Roy Fisher's Memories


My era was 1945/1955, I lived at No. 1 Orpington Street and the pigeon loft at the dairy belonged to my father Bill Fisher, old Bill Ishmael used to talk a lot about their pigeons at Gathurst. I wish I had a pound for every time we played in the stables, I used to go in the little boiler house adjacent to the stable and put a sack full of spuds under the steam pipe near the main doors, they were great tasting. I also remember little Norman a Downs Syndrome person with his overalls on helping the best he could. Austin a big bloke and a grown man in 1950, used to wear a cowboy hat and drove the lorry and pick up truck picking up milk churns from the farms. Teddy Gee had pigeons at the side near the fire-lighter works, he lived on the main road just before the Queens Cinema with his father and was a baker at Gaskell's Bakehouse on Gossops in Orrell. Bobby Morgan had a pen at the rear and Harry Banks had bee hives. The Fire-lighter Works was lower down Richmond Hill, we called it Cannel's. If you walked past Mrs Woodcock's (Hilda) in the end house and the double gates of the dairy, past Tom Starkey's garage and an outbuilding that contained the carts for the dairy, the Fire-lighter works was next to this. When they were making fire-lighters and the wind was in a certain direction, silver particles filled the air and made your eyes smart. I think the Cannel family went into gardening and landscaping, I "dropped on" one of them plying his trade at Cartmel in Cumbria. Gee's the builder lived on Richmond Hill in the house with builders yard adjacent to it, they built St Cuthbert's Church at Half Way House. Their son John owns the storage depots and ready mix concrete plant where Triangle Valve's Canteen was. The house was and still is accessible between Harmony Blinds and Hair Dressers on the main road next to the TSB Bank, the back entrance was facing Pemberton Building Supplies. Bill Dutton's big wooden garage was on the corner, he was spotted more than once with my old maths teacher Eric Coulshed on he Isle of Man boat, not quite legless. Eric became headmaster at Pemberton Secondary Modern and was a great teacher. I thought Billy Browns horse was called "Star" (see note below) he used to deliver milk and would not move until he had a crust pie, Wackhams ice cream cart horse used to do the same. Billy Brown bought Tom Gerrard's shop and then later bought Mrs Starkey's next door. We used to play amongst green acid bottles when they closed at night. The Harts were related to the Ishmael's in some way (see note below). I remember Charlie (Orrell) from the photo how he always had a pipe handy. I can see him now going up the wooden steps to the office in the yard getting his instructions from Bill or Dick. I am sure Bill was a chain smoker, I never saw him without a "ciggie".

Note: The editor agrees, the horse in the main pages referred to as "Rose" was in fact called "Star" as pointed out by Roy.
Note: Peter Hart who delivered milk for Richmond Hill Dairies at the same time as Billy Brown, Ronnie Beddard and Ken Greenway was Bill Ishmael's half brother.