John Cooper Clarke On Life In Higher Broughton.

I'm from Higher Broughton, on the corner of Bury New Road and Great Cheetham Street East, opposite the Rialto picture house, and I used to go there loads. We lived above a chemist's called Friedman's and that corner was a really happening place actually. Potter's Club was there where all the North West snooker players used to go. It was open 24 hours and if you were a member you got a key so you could knock about there for as long as you wanted. It's where John Virgo, Alex Higgins and John Spencer used to practise their shots.

Also in that block was a place called Higher Broughton Assembly Rooms which had indoor fountains and a sprung dancefloor. On a Friday night Jimmy Saville was the DJ and ugly Ray Terret was his apprentice who was like a mini-me of Jimmy Saville. There were quite a few fires there which I could see out of my window but the place always rose from the ashes and would be a bit more splendid than before.

I went to St Thomas's, then in secondary modern it became St Andrews and then, just after our kid left and the Pope had gone to Heaton Park, they re-named it Pope John Paul 2nd. It didn't cut much mustard because about a year later it became a Barrett estate which it still is now.

I wrote bits of poetry at school, I had a knack for it but so did a few of the kids in the class. We had a good teacher, Mr Malone, who was actually the PE teacher doubling up. He had a glass eye and when he took us swimming he'd throw it in the pool…honest…and whoever got it the first would get off early. He was a real outdoor guy, an Ernest Hemmingway type, red blooded, literary bloke. But he was a really inspiring teacher…he used to read old 19th century stuff and say `Just do it like that but only write about what you know' which was pretty good advice from anybody.

My first job was a `shabbos goy', switching the oven on and off for orthodox Jewish people on Fridays and Saturdays. They used to treat you afterwards with a few pennies…a `shabbos goy', that was me…

I had no idea what I wanted to be, just to get a trade after I left school. I had a job cutting out linings for women's coats, got into printing and then became a lab technician at Salford Tech. They called it that but anyone who had a white coat and wasn't a lecturer was a lab technician. It didn't involve any test tubes and or anything like that – I was working in the joinery department handing out power tools.

Beasley Street ? The nearest thing that comes to mind is Camp Street as it was in those days, big houses split into flats with a lot of different things going on.

I now live in the South East – I had a girlfriend who lived down there and I've been there ever since. I've always been in and out of Salford – I worked in Plymouth for a long time in the early 70s with my first wife but I've always come back. What is it about the place ? It must be a magnet for us bohemians…"

See also John Cooper Clarke Part 1: It's Legend Time - click here

Julie wrote
at 1:20:26 AM on Thursday, February 06, 2014
John Clarke as he was then known, was in my class at school. I was quite shy and was bullied a bit. I can remember John and a friend of his at that time called David Austin always sticking up for me. I always thought that they were my heroes.
alfie maughan wrote
at 2:36:58 AM on Monday, February 03, 2014
kevin and brendan foley my cousins lived down the road from me. i lived in bond stfirst then the shop on the end of bond st then the sun inn, right opp frankie wongs chippy. i ended up working at melvins as a barber. i remember thomos too plus st andrews. anyone remember bren magrath? he ended up as my brother in law.
tommy harris wrote
at 8:47:54 AM on Monday, January 27, 2014
mike rosebury, did you have a sister called susan, and was your mum called jenny, and live on salford brow flats ?..
Paul Kelly wrote
at 11:52:42 PM on Saturday, January 11, 2014
Hi Salfordians, I remember St Thomas of Canterbury age 5 in the infants with Mr Lundy and the "nit lady" visiting. I remember St Geraldine and St Clare and doing catechism in the lunchtime. I remember Kevin Foley and Ged Heap and Maria Merriman and Anne Riley and many others. My system Margaret went there too. I ended up up at De La Salle and her at Adelphi House. I was only talking to ten pound pomme relatives in Oz today about Manley Park and Albert Park and the Rialto and County. There was the pubs like the Star, the Broughton and the Sun. I recall Jimmy Saville doing the collection in his track suit having driven up in his bubble car. I could go on all day. I was born in Bannerman Street and moved to Hampshire Street. Live in Gloucestershire now.
