Housing Scheme

In the linked documents I have tried to list the first occupants of the Council houses at Mow Cop in about 1947/48, when the houses were being built. I had help from Winston Page and Roy Mountford who helped to fill in names of children or the occupation of the fathers’ that I either didn’t know or had forgotten about. I apologise in advance for any omissions or errors as it was 64+ years ago and a lot of water has gone under the proverbial bridge since then.

I have written the names of children as we knew them at the time and the names of adults in the way that we heard them referred to by other adults e.g. Joe for Joseph. However, in that day and age we wouldn’t have dared to have called an adult by their shortened or even complete Christian name either to their face or within earshot of another adult.

Aerial Photo From Google Maps Article by
Derek Frost

If we had have done then the resulting clip round the ear was always a sharp reminder of your place in the pecking order and to show respect for your elders. ‘It’s Mr. or Mrs. So and so, to you son! (Crack!) Now remember that in future.’ That was the standard scenario. The housing project was always referred to as ‘Mow Scheme’ by all and sundry. ‘Weer dust they cum frim?’ ‘Mow scheme.’ That was the usual question and answer when being met by someone who didn’t know you and the answer was enough for them to know that you meant the Council Estate at Mow Cop! Originally, a lot of people didn’t know the other occupants, as people had been moved from various places in the area. For example we moved from Newtown, in between Packmoor and Newchapel, whilst others came from Harriseahead, Rookery, Goldenhill, Kidsgrove and Mrs. Brough had come from Scotland via the Rookery, whilst the Brays’ originated from London.

As the estate was virtually just a big building site at that time, the roads were just rough dirt tracks, with the pavements being the same and the streets were lit by a few very weak gas lamps. As can be seen from the list, there were plenty of children on the estate then and consequently there was always a game of some sort going on with plenty of participants. A game of football for example might start as early as 8 or 9am at weekends and in the holidays and would last until it went dark. During the game there would be plenty of changes of personnel. As one player was shouted away for his dinner, tea or to run an errand, someone else would immediately slot in and so it went on all day. In the evenings the street usually had the sound of children playing ‘Tin Can Nurkey’ or some other type of hide and seek game. Later, when flagstones had been laid, the pavements were always covered with hop-scotch grids and the roads, as they were hard surfaced with compacted pebbles (not just tarmac then), became race tracks for home made trolleys and bikes, whilst in winter they became toboggan runs for home made sledges or icy slides for clog enclosed feet. Some of the residents didn't stay here for long and either moved back closer to their origins or elsewhere on Mow Cop and in at least 2 cases the families emigrated. One to Australia and the other to Canada. Derek