The first photo shows the house façade in 1987, the second one the façade in 2004.
I had a friend who worked for more than a year in Macclesfield after we left school, by the end of 1986. I was already a Joy Division fan at the time,
but I did not know much about the band history. I had no books and few if any bootlegs. He invited me over in early 1987. It was only a couple of months
before that I had read somewhere that Ian was from Macclesfield...
I was supposed to stay at my friend's place, but we had to change plans as he had to move at very short notice. After a long but surprisingly pleasant trip (train + boat + train + train, more than 14 hours as a whole), I finally arrived in Macclesfield around noon. And the first thing I had to do was to find a B&B. So we had a look at the B&B list in the Town Hall. I made a first call to no avail. Then I decided to call Mrs Dorothy Smith. There were vacancies and the address was 77 Barton Street... She lived with her family on the other side of the road.
I spent much of my time looking for Joy Division bootlegs, books and memorabilia, also some New Order stuff, and other new-wave band LPs & CDs.
You could not get these in Paris - pre-Internet times!
I found some bootlegs and also several books - I even made friend with one of the sellers, Dave from Chester. One morning I was reading one of the books, when Mrs Smith came in. She noticed the book and said she knew Ian and that he was a nice guy. I asked her how come she knew him, that is when she told me he had lived in the very room I was in!!!
I went back to Macclesfield in autumn 1987 for a month, and probably half a dozen times in the following years. Most of the time I was in the same room. Once I had the whole house to myself. That was the time I took the photos in the house. It is likely that the furniture had changed in between though I never discussed it with Dorothy.
I believe Dorothy sold the house around 1990. So I never went back in the house - although I travelled to Macclesfield several other times.
I came back to Macclesfield in 2004, and I took a photo of the façade of the house. Just when I was about to leave I bumped into Dorothy! 15 years had passed but we recognized each other immediately! We had a nice chat and she gave me a copy of the book she wrote about Macclesfield.