Wendy O Donnell wrote
at 1:00:37 PM on Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Trying to trace my cousin John Stone sister Candace Stone were brought up in Perth street Hr Broughton. Thank you
David Short wrote
at 12:15:14 PM on Thursday, December 19, 2013
@ Pete the Jeep I used to deliver papers to the Wellington Street hermit ( tied the newspapers to a piece of string hanging from the upstairs window! ) and also to jimmy saville when he lived at 301 Gt. Clowes Street. There are some recent photos of Higher Broughton on my website - http://www.bluepoolimaging.com/salford/ which include what used to be St. Johns junior school, the croft ( Hope / Gt Clowes st.) and the local shops where Higgins was.
Mike Rosebury or Razza to Cooper Clark wrote
at 1:59:31 AM on Sunday, November 03, 2013
Saw John on TV,a while ago having sat next to him in class for many a year my memory of Mr Malone was very different I remember him taking his glass eye out at the end of swimming lessons throwing it in the pool, and shouting fetch it boys. Freddy Fielder got it threw it back at him so hard it hit the wall behind him and bounced back in the pool again. PS anyone know if the class of 1964 St Andrews RC SM Tetlow Lane Salford is having a 50 year reunion in 2014
Pete the jeep wrote
at 12:37:58 PM on Sunday, October 27, 2013
Hi top article.Remember the wellington st hermit. Mr Malone taught me english at de la salle Knew Hilda mother of John. Always dam building to streams in the Lanny with Boylan bros. Playing and bonfires on Murray st croft. Remember John living in st Pauls rd Sedgeley. Corner shops selling firewood , mackeson and rody bacon. The sun Inn facing Frank Wongs, buying matchbox cars at the Broughton depot ,first hair cut at Syd and aubrey, then moving on to Melvins.
Kath Beckett nee Phelan wrote
at 1:20:15 AM on Friday, October 18, 2013
Anne Hodgkiss...the toffee shop on corner of Wall st and Kenneth st....was it Noras or Flo's.....tall thin woman.....my daughter was just two yrs old when she used to go to Maidens for my Dads cigs...no list....she could speak and get a penny arrow bar...good old days....
Dave Healey wrote
at 9:52:24 PM on Sunday, September 22, 2013
I lived next door to both of the Foleys on St James RD - number 41!
Selina Higson nee Millward wrote
at 12:24:10 AM on Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I was born on Eskridge St (1970). My nana and grandad had a shop on Bannerman St. I am looking for any photo's of either street and to find past neighbours. Had lovely memories of the area, playing skipping, marbles and digging in the tar with a lolly stick in the summer.
Gary williams wrote
at 2:18:06 PM on Saturday, August 31, 2013
hi and congrats to a local Broughtonite just started a group on facebook, higher broughton old school characters. would be great to hear your stories or anyone else's whom come from higher broughton 100's ov old pics and proberbly some old friends over 300 members and growing best wishes John.
at 4:52:48 AM on Monday, August 26, 2013
Hi, I was called Lindy Garside in my youth and I lived at 1 Hope Street from 1948 until c. 1953/4. I can't remember exactly when we left. Next door lived a Mrs Kitchen. I lived with my two sisters, Diane and Patti and my mother Rebecca and my dad, Leonard. Our grandparents lived at the bottom of the cliff on Hugh Oldham Drive, right at the end near the river. We were Catholics but after a fall-out with the priest, we attended Grecian Street primary school which was tough but had high standards. I loved our house which had been the Greek embassy, apparently. It had terrazzo tiles in the hall and stained glass windows and central heating - in 1948! Sounds bizarre, but there was a trade link between Greece and Salford - google the history of Salford for details. It also had a leaky roof and plenty of mice and we rented it. The place has given me delusions of grandeur ever since. I am so glad that the Cliff is a conservation area. I visited recently and realised why it captured my imagination so vividly in my youth. It is beautiful and spooky and magnificent. Who wouldn't want to live there?
chris maughan wrote
at 12:31:50 AM on Wednesday, August 07, 2013
been nice to read the above comments i myself was born at number 43 bond street 1963 also whent to st thoms and then on to st andrews i can rember moveing in to the shop at the bottom of bond st on lest/road as a kid next door was battersbe shop was here for a few tears then moved on down the road to the sun inn again there for a few years till we moved up to a brand new pub the mechanic arms just of waterloo road would be good to hear from any one that may have known me .
