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Tony Flynn
SalfordOnline were delighted to share with its readers this extremely rare cinefilm footage of life on the streets of Eccles in 1949.


The black and white footage 8mm footage shows Eccles town centre, and it is interesting to see how drastically the town has changed in the last sixty years. 

It was taken by local man John Martin, whose relatives are keen readers of SalfordOnline.com. 

We contacted the North West Film Archive in Manchester who themselves were very keen to see the footage, but they said the price of such a camera in the 1940s would be beyond the reach of most working people, so it is possible he may have been a member of a local cinematography club who lent out the camera - can anyone confirm this? 

The opening shots are of Burton's the tailors at the bottom of Church Street - now Cash Convertors - we then see 1940s cars (possibly taxis) parked alongside the Eccles Cross monument, and in the background the Hare and Hounds public house - now a pound shop! 

We then get views of Regent Street showing the Regent Cinema - now Wetherspoons - and the row of shops which are still there. 

Eccles bus station, now sadly demolished, is shown with Salford Corporation buses awaiting passengers. 

There is a lovely shot of the Broadway cinema - now demolished. If you can, have a look at the size of the pram that the lady is pushing outside: very small to say the least! 

Memories come flooding back with the shot of Redman's store, this shop was famous for its bacon and cheese and was considered by many to be the best food shop in Eccles. This is now Wilkinson's store. 

I wonder who the two ladies are that are seen looking into a photographic shop widow, possibly friends of John Martin who took the footage, does anybody remember the shop? 

Finally we see a number 67 Salford Corporation bus heading for Peel Green as it passes St Mary's RC church. 

To me I find this film footage to be not only incredibly interesting but it gives us a rare insight into everyday life in Eccles over 60 years ago, making it a rare social document that should be of interest to historians everywhere. 

This is only part one in this series, to follow shortly for your delectation we will see footage of the Whit Walks in Eccles and in particular the children from St Gilbert's RC school in Winton, led by Father Calloway as they proudly march along Liverpool Road into Eccles, then back to Winton, a band is playing and huge banners are unfurled by the congregation. 

Other footage shows daily life in Winton around Florence Street, the allotments, playing fields, soldiers and sailors home on leave, even a pet dog called Trigger, how can you resist? 

This article first appeared on SalfordOnline on the 22nd January 2013, it is reproduced here thanks to a very rare and unseen Tony Flynn.

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