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  Tonge Street & Tonge Square, Farnworth : Description of slum properties in Farnworth including Tonge Street and Tonge Square, taken from the book entitled "Farnworth", compiled by Ken Beevers, 1997, ISBN 0 7524 0734 4, p16

Farnworth Council was probably the first authority in the country to complete proposals for dealing with slum property under the Housing Act which came into force 16th August 1930.  By September , clearance and compulsory purchase orders were approved for two areas of New Bury, Welsby Square and Tonge Street.  The Revd Wilcockson said, “We are at the beginning of a new era.  If I had my way, I would like to see every house in which a bath could not be placed demolished”.  By 1934, thirty areas of undesirable property had been cleared and 151 more were due to be demolished.  From then on a programme of house building was carried out culminating in three main areas of housing, in Harper Green, Highfield and New Bury.

Tonge Street, New Bury, 1930

Tonge Street, New Bury 1930.  Houses to be cleared in this area included Tonge Square, Gorton Row, Greenhalgh Terrace and Albert Place.  The area was deemed unhealthy , the houses lacking light, air, ventilation and proper conveniences.  Tonge Street comprised eight houses, each consisting of a living room, a scullery 6ft by 9ft, and two bedrooms.  They were without yards and the backdoors opened on to a paved passage only 8ft wide on to which the backs of four houses on Tonge Square also opened.

[SJT Notes] Note the close proximity of Tong Street, Tong Square and Blindsill, on the 1929 OS map below.  Blindsill had been in the possession of the Tonge family from as early as 1626, and possibly before that (see Thomas Tonge of Blindshill, d. 1672).  It is probable that Tong Street and Tong Square were named after a member of the Tonge family who lived locally.

1929 OS Map: Blindsill, Tong Street and Tong Square