Steve Rutledge wrote
at 12:46:35 AM on Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Hi I remember some of your names but can't put faces to you sorry. I grew up in norbury st the shop with the penny tray was that madiens on the corner of tully st and fenny street ?. I remember john coming round our house looking for his brother paul he used to knock about with my brother. Remember my aunt who was over talking about all the safety pins on his blazer don't think punk had hit belfast at the time. All seems so long ago.
bonnie adderley..was emily johnson at school wrote
at 1:22:35 AM on Saturday, June 29, 2013
just found this site..i left ST Thomas,s in 62 with my twin brother john..we lived in charlotte st opposite the dover castle pub..until we moved to walkden when I was 17..i too remember the dreaded sister Geraldine and the nicer sister clair..also mr Lunday..I moved to st Andrews when there was just two classes built ...
Kathleen Beckett...(Nee Phelan) wrote
at 10:44:38 AM on Monday, June 24, 2013
Kevin Meehan....You used to be in my class at St. Andrews..Mrs. Doyles class I think.. I was Kathleen Phelan..used to sit at front of class net to Maureen Agnew...Did you stay on to fifth form..I did.....I remember you...Kath...
christine potter nee nolan wrote
at 1:43:28 AM on Sunday, June 16, 2013
lived in warwick street, went to st Thomas's have very good memories of sister Geraldine and sister Claire! Kevin Foley was your Dad Tim Foley? my mum worked at school for him lovely man yon lived cheetham street didn't you.
Elma bolger wrote
at 5:02:34 PM on Monday, February 25, 2013
Lived on great Cheetham st, 1958 etc went to st Thomas's school, mother had hairdressers shop on great Cheetham st,! Anyone out there who may recall us, trying to find out what may have happened to my great friend Ann Marmion. Had fab teachers at this great school!
rbad wrote
at 12:35:34 PM on Monday, February 04, 2013
Anyone remember a linen drapery shop on Bury New Road, number 243, and tell me anything about it? or does anyone have a photo? it was near Rialto.
P Smith wrote
at 2:14:01 AM on Saturday, December 15, 2012
I was born in Stockport, had grandparents in Reddish, which was and is much like Salford. thelast 20 years' upswing got lost somewhere down the road. Still got cobbles in places - little tombstones to the past showing through the tarmac. I remember Beasley Street from my youth, and whenever I heard it, shuddered. A good thing really. The one which always hit me hardest was A Distant Relation. "A family affair We break ornaments and get them repaired We bring up past events which hang in the air This is a family affair" Nothing better to describe the claustrophobia of a life in the North.
at 12:56:06 AM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
Philomena Sheehan Nee COLLINS wrote at 1:34:06 AM on Sunday, February 26, 2012 I was born in broomfieldstreet cheetham I also went to ST Thomas from 1967 to 1969 and then changed to the new ST THos school at barrow hill road does anyone remember this school. Headteacher was Mr Danson i remember it philomena. i went there aged 4 in 1970 until 1974 when i moved to flixton. i remember mr danson and the scary nun sister bernadine. i also remember the very expensive ''adventure playground'' that we were all banned from using after shelley grimsley split heard head open falling of it. john roach, timothy horton, ike econgou, andrew gonzalez and christopher acksuke were some of the lads in my class. i would love some old photos of the place. not found a one on line. was the park opposite called something like rachel finkel park?
