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Beech House


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  • 4 weeks later...

If you look under the bridge and to the right, the second building with a window on the top floor is Beech House and the tall multi story building would be Eddleston's original pin factory and later (probably by the date of the photo) to become a tannery. The old chap on the right lighting his pipe must have a bob or two as he's wearing his gold or silver Albert probably with his pocket watch in his waistcoat pocket. What was the little kiosk on the left used for, selling tobacco or was it a tram shelter, I doubt we shall ever know.






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  • 4 months later...

I lived in Beech House from being about 2 years old until I was 7 years old. I can remember it well, there was a huge hallway, the size of a very large room with one of those staircases you would have seen on a film set, which was wide at the bottom and curved right round to the left, where the stairs became narrower.


There was a corridor which went behind the room we lived in to the scullery. From the scullery there was a long passageway to storerooms and a lavatory (we called them that in those days).


We did not have the drawing room, as that was used by a dress shop in the one storey building on Winwick Street.


Our living room was so large that we had two 12 x 12ft square carpets together and even then there was a huge area with linoleum on which my Mum used to polish!


It was very cold in winter and apparently our cat had kittens and two of them froze to death in the wardrobe where she had them.


My Mum and Dad were very young when we moved their, Dad had recently come out of the RAF, where he had been a Navigator in Lancaster Bombers. My Mum had worked as a lorry driver at ROF Risley during the war until I was born. They used to have parties, and Mum would cook huge hotpots and I think they bought a barrel of beer, which would not have been expensive, as nobody had any money in those days.


I LOVED living in that house. I can't remember the cold, it was such fun being brought up in a house with so much room to explore.


At that time I went to Heath Side Infants school, near the railway arches (not sure of the street).


After we left, the people who ran the post office took over the house, as they wanted to live close to the post office. It was later used as a hairdressing salon by one of the girls who had worked as an apprentice for my Gran, who had the salon on the front, next to the dress shop.


I'd be happy to answer any questions I can possibly remember.

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Hi and a huge welcome to the forum Anne Marie :D


It's fascinating to read all your memories and description of Beech House as your family home.  It sounds like it was indeed a wonderful and grand house at one time.  The stair case sounds lovely, could you slide down the banister ? :)  Would love to hear more about it too as I got a bit obsessed with trying to find information about it and at times my other half used to laugh and remind me that neither I or any of my ancesters had ever lived there  ha ha.


What a terrible shame that it was eventually left to rot and fall into such disrepair and got demolished.  I guess like many other old fine houses and building it was more a case of it simply being in the way of new 'plans' though :(


When did you live there ?


As for Heathside School,  I think it was next to the old firestation on Queen Street, although that may have been the junior school as I can't remember if they were seperate buildings.

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Hi Dizzy


Lovely to hear from you. It's nice to see that someone else has an interest in the house. Yes, it was a real home, although in those days it was very much having whatever furniture you could scrounge off relatives, or buy cheaply secondhand. I remember my Mum telling me that May Simpson, who had a cafe across the road (a sort of milk bar thing) gave her a settee. I remember May Simpson and used to go across the road to visit. My two grandads got a couple of armchairs. Curtains were made out of cheap fabric and only hung from halfway down the tall windows.


I think the only thing bought new were the two carpets from Tanners next door. My Mum could only afford one but the salesman told her she could pay them weekly. I think it is the only time she had credit for anything.


I remember sliding down the bannisters, certainly. I was a real tom boy. My Mum's baby sister was only 5 years younger than me and when she came to stay, we used to dare each other to do things, like jumping from the stairs at the point where they turned, down to the hall. They were shallow stairs but all the same it was one big jump, onto stone slabs. Don't know what happened to all that lovely stone.


We lived there from about 1946. I used to wander around the area on my own when I was old enough. One of the places I visited was the stable which was just behind what were gateposts going up to the old railway buildings (now flats). There was a horse there and I was mad on horses. I also used to run up and down the double stairs leading up to the station. You can still see the blocked up doorways.


It was the junior school next to the fire station, I didn't go to that one. I think it may have been Rolleston Street, it was next to a builders or builders merchant. It was a grim, typical Victorian school I didn't like it very much.


Our house had attics and cellars. One of the unused bedrooms had huge ornamental jugs in. I think they were possibly to keep water in for the bedrooms. I always remember being frightened of them and thinking Ali Baba and his thieves were going to jump out of them. I think they must have been very tall. The roof used to leak and those jars used to be sited to collect drips.


I'm happy to answer any other questions about living there, or living in the town centre at that town.

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