Looking for Bella

A while ago, we had posted the image below. It is in our Walter Greenwood collection and shows the knocker-upper at work at Moss Side, Manchester.

I am returning to this earlier blog, because during a guided tour of Lark Hill Place – the exhibit at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery – our guide mentioned that Salford had an active ‘knocker-upper’ until the 1970s.

Not only was this knocker-upper active relatively late – weren’t alarm clocks common and affordable by the 1970s? – but it was also a woman who awoke people in Salford from their slumbers in the mornings and made sure they got to work on time.

Her name, so we are told, was Bella. A stick -possibly her stick – as in the image below can be seen at the Salford Museum.

We would like to know more about Bella, her work and story and would be grateful about any information about her. In addition, there were several other occupations (Bone and rag man) that have since disappeared. We are interested in learning more about these people, their roles in the communities before redevelopment and what is remembered about them today.

For any information please write to us: themodernbackdrop@salford.ac.uk

Knocker-up’ tapping on bedroom window, Raby Street area of Moss Side, Manchester, 1960s. Walter Greenwood Collection. WGC/4/4/7.

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