Ray Rochford (RR-95-035)

An extract from Mr Rochford's letter

Early in 1995, Ray Rochford (b. 1924) saw a call for 1930s cinemagoers to get in touch with Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain, and this essay is his response. In it he notes that he was born in Hanky Park in Salford, Greater Manchester. The "largest concentration of slums in Europe", Hanky Park was home to numerous neighbourhood cinemas, Mr Rochford writes, each attracting its own loyal local clientele, many of whom claimed particular seats as their own. He describes the "Dickensian" manager of one local cinema, and the social class "apartheid" of the seating arrangements in that establishment. He maintains that, because most historians are middle class, the history of cinema audiences and the value of cinema as "the opium of hope" for the working class has "never been explored in great depth". Mr Rochford later took part in CCINTB’s formal questionnaire survey.

Document scan (RR-95-035PL001) | Transcript

Other Documents, Memorabilia and Related Links
Scan of questionnaire (RR-95-035GQ001)
Guardian photo essay of demolition of Hanky Park, 1960 (guardian.com site)