Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Salford Working Lives

Posted by wcmlibrary on November 11, 2009

Today we settled down to watch some home movies donated by Salford people and transferred to DVD by the North West Film Archive. The first movie centred around a ‘Whit Walk’ from Broughton to Manchester City Centre sometime in the 1960s. It is amazing to think that the Whit Walks were an integral part of life up until the 60s/70s. Sadly the tradition is now very much on the wane. The recent Salford Mission exhibition at the nearby Salford Museum and Art Gallery also touched on this issue. One of the Salford residents in the group who remembered the Whit Walks descibed how the Catholics and Protestants marched on separate days. The decline of the Whit Walks may have had something to do with the programme of housing clearances and the re-organisation of the road network (for example around Regent Road). It may also have been related to the seeming decline in church attendance.

The second film was a home movie from the 60s into the 70s. It was interesting to note the change in men’s hairstyles. One scene showed children on Christmas morning opening presents. The abundance of gifts led some to comment about the relative affluence of workers in that period and the growth of consumer society (now in the credit crunch we are feeling some of the negative effects of that then nascent consumer boom).

The session today was quite personal with people bringing in their photo albums and family snaps. It was interesting to relate the private pictures and films with the official histories, maps and other resources in the library’s collection.

Liam

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