THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 08 Jun 2018, 04:20

Looking back on my life as an independent family man it was never easy, like any other young family establishing ourselves it was a matter of hard work and counting the pennies but above all, having faith that we could make it. Even in the worst times we could see slow forward progress, we were well fed, warm, paying the mortgage and the kids were growing. In modern terms we were deprived in that we had no luxuries, holidays or even carpets on the floor! But we had security, low paid though it was I always had work. I look at young families today and the biggest difference I see is the lack of security, good employment provision and the impossibility of getting a foot on the housing ladder because of high house prices, rents and low wages under artificial austerity. This has reached the point where I am convinced that holding the poorest down and keeping them poor is an unspoken political policy. This makes me sad because we were doing so well........ I fear for the future.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 08 Jun 2018, 08:20

Lots of old photos and new...Littlewoods
`Inside the new dream factory: From winning the pools to making movies, the Littlewoods building is being transformed'

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 09 Jun 2018, 03:45

Image

I was there at the beginning of the transformation of Littlewoods from pools to home shopping. Here's the Stanley affect on Dee mill engine house, the equivalent on heritage terms of demolishing Stonehenge. The land is an enormous E-Commerce hub now..... At the time I got a lot of flak for being a cultural vandal but it was the only thing to do...... I think common sense has prevailed now!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 10 Jun 2018, 05:37

Image

The engine at Dee Mill had been vandalised beyond redemption and I persuaded English Heritage that it should lose its Scheduled Monument status.... It took 18 months of evidence and argument but in the end they were reasonable and saw it my way!

Image

Here's what it should have looked like had it been looked after properly. A great shame.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 11 Jun 2018, 04:17

Something I have learned over the years is that legislation can't protect the heritage. You have to have interested and passionate people on the ground to actually achieve the goal. Dee Mill was a prime example and that was the argument that was accepted in the end.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 12 Jun 2018, 04:04

In about 2003 four of my mates and myself had a 50 year reunion, we arranged a weekend stay in a hotel at Buxton and found that three of us had finished up working on steam engines and the other two had had a career in other branches of engineering. Not exactly what our masters at Stockport Grammar School had intended!
Looking back it wasn't surprising, the most interesting things around us when we were growing up were steam locomotives, foundries and engineering works, all of which were accessible to us, H&S wasn't important then.

Image

The railway motive power depot at Heaton Mersey. We used to walk down there and wander all over the facility while the work of preparing the locomotives for the day was going on. We watched everything, rode on the footplate to the coaling tower and nobody ever questioned us beyond telling us to be careful. Was it any wonder that we were infected with the bug at an early age?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 13 Jun 2018, 02:58

The thing I remember most about the loco shed was the smell, coal smoke and oil..... I suspect that when you are young your sense of smell is much better and that's why so many memories have a large component of scent in them. The same probably applied to taste as the two are closely related. When the inversion layer happened and all the smoke was trapped in the valley you could taste Hollindrake's Foundry which was in the middle of the main street in those days and of course it was mixed with the ubiquitous coal smoke. No wonder we had black snot!
We are told (and on the whole I am sure that it is true) that air pollution is bad for us. Modern pollution is different in many ways and I often wonder whether the pollution then was perhaps beneficial in some ways. Coal smoke is complex stuff and contains many chemicals that appear in the ingredients of patent medicines like phenols. It was so thick that if it had been as bad as the modern variety we would all have died! Remember that a 'cure' for whooping cough was to breathe in the fumes from boiling gas tar and in Barlick mothers used to take their children to the gas works for a trip to the top of the retorts to get a whiff of the fumes. There is often some truth in these old customs.
After 80 years of breathing in more crap than you could poke a stick at I still breathe well, not as good as a young lad I'll admit but still good. Could it be that there was some mechanism associated with that early pollution that conditioned my lungs over the years? Perhaps by encouraging free production of mucus in the lungs? Always try to keep an open mind.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 Jun 2018, 05:27

Childhood diseases.... The age of Immunisation had arrived and mother was very good, she made sure we had all the jabs on offer. I think I had a mild dose of measles but the worst thing that happened to me was something that kicked off after I had been playing in a dirty pond at Middlewood near Poynton. The doctor called it acidosis but I think that's just a generic name (LINK) Whatever it was it was bad and I was in bed for a fortnight at home and it took me weeks to recover and when I did I was diagnosed as being Anaemic. For months I had a weekly trip to Gartside Street hospital in Manchester for an examination and an iron injection. I recovered eventually.
All the other childhood ailments were treated at home with proprietary medicines, remember this was before the NHS. I remember them all and usually they tasted horrible! But they must have done the trick, apart from being short sighted I was in pretty good nick. Considering the conditions then this is a bit of a miracle and is perhaps the foundation of the excellent immune system I seemed to have!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 Jun 2018, 03:14

There was at least one infection I always took seriously when I was working with cattle. At that time 'Pick' was quite common. This was a condition where cattle either aborted or calved early and stuck to the cleansing. This was Brucellosis and has been almost eradicated now. At the right time you had to shove your arm up into the cow and pull the cleansing off the rosettes in the womb that were not releasing as they should normally. Brucellosis is transmittable to humans and became undulating fever, a chronic flu-like condition where you got night sweats. John Henry and I always made sure we used plenty of strong disinfectant on our arms and avoided taking it home with us. It used to be an occupational disease in vets but I avoided it off cattle. In the end I did get it but that was from raw milk. Over the years it has receded and I only get a sweat very occasionally now......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 16 Jun 2018, 04:13

