THEY say there’s no place like home ­— and for Bury’s longest standing council house tenant that certainly rings true.

Maureen Bradbury has lived in her two-bedroom bungalow in Ivy Road for close to 89 years and has seen Bury change out of all recognition over her lifetime.

Born at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester in 1930, Miss Bradbury and her family moved from Tottington to Ivy Road when she was just 18 months old ­— and have stayed put ever since.

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Hers was a happy childhood living with her father John, who was in charge of the Bury gas works, and stay at home mum, Agnes ­— who went by the name Peggy.

In her youth Miss Bradbury, who will turn 90 in June, was keen dancer and loved to play music.

She said: “I had a very happy childhood. I used to go to dance classes and when I was nine I learned to play the piano accordion.

“I was offered at place at the London College of Music but my parents wouldn’t let me go because I was their only child and they didn’t want me to move away. It was a different era.”

After studying at Elton Council School Miss Bradbury left education at the age of 14 and went to work at Heaton and Son Ltd, at The Rock.

Over her career she worked across Bury and Manchester, including as a nursery nurse in her teens, at the Cooperative Society, and later at the Inland Revenue for 21 years until her retirement.

In her free time Miss Bradbury could often be found with her friends at dance halls such as the Palais, and later began to ballroom dance.

Miss Bradbury also recalled living through the Second World War when her whole street came together to support one another.

In one air raid a bomb which exploded close by caused her back door to be blown off, as were several neighbours’.

“When the bomb fell my mum dived on top of me, so I nearly died from lack of air never mind the bomb,” Miss Bradbury laughed.

“I was nine when the war started so I was not really a situation I could help out with very much.

“But I do remember that we turned our back garden into a vegetable plot. Our neighbours all turned their gardens into allotments too where one would grow potatoes, another cauliflowers, and so on and then we shared it all out. It was very economical.”

Miss Bradbury would also use her musical talents to cheer up wounded soldiers from the nearby barracks and hospital at benefit concerts.

However, over the decades Miss Bradbury says she has seen Bury radically change.

“If you lived then you would not recognise Bury now,” she said.

“Since the mills started to close down it has changed quite a lot over the years. I find it’s a world that I don’t know any more.

“Everything seems to be closing down. I used to love walking on The Rock, down one side and up the other. But all the shops are empty now.

“People have also changed. I find people are not as friendly as they used to be. They keep themselves to themselves a lot more and the ability to converse with strangers has gone.”

However despite the transformations Bury and Miss Bradbury have seen, she would not change her home for the world.

“Every year we would talk about moving and every year we would not do it,” she said

“When my dad retired he didn’t want to move or leave any debt behind, so we stayed put.

“My mum always said that it was a lucky house. We have had our ups and downs like all people but it has always been home and my mum was certain that if we moved she would break the spell.

“Ivy Road has been a happy home and I could never imagine living somewhere else.”

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Mrs Bradbury was invited recently for afternoon tea with the Mayor of Bury and members of the Six Town Housing team ­— who now manage the borough’s social housing.

At the mayor’s parlour. Mrs Bradbury, Counsellor Trevor Holt, Six Town Housing’s Neighbourhood team and chief executive Sharon McCambridge, reminisced about her life in Bury.

The Mayor’s Attendant also showed the group the Mace of Bury and let everyone try on the Mayoral hat.

Ms McCambridge, said, “It was lovely to spend time with Maureen, who has lived in the borough for so long and has such a sense of community. We’re all very grateful for the Mayor and Mayoress inviting us for afternoon tea, everyone had a great time.”