Kevin Meehan wrote
at 12:26:42 PM on Sunday, September 16, 2012
Hi everyone, I've enjoyed reading all your comments. John Cooper Clarke visited New Zealand recently and it sure did my heart good to listen to his radio interview. Sorry I missed his Wellington NZ performance. Anyway, memories. Up till 1958, I Lived in Roston St off Marlborough road and recall playing allies (marbles) outside the shops there with pals Tony Griffin, Bobby Schofield and Joey Chadwick. I attended St Thomas's and experienced plenty of disapline and pain from the infamous Sister Geraldine and of course her sidekick Sister Claire. Mr Malone the sports teacher at St Thomas's senior school was a terific teacher. I played for his rugby team and we never won a game in 2 years but we turned up every week, keen as mustard. Around '58, my family moved to Hill St near the Rialto. It was a good neighborhood, rich in characters, saints and sinners. I played cricket and various games at McMahons field with the kids on the block I remember, there was a bloke who lived in a rundown house near Murray St. We called him The Hermit. He lived on his own and wandered about inside his house naked. As an uncouth youth I went to St Andrews Sec Modern. Also worked as a paperboy for a newsagents at the bottom of Devonshire St. I later got a job I enjoyed lighting coalfires and turning on power switches for a number of hospitable orthodox jews in the Prestwich area. At around '66 I bought my first guitar, (echo ranger) for a small sum from a local skinny, lanky lad, I think his name was either John Clarke or John Phillips. I emigrated to New Zealand in '74 with guitar and wife and settled there. I've since made several trips back to my routes and always enjoy it I see there are a few enquiries about some residents in Hope St Higher Broughton. It reminded me that I was aquainted with a mother and daughter, Cath & Denise O'hare who lived I think at No.2 Hope St in the 60's. I'd sure like to get in touch with them again. Bit of a long shot. And that goes of course for anyone out there, old schoolmates, ghosts from the past etc who would like to correspond. Go on - shock me. Kind regards - Kevin Meehan
tom nolan wrote
at 3:01:30 AM on Thursday, September 06, 2012
just started a new group on face book ..SALFORD OLD AND NEW..be nice to here all your salford stories and maybe meet old friends again..
Sandra Taylor wrote
at 5:14:59 AM on Friday, July 13, 2012
In reply to an earlier post from michael taylor regarding the family Williams on Holland Street we lived next door to them for a long time.
Philip Eyles wrote
at 2:39:24 AM on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Just came across this site. I lived at 43 Worcester Street and went to ST James and Brentnall and then NORTH SALFORD schools. Maria MacMahon rings a bell did you have a Doberman dog called OTTO . I think you had a friend called Lynda Grimes live in Bond street
diane fone wrote
at 7:52:37 AM on Saturday, June 09, 2012
john did you have a pic out side the pub the sun inn,i found one on flickr photoshare,and it looks very much like you,it would have been 70s so maybe you were to young then,
diane fone wrote
at 7:52:31 AM on Saturday, June 09, 2012
i found lots of pics on the web site,flickr photo share i was looking for the sunn inn where i lived and found a couple of pics on there,
at 12:47:02 AM on Thursday, May 31, 2012
Just watched the BBC documentary on the bard of Salford. Great to see one of our own was an inspiration to so many and not hard to see why. Two of me cousins have already posted and my old man was the caretaker at St Thomas's but unlike Sister Geraldine, former pupils remember him with fondness. I also went to De La Salle and used to get the Number 1 bus opposite St Thomas's church every morning. Was always curious about the guy with sunglasses, and a Stetson who would often get on the same bus, no doubt heading for Salford Tech, getting off at the stop before the precinct. Yep, a pre-fame version of JCC might recall the kid in the maroon blazer gawping at him most mornings unless I was waggin it. What, with Michael Leigh, the director, living next door but two to me on Great Cheetham St and the huge percentage of celebrated folk emanating from Salford, I reckon the man above decided to put something special in the water in the Dirty Old Town. JCC for Poet Laurete - will it ever happen? If it does he should do an tour of Salford in an open top number one and I'll still be gawping from the street below.
kath phelan now Beckett wrote
at 1:31:16 PM on Sunday, April 01, 2012
I lived in Norbury st. Went to St. Thomas of Canterbury then the old school nxt to church then St.Andrews. I,ve got a picture postcard in a frame of Gt. Cheetham st. St. James church on it and row of shops. Duckworths and all them when trams were running. I knew Carter st. Used to go babysitting there. I remember Sister Geraldine and Sister Clare Geraldine used to hit us on the head hard. Mr. Lundy headteacher. If U go on Friends reunited and type in St Andrews I put pics on being demolished. Also classrooms and staff room with the teachers in.
