Monday, 7 September 2009

Ena Sharples And The High Rise Photograph - The Details...

I had an e-mail the other day that said some very charming things about this blog.

Very appreciative indeed it was.

So, I chortled in reply:

"My dear! But of course - this is The Annie Walker, The Gatsby, The White Swan, The... er... Laughing Donkey of retro Corrie blogs. Nothing is spared, no expense spent, in our quest to bring you somethin' you might fancy 'avin' a bit of a read of every now and then."

And every word of what I wrote to my appreciative audience of one is absolutely true.

And so, in our great tradition of sheer ruddy brilliance, we bring you the full details of the Ena-Sharples-on-a-high-rise balcony-in-the-1960s photograph.

Ena found her tenure as live-in caretaker at the Glad Tidings Mission Hall threatened in 1966. So, where would she live now? In a high rise block, perhaps?

Photographer John C Madden took the high rise photograph of Ena. The so-called "slum clearances" in Manchester were well underway by the mid-1960s.

In Moss Side, the area near Cornbrook Street had begun its transformation in the early-to-mid 1960s. The first new high rise blocks were named after the old streets they were replacing - Pickford Street, Clifford Street and Grafton Street were commemorated as Pickford Court, Clifford Court and Grafton Court.

And so there in Moss Side it was that Violet Carson posed as high rise Ena. With the rest of the old neighbourhood still intact and the gloriously industrial-looking Hydes Brewery in the background, this was the ideal setting for Weatherfield, which, as you will recall, succumbed to a few high rise flats, but not many.

The wide, busy road in the Ena photo was Cornbrook Street. And it's absolutely vanished.

Ah, you screech, but Cornbrook Street still exists - so how could it have vanished? Well, actually, lovey, part of Cornbrook Street still exists. It used to continue on the other side of the junction with Chorlton Road and ran up to Moss Lane West.

The part of Cornbrook Street seen below Ena is now parkland and modern housing.

The religious-looking building in the photograph was St Bride's Church of England Primary School, and the street with the replaced roof tiles was Dudley Street.

The chimney pots and brewery on Moss Lane West can be seen in the smoggy distance.

It was a different world.


  1. AnonymousJune 07, 2012

    I've enjoyed looking at this article. In 1970 my Gran lived at 21,Grafton Court, and I remember looking out over the balcony at the flattened red brick carpark/wasteland below. I recall a red sunrise and various silohettes of buildings including a spired Church maybe a mile away. Happy Memories on years gone by.

    1. Thanks for that. Very special memories.