Other kids weren't as fortunate as I was. 'Infectious diseases' were very common then and some of them required that the patient should be isolated and the home decontaminated. There were special Isolation Hospitals and a dedicated ambulance that we called 'The Fever Wagon', I seem to remember it was coloured yellow. Scarlet Fever was the most common disease but there were others such as Tuberculosis and Typhus. Barlick had an isolation hospital and special ambulance and I remember Horace Thornton telling me that when he was a child in Carleton near Skipton his sister had TB and the council erected a wooden hut behind their house where she had to live separate from the rest of the family for years. In those days there were no effective treatments for TB and the only actions were isolation and as much fresh air as possible. If you were rich there were high altitude sanatoriums in Switzerland that specialised in treating TB. We forget these days what it was like then..... We have much to be thankful for!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tripps » 16 Jun 2018, 09:11

Here's a follow up to the Fever Van theme. There was a print of LS Lowry's painting of that name at the art sale I attended recently.
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 Jun 2018, 03:48

Good link David, I enjoyed that.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 17 Jun 2018, 06:39

1940s my parents divorced, my mothers 2nd. husband had TB, i lived with them, and a converted bus used to visit and i would have an x-ray outside the house, was this common ?

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 Jun 2018, 06:48

At one time the travelling X Ray van was common Bodge. I can't remember when I saw one last but they used to visit factories and communities frequently. A bit like the modern blood collection service, they advertised, set up shop in a location and did anyone who came to them. I forget what the criteria were. I have an idea they visited schools as well but I have only a vague memory of this, I know I was done at least once.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Wendyf » 17 Jun 2018, 07:07

I remember getting "sun ray" sessions in Leeds back in the 1950's. We all stripped to the waist, put goggles on and bathed in green light. I can't remember if all the school went or if it was just a few of us. My brother had a tb gland on his neck and I was probably considered at risk but I dont know if the infra red lamp sessions were connected.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by chinatyke » 17 Jun 2018, 08:18

Wendyf wrote:
17 Jun 2018, 07:07
I remember getting "sun ray" sessions in Leeds back in the 1950's. We all stripped to the waist, put goggles on and bathed in green light. I can't remember if all the school went or if it was just a few of us. My brother had a tb gland on his neck and I was probably considered at risk but I dont know if the infra red lamp sessions were connected.
Wasn't it ultra violet light and not infra red? Probably the goggles were coloured and that's why it looked green, like welders glasses. Now people use sun block to screen out UV light because of the risk of skin cancer.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Wendyf » 17 Jun 2018, 08:37

You are right of course China, brain failing me early in the morning! Yes the goggles were green, we got a lamp to use at home too and I can still remember the smell.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 18 Jun 2018, 03:23

I was never treated with ultra violent rays but I remember the nit nurse coming and examining us frequently. I never got them but I can remember some having shaved heads painted with Gentian Violet....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 Jun 2018, 05:16

Despite war conditions we children were well looked after. Apart from the nit nurse we had regular weighings and dental examinations, we also had orange juice and cod liver oil issued at the clinics and immunisations were kept up to date. All this was free. In many ways this regime 80 years ago puts our modern systems to shame.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 20 Jun 2018, 04:14

Did you see the report recently that millennials are facing worse health in middle age than their parents? This seems to bear out the case for 'The Last Healthy Generation'.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 21 Jun 2018, 04:02

One major difference between today and 80 years ago is the place religion had in our lives. My father reckoned he was a Buddhist as he had once been saved by a Buddhist priest when he was in the gutter in the South Seas. Mother was chapel and made sure I went to Wycliffe Sunday school every Sunday, old fashioned non-conformist religion relying heavily on teaching by parable and Bible study. I'm glad she did this because to this day even though I can't be described as religious, I have a pretty good working knowledge of the Bible. I used to work with a very religious bloke who regarded me as a bit of a heathen and he was so pissed off when I used to quote the Bible to him!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 22 Jun 2018, 04:09

Mother's efforts to set me on the right road didn't stop with Sunday School. She enrolled me in the choir at St Martins when we lived in Norris Avenue when I was about 8 years old and made sure I transferred to St Paul's on Heaton Moor when we moved up there. I was there until my voice broke at about 15 I think and at the time thought it was perfectly normal for the choirmaster to need to have to examine my penis regularly to assess when my voice would go. It shows how naïve I was that I didn't realise until years later that he was bent and I had been abused!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 23 Jun 2018, 03:30

Just remembered this morning..... Does anyone remember the small double ended tins we had that had a brew of tea in one end and sugar in the other?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 24 Jun 2018, 05:29

We have become so used to seeing people walking round with a bottle of pop in one hand and a phone in the other that it doesn't get any attention. Shoulder bags and one hand texting are de rigeur now! One of the consequences is that what used to be private conversations are public now but of course we only get one side of the conversation. I can't help eavesdropping and some of them can be hilarious. Another consequence is that when texting with both hands and head bowed people don't look where they are going. If someone is doing this and coming straight at me I simply stand still and they only stop when they become aware they are going to walk straight into you. I've seen them doing it as they cross the road as well.... not recommended road safe behaviour!
The latest manifestation is phones being snatched from the user's ear by a pillion passenger on a scooter. Some of them can cost over £500 so it's a lucrative form of crime.
All of this is completely foreign to me but then you are dealing with a dinosaur. I'd rather observe my surroundings and learn as I walk. (And be safer crossing the road!) As for driving at the same time..... this is so obviously stupid one has to wonder about levels of basic intelligence.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 24 Jun 2018, 11:12

Mrs Tiz was in a rail carriage where someone was speaking into the smartphone loudly while ordering something. Everyone in the carriage was treated to his personal details including credit card number! :laugh5:

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