Photographs, Negatives, Slides and Plates of Shops and Shopping


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Birmingham : Rowcliffe's Tobacconist and Confectioner on Alum Rock Road at Saltley [c.1928]

This shop selling tobacco and confectionery was located at No.134 Alum Rock Road at Saltley in Birmingham. The building was located on the northern side of the road next to the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The latter has survived but this retail building was demolished. In this photograph the shop was run by Miss C. Rowcliffe - that is probably her stood proudly on the doorstep. The shop window boasts a large selection of goods on sale and is presented to perfection. She was clearly a fastidious retailer. In 1932 a similar business was operated here and run by William Alfred Billington. However, in 1921 a trade directory for Birmingham shows that the shop was occupied by the furniture dealer Arthur Bruce. By the Second World War the shop had become a branch of Keys Ltd. Dealers in wireless radios, this firm was based in John Bright Street in the city centre but had branches around Birmingham and the Black Country.

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Birmingham : Thomas Bailey's Greengrocery Shop on Dudley Road at Winson Green [c.1905]

Operated by Thomas and Winifred Bailey, this greengrocer's shop was located on the north side of Dudley Road at Winson Green, a few doors from the Yorkshire Grey public-house. Thomas Bailey was born in Swindon, Wiltshire around 1871. His wife originated from Ross in Herefordshire. The couple had two sons Thomas and Christopher but only one boy can be seen in the photograph stood in front of the vegetables. The boy looks around six or seven years-old which dates the photograph to around 1905. In 1915 the shop was straddled by the milliner Harry Hall and the tobacconist's shop owned by Frederick Collins.

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Bardney : Grocery and Drapery Shop of Arthur and Mary Treadgold [c.1913]

This photograph shows the grocery and draper's shop that once stood on the junction of Station Road and Horncastle Road at Bardney, a site that was later occupied by a grass bank with trees. The image probably dates from the early years of King George V's reign. Marston-born Arthur Treadgold was both grocer and draper, though the clothing side of the business was run by his wife Mary whom he married in 1896. Members of her family formed part of the staff who worked at these premises. Indeed, her brother, George Brumwell, would become a partner in the business. By the end of the Edwardian period nine people were engaged in the busy firm. Arthur Treadgold remained at the helm until failing health caused him to be admitted to Bromhead Nursing Home where he died at the end of February 1941. Widow Mary lived for two more decades before her death in December 1960.

Interior of Chemist's Shop [c.1933]

This photograph affords a look inside a chemist's shop during the early 1930s. Two young men are stood behind the counter - both look a little young to be fully-qualified chemists. Perhaps they were shop assistants. The shelves were lined with jars of concoctions. However, some of the products were bought in for retail. For 3d. the boxes next to the cash register offered Back and Kidney Pills, along with Indigestion and Wind Pills. Behind the staff there were Female Pills No.1 whatever that means?

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Shops and Shopping : Bailey's Greengrocery Kiosk at Bolton Market [c.1938]

This photograph is marked Winnie Richards at Bolton Market so I assume she was running this greengrocery kiosk for Bailey's who operated a number of outlets in the region. Born in mid-Wales in 1894, Winifred Richards lived at No.55 Moorfield Grove in Tonge. She moved further north after living and working in Liverpool for some years. Working in such an environment she may have had her five-a-day as she lived to a ripe old age. The fruit retailer died in Bolton during 1982. It certainly looks like Winnie Richards kept a tidy shop. A sign states that she is taking orders for flowers. Another sign conveys the healthy vitamins of tomatoes. A Bolton telephone number of 2780 can be seen on the crates.

Tobacconist's and Sweet Shop [c.1930]

A charming photograph of a tobacconist's shop that also sold sweets and ice creams. The location is unknown but it would appear that it was a mother-and-daughter operation. The pair are stood on the doorstep of the shop that also sold some grocery items such as Lyon's Tea. Shop window displays were regarded as an important showcase and the women have carefully displayed many of the products on sale. Two large ice cream cones adorn the frontage and a sign stating "try our pure ices" was tempting patrons on a hot sunny day. If the shop was closed people could purchase chewing gum or a chocolate bar from the machines mounted on the wooden pilasters.

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