Although I have never lived in Hunslet I have a connection and an affection for the area as my late father, Walter Nelson, worked at R. Broughton and Son's electrical and cycle shop in Waterloo Road in the 1950s, until his eventual retirement through illness. He was the shop's manager. At that time, Mr. Broughton junior, whose first name was Harry, had taken over the business from his father. Harry enjoyed going 'out and about' to visit customers, installing their radios and televisions. As a result, Harry Broughton entrusted the day to day management of the shop to my father, Walter Nelson. Dad would travel from Wakefield each day to manage the shop in Hunslet.
On Saturdays, my mother and I would get the bus from Wakefield to Leeds and have lunch in the basement canteen of Lewis's department store on The Headrow. After shopping we would then catch a tram to Hunslet and Waterloo Road to meet my father when he finished work at Broughton's.
Alongside radios and televisions, Broughtons also sold Dinky Toys, Hornby Trains, Meccano and Tri-Ang toys. I was always allowed to choose a Dinky Toy to take home with me. In fact, Dad would usually bring me one home every week, even when Mum and I hadn't been to Leeds on some Saturdays. Of course, at Christmas, I was treated to various toys from Broughton's, including Hornby train sets and Meccano sets. My first two-wheeler bike came from there too. My father, every Friday night, would bring me a selection of weekly comics, Dandy, Beano, Beezer,Topper, Eagle, etc, which he bought from a Hunslet newsagent located at the Swan Junction end of Waterloo Road.
Bill Nelson was born in 1948 in Wakefield (He established the band "Be Bop De Luxe" in the early 1970s and still works and performs as a professional musician. See www.billnelson.com). The pencil was his father's.
Meadow Dairy, Gallons, Albion Stores, Co-op, Thrift Stores and many corner shops sold goods weighed in amounts you could afford, not packaged. J.W.(John Willie) Longbottoms opened their newsagent and confectioner's in 1878. There was a milliners between Longbottoms and Sugdens haberdashers. Fred Inmans was opposite Longbottoms. They printed wedding invitations, handouts, church magazines, and adverts for jumble sales. There were two fishmongers - selling fish, mussels, and rabbits - and about a dozen greengrocers, such as Battys, Waites, McKennas, and Sidebottoms. Gills were undertakers. Next door was Booth's bakery.
Drake's pork butchers made pork pies of great renown, cow-heel, home cooked meats, rolls of bacon, chitterlings, pork scraps and long queues. Other butchers were Bulloughs, Kitchingmans, and Wards.
At least three pawn shops took goods in (“pledges”) and you were given say 5/- (five shillings - 25p today) for a suit, 2/6d (two and sixpence - 12p today)for a blanket and £1 for jewellery. You were given a little card with a number on so you could get then redeemed after a week or whenever you had the money, but you had to pay a bit extra. Many families pawned their goods on Monday morning and redeemed them when they got paid on Friday. Many people couldn’t afford to redeem, so the goods would be sold by the pawnbroker.
There were two jewellers, two or three banks, toy and sweet shops, and opticians.
And, of course, fish and chip shops on almost every corner.
Carrie Stocks was born in 1932
Hunslet library opened on Waterloo Road in 1931
Mitchell's chemist and Place's shoe shop. The chemist was Frank Mitchell , who opened his premises in 1935. When he retired he said Hunslet was an industrial area but it was more like a village. Next door was Place's shoe shop (photo 1970s)
This yard of old brick buildings adjoined Leak's Yard, which in turn had access to Jack Lane. Various businesses and the United Irish Club, later known as St. Joseph's Catholic Club, were situated in Stillhouse Yard. (The club fronted Joseph Street). Stillhouse Yard had a market on Friday evenings and Saturday afternooons. You could buy secondhand clothes and household goods, rabbits, hens, pigeons, dogs, pork or lamb, and sometimes fruit and veg.
Broughtons was our local electrical and bike shop. We were so excited in Dec 1952 when Mr. Broughton junior installed our 9in Bush TV, cost £71 bought on the weekly. Much later a Bush 24in. My brother and I got new Raleigh bikes there in 1955, also radios & irons etc. It was a brilliant shop, owned by father and sons.
Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information Services
Pictodrome buildings, Church Street.
The Pictodrome cinema was on the left hand side. Better known as the "bug 'utch", it closed in 1956 (photo 1970s)
Undated view of Stillhouse Yard (pronounced "Stillus"), off Waterloo Road.
Waterloo Road (2)
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In our family in the 1950s Broughton's represented the "gold standard" for the goods it sold and its friendly and reliable customer service. We bought radios, our first television (a man came round to deliver it and set it up, of course), trikes, bikes, and possibly the Hornby train set I got for Christmas one year. Broughton's was always the shop my dad would first turn to, rather than a shop in Leeds city centre; he trusted it.
This photo shows the shop, on the left, in the early 1970s, shortly after it shut down due to the redevelopment of the Waterloo Road area. Broughton's also had an 'annexe' across the road, a bit closer to the Swan Junction end of Waterloo Road. This was mainly used as a kind of showroom window for some of the bigger things they sold, such as bikes and prams.