Philomena Sheehan Nee COLLINS wrote
at 1:34:06 AM on Sunday, February 26, 2012
I was born in broomfieldstreet cheetham I also went to ST Thomas from 1967 to 1969 and then changed to the new ST THos school at barrow hill road does anyone remember this school. Headteacher was Mr Danson
sol wrote
at 11:26:25 PM on Saturday, November 12, 2011
hi ann.am searching for informationb about the hodgkiss family..i believe they lived in carter street..any help gratefully recieved thanks
Josie wrote
at 3:44:48 AM on Sunday, October 30, 2011
Does anyone know of the Hutchinson/Cherry family who lived in 16 Wally St many years ago the man was Thomas wife Margaret Cherry children Thomas,Jessie,Maggie and John Hutchinson
mark dwyer wrote
at 9:54:28 PM on Monday, October 17, 2011
born bury new rd oppisite the croft an devonshire str railto/county/tower pics murry str clinic/st johns prmy off murry str st andrews lecister rd penny arrow bar 3penny jubbly 3penny lucky bag paper shop devonshire str clarkey of hollie fame loved that shop manley prk albert prk stab myself climbing the railings sun inn oppiste the county pic pub post office pub round the crner from the county pic hse st thomas,s church top of devonshire str the fair on the croft every yr loved it spent hrs there the walzters/ swings/trying to win a goldfish with darts the pea soupers duz anyone recall the garage oppisite the croft surrounded by hedges and behind them were old flats yep thats where i was born and to the left of them was a bit of waste ground where stan mellor trained as a jocky we would play cowboys an indians there happy days went bk last yr could not belive my eyes how it as change
caroline wrote
at 3:24:05 PM on Thursday, October 13, 2011
Lovely to here your of your life..Thank you..I will see if can find ant pics..Have 17 th cen pic of manchester and Salford as villages.But have some old books and post cards mite be something in them..for my e-mail go to Salford Star..Best wishes Bindloss
adrian purdy wrote
at 5:56:39 PM on Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Well some interesting stuff on here ,was actually looking for a picture of great cheetham street on google but found this instead ! I was born in Eskridge street off marlbourough rd ,then rock street next to murray st,do remember the chemists john ,as dr malimsons was opposite there ,also wally street became wally square at the of where ellisons furniture shop was ,wally sq is still there ,all good memories but still carnt find a picture !
Judith Williamson wrote
at 2:23:49 PM on Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Ann - my mum was born at 23 Wally Street in 1921 ! Do u have any old pics you could send me? Is Wally street still there? I was born in Rigby Street - got knocked down in early 50's and we went to Little Hulton (Salford overspill)
at 7:46:51 AM on Sunday, May 08, 2011
Hi I lived on Wally Street, no longer there now, and my gran lived on Carter Street. There used to be a shop near Wally Street, not on the main road, but they had a penny tray of sweets. I used to go too the shop, alone, under 6 years old, imagine that now? My mum used to have her hair cut in a shop i think oposite Frank Wongs.....I went to St Thomas and then moved to the posh (not anymore!) Whitefield in around 1967/8. I used to go to the Rialto saturday matinee, able to walk there on my own some days even though I was only around 5....it was just SO safe! My grandfather was born in the Dover Pub on Fenney Street, Brendan I remember Sister Geraldine!!!!! I really wish I remembered more....
