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Tony Flynn
Eccles in 1949 was a very different place than it is today and this home video taken by John Martin and kindly lent to SalfordOnline.com by the Gunton family shows us exactly that.


We start with views of Winton Park with sailors and RAF men men home on leave playing with local children; it really is an age of innocence past. 

The park seems full of young children all having fun with hardly any parents in sight, that would be rare today. 

Notice the old fashioned pram being trundled across the park, nothing like the space-age contraptions that the modern mums of today have. 

Allotments are making a big revival these days but back in the 1940's they were actively encouraged by the government to help alleviate shortages and it is recorded that by 1945 there were some 1.4 million allotments in Great Britain. 

Here we see John's father Tom Martin on his allotment in Peel Green tending his vegetables and interestingly enough a pet goat which no doubt would end up on the family dinner table. 

Meat rationing in Great Britain didn't end until 1954 so any extra food would be a huge bonus, especially if there were several mouths to feed. 

It is interesting to see the fashion of those times, the men would appear to be wearing their best suits complete with shirt and ties, a rare sight these days unless at a funeral or wedding, also the haircuts appear very severe for the men. 

Smoking in public back then was not considered to be a health risk and was a constant sight. Take a look at the young boy playing with skipping ropes, can you imagine giving a young boy today a skipping rope as a toy! This is another long-gone street past time. 

The two young ladies in this video, Annie Martin and Joyce Pimblett look very stylish and carefree posing for the camera. 

Their fashions are interesting to note: you have to remember that clothing was rationed throughout the country until late 1949 and the style was to make do and mend or else make your own clothes from whatever materials were handy, curtains etc. 

The people in this video though do look very happy, I don't think it was for the benefit of the camera, I think that these people have come through a rough time with all the hardships that World War II brought and are looking forward to a happier and more peaceful time.

This article first appeared on SalfordOnline on the 12th of August 2013, it is lovingly reproduced here courtesy of space age contraption Mr Tony Flynn.

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