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Former Ashton pupil’s appeal for old friends to get in touch
Tuesday 5th September 2017 @ 13:23 by Adam Higgins
Ashton News

A former Ashton pupil who is suffering from a brain tumour is appealing for old friends to get in touch with him before it’s too late.

Graham Pollard was born in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1949 and lived on Borrowdale Crescent, near Smallshaw.

His first school was Elgin Street Primary School before he moved to St James’s School, near Ladbroke Road.

He worked in Mossley and Rochdale before travelling in France and Spain but, within two weeks of him retiring in 2013, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour which left him with no use of his left arm.

Now living in Denshaw in Saddleworth, Graham has spent the last few days in respite care at Springhill Hospice in Rochdale and is a not well man but he is now hoping to meet up with past friends, colleagues and distant family members to reminisce about old times.

Graham explained: “I have gone through chemotherapy and radio therapy but the future is uncertain. The position of my tumour makes me overly emotional when I talk of the past.

“I would love to hear from anyone who knew me – particularly Yvonne Gater, Avril Aldridge who was my girlfriend for a time, Pauline and Judith Whitehead, Malcolm Sharp and Ian Haynes who I went to school with.

“There was also my uncle Charlie and aunt Betty who had a pet shop in the Newton area of Hyde. Charlie died but Betty may still be around and they had three kids – Dennis, Douglas and Janet Pollard who I lost contact with around 50 years ago.”

Graham also had many friends in various parts of Longdendale and Tameside during his time in the borough.

He added: “For some time, I had friends in Broadbottom – Neil and Ron Shinkins both died but Eric Parker could still be around and we went drinking at the Peel Arms in Padfield.

“Sometimes we were joined by Ann Clark and Ann Schofield, whose sister I think was married to [Manchester City legend] Mike Summerbee. They lived on Mottram Road, opposite Stalybridge Celtic’s football ground, but I lost contact with them around 45 years ago.

“I also knew quite a few people who went to a youth club in an old school or church hall – it was very close to Crown Point in Denton. Myself, Richard Booth and another man played guitar in a side room.”

Graham also has many memories to share from his life, some of which was spent in Tameside.

“We moved house from Borrowdale Crescent to Wellbank Avenue in Hurst. I remember Neil Silcock, Rita Hulme and the Gibson brothers,” he recalled.

“My next school was Hartshead Secondary between 1960 and 1964 and there were a host of people I knew. At this time, I was a member of Stalybridge Archery Club and I had friends there.

“I left school in 1965 and started work at Mossley Wool Combing Company. We moved to Pottinger Street and I brought a Lambretta scooter before moving jobs to Ciba Clayton laboratory.

“My best friend was Richard Booth (alias Bugs) who I have not had contact with for 30 years or more. After a year or two, I moved jobs to a textiles company in Newhey near Rochdale.

“I had a son with a local girl, we split up and I married my current wife Gail. I spent time fishing, playing pool and travelled lots to France and Spain, driving the whole distance in a day with overnight stops in France. My old teacher Mrs Meeks would have been proud of my French.

“I have so many memories of Ashton in particular, including the annual fairs at Daisy Nook. I would love to hear from anyone who knew me.”

Anyone reading this who remembers Graham and would like to get in touch with him can give him a ring on 01457 820863 or e-mail [email protected].

Below are a collection of Graham’s old school photos, which may help to jog your memory. Do you recognise yourself, a family member or Graham in any of these shots?

St James’s Primary School



Hartshead Secondary School



Hartshead Secondary School


St James’s C of E Primary School


St James’s C of E Primary School


Hartshead County Secondary School


Main picture: 

Family: Graham’s aunty Betty and uncle Charlie with their two children