Posted by Editor on 18th July 2012 at 01:39 PM
Salford expat memories from Australia
Here at SalfordOnline.com we were delighted to receive a message from overseas reader Rita Cowan. She hopes to contact old friends from her childhood days and has sent in these memories of growing up in Salford before emigrating to Australia in 1966.
Rita writes....Salford 6 in the 1940's and 1950's was a well established place, not many 'rich' people but many publicans and shop owners.
I lived in Pendleton! What a humble place, what kindly folk, they would share their last crust with you.
I lived in Ridsdale St late 40'to early 50's. I had happy times there with the Kites, Laytons, Stotts, Booths and the Clements. I still contact the Caseys and the Hewitsons and the Nobletts.
It is so good to have these lovely memories.
Up to five years ago I was in discussion with my teacher Mrs Jean Robinson she told me that during the early years if you got married, women could no longer be teachers (maybe that is why so many female dedicated teachers remained spinsters).
Upon marrying, whilst at Kersal school and because of the war effort Mrs Robinson was allowed to remain as a teacher if she went to another school.
Upon learning she was to go to (her words) "that school of urchins and vagabonds at Wellington Street School", she recoiled in horror. Remember, we were 'posh' if we had shoes or socks on our feet in the 40's and 50's.
She died five years ago approximately 76 years of age, but before that she told me on the phone: "Rita, those urchins became forward thinking people and I am so glad I got to see their world and how they built better lives".
When she died, through emails and local newspapers I managed to put former pupils in the know and many went to her funeral. Mrs Robinson's daughter told me how happy she was to see the pupils at the service. Mrs Robinson and her husband became Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton.
I married Gordon Cowan in 1957, living then in Kent St (next door to Cowan's chipshop) and three children later, we decided to emigrate to Australia in 1966!
We came by turbo prop aircraft to Australia via Kuwait. I nearly died when commandos came aboard with rifles, there were feudal wars in that region at that time. Coming from Pendleton, we never heard of such a thing!
Finally we arrived in Perth, Western Australia it was 1966 and I was truly amazed to see tar roads and office blocks but lots of greenery. We settled and our three children went through school and on to good jobs. My husband Gordon died in 1974.
Being left with three youngsters and without any family support was hard but not as hard as life for the widows in Salford wartime.
Now it is 2012 and we are still here. My children are naturalised Australian but I am true to my birthright. I cannot forget my early poor but happy years, so I am still a Salford lass born and bred.
Aybody who remembers Rita can contact her via email@example.com
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