Our Street: Growin’ up in the 1950s

2 customer reviews


Set in Salford, Manchester, the stories in this excellent book are common to towns and cities the length and breadth of the country, from Glasgow to London, and Newcastle to Liverpool. Places where tiny terraces housed improbable numbers of people, hardworking families who displayed remarkable resilience, ingenuity, and an ability to see the funny side of things.


With gritty humour, honesty and affection, Our Street paints a vivid picture of growing up in an ordinary neighbourhood in a northern town in the 1950s. If you’re old enough to remember, you’ll have a wonderful trip down memory lane, complete with cobbles, hopscotch, the rent man’s knock and penn’orths of scratchings from the chippy. And if you’re not, then prepare to be educated!

This book tells of growing up in Salford, Manchester, but the stories it contains are typical of so many places across the country, from Bolton to Birmingham to Bermondsey. Tiny terraces housed improbable numbers of people, hardworking families who displayed remarkable resilience, ingenuity, and an ability to see the funny side of things:

‘Debt, Elsie?’ a woman proclaimed to her neighbour, as she pointed to her headscarf. ‘We’re in debt up to ’ere, love. I just wish we were taller!’

The undertaker dropped my dad off in the parlour, two days after he told me he felt a bit queer. We thought something was wrong with him ’cos he didn’t bother taking his opening medicine that morning. My dad always took that. ‘Guaranteed to get a road through ya!’ he would say.

Certain to make you laugh out loud, Our Street is a record of a time and a way of life that have more or less disappeared. Social conditions have, thankfully, improved, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge in a bit of nostalgia for the warmth, spirit and solidarity of these communities.

• an amusing and accurate portrayal of 1950s Britain from a child’s viewpoint
• sure to bring back many memories
• a great insight for those too young to remember
• includes great cartoons reminiscent of those of the Beano and Dandy era!
• a brilliant gift for old and young alike

Author: Brian Carline
Imprint: Palatine Books
Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-910837-12-2
Extent: 128 pages
Format: 234mm x 156mm
Illustrations: 20 Black and White
Pub. date: 15 November, 2017

2 reviews for Our Street: Growin’ up in the 1950s

  1. This England Magazine (Summer 2018)

    The author grew up in the Coronation Street area of Salford and his recall of the families who lived in each house is extraordinary and extremely funny. Based on his real-life neighbours he takes us back to a time of austerity and simplicity, yet one where folk looked out for each other, especially when times were tough.

    This England, Summer 2018, p. 73

  2. Stewart Vann, North West Labour History Journal

    The descriptions of the various resident of Copenhagen Street vary from hilarious to the thought provoking . . . An example of the former there is the description of the laying out and funeral of the late Mr. Hennessey whose family lived at Number 4. To Mrs. Hennessey’s compliment on how well the deceased looked the undertaker Mr Meredith, replied ‘I you’d have let me put his teeth in I could have made him look as if he were smilin’. To which Mrs. Hennessey commented ‘No, he was quite clear about that, he wanted to leave ’em to Walter Pridmore . . . He’d barely had six months use out of them . . . Similarly, the chapter on Mrs. Anderton at number 8 and her job as an usherette at the Central Cinema is also hilarious and this writer can say from youthful memory and experience fairly accurate!

    [This book]. . . evokes in a highly readable manner way the people of a northern industrial town lived, their home life, working lives and their social lives in the ten to fifteen years that followed the Second World War. This reviewer for one thoroughly enjoyed it.

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