School extensions, 1968




Some droll places at Greetland, 1922

Coffin End – ‘a dwelling in the midst of Greetland, on the main road to Rochdale. Why a coffin and which end? And why such a fearsome name to a plain, substantial house, any young couple intending marriage would jump at, were it to let? It was once the home of a chimney sweep, but the name comes from a period beyond his day, dating from the very time it was built. The fact is that the outer portion, which juts out into the Rochdale Road, declines in width as does the narrower end of a coffin.’

Peeping Street – ‘is the name given by old residents to a few dwellings in another part. Some of the learned dry-as-dust and mutual improvement societies may be left to ferret out the reason. But it may assist them if they be told that it is imagined that once upon a time the inhabitants in those old dwellings had a habit of which the present tenants would very properly be ashamed. It is suggested that they did not scruple to peep and pry into each other’s affairs or to pick at and pry into the business of passers-by in that neighbourhood. As it was a neighbourhood which once upon a time bore an ill name, the old ladies of Peeping Street might be excused, too, if they “had their suspicions” about any strangers, men or women, especially if ill-dressed, who ventured into their quarter, though it was not exactly aristocratic. And they were not content till they had seen them off.’

Picky Row – ‘the name is supposed to have been derived from the stylish part of London called Piccadilly, which no doubt was the origin of the Piccadilly in Manchester. This may be news to the matter-of-fact folk who live in Picky Row. So much good may it do them.’

Th’ Hen-Pecked – ‘perhaps the name had an appropriate origin when the old handloom weavers and bobbin winders were clouted about their heads with shuttles and rolling pins, by those managing housewives who thus kept their “fellies” up to the mark in the home duties.’

Brandy Hoil – ‘it is said that illicit whisky stills were kept in this area during the handloom weaving days.’

The Rat -‘alternative name for the Druid’s Arm. The premises were once a farm before the change to a public beer-house. There were many landlords. One Greetland man, who became landlord, was known in the district as “Rat” so people used to say “Come on, let’s go to t’Rat”. Other locals had nicknames. “Camel” and “Mouse” used to drink at t’Rat. One day someone bet Mouse that he could not carry Camel shoulder high through the village but he did…with Rat’s assistance and he won a gallon of ale. In those days every pub had a brewery of their own. Villagers had to flock to these breweries to buy yeast for home baking.’