Inside Page Hall

Terraced houses in Page Hall
Terraced houses in Page Hall
Raied Ahmed in his corner shop
Raied Ahmed in his corner shop
Ken Hicks
Ken Hicks

Page Hall is an amazing place. If you had any doubts, you only need spend five minutes looking at Richard Hanson’s new exhibition to be sure.

Richard, a local resident and photographer, was commissioned to put together an exhibition about Page Hall, which has been on display in the Pakistan Advice Centre in October and November. The exhibition, called ‘Inside Out’, includes interviews with Page Hall residents who are very different but are all united by their affection for the area, from residents who have lived there just a month to one resident who has been there for over 70 years. People talked about their hobbies and businesses, what they liked about they area and what got on their nerves. Richard said,

“I started working in Page Hall in May and have interviewed and visited around twenty residents for the Inside Out project. I’ve also tried to capture a feel of the area in its architecture and public spaces through regular visits. The interviews reflect both people’s pride in their homes and the community and businesses they’ve built, as well as something of the frustrations a lot of people feel at living conditions in the area.”

The photos are stunning and, despite any problems Page Hall struggles with, it’s easy to see why it’s a place to be proud of.

Richard’s book of the exhibition can be ordered via Hannah Gibbins from the East Regeneration Team on 256 2182.

Photos from the exhibition can be found on Richard's website

Details of the book can be found on his blog verage/

Interviews & photos by Richard Hanson

Ken Hicks

In 1937, when my mother was first married and I was born, we lived in lodgings. Then, when I was three years old, this house became available for rent. At that time, my father, Ernest Hicks, was in the army and wherever he was stationed in this country, me and my mother would go and stay near him. We were intending to go and see him and this house became vacant, and my mother’s father advised us to take this house instead.

Well, the next time we saw my dad he’d been to Dunkirk fighting the Germans. The army was rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk and my dad was amongst those evacuated. When he came home, we went to the cinema. It was the blackout – everything was blacked out in the streets and when we got back, someone had burgled the house. Well there was no money or anything like that, but the food was on ration and they’d taken a cake that my mother had made welcoming my dad home.

I suppose everyone has roots and a certain place becomes special because you’re born there. There have been good aspects and bad aspects of living around here but I have some fond memories.

The people for instance – the chap who lived opposite, Cyril Parkin, he lived in the same house all his life. My mother knew him from a boy. They used to go to his father’s allotment garden when they were kids.

People tended to settle more. We live in a very unsettled world now, people living somewhere then selling up and going somewhere else. I used to know more people in the area than I do now.

Just over the wall from me on Page Hall Road, my mother’s father, Gilbert Appleyard, ran a sweet and ice cream shop, although his trade was carpentry. He made his own ice cream. He didn’t have a fridge in those days – you just packed it with ice to make the ice cream.

But some of the happiest days of my life were spent there on Page Hall Road, just playing in the yard and that …

Raied Ahmed

I’ve been trading here about eight months now and it’s not bad. Sometimes you see regular customers, sometimes you see different people, some new ones. We’ve only got one problem though: it’s those double yellow lines outside.

I’m from Yemen originally. There’s a community centre at the top of Fir Vale. There’s a mosque just here. This is a good place. The Pakistan Advice Centre are very helpful. They help me, they cook dinners for old people, they do parties and help disabled people.

I’ve been living in page Hall for seven or eight years. I’ve got so many friends here. I hope it gets better in the next five years – I mean new things, new clubs for the kids to give them something to do, especially in summertime. That’s all, try to change it to better things.

You can’t say nothing about Page Hall. Page Hall is Page Hall, that's all.

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The content on this page was added to the website by John Mellor on 2009-11-27 14:11:25.
The content of the page was last modified by Lisa Swift on 2009-11-29 20:00:53.

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