Preston in 1960, and many Victorian mills are still in operation. The Avenham Street Mill dominates the area, but is now a car park. However, the brick building further up the street has survived as an Italian restaurant.
The corner store is still a focal point and supermarkets are just beginning to appear.
N Keith Scott has a roll of the latest color film and begins to record early post-war life in Preston.
TVs are popular in Preston
Rationing is over and every house on Isherwood Street seems to have a television. Most televisions in 1960 were hired and manufactured in the UK. There was a large manufacturing base in the north of England, supplying the television industry.
The sets were very expensive and prone to breakdowns. Valves were used and were probably made by Mullards in Blackburn, as was the picture tube (Simonstone of 1960).
There were only two black and white TV channels. The most common screen size was a whopping 17 inches, down from the pre-war 9 inches. As it happens, coronation street started on ITV in 1960.
BBC2 arrived in 1964, although you would have needed a new TV and antenna to pick up the high definition 625 line service of the time. Color broadcasts began in June 1967, however, only on BBC2, until November 1969. For Christmas 1969, BBC 1 and ITV broke out in colour.
No more lost mills
Another lost mill was on Leighton Street. This area has now been redeveloped into the UCLan campus. However, there is still a part of UCLan named Leighton Building. This unit is made of red bricks and mimics the look of the old mill.
Donkey stones, smoking chimneys and empty streets
The following photo is fascinating for several reasons. One is the complete absence of parked cars, another is the lady donkey stoning the steps.
Donkey stones were a kind of soft stone block. The stones of different colors were rubbed on wet steps, to create a decorative edge. It was a Nordic tradition that was already dying out in the 1960s. The last donkey stones were made in 1979. Finally, the mill engine revved up, creating clouds of black smoke.
Interestingly, Great Townley Street did not succumb to 1960s bulldozers and looks very similar today.
A rare surviving mill
The 1960 photo above is also full of nostalgia. A first “invalid cart” lies on the sidewalk, while a motorcycle and a sidecar emerge from Bold Street.
The passing white vehicle is a Co-Op Electric Milk Float. Today, milkmen are rarer; some still used a horse-drawn chariot in the 1970s.
Fortunately, Aqueduct Street Mill is still very much alive and used as an industrial park. The railway bridge is visible in both images. However, the block in the front right has become a ubiquitous parking lot. What used to be the interior is still painted white.
More in the Instant Years series, coming soon.
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