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The Fiddler

busker01A busker played his violin outside of the Victoria Bridge Bus Station, Salford in the Nineteen Forties-Nineteen Fifties. He lived in Dow Street, Lower Broughton. Narrow street, terraced houses lacking bay-windows, a marked incline at its far end. My Grandparents house and street was situated just across the way. 'The Fiddler' a title always used when discussing this somewhat mysterious individual. Well, to myself, a child, he appeared to be very mysterious.

'The Fiddler' was an aloof man, never smiled, passed you by on the pavement with no acknowledgement or interest. I assume his origins where European. Germany, or perhaps Austria. He lived with his daughter. There where several families living nearby who had Germanic surnames and I assume they must have been refugees. Salford was a city of diverse and long established Jewish communities. In Kent Street, there was a 'A Cheder' Yiddish pronunciation: khéyder, a traditional primary school teaching the basics of Judaism and the Hebrew language. I assume 'The Fiddler' earned a reasonable amount of money. When you consider the level of the average wage at that time, he might well have been moderately affluent. One thing I do remember is my Grandmother often saying "He always buys Best Butter” her infallible indicator of prosperity.