By Rosie Ifould
Bridget Cunniffe recalls growing up in a community photographed by Shirley Baker
I was five when this picture was taken. I’m the girl lying on the ground. The two girls in the light blue dresses are my sisters Kate and Mary, who are twins; my oldest sister Sarah is having her hair combed by her friend Marie. We were generally known as the redheaded Murray sisters. My mum is wearing a flowery dress, and talking to our neighbour, Mrs Bowers. I think it must have been a Sunday, because we’ve all got our nice dresses on. The saucer on the floor would have had ice-cream on it. My mum used to buy a bowl from the van and share it out.
We lived in an area of Manchester known as the slums, but we weren’t really aware of that as children. We were always clean and tidy, and we had plenty to eat. We didn’t feel as though we were missing out. And we had such freedom. There were a lot of half-demolished houses around, and we used to play in them. We’d make swings and hang them off the lamp-posts.