He was a good businessman, Geoff, and he was always pleased to see Hunslet folk turn up at his pub when he moved.
Tinkers down at the bottom of Pepper Road was another thriving paper and sweet shop.
Near Low Road School was a sweet shop owned by a man called Johnny Stead. He was a very small disabled men with a particularly foul temper, never mind how nice you spoke to him. I suppose there was lots of shoplifting, etc. Sorry to cast such a shadow on Hunslet folk!
On to Waterloo Road with Longbottomís probably the biggest newsagents in Hunslet and Dawes, a delectable bakers, still going in Hunslet Carr today?
Then, further down the road was the horse butcherís. I never paid it at lot of attention; I know in the war people ate horse meat but I donít know whether this butcherís was for human consumption or pet food.
Mitchellís the Chemist, where I used to stare in the window at the perfume gift sets for the women in my young life. Definitely Evening in Paris perfume for Aunty Edna, then soapy, perfumed soaps etc. for mum and grandma.
Then there were the Leeds Industrial Co-operative Society branches (Pepper Lane, Church Street, Hunslet Road, Hillidge Road).
I worked at the Hillidge Road Co-op as my first job for 4 months in 1957 when I left school. I was the lad whose job was to do the weighty or menial tasks - washing the huge windows, mopping the extensive wooden floors and re-stacking the shelves. The supply lorry used to come once a week and access was on the first floor where sacks, barrels and boxes were lifted through a door by chain and pulley. Butter came in barrels and two of us had to carry it down to put on the slab half a barrel at a time. Cheeses were whole and cut to the customerís choice by wire. Sugar, flour, currants and raisins were measured out into blue bags. Soap powders, perfumed soaps a hundred and one different aromas, oh how wonderful . . . but this is a story for another day.
Well, Iíve tried to paint a picture of some of the shops of Hunslet in my childhood and could go on a bit but the old memory is straining now. I hope itís inspired some of you to send in your memories of shops near you, your favourites, your terrors and sad, happy or funny stories of your shopping escapes.
It was certainly a more varied experience than walking round Morrisons, thatís for sure.
* Brenda Littlejohn (nee Adams) says the cobbler was Mr. Raynor
Geoff Tebbutt, who now lives in France, was born in 1942 in the Peppers
Napoleon was surely thinking about Hunslet when he referred to Britain as a nation of shopkeepers. In the 1940s and 1950s when I was a young boy there seemed to be one on every street corner. If I counted up the ones I knew in my sector of Hunslet it would be astounding.
I could list them by type - fish and chip shops, newsagents, sweet shops, grocery shops, butchers (general, pork, horse), bakers, drapers, cobblers, hairdressers (gentís and ladiesí, never mixed), ironmongery, chemists, off-licences, fruit and veg and electrical - but even that would be too long, so Iíve decide the random approach is best.
My domain, as far as local shops went, stretched from Thwaite Gate to the Swan Junction and the housing that finish at the Red Wall playing fields (also called the Top Field) to around Hunslet Parish Church. By shop name - Peaseís near the Anchor pub, Stephensons (miraculously still there) at the Swan Junction, opposite the Yorkshire Bank, Atkinsonís newsagents on Sussex Avenue and Foster newsagents at Thwaite Gate.
I lived in Pepper View and at the end of the street was our corner shop, proprietor one tough old bird called Emma Wainford, or, as we young Ďuns called older women then - Old Ma Wainford, who lived opposite Old Ma Crumbie.
Emmaís shop was an oasis for those of us who spent hours, days and weeks playing England against Australia at cricket on the top field, or perhaps England against Scotland at football (English people didnít rate foreign football teams until they met Hungary at Wembley in 1953). I digress, Emma served pop by the glass, particularly Tizer, for 1d or 2d (too small to measure in todayís currency!), and did we slurp the stuff down. Emmaís was a small corner shop mainly catering for kids with sweets and pop, but she also had a selection of tinned items. Many hours did we spend there after a hard innings. My elder brother tells me that when I was very small Emma had one-armed bandits in the cellar which the teenagers used to play. On bonfire night Emma used to take the best armchair condemned to the fire and sit in the prime position around the fire where she could have an entertaining evening chomping on fire-baked jacket potato, pie and peas, treacle toffee and parkin, (yum yum) much to our annoyance having spent weeks ďchumpingĒ.
Fosters newsagents in Thwaite Gate was originally between the petrol station and the Old Red Lion before moving to the parade opposite. I did an evening paper round for a few weeks for a friend. On the Friday it was collection time; what a nightmare, people saying they would pay next week, some saying theyíd paid, lots with no change or no-one in the house. At half-past seven at night a search party found me, wondering what had happened. I was three shillings down and was told it would come out of my earnings of 7s 6d for the week, which it did, so that job didnít last long. But I did take a Sunday round with them, two in fact, 7.0am start. I remember that I used to go to Hunslet Parish Church for the 9.0am communion service, which I certainly didnít enjoy. My mother, for some reason, had decided I was the son who needed religion most. I used to dawdle along on my round, hoping to get back too late for church, but was still made to go.
On the same parade as Fosters, was Charlie Marshallís fish and chip shop, where they had kids selling poppies all over Hunslet. I stood at the bottom of Briggate all Saturday one year and was disgusted when I didnít win the box of Black Magic chocolates which was the first, and only, prize. Iím afraid I was a bit mercenary.
Then I remember Barrattís (or Ribchesterís, Mr Ribchester being the superintendent preacher at St Chadís at the bottom of Pepper Road, where I attended Sunday School), they sold a variety of goods, certainly lots of toys, but ribbons and buttons and sewing things, I think it was a little Aladdinís cave. Old Mrs Barratt wore a full length black dress, I remember, very Victorian.
