strange ways stories - CHEETHAM HILL - STORIES
Sandra Barnard and her sister Myrna Shoa record their stories. The stories of first generation immigrant's children born in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England. Saturday, 24 February 2007.
Sandra and I in the last year of her life recollected the few stories told to us about our background, which took on the power of myths. Gatehouse Books published my illustrated books retelling these stories in 2015. Without Sandra and I sharing our memories I could not have created this project.
Since writing these stories I have discovered the actual newspaper articles about 2 of them, The Sofa and Rosie & The Iron Bar
STORIES: Strange Ways Stories
I wrote and illustrated "Strange Ways Stories". The 4 stories - The Sofa, The Marriage, The Box of Chocolates and Rosie & the Iron Bar - are tales passed down through the generations about a family of immigrants living in Manchester in the early part of the last century. Grandfather Myer and his family fled their native Dvinsk in Russia to begin a new life in Manchester. "These tales of life in and around the Strangeways area present a cast of colourful characters, stunningly brought to life by Myrna's artistry." Gatehouse Books. Printed in full colour. Price £6.95 each or buy the full set for £25.00". Gatehouse Books Publisher.
Rosie and the Iron Bar - When Morris leaves prison, he mixes with a bad crowd. An unwelcome visitor lands his sister, Rosie, in hospital. The Sofa - Myer rents a cold, damp house for the family. It is overrun with mice, but it is all he can afford. When Myer disappears, his presence is still felt in the house.
The Marriage - Myer arranges a marriage for his daughter, Rosie. But will Rosie’s new husband be the fairy tale prince she dreamed of?
The Box of Chocolates - Joseph falls for a pretty lady from the sweet shop. Will his romantic gesture pay off?
Strange Ways Stories are written and illustrated by artist and storyteller Myrna Shoa. The 4 stories - The Sofa, The Marriage, The Box of Chocolates and Rosie & the Iron Bar - are tales passed down through the generations about a family of immigrants living in Manchester in the early part of the last century. Grandfather Myer and his family fled their native Dvinsk in Russia to begin a new life in Manchester. These tales of life in and around the Strangeways area present a cast of colourful characters, stunningly brought to life by Myrna's artistry. Printed in full colour. Price £6.95 each or buy the full set for £25.00
Richard Casson sent me the actual marriage certificate for our Aunty Rosie. (The Marriage) which reveals a more poignant story, something I didn’t know about. Rosie and Moishe were 34 years old in 1933 when they married, a very old age at that time for a woman to marry. This was his second marriage, as he was a divorced man. I expect she thought her luck had changed to marry in her thirties, but as I wrote in my book, he left her on the wedding night, never to return. Now it seems that Rosie was born in 1899 not 1905?
Aunty Rosie was only married for 2 years when she first tried and failed to get a divorce in 1935. In 1936 she applied for a divorce on the grounds of his adultery and this time it was granted. Her husband never turned up to the court and his address was unknown. Rosie knew an address to send letters to where he would pick them up. A landlady was a witness to the alleged offence of adultery. Sandra and I were told that on the honeymoon night Rosie’s new husband left to buy cigarettes and never came back. It’s very likely true.
"I created digital collages and animations about Sandra, Myrna, Mum and Dad," Myrna
BELOW ARE RECOLLECTIONS FROM THE WEB, STREETS PLACES, SCHOOLS AND PARKS around Cheetham Hill
"I lived in Thomas Street from 1947 to 1961. I was 4 years old when we moved up from Lower Broughton. Thomas Street ran up the side of Woolworths and across Cheetham Hill Road. It wasn't a long street but along the length we had a primary school (Cheetham Hill Methodist) and a cinema (The Globe but known as 'The Bug Hut'). There used to be a roller skating rink but it was always closed. There was also a graveyard where we would play. My wife says I have to finish now!! I worked at Bookbinder's bakery, 383 Cheetham Hill Road, Elaine Bookbinder used to call in for sweets on her return from school, later became Elkie Brooks". Dennis Chapman
Thomas St school teachers were Miss Ridgeard, Miss Tress and Mrs Fisher
"My mother was a raincoat machinist who worked in camp street. Remember visiting the factory. She did piece work which meant she was only paid for the raincoats she made. My grandfather lived in Mary Street Strangeways in a back to back. My Bobby had 11 children and never spoke any English only Yiddish. Memories of going to Uncle Morris factory in Hightown. Made plastic raincoats.We used to go to the cinema in Cheetham Hill , the Premier and also every Saturday we went to the Temple cinema to meet boys. - Barry Davidson
I too remember playing in Mandley Park as a kid. I went to Cheetham Hill Methodist School better known as Thomas St school. It was a multi-racial school and I was one of a large number of Jewish children there in the early 50’s. I do not remember ever experiencing any anti-semitism at school even though there were fights over other stupid things," From an archive.
See Manchester 1992 Uncle Morris for names of people we went to school with and or played with in our homes or in the street.