down by the River Mersey with Harold. Coming towards them along Ford Lane was my mum and dad. My dad was a very tall man for the age, over six foot, who worked on the railways, was very direct in the way that he spoke and was prone to violence. I hadn’t told my dad that I was courting. On seeing him, I said to Harold, “Oh no, it’s my dad!” And there was no escape- the River Mersey was on one side and the hedges and the fields of Northenden on the other. So we walked towards Mum and Dad and then we stopped. And Dad said, “What’s this then, our Annie?” And I said, “Er, this is my friend, Harold.” And there was a long silence and all I could hear was the river – the birds had stopped singing!And finally he said, “Right, well you’d better bring him home then and let’s have a look at him.”And the birds started singing again. We got engaged the next year.”’Geoff Scargill

60’s Experiences: Golden Garter Night Club:

  • “People used to come from miles around, I remember the coaches being parked along Rowlandsway 7 or 8 of them. It was the only place in the area that had a late bar, so it was very popular. They used to make chicken in a basket and the gravy was to die for! With me working here I used to sneak into the kitchen and get chips and gravy for my dinner at about 11 o’clock at night! It was a great place, fantastic.”John Gregory“My husband and I met here at the Golden Garter in the 70s! He was a waiter, I was a waitress. We got together and that was it!“I met Marti Caine here, she was an all-rounder- singer, comedienne. She used to confess to wearing no knickers. We also worked with Hot Gossip, Tommy Cooper, Bob Monkhouse, Lulu, Bruce Forsyth- he was really funny. And the Grumbleweeds – one night they came through the back door and all of them secretly took a bread bun, put it in their mouths and closed their lips. Then they walked into the kitchen and we thought it very strange that they didn’t say hello. Then they proceeded to spit all these bread balls out at the kitchen staff. It was hilarious.”Brenda Grixti

Growing up in 60s Wythenshawe:

  • “Wythenshawe has changed beyond belief in the 50-odd years I’ve lived here. I first moved into Peel Hall when I was 3 months old- slum clearance in Hulme, 2 up and 2 down, into a brand new house with an inside toilet and hot and cold running water! My recollection as a child was that everything was new – the shops, the churches, the roads. Everything smelt of paint and tarmac.”Dave Dale“We moved for the same reason, because of the slum clearances. The thing I noticed was the amount of greenery, the amount of fields, the way it’s changed for me today is the development. But back in the 60s the estates were green spaces. We just played in the fields during the summer holidays for hours on end until we got the call from our mums and dads that tea was ready!”

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Oral Histories

Shadowmoss Road Air Disaster, by Michael Noke:   “At the time of the crash in 1957 I was 9 years old and lived at 6 Beagle Walk, which was half…

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