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VINE VOICEon 10 October 2005
This is a wonderful book. If I have a criticism it is that the gentility of its prose masks the obvious and, for us, the unimaginable suffering the people of Salford endured during those days.
The suffering of the people is portrayed in the book but it is so wonderfully written that it seems to underplay this aspect which is, in reality, the whole 'raison d'etre' of the book.
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on 15 February 2010
My father was born in the same area of Salford as the Author and just a year before.
I was born in Salford myself,many years later in a much better area and in a much better time. It was a great insight for me in to life in the old CITY in the GOOD old days. And yet it fills me with a great deal of sadness for those who lived through those times. It took me back home A Ragged Schooling: Growing Up in the Classic Slum
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on 12 November 2012
This author (Robert Roberts) grew up in Salford, at a corner shop years ago, He relates the lives, joys and tears, of ordinary folk. This book from Amazon joins my other books about Salford by this author - memories too of growing up there myself.
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on 19 May 2012
I read first of all the author's book "Classic Slum" which I found very disappointing. A Ragged Schooling: Growing up in the Classic Slum is more readable and quite funny in parts. The story of the scoutmaster is hilarious as is the story of Abigail and her husband and the lodger. However, I was still disappointed that the author was unforthcoming about the actual area of Salford in which he lived. He mentions some place names (Barbary Coast), but I am fairly certain that others were made up even though there is a drawing by Harold Riley which identifies the author's home as Waterloo Street, which here is renamed Zinc Street - why? For this reason I have given it only four stars. It is quite funny in parts and for that reason I would recommend it.
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on 16 June 2011
This is an interesting and entertaining read for anyone interested in a first hand view of social history, particularly the industrial slums of the Edwardian-era slum cities, in this case my hometown of Salford. Despite the tile, there is little coverage of his education with most of the text devoted to stories of Roberts' relationships with his family, friends and entourage. On the downside, I found the writing episodic and lacking in overall narrative structure; it is also too upbeat for my liking although from a child's perspective (it covers the years when the author was between 5 and 15 years old) the gloom perhaps arrives later in life. Nonetheless, I found it unputdownable.

A better but drier read is Roberts' The Classic Slum which covers the same ground but with a wider ranging, third person view more; a more scholarly text perhaps but well constructed and highly readable which I would recommend to anyone interest in Salford life at the turn of the 20th century. Read A Ragged Schooling first though.
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on 22 June 2015
An excellent read that serves as a brilliantly told record of an experience growing up in a slum area of town. Must be read, although I would also read Roberts' 'The Classic Slum' beforehand to give you some background: some of the anecdotes overlap, but as they are so well written and powerful it serves to make more of an impression. The author takes you with him and you can feel the grime, the oppression, the poverty and the cold along with the wonder, excitement and fear of a child.
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on 23 May 2015
Written by Robert Roberts who lived in Waterloo street before I did, but I remember the corner shop as my friend lived there after the Roberts' family. An excellent book - made me realise what my father's life was like as he lived in this street at the same time as Robert.
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on 28 March 2010
I thought it was a fascinating piece of social history. What I particularly enjoyed was that it was so well written. Mr Roberts had a keen eye for detail and for spotting the humour in situations. I intend to read it again very shortly because it contains a wealth of information and is extremely readable.
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on 29 September 2013
Not unlike Bill Naughton's autobiography of his growing up in Bolton, this book tells of a culture that sounds like another country. Makes us see how much times changed in the last century. A great read.
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on 26 September 2013
A page-turning description of a northern mill-town life a social history of the times. It is seamlessly well written. I would recommend it as a good read for everyone.
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