Ian Jameson wrote
at 6:58:19 PM on Friday, April 01, 2011
Used to know john back in the seventies...used to chat at the 70 bus stop on freddy rd and later met again when he was comparing at Rafters....offered to put his poertry to music once....no dont think thatd work ..he said then 6 months later brought out the first curious yellows album..not what i would have donr with his stuff....i was compare on tuesdays there and also at band in the wall ...but joined Brownsville Banned to earn a living and ended up emigrating to Canada working with my wife as a singer on cruise ships...starnge how life goes...but now i am working with the John Cooper Clark of the new age...vcheck out Bury Bob...if you like john youll get Bob...i was raised in Clement St near the Tower Cinema....but for most of my life it was www.burybob.com
Jean Lucy Thompson wrote
at 11:11:11 AM on Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Re tryng to contact anyone who would have known my mother May Whitehead who lived at 2 Hope Street Higher Broughton from 1947 to April 1948 as far as i know please e mail me with any info ty
michael taylor wrote
at 1:18:55 PM on Saturday, November 20, 2010
colette westerman wrote
at 3:56:46 PM on Monday, October 04, 2010
Hi I am trying to trace Peter Cleary who resided at 1 wellington street east, salford. He lived at the property with my grandma who died there in 1968. I know the houses have gone know, just wondered what happened to the residents, as i am keen to contact Peter, as i know he registered my grandma's death, cared for her and bought the deeds for her grave that we were told last week she was in. We'd like to tend her grave and maybe add a headstone, but need his permission. Really struggling to find him or any relatives - If anyone has any info, please contact me on colettewesterman@hotmail.com
Maria Mc Creadie-MacMahon wrote
at 2:40:29 PM on Sunday, October 03, 2010
Gosh, thanks for the memories, bet we must have passed each other in the street, or foraging about an old factory or derelict house :-) I lived in Grosvenor street, went to St Johns which closed when Brentall opened, then St Andrews. I loved Saturday mornings at the Rialto and remember how posh I thought the new swimming baths were compared to Blackfriars and it's cockroaches, sigh.
Phil Doherty wrote
at 3:33:31 AM on Sunday, March 28, 2010
I went to St. Thomas's from 1967 to 1969 when my family then moved to "posh" Bury. I remember going to the Saturday matinee at the Rialto, the new Broughton baths being built, McMahons too and I cant believe the great John Cooper Clarke went to my school! I remember Jimmy Saville living on the top floor of the flats opposite the Docs on the corner of Bury New Rd and Gt Cheetham Street, but sadly I never saw any of my old mates again :-(
Helen Jordan wrote
at 5:37:06 PM on Thursday, March 18, 2010
Hi I am trying to find out about the residents of 14 Hope Street in 1942 which I believe was a Bernard Murphy and Edith Murphy (nee White). I am looking for their daughter Patricia Wright (nee Murphy) who married a William Godfrey Wright. Many thanks for any information.
Donal Higgins wrote
at 2:29:56 AM on Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Would love to get in touch with Johhny Cooper Clarke,, played at my wedding in 1966 in the London and North western Cross Lane, and would be grateful for any contact number Donal Higgins
jean lucy thompson wrote
at 9:52:24 PM on Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Hi Anyone rememebr anyone who lived at 2 Hope Street Higher Broughton around July period 1947 Thanks mail me if you do would be a great help in tracing the person who lived there then ie May Whitehead (my mother)
kevin foley wrote
at 11:15:38 AM on Monday, November 09, 2009
Bloody Nora. Just like the number 1 bus. You wait for ages for some't about Mr CC and then two come along together. Very good article in the Independent on Sunday yesterday( ok so i've come a long way from the news of the screws hidden under the bed in St James Rd circa 1966. Some of us went to De La Bleedin' Salle dontchaknow) . I never knew he went to St Thomas' and then St Andrews. He'd have been in the same year as our Michael. From the IOS article - JCC is talking to someone who says ' whats that thing the chinese do with needles ? '.... 'heroin' says he. Have to send him my Salford version of 'Did you see Lisa'. Be nice to see him doing a gig before/after an FC match at Gigg Lane. Viva Punk Football. What about it John ?
brendan foley wrote
at 7:54:37 AM on Monday, November 09, 2009
Hi Great article, I lived on st james rd, went to st thomies, ( remember sister geraldine ?) then st peters in heaton park, now live in stockport, still go back to salford a lot,i follow fc united, after that bastard glazer stole man united, we have a salford branch, we wear pink shirts aka the bins and street signs, our song " Our bins are pink, are road signs too, we are from salford were harder than you " not as good as your stuff, but it lets the other manchester crowd know were in, our flag states " Born in Hope, Live in Hope " Best Of Luck Brendan Foley
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