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Curtisís bakery shop, with chocolate cup cakes to die for, Longhornís pork shop, simply the best pies, sausages and potted meat that I still yearn for this minute, and the XL grocery store, were more star names along the Thwaite Gate hit parade.
I cannot let Thwaite Gate go without mentioning my mother-in-lawís grocery shop in the Belmonts. She was Doreen Bourne and took over the shop in the late 1950s.
Pepper Lane had a few shops with the Co-op at the bottom. Louis Artis, played for Hunslet till a terrible injury at work at John Waddingtonís put an end to his professional aspirations at Rugby but continued playing as an amateur for a number of years. He bought a shop next to a draperís shop. At the other side, on the junction with Derbyshire Street, was Renderís newsagents, later Toppís. Opposite was a cobblerís shop where a little gnome-like fellow (I can picture him in every detail but sadly cannot remember his name*) sat there mending shoes, the smell of leather abundant.
Pepper Road was our main shopping territory with Horace Greenwood, him of the iconic butcherís jolly red face and a typical butcherís figure, sharpening his knives as he chatted to his queue of lady customers interspersed with young boys like myself running errands.
Just around the corner on Bower Road was Harry the Barber. Harry was known for using those non-electric clippers that simply pulled the hair out of your head in clumps, a painful process but well worth the 2d you saved by having your haircut there instead of at Jim Bleasbyís on Grove Road. Jim was a chatty little fellow and you got the full treatment with the brylcreem. As well as the 2d, it saved the walk and the time; I thought mum would never notice!
Going down towards Low Road there was Fosterís (later Dunbars) fish and chip shop; queue, queue, queue. I remember them being closed one day and had to go to Pickersgillís which was down a street just off Plevna, as the thoroughfare that was Bower Road and Grove Road was known to locals. After queuing for half an hour from outside the shop Mr Pickersgill peered over the counter at me and told me I wouldnít be served because my parents werenít regular customers. I always considered Pickersgillís fish overdone anyhow!
Back to Pepper Road and Mossís Off Licence shop was a best seller, later owned by Geoff Beadnall, Geoff had a thriving business and a sideline as a Keighley Rugby League scout, signing on talented Hunslet boys for four or five times what they got from Hunslet.
I remember years later when we moved up to the Nesfields in Belle Isle, a long way from his shop, he delivered the few goods my mum ordered from him on a Saturday morning, and did the same with any others who had made the move.
Wainford's (photo 1968)
Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information Services
Shops on Thwaite Gate (Photo 1974)
Greenwood's butchers, Pepper Road/Ashton Terrace (photo 1964)
Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information
Shop at corner of Pepper Road/Grove Road. Harry the Barber's pole just visible above
the van (photo 1964)
Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information
Geoff Beadnall's grocery and off licence on
the right, and Tinker's newsagent on the
left (photo 1956)
Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information
Longbottom's newsagents on the left
Shops at the corner of Jack Lane/Waterloo Road. Mitchell's on the right (photo 1970s)
Former Co-op at Penny Hill, Church Street (photo 1970s)
Stephensons wallpaper and interior
decorating shop (photo 2009)
My grandfather Harry Beaumont had the baker's shop on Bower Road, opposite the hollow (or holla as we pronounced it). I still have his rolling pin. Morton's was over Bower Road to the right, opposite Cox's. I tried to spend two farthings in a shop on Bower Road and was told by the shopkeeper that it was not legal tender, though on checking in later years it was.
There were two chip shops around Plevna: Langdon's was across the Holla. The counter was so high kids couldn't see over it. The other one was Pickersgills (Pickie's), with low counters. He used to take a few chips out of the pan and let them cool and give them to the kids in the shop while they were waiting. Woe betide the child who tried to take one before it was offered!. On his marble counter there was a groove about three inches long. Kids used to run their coins along the ridge formed in the counter top. Old Pick would go mad if he caught you doing this. Pickie's batter was always much browner than Langdon's.
There was a lady who worked in the Co-op who wore a pink plastic looking collar as if to support her head. The shop had a haberdashery counter and a big staircase. I still remember our Divi number, 13731. My toys used to come from Longbottom's. Johnnie Stead's sold penny lollies and if you were lucky you got a stick which said free lolly. The butchers on Pepper Road used to give kids raw sausage. I can still evoke the smell of Mitchell's chemist and recall the glucose lollies in the jar on the counter and a bent wood chair.
Down Church street was Georgie Bullough's the butcher shop. I loved being in there when he twisted his sausages into links and hung them in the window. On the same stretch of road was Johnnie Mell's shop, where we went while rationing was still in place.
Along Waterloo Road opposite the library was a grocers with huge slabs of butter and lard from which your requirements were cut. It may have been "the Maypole". Further down and onto Hunslet Road was the "Murder Shop": their slogan was "we don't just cut prices, we murder them". It was like a haberdashery store. Around the same sort of area was a cobbler and a shoe shop. It always smelt of new leather and even now, new leather reminds me of that shop. I don't know what sort of business was upstairs but there was a constant sound of machinery. I wonder whether it was old treadle sewing machines in some sort of cottage industry.
Down Stafford Street was the Salvation Army depot where second hand furniture and clothes were sold. I remember going down one Friday night. My sister and I sat on an old settee at the back eating Jap Desserts, little coloured cubes filled with desiccated coconut. Not far from this on Hunslet Road was a pub called The Prince Albert which had huge green glass tiles covering the fascia.
Sheila Gamblin (nee Barrett) was born in Hunslet in 1950 and now lives in York