Saturday, 17 October 2015

Down at Duffy's reflecting on Audrey's and the man who sold a knit comb

Now Duffy’s has been serving up pints with football for almost as long as I can remember.

Duffy's in 2008
That said I did once have a meal in the place when it was an Italian restaurant and just about remember what was there before that.

But for those with longer memories and a greater claim to be from Chorlton  it will always be Audrey’s that rather elegant ladies clothes shop.

Back in the 1950s it was a double fronted premise taking in the next door shop and was pretty much all glass with impressive signage.

Audrey's in 1959
In time I will go looking for the story of Audrey’s and for the history of the chemists who occupied that corner shop at the very beginning of the 20th century.

Back then the parade of shops still known as Pemberton Arcade was relatively new and it may well be that Mr Walter Smith was the first tradesmen to occupy that shop on the corner with Needham Avenue.

In 1903 he was there dispensing his mix of prescription medicines, over the counter cough mixture and much else along with those huge glass jars of coloured liquid which were the hall mark of all chemist shops.

Window shopping for something nice at Audrey's
A full eight years later you could still call in and collect everything from a nit comb, surgical bandage to all a doctor might prescribe, although by then Mr Smith had moved on and sometime after that here will have been a stretch of business up to when Audrey’s opened.

All of which is for another time leaving me only to comment that Peter’s painting of Duffy’s is now itself a bit of history which I guess means he will back down there to paint it again now that it has adopted its bright new green sign and veranda.

Painting; Duffy’s Bar  © 2008 Peter Topping 

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Picture; Audrey’s 1959, m17591, A H Downes,courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

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